Posts Tagged ‘Breaking News’

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar w/ Todd Hartley - Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your BrandBurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand

Register Now!

When: Monday, September 24, 2012

Time: Noon EDT

When news breaks in your industry, what should you do? How do you own the conversation, promote your expert, and develop business relationships that convert to revenue?

Join BurrellesLuce and Todd Hartley, CEO of WireBuzz for this informative 60-minute webcast, “Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand.”

During the webcast you will:

  • Learn tricks to maximize breaking news opportunities by combining a press release with a rapid-response video.
  • Learn how to optimize social media engagement and search results for breaking news.
  • See case studies implementing this strategy.

And much more…

Register Now!

Moderator: Johna Burke, senior vice president, marketing, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at


Todd Hartley (@TheToddHartley), CEO of WireBuzz, has spearheaded digital marketing campaigns for seven of the largest national talk shows and created the first video medical encylopedia on the internet. His agency, WireBuzz, specializes in developing fast video content production for press releases, search engine optimization, and customer lead generation.

Media Pitching: How to Get Past the Clutter

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

This article first appeared on The Agency Post 6.19.12 and is cross-posted with permission.

You’re probably thinking, “Of course I know how to pitch the media.” But do you really? The days of simply pulling a media list from a media directory service and blasting out a press release to hundreds (or thousands) of media contacts are over.

Of course, some of the basics haven’t changed:

1. Stay on top of breaking news. Know where your client may fit in, so you aren’t pitching at an inappropriate time.

2. Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes — understand, appreciate, anticipate.

3. Act with integrity and respect — never lie.

4. Be accessible and straightforward — deliver well thought-out responses and never “ad lib.”

Like other professions, journalists are now doing more with less. They’re covering more beats/subjects, writing more stories (and in many cases also writing blog posts), and doing so with shorter deadlines.

You’ve no doubt heard the adage, “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.” This really applies here! We must be diligent in digging deeper — looking at past stories, reading the journalist’s or outlet’s blog, virtually getting to know the person so we’re confident our news is a good fit.

Marketing thought leader Seth Godin hit the nail on the head when he said, “Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention. More clutter isn’t free. In fact, more clutter is a permanent shift, a desensitization to all the information, not just the last bit.” He was talking about digital media marketing, but it applies in modern media relations as well.

Here are five questions you can ask yourself before pitching a story:

  • Is the content pertinent and fresh (aka newsworthy) — not too far past, but not too far in the future?
  • Have you stated actual facts in your news release — products, services, events, people, projects, while avoiding jargon or specialized technical terms?
  • Do you have facts, statistics, photos, quotes, backup stories, video or audio, and experts available where you need them?
  • Have you tailored the pitch to the specific interests of the targeted journalist/ blogger?
  • Are you capable of presenting your pitch — complete with the significance of the story, the unique angle, the connection to their readers, and its relevance — in 30 to 60 seconds? (Note: It’s not a bad idea to practice your pitch with colleagues or friends.)

This isn’t intended to be an all-inclusive checklist, but if you answered “yes” to all five it certainly stacks the odds in your favor.

News Organizations Sometimes Bend the Rules of Engagement to Keep Up with Today’s Frenetic Pace of News Cycles.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The 24 hour news cycle is nothing new. It started in 1980 with the launch of CNN, the very first 24 hour news channel. Prior to cable news we relied on the newspaper, radio, or the evening news broadcast to find out what was happening in the world. And if a big story broke during the day or after the news broadcast chances were we would be informed by having our favorite TV show interrupted with a special report from the affiliate’s newsroom.

Over the last few years, however, the rate at which we receive the news has been accelerating and, believe it or not, promises to become even more immediate. Some news organizations are applying extreme and sometimes controversial business practices to keep up with this increasing pace and to survive in the highly competitive online news space.

With more pressure to deliver content to their followers, organizations like Politico and Gawker are helping to ratchet up the intensity to an even higher level when it comes to reporting the news. Pre-dawn start times at agencies tortoise_Hare1along with bonuses tied to the number of pageviews a reporter’s story garners are adding to the sense of urgency in which a story is posted online. Tracking how many people view articles online is becoming a higher priority not only at new media, but old media as well – creating an environment to see who can post the most exclusive stories the fastest.

As a result, when a major national story is in the midst of breaking news, the rules of engagement sometimes become a bit blurred, with more outlets favoring “cut and paste reporting” over actual journalism. Last month Rolling Stone magazine was about to post the General McChrystal story in which he and his aids were critical of the White House – first sending an advanced copy of the story to the Associated Press (customary for magazines trying to promote a story) with some restrictions. But before Rolling Stone had a chance to publish the story on their website, on their scheduled date, two major websites (Politico and decided to post a PDF of the entire story to their respective sites.  

Although it was seen by some as a breach of copyright and professional best practices, both companies explained that they posted the story as it was unfolding. Since Rolling Stone didn’t immediately post the article itself they decided to move forward on their own.  Eric Bates, executive editor of Rolling Stone, didn’t see it that way. Voicing his concern not only from his magazine’s perspective but from an industry perspective, he called it a “transitional moment,” adding, “What these two media organizations did was off the charts. They took something that was in pre-published form, sent to other media organizations with specific restrictions, and just put it up.”

However, the exhausting pace of online news isn’t just taking its toll on the media organizations themselves. It is also coming at a price to the individuals supplying the content. The longer hours and added pressure to constantly come up with exclusive stories has contributed to an increased turnover of staff at online news organizations with more journalists facing burnout at a younger age. A dozen reporters recently left Politico in the first half of this year and it’s very common for an editor to leave Gawker after just one year.

While some may debate the future of the media, one thing is certain: The online media race is on.  I’m just not sure if slow and steady wins this one.

Do you think that the media and their audiences, are biting off more news than they can chew?  As a public relations professional, what do you think about news organizations bending the rules of engagement to keep up with today’s frenetic pace of news and how does this impact the way you conduct media relations? If you’re a journalist or blogger, how are you handling the added pressure of constantly having to deliver? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Follow-up: Who’s Feeding Your News Source?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

This past Friday, the day my last BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post came out, I was at BlogPotomac, a social media marketing conference in the Washington, D.C. area. Two of the speakers, Andy Carvin, NPR, and Shel Israel, author of Twitterville, both made a point, which hit home:

Social media allows you and me to be the eyes and ears for the mainstream news media.

Carvin sees a role for the public in helping alert the media to breaking news. Because many news outlets do not have stringers, citizen tweets, status updates, and blog posts, can help alert reporters to stories and trends.

With today’s newsrooms downsizing, reporters do not have time to do as much investigating as they would like. Carvin reminded us that NPR’s newsroom lost over 100 people this past year.

The discussion then turned to the ethics regarding what we should and should not be posting. Although hard to control, the attendees all agreed we should each use our best judgment, and always ask for permission to post pictures of people.

In hindsight, I wish I had at least posted a tweet about the incident I witnessed last week, or called or e-mailed a reporter. I don’t think I will ever assume the media will cover a story unless I see them doing it.

Will you be a stringer for news outlets? What do you think is the impact of this kind of reporting?

From Breaking News to Break-ins: Public Relations, Marketing, Crime & More on Twitter

Monday, June 8th, 2009

flickr_brokenglass_2490896753_fabc3ffd43_m.jpgGail Nelson
With millions of users, Twitter reflects the more of the real world with every passing day. Among last week’s naughty and nice Twitter surprises:

  1. A celebrity baby arrival: Lance Armstrong broke the news of his son’s birth and included a Twitpic (photo).
  2. A big consumer brand comes very late to the Twitter party: Coca-Cola, one of the world’s best-loved brands, has finally launched an official Twitter site. 
  3. A house was burglarized:  A criminal (probably) used Twitter  to find out when the homeowners are out of town.
  4. Intellectual property attorneys have a new place to look for business: Twitter handles may violate trademark law.
  5. The spread of human kindness: See this Mashable link for a roundup of how Twitter is saving the day, all over the globe. My favorite warm and cuddly story of the week is a dog tale. Using Twitter (among other media) Shonali Burke helped Darby, a German Sheppard left homeless upon the death of his owner, find a new family.

And there’s a lot more. Did anyone see this dust-up on tweeting in church

All this innovation has inspired the BurrellesLuce Marketing team to try something new, too. Bypassing our customary wire and paid online distribution services, we used Twitter to distribute our latest news. (Twitter isn’t all we did, of course. We sent our release to our list of journalists and bloggers – something our Media Contacts service helps with. And we published the release to our website.) So far, given the audience for this type of release, BurrellesLuce Vice President Johna Burke will speak at the AMEC media measurement conference in Berlin, Germany – it appears this economical method of Twitter the release is effective. 

Have you seen other remarkable uses for Twitter lately? What can you share about your new Twitter frontiers?