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NATI Releases

Tips for Getting Media Coverage by Libby Carew, Libby Carew Communications and Public Relations

28 October 2014

Tips for Getting Media Coverage
Outlet: Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI)
By: Libby Carew, Libby Carew Communications and Public Relations

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The next time you scan the news and wonder how your competitor landed that interview or product mention, chances are that it has nothing to with chance. Companies featured in the news are there because they spend time building relationships with reporters who cover their sector. They do this by having a marketing communications plan with a strong media relations component.

If you haven't been thinking about a media strategy as part of your communications planning, you should. Yes, advertising is important, as is digital marketing and social media. But getting your company into a position where it can generate news coverage is a powerful channel for getting your messages into the market. Why don't companies issue news? Usually it's one of two reasons. Either companies are so busy running their day-to-day operations that issuing a press release is an afterthought, or they don't have staff with communications expertise so the task is delegated to an employee who has other things on their plate. 

Working with technology companies of all sizes and helping them build effective communications plans, I often come across these classic mistakes that they make. Here's a round-up of tips of what to do when communicating with the media.

1. Be patient. Don't expect instant results.

Some companies issue a press release twice a year and expect headlines. Relationships with the media take time to establish and there's a flurry of releases and Twitter feeds coming at them. Take time to research the journalists, bloggers and influencers who cover your industry and start building relationships with them. Sending a "blanket" press release to the largest possible list of media covering anything and everything won't get you results. In fact, it could land your email on a news outlet's blacklist.

Make sure you have the right staff or team working with the media. They should have an in depth understanding of how journalists work - their deadlines for filing stories, their focus and how they prefer to be contacted. Some reporters prefer Twitter, others; email. Some you can call; others, not.

2. Have a good story angle. Don't make it about you.

Before you start to write the press release, take a step back. Be objective and ask yourself if what you're planning to send out is really newsworthy. Is there an interesting angle? Is there a hook that will grab the media's attention? Make sure your press release gives some context to what's happening in the industry and the market gap your product addresses.

Here are some ideas that companies often miss for issuing press releases:

Customer wins- Consider doing a joint press release with the customer you just landed. Through a joint release, you can leverage the brand awareness they may already have with media who are tracking news about them, thereby putting your company on the media radar.

Become an industry expert- Reporters cover multiple industries and need access to industry experts for stories they are filing. Your company has amassed a lot of knowledge about your industry, so you can position your company's executive as a thought leader in the industry and introduce them to the media. (Tip: Make sure they are media trained.)

Trade shows and speaking events- Many companies pay expensive fees to attend a show but do not engage with media and analysts who cover these shows. Every day the shows generate news, tweets and articles that go out to key audiences.  

3. Follow the press release format.

The first press release was issued by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906 when one of their trains jumped a trestle at Atlantic City and plunged into a creek killing 50 people. The New York Times printed the release word-for-word. The press release is still the tool that reporters use to file their stories. The format for writing the press release has become standardized and should be followed. Use less hype and more facts. Put the most important information in the headline and first paragraph. Then, link your press releases to your social media campaigns.

4. Train your media spokesperson.

Make sure your media spokesperson has had media training and is able to speak to any number of topics related to your company. Interacting with the media is important and you need to make sure your spokesperson is ready. Research the media outlet, understand the reporter's interview style and make sure your CEO has 3 key messages in mind going into an interview.

5. Be Consistent.

The same way you have schedules for product releases and service updates; do the same with your communication planning.  Consistency is key. Some companies issue a news release, start to build relationships with the media, and then go quiet for 2-3 months. With a little communications planning, you can develop a schedule for releases. There will come a day when reporters covering your industry will come to you asking for news. This is your path to successful media coverage.

Libby Carew operates a public relations and communications practice in St. John's. Contact her at libby@libbycarew.com or 709.725.7627.

www.libbycarew.com

NATI Elects New Board of Directors for 2013-2014

31 May 2013

St. John's NL- NATI held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 29th 2013. The AGM provided opportunity for NATI members to receive an overview of the association's activity in the past year; this included highlights of export programs, a summary of marketing efforts and events, and a review of the association's financial reports. Members were given opportunity to voice opinion on all of these topics, as well as to present other business for discussion.

Outgoing director Weston Raske (zedIT Solutions) was thanked for his contribution and commitment to NATI at the board level. Raske will not be returning to serve on the NATI Board for the 2013-2014 term. Outgoing directors Geoff Davis (Bell Aliant), Suzanne Kenny (Johnson Inc.) and Mandy Woodland (Cox & Palmer) all ran as candidates for re-election to the Board.

An election of officers took place to fill five vacant positions on the Board of Directors. The NATI membership elected Geoff Davis (Bell Aliant), Suzanne Kenny (Johnson Inc.), Mandy Woodland (Cox & Palmer), Brad Dobbin (ND Dobbin Group), and Chris Dillon (Triware Technologies), to fill these positions. Chair Gerard Duggan (zedIT Solutions) moved to the position of Past Chair, and Vice Chair Chris Spurvey (KPMG) was made Chair of the Board.

Positions will be assumed immediately, and during the next official meeting of the board there will be an election of a Vice Chair who will succeed Chris Spurvey as Chair in 2014.

NATI's board of directors has members from some of the provinces most prominent technology companies. These directors, led by the Chair of the board, guide the strategic plan of NATI which is committed to effective policy development and advocacy initiatives.

2013-2014 NATI Board of Directors

Chair - Chris Spurvey, KPMG

Past Chair - Gerard Duggan, zedIT Solutions

Director - Geoff Davis, Bell Aliant

Director - Suzanne Kenney, Johnson Inc.

Director - Terry Hussey, Atlas Management

Director - Mandy Woodland, Cox & Palmer

Director - June Turpin, Bell

Director - Chris Dillon, Triware Technologies

Director - Brad Dobbin, ND Dobbin Group

 

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NATI pleased with Business Attraction Support for Desire2Learn

01 October 2012

Today, The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced Business Attraction support for Kitchener-Waterloo based Desire2Learn Incorporated.

We are always highly supportive of bringing companies such as Desire2Learn to Newfoundland and Labrador, adding expertise and capacity to the sector.  As the newest members of NATI we look forward to working with Desire2Learn and how their experience can add to the best practices in NL.

NATI supports the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador`s plan for investing in business attraction opportunities with established companies such as Desire2Learn.  World class firms with a proven track record and long term stable funding are sought after by competing jurisdictions.

Desire2Learn`s decision to locate operations in our province is a clear indication that technology firms competing globally see value in our sector.  These types of firms will add significant expertise and capacity in addition to full time permanent well-paying jobs, including much needed experience for new graduates.

The technology sector in NL is strong and growing, currently at over $1.6 billion in revenues, contributing over 6% of the provincial economy, and employing over 3800 full time employees.  It has never been more important than now to ensure we have an environment in place for the growth of technology in NL.  We are seeing not only great innovation, which has always been here, but much more of an economic and social impact driven by technology and the knowledge based industry.

NATI looks forward to continuing to work with our membership and our public/private partnerships as we accelerate the growth of the advanced technology sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

 GerardSignature

Gerard Duggan

Chair, Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Technology Industries

 

 

 

Media Contact:

Ron Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries

(709)757-3252

Ron@nati.net

 

All-star Members of New Women in Tech Advisory Council Announced

21 August 2012

Expanded mandate to focus on Mentorship, Education, Advocacy, & Entrepreneurship for Canadian Women in Tech (CanWIT)

OTTAWA- CanWIT, a Division of CATAAlliance, announced the members of the CanWIT Advisory Council (CAC) today. Members range from both gen-Y and executive level demographics and have been carefully selected from over 35 highly qualified applicants to guide and advise CanWIT on its programs and services.

According to Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie, CEO and Chair of CanWIT, " the CAC and will play a crucial role in accelerating CanWIT's programs and steering organizational direction and growth strategies under an expanded mandate."

CanWIT has recently broadened its mandate to offer new opportunities for its membership base and to increase strategic partnerships across North America. New partnerships with U.S.-based Springboard Enterprises and Startup Canada will also assist the CAC in fostering CanWIT's commitment to mentorship, entrepreneurship for women-led tech companies, and innovation.

Boivie adds, "I am thrilled to announce the wonderful group of distinguished and diverse women who have joined our council.  Their industry knowledge, expertise, and leadership will be invaluable as CanWIT continues to grow. I am looking forward to working closely with each of these women as we implement our new strategic direction."

Members of the CanWIT Advisory Council include:

Kim Adolphe - President, Gemini Performance Solutions Inc. (Calgary)
Trina Alexson - Director, Service Delivery Exec., Cisco (Toronto)
Fawn Annan - CEO, IT World Canada (Toronto)
Sage Baker - CEO, Q5 Innovations (Victoria)
Prerna Chandak - Partner, Lemonade Venture Inc. (Toronto)
Glenda Crisp - VP and CIO of Corporate Segment, TD Financial (Toronto)
Kelly Hagen - Asset Planning Director, Amaresco (Toronto)
Natasha Hudson - Business Development Officer, NATI (St. John's)
Alison James - VP Infrastructure Client Services, CIBC (Toronto)
Sandra LaTouche - President, Aptitude+Equipment Inc. (Toronto)
Victoria Lennox - Co-founder, Startup Canada (Ottawa)
Sarah Prevette - Founder and CEO, Sprouter/Betakit (Toronto)
Dr. Blaize Reich - Professor, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver)
Mary Van Buren - VP of Marketing and IT, Canadian Real Estate Association (Ottawa)
Nicole Whittle - VP of Strategic Planning and Communications at HHI Healthcare (Toronto)
Ozge Yeloglu - PhD. Candidate, Dalhousie University (Halifax)
Mary Ann Yule - Vice President and General Manager, CDW Canada (Toronto)

New Council member, Nicole Whittle, VP of Strategic Planning and Communications at HHI Healthcare Solutions, noted that "CanWIT provides us with a hub to reach out to thousands of women tech executives across Canada and to engage the community. The active support of CanWIT's Council leaders enables us to expand our capabilities as an organization, and provide resources to help advance careers and for women to impact the competitive success of the high tech industry. I am very proud to be associated with such a forward looking initiative."

CanWIT would also like to recognize the executive leaders serving on its Nomination Committee, including:

VictoriaWithers - Director, Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Shelley Simpson-McKay - Owner, Prisma Management Consulting

Sandra Wear - Principal, Planning for Exit

Dr. Cindy Gordon - CEO, Helix Commerce, Vice Chair, i-CANADA, and Former Chair, CanWIT

Kim Adolphe, President, Gemini Performance Solutions Inc., concluded, "women entrepreneurs, in particular, need access to trusted resources in order to grow their businesses. CanWIT serves as a trusted network and invaluable resource of successful entrepreneurs, investors, sector experts and service providers. As a Council member I see myself accelerating the growth of this network to help women-led companies boost revenues and jobs."

Stay tuned to www.canwit.ca and www.cata.ca as the CAC plans to announce additional portfolio-specific leadership roles to advance CanWIT's mandate.

For more information on the role and the responsibility of the CAC, please visit: http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr07051203.html

 

 

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About CanWIT, a Division of CATAAlliance
Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT, a division of CATAAlliance) is a national volunteer organization with the aim of: 1) encouraging young women to consider a career in a technology field, 2) help accelerate, retain, and support the careers of women already in the field, and 3) through its partnership with Springboard Enterprises offer a premier platform for entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts to meet and build great women-led technology-based businesses.

 

NATI Elects New Board of Directors

17 May 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATI ELECTS NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

St. John's NL- NATI held its Annual General Meeting on May 16th 2012. The AGM provided opportunity for NATI members to receive an overview of the association's activity in the past year; this included highlights of export programs, a summary of marketing efforts and events, and a review of the association's financial reports. Members were given opportunity to voice opinion on all of these topics, as well as to present other business for discussion.

Outgoing directors Mr. Gary Lovell and Mr. Cliff Roberts were thanked for their contribution and commitment to NATI at the board level. Following this, an election of officers took place to fill three vacant director positions.

These positions were won by Terry Hussey of Atlas Management, Mandy Woodland of Cox and Palmer, and June Turpin of Bell. Positions will be assumed immediately, and during the next official meeting of the board there will be an election of a Vice Chair who will succeed Gerard Duggan as Chair in 2013.

NATI's board of directors has members from some of the provinces most prominent technology companies. These directors, led by the Chair of the board, guide the strategic plan of NATI which is committed to effective policy development and advocacy initiatives.

 

2012-2013 Board of Directors

Chair - Gerard Duggan, zedIT Solutions

Director - Chris Spurvey, Plato Consulting

Director - Geoff Davis, Bell Aliant

Director - Suzanne Kenney, Deloitte

Director - Weston Raske, zedIT Solutions

Director - Terry Hussey, Atlas Management (newly elected)

Director - Mandy Woodland, Cox & Palmer (newly elected)

Director - June Turpin, Bell (newly elected)

NavSim Equips Great Lakes Pilots with Next-Generation Portable Piloting Systems

03 April 2012

NAvSim Technology Inc, a leading Canadian developer of portable marine eNavigation systems, has signed a contract with the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority to equip its marine pilots with NavSim's new integrated Portable Piloting Units. 

The Great Lakes Pilotage Authority contract marks the first major order for NavSim's recenty launched integrated Portable Piloting Unit.

Click here for full press release.

IDV Solutions Announces Partnership with Canadian GIS firm Tamarack Geographic Technologies

15 December 2011

IDV Solutions, developer of Visual Fusion data visualization software, today announced a partnership with Tamarack Geographic Technologies, a company based in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada that focuses on enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) services and solutions.

Visual Fusion is innovative software that unites data from virtually any source in interactive, web-based visualizations.  Applications created with Visual Fusion promote insight, understanding, and better business decisions.

"IDV is very pleased to partner with Tamarack," said George Siegle, Marketing Director at IDV Solutions. "Their geospatial expertise and their experience in bringing the benefits of geographic information systems to a variety of organizations, means they are well positioned for success with Visual Fusion. Visual Fusion will provide a competitive edge by accelerating the speed at which they can create valuable solutions for their clients."

Tamarack recently completed a project for one of Canada's largest utilities, Newfoundland Power, creating a Visual Fusion application that enables the utility to manage data about its more than 300,000 utility poles. The Newfoundland Power project is the subject of a new Visual Fusion case study, which can be downloaded from the IDV Solutions web site.

"Tamarack looks forward to delivering Visual Fusion solutions to our Eastern Canadian clients," said Dean Noble, Tamarack's Director of Business Development. "Visual Fusion adds to our market-leading GIS capabilities by providing another option for us to help our clients solve business problems using spatial information.  We are excited to provide our clients with such a compelling data visualization tool for analysis of their various local and enterprise datasets."

Plato Consulting awarded Silver Competency for Content Management under Microsoft Partner Network

09 December 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEplato

Kevin Fleming, President
Plato Consulting Inc.
66 Kenmount Road
St. John's, NL
Canada, A1B 3V7
709.576.6770 | 1-877-557-5286

December 8, 2011

(St. John's, NL) - Plato Consulting Inc. (Plato), an industry leader in IT professional services, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the Silver Competency for Content Management under the Microsoft Partner Network.  This highly esteemed status has been attained through a combination of premier technical and business certifications of its staff and through the repeated delivery of successful services engagements for its clients using a number of Microsoft technologies, including SharePoint.  With its newly awarded Silver Competency from Microsoft, Plato is able to provide even more leading edge, innovative solutions to increase the productivity of its clients, ensuring that it maintains its status as a proven leader in the implementation and integration of Microsoft-based technologies.

Microsoft has always been committed to its partners, investing more than US$4 billion per year to support partner sales - more than any other technology company. The Microsoft Partner Network provides invested and committed partners such as Plato with access to a range of benefits and resources.

About Plato Consulting
Headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Plato has been providing specialized IT services and solutions in many jurisdictions throughout North America since 1997. As a proven industry leader with a solid reputation and a well recognized client list, Plato provides consulting expertise to governments and large private sector organizations, healthcare organizations, public agencies and Crown corporations. For more information, visit www.platoconsulting.com.

END

Media Inquiries

Allan Kirkpatrick
Marketing Specialist
t. 709.579.6770 x. 272
akirkpatrick@platoconsulting.com

Letter to NATI Members Regarding Provincial Political Leaders' Responses

06 October 2011

Good morning NATI members,

As we collectively mourn the loss of a true technology innovator, Steve Jobs, I humbly point your attention to the September 16 letter NATI submitted to the three political leaders regarding our province's policy position statements regarding areas of interest that affect the advanced technology sector of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The questions asked were as follows:

  1. What is your political party's position on the use of non-renewable resource benefits to help develop longer term socio-economic sustainability through the knowledge based economy?
  2. What is your political party's position on addressing the need for a cohesive government strategy that addresses an improvement to broadband accessibility throughout the province with a minimum acceptable bandwidth speed?
  3. What is your political party's strategy to ensure ICT services, where appropriate, are leveraged to the benefit of its stakeholders and in what other areas will technology play a role in effective government?

We thank all three political parties' for participating and have included each of their responses in this letter.

Unfortunately, the Board is disappointed that in the responses our concerns seem to have been associated back to a long list of past accomplishments or exhibited a lack of understanding of the sector as a whole. It was our hope that our policy position statements would encourage forward thinking that would be accompanied by tangible action items, timeframes to execute and measurable outcomes. This is not the case. It is our opinion that the party's responses demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the issues presented. Our offer to meet with each party prior to responding to our letter was declined by all three. We have some work cut out for us, no doubt.

NATI is committed to fostering stronger relationships with elected officials, providing direction and education on the role that technology products, infrastructure, and services play in shaping Newfoundland and Labrador as a player in a global knowledge based economy. Thought leadership in investing in technology before our nonrenewable oil reserves are depleted is required today. A clear and well defined strategy on our provincial broadband infrastructure is required today. A genuine interest in collaborating and partnering with local technology companies, that goes beyond networking, to deliver more e-government services is required today.

Our next step will be to request a meeting with the newly elected Premier within five business days of the election to formally present our vision and ask for support in building solutions that make sense to you and your organizations. Feedback can be sent to nati.chair@gmail.com.

Yours in technology,

Paul Dubé
Chair, NATI

Attachments
Letter from Liberal Party  [PDF]
Letter from New Democratic Party [PDF]
Letter from Progressive Conservative Party [PDF]