Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’


Inside the Minds of Journalists: Tips and Insights From the Media

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
film screenshot by unknown, in public domain via Wikimedia Commons

film screenshot by unknown, in public domain via Wikimedia Commons

In the modern era of newsrooms, journalists are trying to get out more stories, capture distracted audiences, and work within a number of financial constraints. In working with journalists, public relations practitioners in turn face more competition for coverage, an array of preferred approaches for working with journalists, and the challenge to provide more tailored pitches to reach a wider swath of audiences.

On April 1, PRSA New Jersey held a Meet the Media event on the future of journalism. Our VP of Agency Relations, Colleen Flood, attended the event, which featured a panel of five journalists who answered questions about their decisions, challenges, and relationships with public relations pros.

The panelists were Geoff Mulvihill of the Associated Press; Terrence Dopp of Bloomberg; Michelle LaRoche of The Wall Street Journal; Doug Doyle of WBGO radio; John Ensslin of The Record; and Walt Kane of News 12 New Jersey.

Moderator Ken Hunter, president and chief strategist at The PowerStation and membership chair of PRSA New Jersey, asked one of the most PR-centered questions toward the end of the event: When it comes to relationships with PR pros, what suggestions did the panelists have for PR pros to get to know journalists without being intrusive?

Mulvihill said simply to make sure your expert is truly an expert. Kane elaborated that is important that public relations practitioners know the topics on which he reports, and that the experts he interviews act like experts; what he doesn’t want to hear from people he interviews is “Go to my website” or “Read my book.”

Dopp wants PR pros to give him a strong reason why he should care about your expert, and reiterated Kane’s stance that the PR pro must know what he reports on. Ensslin said that it’s ideal to establish a relationship with the reporter before a breaking story, and Doyle added that the key is to be timely and know how your expert can connect with a story and why the news organization would run topic or expert.

When asked about what reporters feel is lacking on a corporate website, and how often the panelists would visit a corporate website, Kane remarked that media contact information is often difficult to find. Mulvihill added that many websites are also missing headquarters locations, and that information is not always up to date.

Hunter also asked whether it’s important to get a story first or to get it right. All panelists agreed that getting it right is vital. And while they all understand what it feels like to get incorrect information and have to issue a correction, Dopp noted that if the same source repeatedly provides incorrect information, trust is quickly lost, so it’s vital not only to the story, but to your relationship with journalists, to always double-check your facts.

The topic then turned to news cycle, when Hunter asked how a journalist knows a story has run its course. Ensslin looks at whether the story has legs – if every week there’s new information, they need to cover it. Doyle puts himself in the readers’ shoes, and when he selects stories he tries to think about what readers are thinking that day, though if there’s a breaking news story, that all goes out the window. These insights provided a few great takeaways – making sure any pitch is relevant and timely to the publication’s readers, and examining whether you or your expert can provide new information to give a story more legs.

What other methods have you found to be effective for working with journalists? How do you foster balanced relationships with journalists?

Copyright Matters: Dow Jones Sues News Aggregator Ransquawk for Misappropriation

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Dow Jones Files Copyright Lawsuit Agains Ransquawk Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuceLast night, The Wall Street Journal reported that their parent company, Dow Jones & Co. sued Real-Time Analysis & News Ltd., a financial news aggregator service known as Ransquawk, for illegal distribution of the Dow Jones content without publisher consent.

Dow Jones claimed in its complaint that the London-based Ransquawk accessed the DJX newsfeed, which Dow Jones’ real-time financial news subscription service, and republished the content “verbatim, within seconds” of its publication. Ransquawk’s website says that it provides live news headlines in a 24-hour scrolling news feed, as well as real-time audio with breaking news and instant analysis, drawn from over 100 news sources.

In a statement on the Dow Jones Press Room, Jason Conti, SVP, general counsel and chief compliance officer, wrote that Dow Jones “refuse[s] to sit back when others swoop in to swipe our content.” He also claimed that Ransquawk is “systematically copying, pasting, and selling our journalists’ work.” There’s not much of a reply from Ransquawk; chief executive and co-founder Ranvir Singh said only that, “We obviously strongly deny any accusations made against us by Dow Jones … we will only be in a position to make a statement tomorrow.”

As we discussed on Monday, copyright compliance is a primary concern in media monitoring and news aggregation. This case looks to be very similar to that when the Associated Press filed a lawsuit against Meltwater for copyright infringement, a case which the AP won.

Why Ransquawk didn’t take notice then, we’ll never know, but they certainly shouldn’t be surprised at the lawsuit given that in recent years Dow Jones filed – and received large settlement claims from – other “hot news” misappropriation lawsuits against Briefing.com and Cision.

Once again, BurrellesLuce is not an aggregator but a curator, and we negotiate licensing fees with our providers to ensure our content is copyright compliant. We strongly believe that news outlets must be fairly compensated for their content, which EVP Johna Burke blogged about just three days ago. PR pros rely on content generated by high-caliber content produced by the AP, Dow Jones, and other providers not just for those valuable media mentions, but also for measurement purposes. In their need to be on top of the news, PR pros should protect the content they need and value by using services that respect and compensate the very publications that produce that content.

So many of us are committed to “community” nowadays, but where would the PR community be without journalism? Media and PR may be separate yet tandem communities, but they are part of the same ecosystem, and without balance on both sides, that ecosystem will crumble.

Disappearing Act – Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012 – Part 2

Monday, January 16th, 2012

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

Executive_Crystal_BallAt this time of year, perhaps more than any other, we PR and marketing professionals can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are no shortages of bloggers and writers flexing their “intuitive” muscles to predict the trends and topics in store for the coming year.

Not too long ago I posted on Fresh Ideas about the 10 Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012 as revealed by 24/7 Wall Street, a firm offering insight analysis and commentary for U.S. and global equity investors.

Now CoreBrand, a branding and marketing research firm, is making some predictions of its own. According to an article on Business Insider, These Famous Brands Will Disappear in 2012, “two days before the Wall Street Journal  reported Kodak will fill for bankruptcy, James R. Gregory, CEO of branding and marketing research firm CoreBrand, predicted that Kodak would ‘disappear’ as a brand in 2012.”

The article is quick to address that “bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of Kodak as a business. The company and its brands could be bought or restructured.”  Still we can’t ignore that many businesses within the tech industry are struggling to find relevancy in a rapidly changing digital landscape – even the ones who have consistently relied on their strong branding efforts to pull them into the new millennium.

The same can be said for companies in the automotive industry, which have struggled to balance their bottom lines even after extensive government and taxpayer bailouts. In fact, Saab, number four on the list, also recently filed bankruptcy.  Yet the company still garners media attention, because, as this Wall Street Journal article explains, “this quirky little car brand with its few, but fiercely loyal enthusiasts, has been a source of great affection, nostalgia, and Swedish nationalism.”

But having a recognizable and timeless brand can’t do much when an organization suffers financially and structurally… or can it?

Lesser known companies may not seem to do well on their own, but might still rely on the success of their products. For example, Yum Brands! (number 7 on the list) is parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, all of which seem to do well in their own right. That is, if Yum Brands! avoids taking a page from the playbook of Hostess (whose classic brands include Twinkie, Sno Balls and Wonder Bread brands). Last week, Hostess filed for bankruptcy just two years after emerging from bankruptcy, confirms the Huffington Post.

What are your thoughts? Are these “disappearing acts” just a sign of the times or can something be done from a communications and PR standpoint to help other brands from avoiding a similar fate? What is digital media’s role in all of this, if any? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Valerie Simon

iStock_Communication_SmallThis weekend, in a Wall Street Journal article, former chairman of the FEC, Arthur Levitt, suggested: “When an editor wants a reporter to explain something more clearly in a news article, she might say: ‘Tell it to Aunt Edna.’ Aunt Edna is the stand-in for a regular person, someone who has never thought about a cloture motion in the Senate, a municipal bond offering, or some other obscure issue of our public life.” Good advice to all those in the field of communications who are responsible for sharing important information with the public.

The practice of using simple language, however, isn’t always so simple, particularly for those experts in specialty fields, like healthcare or finance, who are tasked with communicating precise and complex information to the general public. Add the pressure and influence of company stakeholders, legal concerns, and a desire to be creative, and it is easy to see why “simple” is not always easy to achieve.

Put yourself in the role of the consumer…

  • Will “Aunt Edna” be confused by your message?
  • Will she grow frustrated trying to understand the industry jargon you are using, or overwhelmed trying to make sense of the information presented to her?
  • Will Aunt Edna grow uneasy or even lose trust in your company?

Now if, Aunt Edna has little patience for jargon and pretentious language, what about “Uncle Walt” (my stand in for the ubiquitous journalist)? Trade publications and academic journals notwithstanding, today’s reporters, producers and editors need to appeal to a broad audience. They are under increasing pressure to produce more, under tighter deadlines.

  • Will Uncle Walt need to read your press release multiple times in order to make sense of it? Will he even read your release for that matter?
  • How difficult is it for him to find the information he needs on your website?
  • Does all of the material and jargon lend itself to mis-quotes and factual misinterpretations?
  • Are the key messages you hope Uncle Walt will take away easy to identify?

Understand that looking out for Aunt Edna is not a charitable exercise. Customers like Aunt Edna are more loyal, and even willing to pay more, for brands that offer communications, interactions and experiences that are easy to understand and use. In fact, U.S. Brands Could Gain $27 Billion in 2011 by Bringing Consumers Simpler Experiences and Interactions, according to the findings of the Siegel+Gale  2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index.

So what global brands offer the simplest communications and what is the real pay off? For more tangible details on the value of simplicity, be sure to join BurrellesLuce and Brian Rafferty, Siegel+Gale Global Director, Customer Insights, for a free on-demand webinar on Using the Power of Simplicity to Optimize Brand Communications and learn about the findings of the 2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index. 

In the meantime, I offer you this challenge: Take a look at your online press room through the eyes of Aunt Edna and Uncle Walt. How much time does it take you to identify the key points? Is there anything subject to interpretation? Does your communication hold up to the “Aunt Edna test”? Does your competitor? Then, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, tell us what you find out.

Oscar’s Social Media Fever

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The Academy Awards Show is my Super Bowl. That’s what I’ll tell my husband on Sunday, when I NEED to start watching the TV at 3 p.m. and switch between channels for all the best Red Carpet viewing possible. Additionally, I’ll have one or two laptops going with multiple Twitter searches refreshing faster than I can read. YouTube will help me replay some of the best and worst dresses on the Red Carpet.

I used to host an Oscar viewing party. But, I don’t need to anymore. I have all my social mediaAcademy-Awards friends to confirm that so-and-so did have the ugliest dress and celebrity Y should have shaved.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed I’m not alone and reported on the efforts of several agencies who have celebrities posting  live updates via Twitter and Facebook streams during the Oscars. The article reports social media advertising company MyLikes Inc. has Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian commenting on fashion via Twitter for fashion site Gilt Groupe.  It was noted, however, that marketers are still working to find the fine-line between selling and adding to the conversation.

This year, Oscar.com will offer live streaming from backstage in an effort to attract younger users to their site. Additionally, there will be interactive ways to enter your predictions and help choose a designer dress for the on-stage awards escort.  If you have an iPad, you can download the Oscar app for the same interaction. Adding to the interactivity, Sprint is partnering with People.com for a real-time trivia game during the show.

Advertising Age says the cost for a 30 second spot for the Academy Awards show has increased this year to $1.7 million, and the Los Angeles Times reports the spots are sold-out. It’s not the $3 million the Super Bowl demands, but it’s getting there for arguably the second most watched event of the year. Oscar commercials are usually targeted to women, unlike the Super Bowl ads, which were mostly directed at men. This is an opportunity for advertisers to target the real decision makers in most households.

I wonder how many brands are looking for tie-ins to Oscars to capture the interest of the media and celebrity obsessed viewers? Pop Secret hosted a Twitter party, #PopCameraAcation, on February 24 and they used mommy bloggers to spread the word. What other hashtags will I be encouraged to use on Oscar night?

In my earlier BurrellesLuce Fesh Ideas post on 2010 Trends and 2011 Predictions…, the 2010 Academy Awards did not make the top 10 for Twitter trends. Could this have been because there are several hashtags being used to talk about the event? Also in the post was a prediction for the true integration of social media with PR. Will PR efforts around the Oscars take us a step closer to this?

How are other marketers promoting their brand with a tie-in to the Oscars? What will communications professionals learn from this year’s Academy awards? Were they successful? I’d like to hear your thoughts.