PRWeek webcast affirms changing news landscape

NEW YORK: The demand for extensive business news more quickly has created a vast multimedia terrain for news outlets, said panelists on PRWeek's webcast "The Changing World of Business News."

NEW YORK: The demand for extensive business news more quickly has created a vast multimedia terrain for news outlets, said panelists on PRWeek's webcast "The Changing World of Business News."

The January 22 event, sponsored by BurrellesLuce, featured Rafat Ali, editor of ContentNext Media; Mick Weinstein, editor-in-chief of seekingalpha.com; Chris Peacock, executive editor and VP at CNNMoney.com; and Shawn Dainas, group manager at Sun Microsystems. The speakers provided insights on strategies to help companies vie for coverage in the increasingly competitive business-news market.

In the information age, journalists have three kinds of stories to tell, Peacock said: breaking news, news analysis, and value-added news, such as "best-of" lists. As business-news giants use new outlets to disseminate that information, such as CEO podcasts, automatically updated online tickers, and broadband video, PR pros must do their homework to stay on top of all the opportunities, the panel concluded.

"We have our reporters at NASDAQ who can turn something out immediately, a Fortune writer who can do a daily show, and, taking it one step further, have a monthly segment," Peacock said.

Additionally, smaller financial sites such as Seeking Alpha have emerged as aggregators of authoritative financial news published elsewhere.

"The birth of the blog created a new voice in all fields of investing and a way for anyone, from money manager to online investor, to provide advice," Weinstein said.

Pitching stories still remains a prickly issue, however. To dam the flood of daily e-mail, Peacock recommended that PR pros try to get acquainted with reporters before pitching news items.

All panelists stressed the need for PR pros to take the time to thoroughly research the outlets, the beats, and the reporters and editors on those beats before pitching items.

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