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Prepared for August 30, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All
Power of Newswire: David Armon
Using a newswire service is no longer a communications
tool solely for public relations professionals to reach out to media
audiences, according to David Armon, a senior vice president
focusing on customers and markets who works with PR Newswire.
a way to go directly to consumers," says Armon.
Armon will be the featured speaker on the topic, "Getting Good
Press — a PR Case Study of the Best and Worst Practices for
News" for the New Jersey Communications, Advertising, and
Association (CAMA) meeting at the Doral Forrestal on Tuesday,
12, at 11:30 a.m. Cost: $35. Call 609-799-4900.
Millions of individual investors and other consumers are now gathering
their own information, rather than relying solely on what is reported
by journalists. And people can learn about more than 40,000 companies,
agencies, and institutions that are members of PR Newswire by visiting
the main website (www.prnewswire.com), and via the more than 1,200
websites, online databases, and trading sites on the Internet that
are part of the news distribution network of PR Newswire.
"PR Newswire offers real-time access to information that people
want and need. And it’s important to keep in mind that this access
allows your investors, your competitors, and your customers —
as well as the media — to receive information without delay,"
says Armon, noting that direct data lines are changing the role of
media as the traditional gatekeeper of news.
News release embargoes (which prohibit the publication of a news item
until a specified date) and exclusives (meaning those times when only
one journalist or media outlet is chosen to receive a piece of news)
are nearly extinct, according to Armon. "Exclusives are now
as being the first journalist to tour a plant or conduct an interview
with the chairman," he says.
Of special interest to employers is the need to communicate with their
own employees about company news. "A sales rep doesn’t want to
first hear about the acquisition of his employer company from a search
engine query," says Armon.
The core business of PR Newswire is serving as a news conduit for
more than 22,000 media points through wire, fax, and E-mail delivery,
plus more than 30,000 journalists registered for access to its media
Web sites. Founded in 1954, PR Newswire distributes new releases and
photos directly from its members to journalists.
"When it comes to getting exposure through all media, the
approach (which may work well at the local level) isn’t enough,"
says Armon. "People need the expertise that PR Newswire offers
for targeted distribution (including translation in other
Becoming a member of PR Newswire is affordable, with a $100 membership
fee and an "a la carte" menu of options that range from $100
to $5,000 for the distribution and monitoring of news releases
Today’s news climate offers new opportunities for the business
according to Armon. One example is a case study to be discussed at
the September 12 meeting about an ABC "20/20" interview, which
was anticipated to undermine the credibility of a particular company.
"Before the paradigm change, the only option would have been to
pursue a legal injunction for prior restraint," says Armon. "But
now public relations professionals can plead their case for a fair
shake directly to consumers before such an interview is
Another new development is the ability to monitor what others are
saying about your company. For example, PR Newswire and Internet
Group of Princeton have recently launched a joint venture that
Internet investigations through its E-Watch capacity. Described by
Armon as being "private eyes of cyberspace," they can monitor
postings on message boards and even track down who is the anonymous
source that posted a derogatory or threatening comment on an Internet
"We’re not intrusive, but rather (this service) quietly monitors
what is happening, whether the source is a rogue employee sharing
company secrets or a disgruntled worker," says Armon.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, David Armon developed an
in media at an early age. "I was a radio station groupie,"
he says, noting that he would hang around the local radio station
in between school and temple during his adolescent years. His mother
worked as a teacher and his father worked in the printing industry
and was a classical music buff.
Armon earned a degree in journalism from Syracuse University’s Utica
College and has attended graduate business programs at Cornell
and the American Management Association. After working as a public
relations account executive and business reporter and bureau chief,
Armon joined the staff of PR Newswire in 1989. He was promoted to
the vice president of national sales in 1998, and now oversees all
sales and marketing activities for PR Newswire in the United States
and Latin America.
"Every day is different," says Armon, who finds his work with
PR Newswire and its advances in multimedia capacities to be especially
satisfying. "I really enjoy being part of major news development
at PR Newswire." He noted that they now have 50 stories about
the recent Bridgestone/Firestone tire recall available to journalists
throughout the world.
Armon predicts improved global reach, further diversification
audio and video in news releases), and other enhancements so that
"a press release becomes a living document." His advice to
public relations professionals who are just starting their careers:
"Nothing will replace good writing. Learn to write for the
rather than technical jargon. Understand marketing and advertising
. . . and the results will be powerful."
— Vivian Fransen
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