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Live from the Empire State Building – Welcome to PANhattan!

Matthew Pennacchio

PANhattan Celebrated its Grand Opening with a star-studded media panel entitled “Integrated Marketing and Media Trends from 2019 Newsmakers & Influencers”

The City That Never Sleeps formally welcomed a new tenant that is already making a lot of noise across the media landscape (no – it’s not Amazon). This past Wednesday, PANhattan started another chapter in its storied history with an interactive media panel discussion at its new Empire State Building office location by bringing together top PR and media professionals.

new york city mediaHosted by vice president and general manager, Ryan Wallace, the PAN executive team and PANhattan clients were joined by influential members of the media and friends of PAN for festive evening on the outlook of the integrated marketing and media landscape, and what will help shape storytelling for today’s PR professionals.

Moderated by PR Council President Kim Sample, the panel included a diverse cross-section of prominent media speaking on the issues of today and how they approach their storytelling. We’ve captured some key takeaways from the discussion – everything from the movements driving content and how PR professionals can work with reporters, to ensuring successful outcomes and long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships – below:

True Equality is Always a Work in Progress

Discussion of the top stories of 2018 kicked off the event, with panelists agreeing that the emergence of the #MeToo movement and issues surrounding gender imbalance and inclusion dominated the news cycle. Despite increasing demand for more inclusive journalism in the current around-the-clock news cycle, gender and ethnic diversity in newsrooms have hardly improved in the last decade.

NHYC media panelLaura Brusca, vice president of corporate communications at Forbes, noted, “While 2018 was an opportunity to address the problem of gender equality, 2019 must be the time for action.” Such actions need to be a “reexamination of ethics” when it comes to diversity hiring. The norms of journalism, and the routines of news organizations, are deeply ingrained. Diversity requires a larger commitment from the entire newsroom or organization.

The Source is the Story

While diversity is and will remain top of mind, the rapid news cycle presents a call to action for PR professionals to be more diligent in their outreach and make sure their pitches and storytelling efforts do not get lost in the shuffle. “I won’t run a story with less than three sources,” noted Michelle Castillo, senior reporter at Cheddar. Having multiple sources will help create an untold story that will drive interest, turning pitches into feature articles that other outlets aggregate. By working closely with the media on these types of stories, PR professionals receive the added benefit of creating a lasting relationship for ongoing, trusted thought leadership commentary.

“Make the interview special and memorable,” said Stephanie Pagones, reporter, The New York Post. While facts and figures are interesting, they can be pulled straight from a press release. In order for stories to take shape, reporters need more than the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why).

“As journalists and PR professionals we have a moral imperative to educate young people on how to discern real sources from fake news,” Lydia Dishman, women’s innovation reporter, Fast Company, impressed upon the audience to seek out new outlets and voices outside of their usual circles. An effort to drive discussion around commentary from several informed sources should always be top of mind.

NYC panelReal-Time News Includes Real-Time Voice

Social media was also a topic of discussion with panelists, who agreed that vehicles such as Twitter are no longer as useful as a sourcing tool for stories due to the increased volume of posts and questionable level of credibility.

One-way dialogue has evolved into 24/7 real-time conversations. Social channels enable the conversation, but even so, always be on the lookout for ideas and emotional hooks that can be amplified in traditional press. “Human interaction is what helps my stories,” Dishman underscored. While story sourcing via social media is not as popular as it once was, video content is being driven by every social media outlet. Jason Sanchez, senior video producer, Business Insider, cautioned: “Social media is a TV network that each and every one of us has access to.” Using video to complement stories is paramount in this visual news age.

The importance of diversity and inclusion education in the PR industry is fueling what actions will shape the multiple voices permeating the news cycle. The tips and ideas shared by this panel of experts provides great insight into penetrating an environment that is often difficult to navigate.

As we learned, the news cycle does not stop. It does not take a break. It passes go and collects $200, and it certainly lives on NYC time. With targeted guidance from some of New York’s leading journalistic minds, there is tremendous opportunity to strengthen storytelling, develop deeper media relationships and help meet the needs of the voices that are shaping the news of the day. As PANhattan continues to grow at an exceedingly rapid pace, opportunities are endless for impactful storytelling.

Looking for more about PAN’s recent NYC panel? View the video below for key highlights.

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Topics: Culture

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