Newsroom Ink’s Lallo and Lewis To Present at IABC Heritage Region

by / Newsroom Ink on 06/13/2013
BeHeardAustin.com, LouisianaSeafoodNews.com, ImperialSugarNewsroom.com, HealthNewsTexas.com

Lallo and Lewis have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for brand journalism and online newsrooms. BeHeardAustin.com, LouisianaSeafoodNews.com, ImperialSugarNewsroom.com and HealthNewsTexas.com were groundbreaking sites that later led companies like Intel, Coke and Coleman to launch similar news sites.

by Newsroom Ink staff

From Connecticut to Delaware, Indiana to Massachusetts and Maine to Maryland. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Heritage Region serves 17 states, along with District of Columbia, and touts the largest regional membership in the organization.

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The eighth annual Heritage Regional Conference includes Newsroom Ink CEO and founder Ed Lallo (right) and Springfield Lewis, vice president for this corporate storytelling agency.

To serve this membership and IABC members from other regions, the eighth annual Heritage Regional Conference is being held in Indianapolis on October 13-15 at the Omni Severin Hotel.. The event features recognized leaders in business communications, including Newsroom Ink CEO and founder Ed Lallo and Springfield Lewis, vice president for this corporate storytelling agency.

“We have a diverse talent of speakers from around the country this year who should meet the needs of every level of conference participant,” said Guy Westermeyer, co-chair of the 2013 IABC Heritage Region Conference.

“This includes keynoters from top corporations worldwide and breakout speakers with expertise in employee, corporate, non-profit and agency communications.”

Storytelling as a Business Tool

Communicators worldwide agree that storytelling is one of the most important tools in today’s digital world.  When aligned with an organization’s business agenda, it is a way to connect with stakeholders – including employees, customers, reporters, analysts and legislators.

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“You need to establish a clear storyline so people know where you stand,” Tom Mattia, chairman of Edelman China told Lallo.

“You need to establish a clear storyline so people know where you stand,” Tom Mattia, chairman of Edelman China told Lallo. “You have to set a content-rich base to tell your story in a consistent and credible way.  Otherwise, you Tweet yourself away, spinning off on current events.”

That’s what the team at Newsroom Ink does: Create, curate and communicate content that tells an organization’s unique story to its many audiences.

The power of mapping content to the business through strategic storytelling will be presented by Lallo and Lewis during the October 13-15 conference at the Omni Severin Hotel. The two will talk about the need for communications functions to become content engines to drive business.

They are known for repurposing paid, owned and earned media.  As founding members of The News Group Net, Lallo and Lewis were instrumental in creating a corporate newsroom for the Imperial Sugar Company after its deadly refinery explosion and fire.

The site broke the cycle of negative media coverage after the disaster, and gave a more balanced view of Imperial Sugar as the company rebuilt its business. Based on brand journalism, it was cited as the “future of online newsrooms” by the Communications Executive Council.

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Newsroom Ink innovative concept for executive profiles uses a magazine news format to showcase a leader’s multifaceted career.

“The Imperial Sugar Company’s online newsroom was instrumental in helping the company’s ability to move beyond a crisis and address the demands of an ever-changing marketplace,” said John Sheptor, former President and CEO of the company. “Its success can be attributed to the strategic editorial direction aligned to the company’s strategic business objectives, compelling news stories and photography.”

Earlier corporate storytelling and employee engagement work by Lewis, a former reporter and FORTUNE 100 communications leader for IBM and EDS, is recognized by the council. At his direction, Newsroom Ink also pioneered the concept of executive profiles, using a magazine news format to showcase a leader’s multifaceted career.

Creating a Greater Industry Voice

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Louisiana Seafood News chronicles the Seafood Board’s work for the Louisiana commercial fishing community. Represented there are the state’s diverse seafood industry – including crab, finfish, oyster, shrimp, crawfish and alligator.

Lallo also played an integral part in giving a greater voice to the Louisiana seafood industry during the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with the groundbreaking Louisiana Seafood News. It was developed for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, led by executive director Ewell Smith and his team.

“We realized that the initial attention being given to BP and the capping of the well was hampering our ability to get our story told,” explained Smith.” We need to have the public informed about seafood safety, as well as the potential dangers the spill could have on the Louisiana fishing industry.  One call stood out above all the rest and understood the obstacles we were facing – the initiation of an online newsroom.”

Today, the news site chronicles the board’s work for the Louisiana commercial fishing community. Represented there are the state’s diverse seafood industry – including crab, finfish, oyster, shrimp, crawfish and alligator.

Stories cover the seafood business cycle from the “water to the plate.” Brand journalism articles feature fishermen, processors, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs and chefs.

Under Lallo’s leadership, Newsroom Ink also created HeathNewsTexas.com. The site features news from Seton Healthcare Family – a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system. Coverage also includes other institutions that deliver healthcare to Texans – as well as Texans providing healthcare to the world.

In 2011, the Newsroom Ink team helped IABC transform the Austin chapter’s static website into BeHeardAustin.com – the first, dynamic news site in the global organization. Adrian Cropley, former IABC board chair, called it “just brilliant. This is exactly the value members are looking for.”

And former interim director of IABC John Clemons said the site provides “the chapter a platform to share fresh content through stories and thought leadership.  BeHeardAustin.com gives a small chapter a very big voice.”

Showcased at Indianapolis Event

At the IABC Heritage Region Conference, Lallo and Lewis will join other thought leaders, such as:

  • Alexander V. Taratov – Employee Communications Manager – UPS
  • Jeremy Schultz – Communications Manager – Intel
  • Chuck Gose  -Vice President/Global Practice Leader – RMG Enterprise Solutions
  • Tim McCleary – The Involvement Practice
  • Connie Mayse – HR Communications Manager – Aon
  • Robert Friedman –Executive Communication – Eli Lily and Company

“No matter what the discipline or experience level of participants – entry level to seasoned professional – there is a keynote speech or breakout session that is relevant,” said  Westermeyer.

“Conference goers will enjoy highly interactive educational sessions, networking opportunities and the chance to learn best practices from some of the country’s top communication leaders.”


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