Today we continue our interview series with Elisabeth Gill, from Cision Canada, which runs Newswire, which issues Press Releases relevant to the miles and points industry, most recently: American Express Canada and Marriott Unveil Refreshed Starwood Preferred Guest Co-Brand Credit Cards.
1) Please tell us about yourself?
I’m the audience development manager for Cision Canada, so I help online media access newsfeeds made up of our client’s press releases. In some cases we can also give media outlets free press release distributions on our website and newswire distribution network, which goes to newsrooms across Canada, thousands of journalists’ inboxes, and variety of downstream sites. When partners send releases on our network, the audience for their release is expanded and media can choose whether to rewrite their announcement as a news story. It’s always really gratifying for me when Media Partners get covered in newspapers, on the CBC, or on prominent news sites, and they’re really happy with their free partnership.
2) How does Newswire work?
Newswire is the website of Cision, formerly Canada Newswire’s distribution service, so the press releases we receive and send out every day are organized there by industry and subject, and we change the featured releases in French and English on the homepage three times a day, to keep content fresh daily. Our distribution clients are Canadian government bodies, Non-profits and charities, and public and private companies, so we really have a mix of news in every subject area. It’s the largest commercial newswire in Canada. We feel privileged to really have our finger on the pulse of the country.
3) What were some of the challenges you faced when starting Newswire? What has kept you going?
When Canada Newswire was started in the 1960, our first challenge was unifying with the Québec company doing more or less the same thing, in order to have one company nationwide, and benefit from the collaboration. I think we succeeded brilliantly, and as a result Cision Canada can offer translation services and distribution in both of Canada’s official languages, helping outside-Québec and Québec news reach the whole country.
What’s so exciting for me, in my job, is that I help people receive news that’s relevant to them, and also put their voices in the national media. When I build a newsfeed for a Media Partner, I do my best to filter for the content that their readers would really be interested in and want to know about, and to execute the site editor’s vision. When Media Partners send press releases, they’re often contributing their unique point of view to a public discussion, lending an important voice or perspective, helping Canadians understand each other and their society.
4) What makes Newswire different from other websites out there? Especially the major news agencies?
Newswire.ca, Cision Canada’s news site, is the biggest commercial newswire by a large margin, I believe we run more than 70% of paid press releases nationwide for thousands of clients. Another distinguishing factor is that we’re open 24/7, even during holidays, and can send bilingual releases at any time. We offer a premium service in making sure releases are complete, correct, and as effective as we can make them, with multimedia options available. As a result, I have lots of high quality news to choose from when making up newsfeeds.
5) What can we look forward to with Newswire?
We’re working hard to update our entire Media Database, making sure that bloggers who are receiving too many targeted emails can unsubscribe, and I’m doing my best to reach media websites and offer them a partnership. In the meantime, Cision is now offering its one-stop media outreach and analysis tool, Cision Communications Cloud.
6) What advice would you give travellers and “Pointshoggers” out there?
Newswire distributes releases for all the major banks in Canada, so they usually announce new products or changes to points plans through us, including the famous Aeroplan points plan changes. I recommend keeping an eye on our financial services news section to see if any of these will affect you or are interesting to you.
7) Any final thoughts?
Feel free to get in touch with me if you’re interested in a Media Partnership, at Elisabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.