This post by @sarahskerik first appeared on our parent company’s blog (PR Newswire – Beyond PR). It has been edited for CNW’s use with her permission.

These days, social media is the biggest game-changer in crisis communications because it increases the speed at which organizations need to respond. You used to have an hour or so before making a statement, now things are almost immediate.


It’s been more than a year since CNW Group was acquired in full by PR Newswire, its longtime part-owner. As acquisitions go, this one has been extremely beneficial.

Attending Content Marketing World this week? If so I envy you! Since we couldn't all be there, I wanted to share this blog post Sarah Skerik had written for our parent company's blog, Beyond PR. If anyone in the Content Marketing World session featuring Todd Wheatland titled “Visual Content Marketing Strategies You Probably Aren’t Using and Should,” had any doubts about the importance...

CNW recently launched Visibility Reports – detailed metrics on the reach, engagement and optimization of your news release. To go along with this new service, we thought it would be a good idea to go through some ways to help those yellow scores turn green. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your news release is getting the pick-up you anticipated.

Last winter Travel Alberta engaged CNW to create and distribute a video to promote and document a publicity stunt they were carrying out in Los Angeles (check out the video here) to raise awareness of Alberta as a potential travel destination.

I remember the wave of panic that hit me when I first came across the letters “SEO.” I had no idea what they stood for and no clue as to why I should care. Even worse, I had a sinking feeling that they were important for my business.

As a PR practitioner, I’ve had to put on a webcast or two (or twelve). I can now safely say that I dread them.

After the last blog post about differentiating your video, I thought this was a great follow-up…

When it comes to video production, colour correction raises a lot of questions. I’ve been asked everything from, “Isn’t the video already shot in colour?” to, “What is there to correct?”. To answer these questions, I decided to put together a short video to SHOW people how colour correction can make the difference and how it takes a talented specialist to make those...

Our new website hasn’t just made it easier for journalists, bloggers and information consumers to find news releases; we’ve added a new level of depth to content on Introducing: Organization Profiles.


Let’s face it, the public sector is not known for its creative use of video. Video production is often restricted to simply communicating the message, with little room left for a catchy hook. However, some government departments have demonstrated that you can be creative and still deliver your message.

As a web specialist I often have to work with the complexities of many different web technologies that power small to large size company websites. Having experimented with many of these technologies, content management systems and tools, I have generally found that working with them wasn’t always as easy as one would have thought to be, especially when you work in a communications environment.

CNW Webcasts are a simple and effective way to broadcast communications to a wide audience. As with any audio or video streaming, technical issues can arise during a live event, but we’ve found that many of these problems can be detected and resolved beforehand. If your company is webcasting an event or announcement (or if you’re accessing one for the first time), preparation is the key...

Every so often one of our clients likes to include customized fonts or typefaces in their webcast slide presentations. This is a great way to create a distinct and unique look for your presentation while maintaining elements of your branding. However, it may lead to problems if CNW does not have the specific custom font on file.

In the video department, I sometimes joke about our goal, other than to make compelling, creative, well-shot and edited videos, being this: to have picture and sound move together. This isn’t really a joke.


Twitter has established itself as a cornerstone of online social media networks – its impact on the modern day internet is undeniable. However, what we normally see when we use twitter – ie. the readable text of a tweet – only scratches the surface of the data encapsulated in the service.

Who are you ?

This year’s annual CPRS National Conference left me with a lot to think about, but I’ve had one thing on my mind since returning home from Saint John. Dan Tisch, President of Argyle Communications, kicked off his presentation on demonstrating the value of PR to senior management with a simple question to the audience: “How many people in the room considered their industry to be Public...

You may have noticed something a little different about your photos on lately.


Analyzing video clips of other people’s media interviews can be an enlightening educational experience . . . if done properly.

This post was originally published in the June 2011 XBRL Canada newsletter The world of XBRL continues to evolve including for regulatory reporting as the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) heads towards the third phase of its mandate

Ah, the viral video. Elusive in pursuit, amorphous in appearance, promiscuous in meaning – it’s the Holy Grail (and all too often the Great White Whale) for those who work in online video.

Learn & Lead

Earlier this spring CNW brought an intern onboard our Marketing Communications team. She couldn’t have arrived at a better time; we had several projects on the go (as always!) – including our Breakfast with the Media event – so the extra pair of hands was much appreciated.

Online measurement is challenging. There is a lot to consider when measuring impact and ROI, and it can be overwhelming. When starting out with measuring your communications campaigns, it’s best to keep these three points in mind.


In 2009, CNW and Leger Marketing conducted the first Social Media Reality Check survey, exploring professional communicators’ use of social media compared with consumer opinions about social media influence on their purchasing behavior. Two years is a long time in the online world, so this spring we teamed up again with Leger for the Social Media Reality Check 2.0, expanding the scope of the...

Last week we released a few preliminary findings from the Social Media Reality Check 2.0 survey. Full data from the investor relations side of the survey is available now, presented by Carolyn McGill and Dimitra Maniatis at the 2011 CIRI National Conference. Check out the presentation now!


2009, CNW and Leger Marketing conducted the first Social Media Reality Check survey, exploring professional communicators’ use of social media compared with consumer opinions about social media influence on their purchasing behavior. Two years is a long time in the online world, so this spring we teamed up again with Leger for the Social Media Reality Check 2.0, expanding the scope of the survey...

Some recent statistics from comScore indicate about 90% of Canadian internet users watched some online video in March 2011. This is one of the highest rates in the world and represents a 37% increase over the past six months. This growth can be mainly attributed to the increase in valued content on the web..


When Covenant House Vancouver was looking for a better way to showcase their programs and services and to reach their younger audience, they started a blog called On the House.

This is part three in our Making Video Work for You series. Don’t miss Part I on when and how to use B-roll and Part II, on Video News Releases.

Sometimes Canadians say to me, “XBRL has been around for more than ten years and nobody is using it. It’s going nowhere.” The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t hear that as much outside of Canada for one simple reason – XBRL is extensively used around the world.

When a crisis hits your organization, it’s integral to listen to how the media and your audiences are reacting to the issue. This will help you align your messages and adjust your plans as the issue unfolds.


Interested in incorporating slides into your webcast but not sure how to prepare them? Here are some tips to help you get started.


If your reputation rests entirely upon your ability to provide accurate, credible information to the news media, it can really put a damper on your sense of humour.

On March 28, Laurie Smith, CNW’s Vice President of Culture and Communications, presented to a packed house at the CPRS Ottawa March PD Event.

Media monitoring has evolved beyond a package of clippings that arrives on your desk the week after a launch. With online communications proliferating daily, communicators – and government communicators are no exception – need to keep their ear to the ground, listening for media mentions, social media conversations and online news.

Think you know everything there is to know about grammar? Two recent posts on may leave you questioning your high school English teacher.


On a sunny, mid-November morning after coffee and a snack Cameraman and I check four cases full of video equipment and accessories on a flight to Sudbury. We are booked for a shoot that afternoon with Air Liquide Canada (ALC).

Financial websites such as Yahoo! Finance and Globe Investor use stock symbols included in news releases to link public company news with a company’s financial profile. To make sure your news is distributed as far and wide as possible, it’s important to keep in mind the best practices for stock symbols formatting in your releases.

The success of your video will depend on your target audience and whether you’ve supplied that audience with the appropriate video format. Last week I wrote about reaching news outlets with B-roll packages. Today, I’ll discuss video news releases.

So, once again Annual General Meeting (AGM) season is quickly approaching. You’ve already reserved a ballroom, booked the AV team and coordinated the webcast details. PPT slides won’t be ready until 20 minutes before the meeting, but that’s to be expected…

“What makes a good video?” is a question often posed to CNW’s video services team. Before we can answer that question, we need to know two things from you: for whom are you making the video? And further – how do you want them to use it?


CNW is working hard to make it easier for newsrooms to get what they need. We’ve been successfully testing our ability to distribute multimedia simultaneously with news releases using XHTML. This is big news in our line of work, and we’re excited to tell you what this means.

I was recently invited by the Carleton Communications Studies Undergraduate Student Society (CUSS) and the Algonquin College Public Relations program (ACPR), to speak with students and share my experiences as a communications and PR professional. These are the type of events that I personally love to attend, as I find it to be very important to give back to students who are preparing to enter the...

One-click management

Financial analysts have a tough job – they’re continually pressed to complete fast, accurate analysis of complex financial tables within public company news releases. Analysts often need to copy financial data from an earnings release into an Excel worksheet – a task that sounds simple but was surprisingly not given the amount of formatting required to make the data fit.


It’s earnings time and that means public companies are busy preparing quarterly earnings submissions. Here are six tips to keep in mind when preparing your next release to ensure CNW’s News Centre can get it turned around in the quickest and most efficient manner.


EXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has truly become the globally recognized standard for electronic reporting. XBRL is a method of mapping data items to additional information about those items (metadata) such that the numbers can be understood by other computers without human intervention. For example, a financial statement item – Inventory of 43 Million – can be tagged with...

Semiotics is the often-misunderstood study of how signs and symbols convey meaning, often (but not always) as communication devices or tools. Of course, any written language is itself comprised of symbols. PR practitioners selectively dole out information that is, by definition, encoded in written language. Therefore, a familiarity with semiotics must be useful to the savvy PR practitioner.

Canadian public companies could face puzzled stakeholders when they issue their next set of earnings.

I read with great interest Saleem Khan’s resolutions for PR professionals in 2011. While I respect where he is coming from in his article, I find that he perpetrates the position that the journalist-PR relationship is, for the most part, antagonistic and that we, in the PR industry, are unaware of the challenges reporters are facing.


Not surprisingly, social media once again topped the list of public relations trends and predictions for 2011. As more consumers move online, it becomes imperative for professional communicators – from PR to IR and everything in between – to always have their finger on the pulse of online chatter. Enter MediaVantage, CNW’s web-based media monitoring application.

This is part two of Saleem Khan‘s series on media relations resolutions for PR professionals. Read New Year’s Resolutions for PR Professionals Part I here.

One-click management

Social media is transforming the practice of journalism. Here are some real-time case studies on how Twitter, Facebook and other

Ah, New Year’s Resolutions. Thinking about making a few for yourself this year? Journalist and Beyond the Wire guest blogger Saleem Khan offers up his resolution suggestions for PR folks in this two-part series on media relations.

A recent member survey conducted by the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) revealed that a significant portion of the Canadian investment community is not prepared for Canada’s transition to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS replaces existing Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for most of Canada’s pub


Flu season has arrived and while things look normal this time around, you’d be hard pressed to find a communicator who doesn’t remember the panic H1N1 caused last year. The H1N1 flu pandemic affected communicators from all industries as they worked to inform and protect their employees. In addition, the communications team at the Halton Region was tasked to ensure that the more than 450,000...

Every company has an opportunity to celebrate an anniversary, but finding the right way to share that celebration with your stakeholders can be difficult.

With today’s resource-crunched newsrooms, a wise PR person does everything possible to be helpful to reporters. Writing great news releases and using a wire service is a given – but offering a little lead time on important events is imperative. Today’s newsrooms dispatch reporters and camera people using a triage approach. How can you ensure your announcement is given top priority?

CNW recently aggregated all federal government news releases to one single Portfolio. Portfolio Email users can now receive all federal government news releases distributed by CNW in one convenient feed.

Many government communicators have implemented social media strategies to better communicate with and understand online audiences. However, the use of tools such as multimedia, social media releases and webcasts has created a need for monitoring social media channels. Federal communicators are no strangers to media monitoring, but social media monitoring is still fairly new territory and one that...

Photography is an easy way to begin incorporating multimedia into your news and social media releases. Compelling photos can help tell your story and enhance your key messages. Having an interesting photo accompany your release can even increase your chances of pick-up.

How do you take a serious message about life and death to a target group that would rather focus on fun?

At the end of September, more than 140 social media, measurement and monitoring experts, enthusiasts and gurus gathered at the Third Tuesday Measurement Matters Conference in Toronto. It was a jam-packed day full of insightful commentary on the importance of developing a comprehensive monitoring measurement plan.

Third Tuesday Toronto kicked off its 2010 series with a full-day Measurement Matters conference last Tuesday, September 28. The event covered a number of measurement-related topics from how to set-up a social media command centre to how to show your social media ROI — a panel featuring CNW’s own Charles Funk, Director of Product Management, MediaVantage.

Planning is the secret to producing high-quality, effective multimedia assets that get noticed – and shared. Applying the basics of strategic communication planning to your multimedia assets can help ensure your message is heard, loud and clear.

With millions of videos on the web, how do you make yours stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips from CNW’s Videojournalists for creating great web videos that are sure to get noticed.

Government communicators can almost always count on media coverage. Since they don’t have to fight for visibility like many other industries, creating multimedia content is often deemed unnecessary and is therefore overlooked. However, multimedia can help enhance the government communicators’ message by clarifying a story and engaging audience members. Ian Capstick, an Ottawa-based communicator...

Every once in a while, CNW is fortunate to work with a client on a complex communications campaign that spans numerous audiences across multiple continents — and our team is always ready for the challenge.

DJFOM_Panel1 kicked off the industry event season with the Future of Media panel last night in Toronto. On the panel was Facebook’s Elmer Sotto; David Skok, Senior Producer, Online Content for Global News; Mark Evans; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Digital at The Globe and Mail; and Polar Mobile’s CEO, Kunal Gupta.

Social media experts warn that one tweet is all it takes to ignite a firestorm of online rumours. And it was just one tweet that brought the web’s attention to the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this week – and it had nothing to do with glitz or glam.

For more than 40 years CNW has supported the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto chapter; part of our commitment to helping clients work more efficiently and be more successful.

Planning and research is an essential part of the communications lifecycle. Regardless of what tools you use to gain insight to analyze trends in thinking or other patterns among your audiences and stakeholders, it’s important to scrutinize the basics.


Podcasting is an effective way to engage with an audience. Although not as popular as blogs or social networking sites, podcasts have nonetheless attained a devoted niche following users who know how to make the most of this versatile, interactive communications tool.

We could write a long blog post about how CNW’s Same-Day Web Video service can enhance your news release. Or, we could show you this awesome video produced by Mark McKay.

Social search’s entrée into the online domain was destined to be a juggernaut for brands in crisis right from the start. For BP, whose ongoing disaster is shaping up to be the crisis of the century, social search has been a primary contributor to the company’s lack of control over its messaging, and its virtual absence in online conversations.

Long the domain of the public relations team, reputation management and social media monitoring is becoming an essential part of the investor relations officer’s daily routine. With reputation capital making up to an estimated 63% of the average company’s market value, it’s safe to say your bottom line is showing online.

According to a new report from brand measurement firm General Sentiment, BP’s brand value has taken an estimated $1-billion hit as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 21st, and the subsequent oil spill that continues to wreak havoc in the Gulf of Mexico-this based on a sentiment analysis of relevant conversations taking place in online channels since April (see image, courtesy...

For a brand known primarily for its above-the-line marketing campaigns, Gatorade's new mission control center suggests a major move by the company to amplify its online engagement efforts. The Gatorade Mission Control Center-a room that literally sits at the center of the marketing department in the company's Chicago headquarters-is a hub for all things social media monitoring, from data visualization...

For a brand known primarily for its above-the-line marketing campaigns, Gatorade's new mission control center suggests a major move by the company to amplify its online engagement efforts. The Gatorade Mission Control Center-a room that literally sits at the center of the marketing department in the company's Chicago headquarters-is a hub for all things social media monitoring, from data visualization...

The metaphysical principle of Occam’s razor tells us that the simplest solution is usually the best solution, but it fails to acknowledge one key point: all too often, the simplest solution is also the easiest one to overlook.

The recent pseudo-unveiling of the man behind @BPGlobalPR has the PR industry all a-Twitter with the “who/what/where/when/why and how” of the situation at hand and, more importantly, its implications on brand/reputation management during times of crisis.

With the news that its latest attempt to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak failed, BP’s stock took another massive tumble in markets around the world-down 11% in the U.S. and 14% on the London Stock Exchange-bringing the overall decline in value to nearly 40% since the April 20th explosion. As a result, an estimated 19,000 barrels continue to pour into the Gulf every day-enough for the current...


The best part of our recent Breakfast with the Media series was the lively question and answer periods at each event. Unfortunately there were a few instances when we had more questions than time to answer them all.

Yesterday marked the kickoff of Ford Motor Company’s modern interpretation of the great American road trip: “American Journey 2.0-Socially Networked Road Trip to Maker Faire.” As the tagline suggests, the campaign takes an age-old tradition-a drive across the country-and “Web-ifies” it with a veritable dashboard of social media components.


The best part of our recent Breakfast with the Media series was the lively question and answer periods at each event. Unfortunately there were a few instances when we had more questions than time to answer them all.

A photo from a NASA satellite showed the silvery swirling oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico on April 25. Photo credit: European Pressphoto Agency, via Wall Street Journal


Last Friday CNW hosted our first Breakfast with the Media event in Toronto. More than 200 guests joined us in Toronto with another 75 tuning in via live webcast to hear Stu McNish and John Stufflebeem share how engaging the media can help you manage your corporate reputation.

Today we announced that MediaVantage – our media monitoring and communications management software – has been upgraded with social media monitoring tools. You can now monitor Twitter and other microblogging platforms and integrate RSS feeds into the portal.