Posts Tagged ‘Media Relations Summit’


5 Changes in Journalism and What They Mean for Public Relations

Friday, July 30th, 2010

PR Tips

Valerie Simon

1. Long is now shorter. Rand Morrison commented that “Long is shorter than it used to be,” at the Bulldog Reporter 2010 Media Relations Summit.

PR Takeaway: Be succinct. Understand your message and be able to share it in a compelling manner with a few key bullet points.

2. Slow is now faster. Stories break on Twitter live as events unfold. Getting a story right is challenged by an increase pressure to get it out. 

PR Takeaway: Anticipate journalists’  needs and serve as a valuable resource. Maintain an accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive online newsroom or press center.  A quick responses and immediate follow up is essential.

3. There is a need to be more resourceful with resources. Cuts in newsroom operations means that journalists are working longer hours, with heavier workloads and a heightened sense of concern regarding job security.

PR Takeaway: Passing along tips and information that will benefit the journalist (publication and readers), whether or not it is for a specific client, will be appreciated and help to build a strong relationship. Likewise, those who are able to help journalists save time by bringing together multiple resources have a distinct advantage. For this reason I am very intrigued with the concept behind Heather Whaling’s Pitch with me!

4. The brand of a journalist is not always limited to the publication. Many journalists now have Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and personal blogs.

PR Takeaway: There are now numerous opportunities to listen, engage, and build stronger relationships with influential journalists. 

5. Competition is more competitive. Social media has also increased the challenge of being the first to break a story or add a new and unique angle.

PR Takeaway: Exclusives are more valuable than ever. When you can’t offer an exclusive, consider whether you have a special angle or resource to pitch. What value can you offer the journalist to help him or her provide unique value to readers?

What other changes have you noticed in the field of journalism and how do they impact those who practice PR?

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The Future of Public Relations: Seizing the Opportunity

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Bulldog Media Relations Summit Virtual Conference: The Future of Public Relations Seizing OpportunityI wasn’t able to attend this year’s Bulldog Reporter’s Media Relations Summit workshop (in New York) in person earlier this month. However, I did have the opportunity to attend virtually. 

Speakers for the panel “The Future of Public Relations: Seizing the Opportunity” consisted of:

  • Aedhmar Hynes, CEO of Text 100
  • Matt Harrington, president and CEO of Edelman U.S.
  • Peter Land, SVP, communications, at PepsiCo Beverages Americas
  • Martin Murtland, VP, solutions for corporate communications for Dow Jones Inc.

I’ve listed some of the key points that I heard in the podcast. (NOTE: Unfortunately since there was only audio and no video, I was unable to keep track of exactly who was speaking at some times – so my apologies, in advance, to the panel if I’ve not credited you with your quotes.)

Hynes talked about marketing, advertising, public relations, etc. all being separate departments with separate budgets, as this is the business model that’s served well in the past. However, in reality, the future of the industry is about communicating the brand of the organization. What are the goals as a whole and what are the skill sets that match those strategic goals? This is the time for organizations to think about the fundamental concept of moving away from managing information or news to shaping and directing conversation.

Companies must influence the influencers. The concept of third-party advocacy has never been more important than it is now.

As in any discussion of PR these days, the conversation moved to changes in ROI and measurement and analytics. We all know we should get away from ad value equivalency, but what do we use in its place (aside from media value)?  How do you know your campaign is a success?  There are many tools out there that measure “online buzz.” Yet what does that really mean?  It goes back to where you start – when you set your goals, they must be measurable. Measurable goals will drive your reporting and allow you to determine which strategies were successful.   

So, what does the future look like for public relations?

  • PR now has more opportunity and voice as it relates to corporate strategy. In other words, PR professionals are gaining more access to the C-suite.
  • The future (of PR) is about confidence and being nimble. According to Land, we must be able to move incredibly fast and confident to walk into our CEO’s office and make suggestions.
  • The move away from “agency of record” was briefly discussed because corporations have multiple needs (e.g., advertising, digital, creative, B2B, direct to consumer, etc.)  
  • The next decade in public relations is predicted to be the most exciting in history thus far. It may seem like it’s “back to the future,” as some have lost sight of fundamental best practices, but we must now come back to this strategic consulting in shaping views, per Hynes.

What would you add? What does the future of PR look like in your mind’s eye? If you attended the conference virtually, what are some of the points you took away from it. Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Professional Development Is A “Must” For PR Practitioners

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Brittany James is a recent graduate from Quinnipiac University with a degree in public relations and a minor in marketing. Currently she is interning at Source Communications, a New York-based strategic consulting firm.

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At the end of last month, the BurrellesLuce team invited me to attend the Bulldog Reporter’s Media Relations Summit. Being a young PR professional, who had just attended my first PRSA event at the beginning of June, I was eager to partake in the day’s activities. With a lot of great companies being represented at the summit, I knew that I wouldn’t be disappointed in this Professional Developmentamazing learning experience.

While there were very informative “Meet the Editors” roundtables, I had the pleasure of listening to four panels that all mirrored the same message throughout regarding growing industry trends. Some of the key messages conveyed were:

  • Keep your skill set up-to-date
  • Participating on the Internet is no longer an option

During the first panel, the skills every public relations professional needs were discussed and writing was stressed to be the biggest skill. Like any PR professional knows, writing is essential to their everyday tasks and the panel talked about how being able to tell stories requires writing skills. These writing skills need to have a visual image and content, which helps to develop the full picture of what is impacting areas.

Moving more towards the social media aspect, during the other three panels I listened to, the need for more incorporation of the Internet into PR was a strong topic. In today’s PR world, there really isn’t an excuse to not be on social media and engaging with your and your clients’ audiences. Steve Momorella from TEKgroup International presented the statistics that:

  • 90 percent of social media users follow/monitor news and information daily
  • 75 percent of social media users visit corporate websites after a story
  • 73 percent of social media users believe social media sources with news is more timely

In the second presentation, Tina Brown from The Daily Beast still thinks that as PR professionals we are still retro and need validation through print or TV. She went on to say how we can help shape the response of stories on the Internet by participating and also assisting to make the story go viral.

By being part of the conversation, we as PR professionals can help to position the story in a positive light. However, if there is no presence, anything can happen. As social media is continuing to grow, Bev Yehuda from Products MultiVu stated that “social media is the start of a transition away from ‘push,’ one-way communications to a world full of interactivity between PR professionals and the media.”

Being a young PR professional, what do you foresee as some future trends in the industry? How are you getting your company and/or clients into social media?

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Pitching the Media: Brooke Siegel, DailyCandy, and Jake Dobkin, Gothamist, Share Tips At Bulldog Media Relations Summit

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

The timing for the “Meet the Editors” roundtable at the Bulldog Media Relations Summit could not have been a better follow up to my BurrellesLuce colleague Tressa Robbins’ recent post, What Journalist Really Want from PR People. In fact, I had the opportunity to moderate two roundtables with journalists of highly regarded outlets. The morning session was with Brooke Siegel, entertainment editor of DailyCandy.com, and the afternoon session JournalistTakingNoteswas with was Jake Dobkin, publisher of Gothamist.com.  Both conveyed similar messages about pitching:

  • Provide simple, concise details of what they need to write the story
  • Send the type of story their outlet would include

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a PR person can make when pitching is sending the finished product. I heard from Dobkin and Siegel that “almost never do they use the ‘story’ as you send it.” And I am sure that most journalists would probably agree.  Instead, they recommend “sending the details” and then “they will write the title and the story.”  Be specific with details, especially in the subject line.  Just be sure you don’t include the entire press release (in the subject line) – Siegel joked that this has happened to her and reached for her BlackBerry to show us, then remembered she had deleted it!

For Jake the details he must have include pictures, illustrations, or video.  Since Gothamist.com is a blog it is important to lure the reader with visuals.  Without any it is likely he will not do the story.  Just don’t send large files. Instead provide photos via a “photo-drop box” like Flickr.

According to Dobkin, PR and media relations professionals should also know before pitching Gothamist.com that:

  • Gothamist.com does 10 posts/day
  • Audience is 18-34 year olds known as “affluent hipsters”
  • Contact via email tips [at] gothamist.com
  • Don’t call us – we’ll call you.  Trust us, you will receive a call if we need additional information
  • Provide videos via YouTube or embed with a code

As far as getting your story picked up by DailyCandy.com, Siegel provides some specifics:

  • Dailycandy.com is committed to covering what’s new and undiscovered in 11 cities
  • Audience is primarily geared towards women regarding fashion, food, and fun
  • Exclusives are welcome
  • They have a “deals email” that is a great way to establish brands
  • No “enter to win” or giveaways
  • How-to videos are welcome
  • Always include a website; this is the “biggest business card you have”

It was a pleasure to meet Siegel and Dobkin in person.  They are real people who work very hard to get their stories out to their audiences.  And while some of their points were specific to their publications, I think the biggest lesson they offered was to remind participants how important it is to “research and know the outlet you are pitching.” Now, that’s a takeaway any savvy professional working with the media would do well to heed.   

Are you pitching journalists they way they want to be pitched? What tips have journalists and bloggers given you for working with the media? Share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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 *Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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All The News That’s Fit To…Tweet? Re-writing the New York Times Motto

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Valerie Simon

Monday morning, as I sat down on the train headed to the Bulldog Reporter 2010 Media Relations Summit, I had trouble getting past the front page of The New York Times. No, it wasn’t the story about “online bullies” or the “G20 agreement to halve budget deficits,” but a part of its masthead: “All the news that’s fit to print.”  

I am bothered by the fact that the motto remains tied to a particular format, when in fact The New York Times Digital ranked 13th on the newly released comScore report of top 50 web properties. I enjoy reading The New York Times online via my BlackBerry, following @nytimes on Twitter and receiving its RSS feeds in my reader. I listen to NYtimes.com podcasts and watch NY Times videos. The various formats and channels each offer a unique purpose and different advantage in storytelling.

When I arrived at the conference I paid particular attention to how other media organizations were evolving. During the first roundtable I moderated, Glenn Coleman, managing director, Crain’s New York Business, discussed the different methods of outreach and subscription types available to readers. Alongside the original print edition, there is a digital edition, several premium specialized newsletters, as well as free email alerts consisting of daily, weekly, industry and company email alerts delivering the day’s breaking business news.

Likewise, at my second roundtable, Joe Ciarallo, editor of PRNewser and manager of PR initiatives for mediabistro.com, noted that the MediaBistro community receives content and information from a wide array of platforms. In addition to its original blog, MediaBistro reaches its audience using targeted blogs such as PR Newser, TV Newser, and Agency Spy, premium content, and opportunities for members,  live events and an active social media presence.

So what is the new standard of newsworthiness – the new goal of media organizations striving to be that essential trusted source of news?  During the conference Rand Morrison, executive producer, CBS News Sunday Morning, wisely remarked that, “Long is shorter than it used to be.” Perhaps an updated motto for The New York Times would be “All the news that’s fit to tweet.” But seriously, the motto should no longer focus on one particular format, but rather on consumption, discussion, or sharing. I’ll put it to you, the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas community. What do you think would be a more appropriate motto for today’s New York Times?

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