Medialink Worldwide

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Medialink Worldwide (commonly referred to as Medialink) states on its website that it helps "professional communicators and the media engage their intended audiences with compelling video and audio distributed via the Web, television and radio."[1] In July 2009, the broadcast public relations firm The NewsMarket announced that it was purchasing Medialink. [2]

An earlier version of the company's website described the company as "a global leader in corporate media communications services," connecting corporate clients with news industry producers.[3] Medialink boasts proprietary databases used in audience research, while a partnership with the Associated Press puts the news releases of Medialink clients on the desks of most United States' television news editors. Medialink claims credit for having pioneered the video news release.

Self-description

"By leveraging relationships with news organizations, Medialink rapidly alerts and disseminates clients' news to every major newsroom in the United States. Similarly, international distribution relationships enable Medialink to reach virtually any audience, in any country, through any news medium. Each year, Medialink generates tens of thousands of broadcast news airings worldwide reaching billions of viewers, listeners and readers on media as diverse as CNN, The New York Times, ABC, Sky News, The Washington Post, BBC, Bloomberg Radio, AOL, Yahoo! and China Central Television, the national television station of the People's Republic of China," Medialink stated in its 2003 annual report.[4]

"Medialink enables its clients to reach more than 11,000 newsrooms at television and radio networks, local stations, cable channels, direct broadcast satellite systems, as well as more than 11,000 online multimedia newsrooms," it stated.[4] Medialink makes no pretense that it is neutral when it comes to helping its clients. "Whether a situation calls for expert counsel during a high-profile litigation crisis or an ongoing campaign to introduce a new consumer product or defeat proposed legislation, Medialink is an integral member of the client’s strategy team," Medialink states in its 2003 Annual Report.[5]

History

Medialink was founded in 1986 with the initial focus on the distribution of video news releases (VNR's). In 1996 it began producing VNR's "and has since developed a full range of video, audio, Internet, still photography and print services which it now provides on a global basis". Since the mid-1990's the company has taken over a series of companies and more recently sold off divisions to offset its deteriorating cash flow.

In June 1997 Medialink bought the Corporate Television Group which had been previously known as Reuters Corporate Television. The purchase, Medialink wrote in its 1998 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission "brought a roster of blue-chip clients such as Microsoft, Philip Morris, General Intruments and Compaq Computer".[6]

In August 1997 Medialink added the London-based video and production company On Line Broadcasting which added the ability provide live radio and television broadcasting in the UK to complement its US capacity.[7] According to Medialink, the combined US and UK market for its range of media services was estimated to be $US600 million while its actual revenue that year was only $26.7 million.

In November 1998 Medialink bought Wirepix and the following year, in a joint venture with Business Wire, Medialink created Newstream.com, a to provide "multimedia assets to more than 11,000 online news and information Web sites that increasingly need streaming video, audio, presentations, and graphics to be competitive".[8]

In January 2000 Medialink launched Newstream.com as with the aim of it being, according to its 2000 Annual Report, the "leading Internet portal dedicated to distributing downloadable mutlimedia news content to online newsrooms".[9]

In October 2006 Medialink sold U.S. Newswire to PR Newswire for $19 million.[10]

Back to the future with sponsored "news"

"As the media world assesses new ground rules, producer Medialink Worldwide says 'branded journalism' is the best way to advertise in a splintered market," reported the television industry news source Broadcasting & Cable. According to the article, this includes video news releases stations are paid to run, a practice referred to as "secured placement" or "marketing public relations." Moreover, "secured VNR buys are much more cost-effective than conventional ad buys." An average "secured" VNR costs $15,000 - $25,000 to produce and $10,000 - $50,000 for airtime, as opposed to the cost of an average 30-second TV commercial in 2003 of $372,000 to produce and $5 million - $20 million for airtime.[11]

"Secured" VNRs also offer "built-in controls that unpaid PR tactics lack, including the ability to target specific demographics and to conduct a post-buy analysis of audience delivery." Jeff Wurtz, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at Medialink's competitor News Broadcast Network, said, "You can go on DIRECTV and DISH Network and reach 400,000, 500,000, or 600,000 people in one buy. Or you can go on something like the Today show in the top 10 markets, which will reach 2.5 million to 3 million people. You may want to hit a certain demo or income level that watches Judge Judy or Judge Brown that is watching at mid morning."[11]

The Broadcasting & Cable article continued, "Medialink’s latest experiment is another spot that [CEO Larry] Moskowitz calls 'a bona fide newscast'; it’s scheduled to debut soon on national cable networks. Unlike pseudo-newscasts produced in the past by Medialink and its competitors, a new three-minute 'newscast' features legitimate news." During the three-minute newscast-advertisement, "the company’s logo will appear over the shoulder of the show’s news anchor, and its brand will be clearly identified during the segment." Moskowitz said, "It’s back to the future. It’s just like the old John Cameron Swayze newscasts for Camel cigarettes," referring to NBC's "Camel News Caravan" that aired from 1949 to 1956.[11][12]

Response to calls for VNR disclosure

In June 2005, Medialink hired "the well-connected Public Strategies, Inc. as its lobbyist," reported O'Dwyer's PR Daily. It was the first time Medialink had hired an outside lobbyist.

Medialink retained PSI "to keep an ear to the ground" on discussions and proposals regarding VNR labeling before the U.S. Congress and Federal Communications Commission, according to CEO Laurence Moskowitz. Heading the Medialink account are PSI's John Krueger and William Moore. Moore is the former chief of staff to Rep. David Price, a founding member of the Congressional Future of American Media Caucus established in April 2005.[13] (The Managing Director of Public Strategies, Inc., Jeff Eller, is also a member of the U.S. Newswire Advisory Board. Eller is described in a U.S. Newswire media release as "former Special Assistant to the President and White House Director of Media Affairs".)[14] On July 22, 2005, Public Strategies work with Medialink came to an end, with the lobbying company subsequently filing a termination report with the U.S. Senate office stating that it had been paid less than $10,000 for its short-term work.[15]

Syndicating VNRs online

In August 2006, Medialink announced a new partnership with ClipSyndicate, a "next-generation online video advertising and content syndication platform." The press release said the partnerhsip would allow Medialink "to distribute informational video clips produced for corporations and organizations, preceded by video advertising, commonly known as 'pre-roll' or 'in-stream' spots."[16]

The arrangement will allow Medialink clients "to easily extend brand visibility through an Internet distribution channel that syndicates video clips to thousands of themed websites for their end-users," the press release stated. "Because these viewers have actively selected to play the online video, they represent highly desirable, qualified audiences for marketers."Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Partnering with WheelsTV

At the April 2005 National Cable TV Association National Show in San Francisco, Medialink announced a new partnership with WheelsTV, "a cable TV and Internet service devoted exclusively to consumers' interests in cars, trucks and motorcycles." According to O'Dwyer's, Medialink will "develop consumer automotive lifestyle programming," including both "sponsored and non-sponsored content," and WheelsTV would start distributing the material in June 2005. WheelsTV plans "to start a full linear network in 2005."[17]

Medialink's media relations head, Lidj Lewis, called the deal "an ideal fit for our news and information packages," adding that it "will substantially enhance the content and service offerings of both organizations, and lay the groundwork for future collaborations across all media." Future possibilities include a "co-branded radio series serving the sponsorship base of both companies." Medialink has already produced a "prepackaged news program for General Motors," which "began with statistics on arthritic Americans" and promoted GM's "Sit-N-Lift" powered seat.[17]

Digital PR report

In March 2007, Medialink announced a new project, "The Digital PR Report," launched jointly with PR News. A press release described the project as a "one-of-a-kind microsite dedicated to providing PR professionals with communications strategies surrounding Web 2.0, from video-based PR campaigns to leveraging brands within online communities." The release quoted Medialink's senior vice president of corporate communications, Mary C. Buhay, as saying, "As audiences seek more relevance and greater control in their media consumption, Medialink is empowering public relations professionals to appreciate their modern roles as content providers and publishers in a what is rapidly becoming a disintermediated world."[18]

Personnel

Management team

As of March 2008 Medialink's management is comprised of:

Board of Directors

As of March 2008 the Board of Directors of Medialink comprises:

In its annual 10-K return to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Medialink states that as of December 31, 2004 it had 164 employees. "None of the Company's employees is represented by a labor union. Management believes that its employee relations are good," the annual report states.[1]

Other personnel

Former staff

Finances

Medialink was incorporated in Delaware in 1986 and is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (under the symbol MDLK).

See also:

Clients

"Clients also include virtually every major PR firm in the United States and the United Kingdom," the company states in its 2003 annual report to the U.S. Securities and Stock Exchange Commission. PR firm clients include Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum, Edelman and Weber Shandwick Worldwide. [2] Medialinks boasts that it has had over 3000 clients. While it does not list current clients on its website, some clients can be identified from the VNRs posted to the website. Past and present clients include:

Contact info

708 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone:(212) 682-8300
Phone:(800) 843-0677
Fax (212) 682-5260
Email: info AT medialink.com
Website: http://www.medialink.com

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Medialink Worldwide, "About Medialink", accessed March 2008.
  2. Tonya Garcia, "UPDATED: The NewsMarket to acquire Medialink," PR Week, July 1, 2009.
  3. "About Medialink", January 15, 2006. (This is an archived page in the Internet Archive).
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Form 10-K Year Ended December 31, 2003", U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2003.
  5. Medialink Worldwide, 2003 Annual Report, page 4.
  6. Medialink Worldwide, 'Medialink Worldwide Acquires Corporate Television Group, Expands Services", Media Release, June 17, 1997.
  7. 'Medialink Acquires On Line Broadcasting Ltd., Expands Live Broadcast Capabilities in the United Kingdom", Media Release, August 11, 1997.
  8. Medialink Worldwide, "Annual Report For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2004.
  9. Medialink, 2002 Annual report, 2000, page 3.
  10. PR Newswire, "PR Newswire Acquires U.S. Newswire; Transaction to benefit government, private sector public information officers", Media Release, October 2, 2006.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Joe Mandese, "The Art of Manufactured News", -- Broadcasting & Cable, March 28, 2005.
  12. Roger M. Grace, "News Was Shorter, ‘Tonight’ Longer", Metropolitan News-Enterprise, August 1, 2002, Page 18.
  13. "PSI Listens For Medialink", O'Dwyers PR Daily, June 27, 2005.
  14. U.S. Newswire, "Tucker Eskew Joins U.S. Newswire Advisory Board", Media Release, August 10, 2005.
  15. Public Strategies, Lobbying Report, August 9, 2005.
  16. Medialink Worldwide, "Medialink Partners with ClipSyndicate for Online Syndication of Broadband Video; Online Video Syndication to Reach Thousands of Websites, Expands Medialink's Multiplatform Distribution", Media Release, August 9 2006.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Medialink to Provide Programming for Cable", O'Dwyers PR Daily, April 4, 2005.
  18. PR News, "PR News and Medialink Launch Digital PR Report Online", Media Release, March 15, 2007.
  19. Press release, "New Media Veteran Lipson Joins Medialink as VP Operations," Medialink via PR Newswire, August 28, 2008.
  20. "VIDEO from Medialink and AARP: Economic Stimulus Payments for the 20 Million Retirees, Disabled Veterans and Low-Wage Workers This Tax Season", March 28, 2008.
  21. "AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Viagra's 10th Anniversary", March 27, 2008.
  22. See for example Medialink, ['VIDEO from Medialink and the Society of Interventional Radiology: Interventional Cryoablation Stops Cancer Cold", Media Release, March 17, 2008>

External resources

Statements By Medialink Worldwide

External articles