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PR, IR, Marketing, Media and other news from Business Wire

IR Sites and Social Media: Integrated and Automated Equal Effective and Efficient

 

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services

 

Any communications professional worth their salt knows that communications tools are tactics, and that tactics are much more productive when exercised in unison. The fitting strategy is to coordinate these tools to work together automatically so that they are not only effective, but also efficient and timely.

Superior practices performed by multiple investor relations officers (IROs) begin with a safeguarded earnings release broadly distributed and tweeted by an established, trusted wire service. The next step is to make sure that the earnings press release posts directly and simultaneously from the wire service onto the company’s investor center, and into the correct category. If a third-party aggregator is used, there may be a delay in that press release being accessible and organized correctly on the IR site. If the IR site is solely used as a means of disclosure, there is the potential security concern that the information may be found before it is officially made available to all parties. Sadly, this has been experienced by some companies.

The IR communications professional is also responsible for determining that the IR site accepts registration for select email alert and text message or Short Message Service (SMS) delivery. Investors, analysts, financial media, executives, and others who have expressed a desire to be notified when an earnings release is posted must immediately receive either the chosen email alert or mobile alert delivery method, or both. It is imperative that the message be identified as being delivered from the company’s official investor center, and should always contain a link to the full text version of the press release located on the IR site.

There are ways to successfully implement social media tools into the IR communications mix – in a useful and harmless manner. This can be done by integrating authorized social networks and a sharing module. Once a material news release is automatically posted onto the IR site, the IRO should then, if desired, be able to distribute an official tweet, as well as post onto Facebook or LinkedIn from the IR site administration dashboard. This creates a much more efficient workflow than logging into individual company social networks and preparing messages to tweet or post.

At the minimum, social media badges should be visible on the Home Page of the IR site, but if there is a company Twitter stream, it should also be integrated and displayed. Site visitors can then quickly see the most recent tweets made by the company, including the earnings release announcement, the scheduled webcast event, and the video interview of the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer discussing the latest earnings release. The Twitter stream should contain only tweets made by the company, and not include tweets by followers.

The addition of a sharing module within an IR site expands the distribution potential of vital content. Once the earning press release is officially public and available on the IR site, site visitors can share their interest in that news by electing to tweet or post the content onto their social networks or send it by email.

There are many helpful ways to utilize social media in IR communications; however, when it comes to full and fair disclosure, these communications tools should be used as part of an overall strategy in conjunction with tried and true, secure communications techniques.

Learn more about Business Wire's web services tools and how they can help amplify your news. 

How to Avoid Plagiarizing in a World of Copy

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

With the explosion of news media on digital platforms came a constant onslaught of content for audiences to consume. The journalists penning that content are forced to break stories quicker and more often to attract and maintain readers. With the modern 24-hour news cycle, and speed motivating much of today’s publications, the issue of plagiarism raises its nasty head with cases popping up on some of the most widely-read platforms.

Although there exist a few rotten apples in the bunch, intentionally lifting content that isn’t their own, many journalists caught in the plagiarism whirlwind are unaware they’ve even committing the act. With everything moving so fast, it’s important to slow down and remember the old rules for a new age. 

Write what you learned, not what you read

A lot of content can be consumed when researching for an article. Sometimes the words you read might come out as your own simply because you don’t even remember that you read them, their origin got lost in the mix. This is why it’s important to learn what you read, instead of just filtering information. If you actively learn the material you come across, it makes it easier to translate that content into what it means to you personally.

Attribute information

Even if you’re not copying text word for word, you should still attribute the sources of your information. No one is born all-knowing and especially when researching for an article, you come across specific information from specific sources that were a mystery to you prior. Let your readers know the source of information that creates the meat on the bones of your piece.

If you’re quoting, use quotes

If you’re using someone else’s words, you’re quoting them. Whether the words were initially intended to be a quote or not is irrelevant. Remember to attribute quotes to their source and you’ll avoid any issues in the future.

Check your work

Even if you have all the right intentions, sometimes a few words that weren’t your own might slip through into your own work. You might even think they were your own, but in the end, it’s still plagiarism. To avoid breaking the cardinal rule of writing, always check your work. There are plenty of free options available including Dupli Checker. If you find instances of copied words, rewrite it. It’ll make you a better writer and offer your readers better, original content.      

The world of copy offers a lot of content. Quality journalists learn from their sources and present their own articles, their own take on the happenings they’re covering. Use these lessons to avoid unintended instances of plagiarism, unwanted consequences, and offer your readers breaking news in your own words. 

When Posting Financial News to an IR Site, Risks Are Not Acceptable

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

 

Security of an investor relations (IR) website and news distribution is paramount to any public company. Ask the investor relations officer (IRO) who has suffered due to earnings information being released to the public prematurely. If a company’s earnings news release is accessible too soon, it can move markets, and quickly. When this happens, expect heads to roll in many ways.

Although most IR site vendors state that earnings releases post automatically to the IR site service they manage, only a few can actually confirm that the posting of the news release happens directly from the distributor to the IR site. Some vendors utilize a third-party aggregator to obtain newswire-distributed news releases and then post the release onto the IR site service. Anytime an additional step like this is added to a workflow process, more time is needed, and the opportunity for something to go wrong is greater. Most experienced communicators are familiar with the concept of Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At Business Wire, an earnings release is never staged onto an IR site before publication – hidden or not. When the earnings release is distributed to the desired outlets, it gets posted directly to the IR site at that time, not any sooner. This leaves no opportunity for Murphy to cause trouble. Once the news release distribution is ordered, the option to post the release to the InvestorHQSM IR site is selected, as is the option to place the release in one or more subject matter categories. Sweet, simple, streamlined and secure.

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

As important as the technical dangers mentioned above, so are the internal workflow risks.  All internal procedures at Business Wire have gone through a rigorous audit. Departmental shields against unauthorized access to data can be attested to by the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report that Business Wire originally received back in 2014. This means that your news release (in text or PDF format) will not be posted to your InvestorHQSM site by a Business Wire product specialist to save time or effort.

So, when selecting an IR site vendor, do assess and compare the basic features and functionality of the service. Don’t forget, however, to pay close attention to the details of the IR site service when it comes to security of your financial data.

 

Business Wire's Frankfurt Office Finds Out How Important Pictures and Videos are on the Internet

By Seval Dogan, Marketing Specialist, DACH Region and Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist

If you use the internet frequently, you will probably say that pictures and videos are an important part of the experience. But just how important are they?

To find some answers to this question, the Business Wire office in Frankfurt, Germany organized a new edition of their popular discussion series MEDIAtreff and invited the panelists Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Scientific Director @Smart Future Initiative), Dieter Moritz (Executive Director @vwd), Christian Salow (CEO @altii.de) and Sophie Schüler (Photographer & Multimedia Artist) to give their expert opinions.

 

The emergence of pictures and videos on the web

At the beginning of the panel, Norbert Streitz remarked that the internet mainly used to consist of texts that were connected via hyperlinks which lead from one website to another and created something like a so-called ‘real net’. The number of pictures was fairly low and didn’t start to grow before the emergence of the high-speed internet. More speed over time also created the possibility to include videos. However, he sees videos as a linear medium, which goes against the original idea of the hyperlinked internet.

Nonetheless, most of the panelists emphasized that the emergence of pictures, videos and other multimedia elements was an important step forward in the evolvement of the internet: In the beginnings, the text based internet did not offer much capabilities to make a text stand out. With the appearance of pictures, more choices were available for composing content. In many cases, a picture can function as a preview of the textual information. A country flag, a celebrity or a picture about a car crash for instance, can already give cues what the news would cover. The recognition value that images create, do not only generate more awareness but also induce users to read a text. The same can be said about social media, where a picture often functions as a call-to-action. As Christian Salow explained, an image gets more likely noticed than a text and animates the user to click on it which then leads him to an external website where the original textual information is based.

We also learned, that the color of the picture is of vital importance and can lure a user to read a text. Colors are associated with different emotions, or feelings. Christian Salow’s website altii.de mainly reports on financial matters and he noticed that blue creates trust and people are more inclined to read a text in a layout with pictures that are mainly blue. Dieter Moritz asserted to this, and added he noticed that the color red has the opposite effect. Especially on financial web sites, the color red creates a sense of danger, or warning. As no businessman or broker wants to be in the red, these articles are less read than texts that come with pictures in other colors. Sophie Schueler, added to the discussion that images are also helpful in making online communication more personal. When you see a face or a facial expression in an image along with textual information, it tends to reinforce the tone of the message. A strong image can influence the consumer’s opinion about a matter as it triggers emotional responses. Videos are often even more effective in triggering emotional responses because of its sound. Words become more powerful when spoken than when they are static. The tone of the voice, the way words are pronounced or the volume can affect the consumer’s behavior and the way he feels about the story.

 

Some sectors have not fully embraced the visual age yet

Even though visual communications seem to have been accepted as normal by now, there are sectors in Germany that still struggle with the idea. In the financial sector for instance, visuals are still not common practice and there are plenty of business professionals out there who are hesitant to implement them in their news. Traditionally, financial news have been less wrapped up with creative videos or fancy images. Nevertheless, the attitude towards the use of multimedia in this sector is slowly changing as both experts, Christian Salow and Dieter Moritz, who are leading financial media, pointed out that images are helpful in motivating the reader to engage longer with the content. Christian Salow added that financial information can be quite somber so images and videos are useful to visualize information and to enliven technical themes. Infographics for instance, work very well for illustrating statistics and other technical content. The creative format of infographics also help to steer the consumer to look at data, which would have been otherwise more easily overlooked. It seems, the importance of images and videos are finally getting recognized in a sector, which has been long dominated by numbers and textual information. On top of that, Dieter Moritz stressed that pictures have not only become increasingly important online, but also for financial print media. Not necessarily as a standalone medium, but in combination with technical information.

 

Why textual information still matters

We know that using images and videos has many advantages but they should be relevant. If visuals are only used because everybody else is using it, then the story loses its point and overkills the message. Too many images can be confusing for the reader. Instead, media outlets should build trust through providing informative and relevant messages. Dr. Dr. Streitz, who evaluates the importance of images and videos from a different angle added that factual text would also be effective without multimedia content. It is questionable whether images or videos would add additional quality to text-only news. Textual content is often more objective and factual. He argued that pictures or videos do not always provide more information than text-only news. They can be interpreted in many ways and be sometimes misleading. Text-only news however, do not give as much space for interpretations but can help the reader to gain a clearer understanding of the matter. Before adding pictures and videos, one should first think about what value they add to the message.

Many of the PR and marketing professionals who attended the Business Wire media event thought that the right mix of multimedia and text would be important. Marketers should not discard text-only news but add it to images and videos in a targeted manner. Lastly, as Dr. Dr. Streitz indicated, one should not come to expect that media only informs, but it also entertains. In this regard, videos and pictures certainly enhance text-only news.    

The Online Newsroom Debate: Combine or Split Out Financial Data

In this piece by Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s VP of web communication services, we take a closer look at the various ways public companies present their company news to reporters, analysts and other parties.

Some online newsrooms combine public relations, branded content and investor information on one single landing page. While this allows all interested parties access to a wide range of content, many experts have noted that the experience these newsrooms present are not customized enough to produce significant results.

The other option is to decouple company and branded content from investor information by creating two sites, an online newsroom and an IR site that link to each other as needed. Since each audience has such differing goals when visiting the company’s site, this allows each section of the website to be tailored enough to the visitor that it drives higher rates of adoption of content and alignment with the company message itself.

What type of corporate online newsroom does your company have?  And why should you care?  (Hint –over 70 percent of reporters access the company’s news page when writing a story).  Read more here to find out which set up works best for you and your goals.

Public Policy News Deserves Public Policy Distribution

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

When a news release is distributed via Business Wire’s network it reaches a targeted audience, a news consuming audience that engages with and acts on the message issued. Releases crossing Business Wire’s network reach key media points including AP, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Also reached are journalists subscribing to Business Wire Press Pass. This encompasses a wide issues-focused news consuming audience. This tool of news distribution is used by PR and IR practitioners to connect brands with the public, to build bridges over which information can travel. This same tool is essential for those in need of bringing public policy news to the people affected by it most, the public.

Public Policy distributions reach clients’ key audiences -- the media, influencers, and the voting public -- over a network that has far superior reach compared to that of any blast email service. An email or social campaign alone lacks the amplification that is gained with guaranteed posting of a client's news to important media and public sites and on mobile platforms like AP Mobile. With news release distribution, public policy news is distributed to search engines, twitter feeds, social networks, mobile news sites and other forums that can’t be had with a media database – especially via blast email.

Public Policy circuits are designed to reach audiences that want to see breaking and important "issues" news, such as that dealing with politics, government regulation, or supreme court decisions, whether on a local or national scale. 

Business Wire’s Public Policy news distribution service – whether used nationally, by state or just to the Washington press corps – clients’ news reaches:

  • Media Outlets – from key down to community level – at print, broadcast, wire services, online journalists and editors covering the campaigns.  Reach to appropriate political and trade press is also included at no additional cost.
  • Postings of your news to appropriate Business Wire Twitter feeds, including Public Policy where news is read and shared by journalists and the public.
  • Search audiences -- auto-posting of your news to many hundreds of public and media websites helping to get your news easily seen and read online.  Also to the number one news app – AP Mobile (under politics).

Business Wire also tracks the success of news crossing our wire by providing:

  • Powerful measurement and feedback reports that come with each release, including a 7-day social media measurement report as to what was said online about your news AND by whom – enabling you to connect directly with other influencers.

Learn more about Business Wire’s Public Policy circuits and reach the right audiences with your issues-focused news. 

How to Catch Erors Before They Happen

 

By Luke O’Neill, Editor, Business Wire

We’ve heard it many times here at Business Wire: We catch a typo in a press release, let the client know, then the voice on the other end of the phone stalls, then sighs, “You don’t know how many people have looked at this thing, and that wasn’t caught.”

That exasperation can be and should be avoided – especially before the release hits the wire and Web. Mistakes, alas, are inevitable, but it’s important to guard against them before they happen. After sending out a press release, the focus should be on promoting your news, not fixing it.

The editing process of any document can be cluttered at times with too many cooks in the kitchen, too many rewrites, and tracked changes simply can be confounding. Plus, don’t edit just for the sake of editing. Sometimes the writer has it right.

At newspapers or websites, editors generally read stories three times and three different ways – have you tried these yet?

  1. Breeze through it initially to get a sense of the story – it’s helpful to literally sit on your hands during this process so you’re not tempted to edit.
  2. The heavy lifting: Rewrite, rework and restructure the story as necessary.
  3. Fine-tune: Polish the prose and clean up typos.

The step between 1 and 2 can be tricky – you need to know how the story needs to be reworked, but that usually comes with practice and experience. This blog, however, is more focused on step 3 – finding those minute mistakes before they become major mistakes.

Eradicating Errors

So how do you sidestep slip ups while editing press releases? Most editors anticipate problems before they occur, know where things could go wrong before they do, ask where things could go wrong and think of the consequences of their editing actions. Yet sometimes it just comes down to having an eagle eye.

Also, be mindful that the absence of one lone letter or the transposition of a couple letters changes the meaning of a word, and spellcheck won’t necessarily pick it up.

For example, heath vs. health: A heath is one thing, and health is something different. United vs. untied – these two words clearly have very different meanings. Other common press release examples include: manager vs. manger, complimentary vs. complementary, premiere vs. premier, chief vs. chef and through vs. though.

And be sure to check your spellcheck carefully; don’t just breeze through it because the document may be teeming with tech or biotech words. Often, Spellcheck will flag a word it does not recognize, yet the word is spelled correctly. Then later in the document, Spellcheck will flag a similarly spelled word, but it’s off by one letter. If an editor is on Spellcheck “Ignore All” autopilot, then the misspelled word will fly under the radar.

These spelling discrepancies are especially problematic in business press releases with mismatching company and product names.

‘Confident paranoia’

Many press releases simply could use a healthy dose of preventative medicine – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In my local newsroom, we track the time spent on each correction issued by our clients. In my office, we average about 12 client corrections a month. During high-volume times, that correction total can spike. The corrections can be costly to our clients and counterproductive for everyone.

Some press release corrections are more significant and easily avoidable than others. Some common culprits include: incorrect event dates in releases; incorrect media contact information, especially phone numbers; incorrect titles for people; incorrect press release submitted; and not getting the proper approvals from all the companies involved in the release. But perhaps the most frequent offender is a broken or incorrect embedded hyperlink.

At Business Wire Boston, we preach the idea of “confident paranoia.” Be confident in your editing abilities, but, like a good carpenter, measure twice and cut once.

Meet Simon Ogus, Co-Founder & COO of SportTechie

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist at Business Wire

 

Last week I was able to sit down with Simon Ogus, the Co-founder and COO of SportTechie a new website that focuses on the intersection of sports and technology. Ogus gave insight into the world of creating a new startup, how to pitch SportTechie, and their new partnership with Sports Illustrated. Check out our conversation below. 

 

What is SportTechie and when was it created?

SportTechie is a website that started as a “passion project” in 2013. My co-founder and I found that the sports industry was not as up to date as other industries when it came to technology. We decided to create something that pulls sports fans that are also interested in technology by building a niche audience. We update the website on topics like: player performance, sports science, green sports, virtual reality, and how to use technology to run your business smarter.

 

What sets you apart from other sports outlets?

I think we’ve done a good job at targeting a space that has a lot of interest and is underutilized. It’s about getting unique content and distributing news that is interesting to people. The content matter is so important. Providing content that isn't readily available is also important, or at least providing additional perspective on more mainstream topics is vital

 

If someone in public relations wants to pitch you, what do you look for?

When I read a pitch I’m constantly asking myself, “What is the SportTechie audience going to be interested in?” I don’t care how long the pitch is, I just care that the person presents pertinent topics. You can easily research our page, or sign up for the newsletter, so you know exactly what we cover. 

As a startup we need PR professionals to help coordinate interviews and send ideas. We look for pitches or releases that provide photo and video options. There are so many restricted photos on the internet that can get you in legal trouble. As a small company, that can be difficult, so that’s why we appreciate Business Wire because the photos in each release are unrestricted which helps speed up our process.

 

How do you find your news?

We find stories in multiple ways. We use Business Wire because it helps collect varied breaking story ideas in one place and each day we evaluate which releases we may cover. Business Wire has also served as a great tool to form relationships with relevant public relations professionals. Since each release has the contact information, we are able to contact those that we are interested in and continue to build those relationships. Business Wire helps to facilitate those relationships.  

 

How did the partnership with Sports Illustrated come about?

SportTechie is cobranding content for Sports Illustrated, so some of our content will appear on our page but also on the Sports Illustrated media page. In addition to online, we write one article per month in the magazine. The partnership was fairly seamless. Each side saw the mutual interests and benefits, and we created a relationship from there. We’ve been a startup with limited resources and limited man power, so we’re really excited to partner with Sports Illustrated. Their reputation is unmatched in the industry and will help get our message out to a larger audience.

 

In a rapidly shrinking media world, what is your strategy for continuing to grow and evolve with the industry?

Our strategy evolves as the industry does and opportunities arrive. I would say our main strategy is to provide really interesting and compelling content. We need to continue to bolster our connections in the space and continue to write about tech + media in sports but also in our lives as it is being impacted so greatly each day, and is a really compelling area to be in. As long as we continue to stay at the forefront of this topic, it will just add to the Sport Techie audience.

 

Read further on SportTechie and their partnership with Sports Illustrated. Also, look for updates on Business Wire products, media tips and more.

 

 

Study Confirms English-Language Newswires Provide Capital Market Benefits to Euro Firms

By Zach Wallens – Specialist, Global Disclosure & Financial Reporting Services

 

For United States-based public companies, it’s long been a necessity to leverage a newswire service for disseminating material announcements. After all, Business Wire has distributed such information to the financial community for more than 50 years, helping clients meet disclosure requirements and realize capital market benefits.

Publicly-traded European companies, however, are more recent converts to using newswire services to publish market-moving press releases, such as earnings announcements. Like their American counterparts, European businesses that use newswire services experience benefits beyond their company’s compliance with regulatory guidelines, according to a new study conducted by Romain Boulland, François Degeorge and Edith Ginglinger and published in the Review of Finance.

Use of an English-language wire service, the report found, provides European firms with increased investor attention to earnings news, as well as other advantages, compared with when they distributed their news in a continental European language and through alternative dissemination methods. Among other highlights, the research reveals that European companies, after they adopt English-language wire services:

  • Experience smaller 60-day, post-earnings announcement stock price drift. The metric gauges how a company’s stock price reacts to its earnings announcement, from two days to 60 days following news dissemination. This outcome is significant, the study explained, because previous research established that smaller post-earnings drift is an indication of more investor attention.
  • See an increase in abnormal trading volume around the distribution of earnings releases.
  • Achieve stronger initial reaction to earnings surprises (when a company reports profits above or below analysts’ forecasts). Wire service adoption “speeds up the incorporation of a firm’s earnings news into its stock price.”
  • Receive an upturn, on average by 33% to 41%, in the number of articles about the company on Reuters or Dow Jones.
  • Attain a boost in the number of analysts covering the firm.

The research also determines that changes to the European regulatory environment – mainly the implementation in 2007 of the European Union Transparency Obligations Directive – facilitated the majority of the surveyed companies to adopt newswire distribution. Though the EU-wide framework refrains from requiring English-language distribution of company announcements, it does allow firms that are traded in multiple European markets to publish regulatory news in “a language customary in the sphere of international finance.” Left to their own discretion, most EU-based organizations discerned the directive’s wording to mean they could then distribute announcements in English, in addition to a language accepted by the regulatory authority of their home state.

So given the breadth of quantifiable wire service benefits revealed in this study, how can European companies use this information to distribute their earnings releases in alignment with best practices? First and foremost, it’s essential that these firms disseminate their announcements via a newswire service, as the uniform formatting and distribution reach generally results in greater, and faster, investor attention. For the few European businesses that aren’t already benefiting from this strategy, now is the time to switch. In fact, the study found that as of 2010, 80% of European firms used newswire services.

Dassault Systèmes, based in France and traded on the Euronext Paris exchange, provides a strong example of the above practices. The company distributes its earnings press releases, in English and French, through Business Wire’s France Disclosure service, which sends both languages to the AMF (France’s regulatory body), Euronext, financial media, websites and databases. Dassault additionally disseminates the English version of its earnings press release via our New York Metro circuit, increasing visibility to the U.S. market and investment community.

In addition to selecting an English-language newswire distribution, European companies can also maximize interest among investors and media by implementing other best practices, such as using multimedia and hyperlinks. Business Wire recently published a white paper titled, “Best Practices for Enhancing Earnings Releases,” and in March Business Wire and Edelman announced the results of a survey proving that, as an addition to traditional earnings statements, visual and creative features are becoming a critical component of these announcements. These services and resources constitute just some of the ways in which we support our clients, via distribution channels and other proprietary products, as they grow brand awareness and remain regulatory compliant.

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Communication Skills this Summer

By Raschanda Hall, Director of Global Media Relations, Business Wire

 

There is a distinct buzz in the air during the first days of summer. In the PR community, this growing sound is our nagging reminder to sit down and think about new business, budgets, cuts and strategies.

We’re no different, so our team looked at our own best practices to empower you with 13 tips to make you a better communicator.

13. Commit to commenting. Stop being a social media voyeur. Be active by liking and commenting on posts you read.  The comments can be as interesting as the posts; many people read them and they’re a good way to make connections.

12. Give before you ask. No matter what service you provide, even the well-intentioned invitation can be seen as a demand for time, effort, and attention. Take this tip from Chris Sacca, advisor to some of the top social media companies, “If you’re insightful and helpful, people will want to be around you.”

11. Refine your elevator pitch. How? Practice, edit, repeat. If you pitch TV stations you know assignment editors are willing to listen, but you’d better be able to get your point across fast! Call five assignment desks, and chances are, you’ll hone your pitch quickly.

10. Subscribe to industry newsletters and READ THEM. PR/communications newsletters such as CommPRO.BizMediaBistro,  Smart Brief on Social Media and Ragan’s PR Daily offer helpful suggestions for improving your written and verbal communication skills and keep you up on industry trends. You might recognize a misstep you consistently make, such as avoiding an overused word.

9. Get involved with an industry organization.  Don’t just attend events — join a committee, serve on the board, or simply volunteer your time as you can. Be sure not to limit yourself to PR/IR groups.

8. Learn more about the offerings of your service providers. OK, this one may be a bit self-serving, but don’t shoot the messenger. Many PR-related service providers are constantly advancing their catalog of offerings, providing free reporting, or creating complementary products to go along with the services they’re most known for. Take the meeting and find out what else they offer for you to maximize your relationship.

7. Have an SEO discussion with your web team, your wire vendors and your content creators. If one conversation isn’t enough, have however many it takes for you to understand search engine optimization (SEO) basics and start using these strategies to improve the visibility of content you produce for the web.

6. Take a class or seminar. Many schools and professional societies offer continuing education classes at a low cost, and some even offer free sessions. Consider classes in photography, advanced web technology or web design. You can even brush up with a business writing or grammar class.

5. Attend a journalism conference. The price tag of some PR conferences can be off-putting. Directly across the aisle our industry peers are putting together great and pertinent programming at a fraction of the cost. Check out conferences organized by the Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists or one of the journalists-of-color member organizations like NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists. You’ll learn a lot and make some new contacts while you are at it.

4. Share your experiences. If you have no time to sit on a board or a committee, offer to speak at one of their programs on a topic you know matches the interests of their members. In PR groups, speakers on the topics of social media, measurement, crisis communications, media relations and brand strategy are highly sought after!

3. Invite a blogger out for coffee. If you don’t work with bloggers, meet up with an editor, producer or member of the Twitteratti who you value having a relationship with. Even if they can’t meet face to face, the check-in email is a nice gesture and way to keep a relationship top of mind even if you’ve moved on to cover new areas.

2. Be an active listener. Multi-tasking, while great in so many ways, contributes immensely to our eclipsed attention spans. Make an effort to listen more closely. Practice by playing a prerecorded webinar and not clicking away; or watching or listening to an on-air personality you don’t agree with and resisting the urge to turn away or blurt out.  Just listen. If you improve your listening skills you might pick up the other half of what most people don’t hear when someone is speaking.

1. Immerse yourself in mobile. Mobile marketing is no longer the future, it is the present and you should take advantage. To leverage this market for you and your clients you need to use it. Download news apps and visit the mobile rendered pages of your favorite brands. Then make sure your own messaging is mobile friendly.

PR in 2016: How to Take Advantage of the Changing Media Landscape

 

Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, recently had the opportunity to present listeners with a detailed account of how the media landscape is changing, and how to best take advantage of those changes.

 

The World Is Now Visually Fluent:  Communicate with Images

 

 

According to Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, Generation Z communicates using images. Images are no longer an asset used to enhance text-only news, they have become the primary form of communication with text now being used in the supplementary role, enhancing the images that audiences are expecting.  

Today’s media outlets understand this and require multimedia assets to round out news coverage pieces.  To increase the open rates, engagement and coverage of your news releases, include photos and videos that tell your company story in an instant.

 

Fluency + Access = Images are Moving Again

 

 

Thanks to the decrease in price for mobile phone data plans, people have easier access to multimedia content such as videos. Mobile users can now scroll through videos as easy as if it was images or text and platforms like Facebook are taking advantage by integrating more video capabilities, transforming how users communicate. It’s the types of videos being uploaded that is really grabbing communicators’ attentions. When it comes to YouTube, 33% of all searches are for news related content. People have access to information and they want to consume that information regularly, using it to dictate, amongst other things, purchasing decisions.     

One fast way to get news adoption in the era of video? Create quick videos that outline verbally the content of your news release.  If you have the time and skills, overlay your video with product shots to further emphasize your news. Have a big social fan base? Skip the still video and use Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope and do a quick live broadcast of your news summary – a fantastic way to get extremely high reach for your news.

 

The Elongated Sales Funnel in the Age of Research

 

 

Before the digital revolution there was a time when if you didn’t know something, that information stayed a mystery until you had access to the answer. Now, information is available at everyone’s fingertips and society has become conditioned to searching for answers as their questions are asked. We currently live in an age where research is a standard reaction to any new found information. Serena explains how this applies to brands and products by using the example of two friends making plans to dine at a restaurant. Years ago, if she would have suggested a restaurant to her friend, that would be the end of the conversation. Today, her friend can easily research the restaurant and determine if it is the desired destination, or if another location should be selected. People are less prone to experiment blindly these days, because they don’t have to. Today’s consumer is an educated consumer.   This is why news releases are so important to today’s leading organizations. Google knows that decision makers use search before committing to purchase, so every news release distributed over Business Wire, and the coverage generated, is highlighted in search to help move your key audiences in and through you marketing and sales funnel.

 

Media Relations 101:  Media outlets rewarded for views

 

 

In response to Business Wire’s annual global media survey, media professionals most often answered that views was the metric used to evaluate their stories. With online and mobile platforms, tracking how many people are accessing your content is easier than ever. Understanding that helping a journalist or reporter accomplish that goal is a great tool to attaining better coverage for your news. When you pitch the media make it clear that their success is your success and that you’re working as a team to get more eyes on their coverage of your message. Let them know that you will be actively working to increase their views and how you will get those readers.   

The news media landscape is evolving but it’s far from a mystery. To engage audiences, to clarify your messaging and to do media relations in 2016, it is time to pair your news release with visual content. 

The news media landscape is evolving but it’s far from a mystery. To engage audiences, to clarify your messaging and to do media relations in 2016, it is time to pair your news release with visual content.  Not sure how? Listen to Serena’s webinar in its entirety to get the full breakdown of how people are communicating today and a glimpse into how society will be communicating in the future. Understanding the news trends currently developing is the first step to reaching audiences with your news. 

Financial Journalists: “Where’s the News Release?”

By Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media

 

Frustrated financial journalists are finally speaking out: there is no substitute for a full-text earnings press release. Their irritation at the latest issuer iterations in releasing their results has boiled over on-air, and online. Clearly, the reliable – and resilient -- press release has many staunch supporters in the investment community. With another earnings season drawing to a close, MarketWatch reporters Ciara Linnane, Tomi Kilgore and Francine McKenna explained how earnings reports are often failing to provide investors with the critical information they need in an easy-to-access format.

Nearly a year earlier, Linnane and Kilgore tackled the infuriating tactics common to many earnings announcements. In revisiting the disclosure practices of listed companies, they found that the situation is worse today.

The authors are exasperated by companies that fail to issue press releases, and cite notice-and-access style releases as a particular “pain point.”

“The growing number of companies that no longer put their earnings into a tidy news release, instead distributing a link to their website, which links to a ‘shareholder letter’ that is often a confusion of tables and charts,” the authors write in their most recent report.  

The authors also challenged issuers re their release retrenchment in their initial report, noting that reporters are exhausted from all the contortions they need to go through to access key corporate information.

“A growing number of companies have stopped publishing results in press releases that run on news feeds, forcing reporters to click through multiple links to find the data they need,” the authors lamented. “For a reporter trying to get important news to the public as quickly as possible, this method not only added extra steps but forced him or her to contend with a website that slowed significantly as multitudes of people clicked the links at the same time. So why not release the news both ways, so the public can get the news quickly and/or visually.”

CNBC also weighed in on the recent troubling trends in investor relations.

“Squawk on the Street” commentators David Faber and Jim Cramer took several issuers to task for their “newfangled” press releases. They called these earnings experiments “indecipherable,” and  that they were designed not to be read.  They implored issuers to distribute their news via “an old-fashioned press release.”

Business Wire welcomes the recognition by these leading journalists spotlighting the important role of press releases in our financial markets. Business Wire plays a vital role in delivering earnings and other material news announcements to market participants via its patented news delivery platform, “NX.” In addition to our synchronized delivery, we always include ticker symbols, proper headlines and attribution, tables, and contact information to promote ease-of-use. We properly format and meta-tag releases to expedite their processing by the world’s leading information platforms.

Clearly, there are many exciting and innovative opportunities for investor relations professionals to use new tools to communicate their message.

Business Wire and Edelman Financial Communications & Capital Markets recently announced the results of a new study that supports the use of visual storytelling in earnings reporting.

Among the key finds of the study:

1) The earnings release is considered to be an essential resource for all audiences and provides fast, easy-to-access data.

2) There is still absolutely a need for traditional financial data to accompany the visual elements of an earnings release; it must be clear that these earnings infographics are in addition to, and not a substitute for, traditional earnings statements. In fact, this multimedia tool is most effective when used in addition to traditional releases, focused on quantitative data.

Visual and creative storytelling will most certainly play a larger role in future earnings releases. For now, the Street has spoken: full-text earnings releases remain the backbone of “best practices” investor relations.

Why Visual Journalism Should Just Be Called Journalism

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

A lot is being written about the importance of multimedia in journalism. Those articles need to stop. It’s not because multimedia is no longer important, on the contrary, multimedia has become so integral to today’s journalism that writing about it is as enlightening as writing about the importance of drinking-water for healthy living. When you look for news, whether on social media, digital platforms or traditional, you expect to see images. It is so expected that when the Digital News Project released their Journalism, Media and Technology Predictions 2016 they already shifted their focus to the next generation of multimedia.

What Will Multimedia Look Like?

The media landscape of tomorrow, the report presented by Reuters Institute predicts, will be one of virtual reality, live streaming, and an innovative use of images, such as hyperspotted images. Multimedia will not only supplement textual information, but be used as visual answers to reader’s questions. The example given is the Guardian’s choice to publish a picture of the leading candidates during the UK general election superimposed over a height scale to answer reader questions about the height of candidate David Cameron. The newspaper could simply have provided an image of David Cameron followed by textual data. This is what we expect to see, visual representation of the content of an article. What the Guardian did was integrate the information found within the article directly into the image. You see the subjects of interest and you receive the answer to a popular search query. Images won’t just aid communication in the future, they will be used as a form of communication. This is also evident through the rollout of Twitter Moments, where several tweets are arranged, and paired with an image, to tell a bite-size news story. 

Generation Z,according to Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, is described as having an innate knowledge of digital technologies, uses 5 screens at once, and communicates using images. According to the same report, the number of images shared daily on select social media platforms (snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook) jumped from about 2 billion to around 3.25 billion in the last year. We can ask ourselves if this is a trend because multimedia is so prevalent, or if multimedia is so prevalent because of its effectiveness in delivering a message. An investigation of the latter, when coupled with developers designing assets that are even more engaging and interactive, shows us that people want multimedia because it offers something that text can’t. We don’t see the world around us in text and multimedia is a tool that aids in bringing that realism to the digital playground. Generation Z is showing us that text supplements multimedia, not the other way around. This was always the case and technology finally caught up.

The last several years saw communications thought leaders time and time again announce the coming of a visual age. That moment passed and now we need to accept it as normal. Referring to journalism with multimedia as visual journalism is like referring to a movie with sound as a “talkie.” Just like silent films are now studied as a historic artifact, so is the era when the internet lacked multimedia. Today’s journalism is visual, it’s engaging and it’s evolving. Today, readers see their news as if they’re seeing it happen in front of them. Let’s start thinking about the news of tomorrow.

Learn more about the integral role multimedia plays in today’s communications by registering for Business Wire’s webinar on increasing awareness, coverage, and conversions with visuals

8 Numbers from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report That Will Change PR

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

Those interested in the current state of the digital marketplace can rejoice because Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report has been released and the data it presents is telling. Over the years, the internet has grown to become an integral part of daily life. That evolution continues as the uses for this technology are now starting to reflect the needs of current generations. For PR pros it is important to understand how important the internet is as a bridge between brands and the public. The following are 8 figures from the report that exemplify how much the internet, as well as society has changed in recent years and how those in the communications space must adjust their plans of action for reaching audiences locally, regionally, and around the world.  

TECHNOLOGY

27% of the US Population

Millennials represent 27% of the US population. That accounts for almost 1/3rd of the population and is a portion of the population whose spending power is expected to rise significantly in the next 10-20 years. This is the largest generation found in the US and according to the report, they’re financial approach is described as “earn to spend.” Because Millennials represent a significant audience for brands, it’s important to understand their internet habits. For this generation, technology is integral in day to day life. Just how integral has it become? 

4 Hours

On average, worldwide mobile users will spend 4 hours using their device per day. That number rises to 5 hours per day for US mobile users. When excluding hours needed for sleep, it becomes apparent that much of person’s time today is spend on a mobile device. Think about what else you do for 5 hours a day and it starts to put this number into perspective. It’s difficult to emphasize just how important mobile devices are to users and the range of activities that are accomplished using one.   

3 Billion

The internet is a tool that connects people around the world. The amount of people it currently connects is mindboggling. Global internet users is now at 3 billion individuals. When taking into consideration the amount of time people spend on the internet, and on their mobile devices, it’s impossible to ignore how important these platforms are for reaching audiences with your message. The delivery of your message should be designed for optimal distribution across all digital platforms because that is where your audiences are most likely to be looking for it.  

MULTIMEDIA

5 Screens

The Millennial generation grew up during the growth of easily accessible internet technology. It is a generation that speaks the internet language and is tech savvy, using two screens at once. What does a generation look like that came into this world with the internet already an integral part of day to day life? This is Generation Z and they use 5 screens at once. In just one generation we went from users being tech savvy to having an innate knowledge of the internet and mobile platforms, as natural an understanding as learning a first language. What’s more fascinating is that Generation Z communicates using images. Using the features that mobile platforms present users, Generation Z takes full advantage and communicates using visuals assets.  

3.25 Billion

The importance of multimedia as a communications tool has grown exponentially. Over 3.25 billion photos are shared each day on select platforms (snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook). As multimedia continues to grow as a form of communication, the number of photos shared will grow even higher. Multimedia is now expected as it is the normal site on mobile and social platforms. Communicating with multimedia is the new way to communicate.     

SOCIAL MEDIA

48% of Millennials 

Millennials are the largest generation in the US and knowing how to reach that audience is vital for all communications pros. Almost half (48%) of Millennials prefer to be contacted via the internet or social media. When compared with the previous generation, Gen X, whose primary choice is telephone or electronic messaging, it’s easy to see a transition in technology use. We are now fully in the digital age and future generations will be born into a communications-culture of internet, mobile, social and multimedia. 

55% of Pinterest Users 

Multimedia is ubiquitous and serves a purpose greater than just entertainment. Pinterest, a platform self-described as a visual bookmarking tool that helps users discover and save creative ideas, has evolved and the PR space needs to take note. According to Mary Meeker’s report, 55% of Pinterest users utilize the platform to find and shop for products. Multimedia is now an important tool in educating and converting potential customers and clients. Pinterest needs to be viewed as an example of how audiences are seeing visuals across the internet, and how visuals can be used to reach audiences around the world.  

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, and those that preceded it, show an overall trend that reflects how we communicate and consume, and how we will communicate and consume in the future. As technology, already integral to our daily lives, continues to develop, so will the way we use it. Multimedia is expressive and a quickly growing form of communication, with Generation Z already utilizing images and other visuals as a standard form of communication. Social media is also evolving, becoming so much more than what the individual platforms were originally designed to be. Facebook is a growing news source, Pinterest a place for consumers to learn about and shop for products, as well as other developments for Twitter, Instagram and more. The internet, and the platforms it offers invite users to innovate what it can be used for. Communications professionals need to learn from this report and build better bridges between brands and the public. These 8 figures show us exactly how to do just that. 

Learn about Business Wire’s Global, Mobile, Social, Measurable tools designed to amplify your news on digital platforms and reach audiences where and how they want to be reached.

Make sure to tune in on June 16th as Business Wire presents a webinar on increasing awareness, coverage, and conversions with visuals.

Business Wire Launches “The Perfect Match” Campaign

By Vilan Trub, Marketing


From a chilled martini with olives to a hot dog with mustard, certain pairings work so well together that it would be difficult to imagine one without the other. These pairings are the result of a perfect match and Business Wire, the perfect match for anyone looking to reach targeted audiences with their news, launched a new brand campaign centered on creative combinations that were destined to be together.

“We live and breathe our customer’s news and designed this campaign to reinforce the message that Business Wire is all about our client partnerships. While others in our category seem more concerned with their own news right now, all we care about is our customer’s news. We believe that is why over half of the Fortune 500, as well as organizations looking to reach everyone from Main Street to Wall Street, choose to work with Business Wire to distribute their news around the globe,” said Business Wire’s President, Gregg Castano

Seeking a creative team that could best demonstrate Business Wire’s benefit within the communications space, the award-winning branding agency, Sullivan, was selected to design the campaign. Their focus was to present combinations that are not only known as timeless pairings, but combinations where the individual assets supplement each other, creating a greater whole. Olives make a martini better, mustard makes a hot dog better, and Business Wire takes a message and turns it into news that reaches audiences around the world. Once the concept behind the campaign was set, attention turned to best presenting the message of “the perfect match.” The concept is about something recognizable, and recognizable is not synonymous with convoluted or complicated. Sullivan created a visual campaign that captured the clarity of the perfect combination. Over a blue background, a pair of simple drawings would do the talking of what Business Wire wants to tell the communicators of the world. Presented in hip, simple illustrations that have universal and undeniable appeal, the ads will speak to the lives and aspirations of young media professionals.

“Business Wire’s dedication, passion, and independence have always stood out in the newswire landscape,” said Nancy Schulman, Partner & Executive Director of Strategy at brand engagement firm Sullivan, which helped create the campaign. “Every investment, every innovation serves the same mission: improving how news is made. When clients partner with Business Wire, they know their stories have found the perfect home—like so many great combinations in life, Business Wire and your news just belong together. That’s the message we wanted to share with The Perfect Match, and we’re thrilled to have played a role.”

Business Wire was inspired to create the campaign after looking at the toolset of solutions offered to its clients and partners. Core services and product groups such as the patented NX Distribution Network, NUVI Social Media Analytics, HQ Sites, NewsQuantified Market Impact Reports and the recently launched BizWireTV video news program are highlighted within the ads. Just like an umbrella works together with a pair of rain boots, these specific tools offered pair perfectly with news looking to be seen by audiences around the world. This combination is the result of the strong culture at Business Wire that’s singularly focused on delivering client’s news through the most expansive, secure, targeted and innovative distribution platform available to media professionals.

The striking new creative will appear in Adweek, PRWeek, LinkedIn, Facebook, Investor Relations Magazine and other targeted media properties.

Learn more about how Business Wire is the perfect match for your message.

Twitter Tweaks Rules Around Character Limit

by Amirah Bey, Marketing Associate

Like a kid let loose in a candy store, social media users are excited by the sweet new options they now have with the announcement of Twitter's latest news that photos, links and usernames (oh my) no longer count toward the 140-character limit. Clever copywriting options abound!

Get clever with your 'Tweet this' quotes
Embedded in every Business Wire news releases is a "Tweet this" quote. The tweet generated from using this functionality automatically includes a link to the release, so previously we only allowed 89 characters here.

With more characters available to tweet, you can make your 'Tweet this' messages more witty, informative and purposeful. Think, "If I saw this tweet, would I share/like?" This will increase shares of your release aka increased reach of your message.

If you're unsure how to properly use Business Wire's social features, check out this easy how-to video.

Photos for every Tweet!
Photos have been proven to increase social media engagement, so not including images is to choose to leave engagement on the social 'table'. 

Many practitioners opt to include one photo with tweets, but now that images no longer take up precious characters, you can include multiple. Twitter allows you to include up to four photos and in effect, tell an even more impactful story than you would with just 140 characters. 

In tandem with ensuring the inclusion of photos on social, you should include photos in your news releases. Attractive images can entice social media users to tweet your release - garnering even more views! 

 

Include all pertinent usernames
Often times a tweet will call for the mention of various organizations and people. Before, some of these parties just didn't make the cut. Now that usernames no longer count toward the character count, you can ensure everyone you need to mention is included. 

This is especially important when composing social to promote your 'partnership' news releases. Mentioning all the relevant entities will increase engagement and hopefully shares of your release.

How do you promote your news via Twitter? It'll be interesting to see how Twitter's tweaks will affect our timelines moving forward. What do you think? As many social media marketers rejoice, do you think these changes are for the best?

How to Deliver a Rockstar Pitch to “Influencers”

 

By Shirley Leung, Brand Marketing Specialist at Business Wire

Pitching can be difficult. The landscape of the media industry has become fragmented forcing public relations tactics to evolve as new platforms and outlets emerge such as influencer marketing. Consumers are naturally suspicious when it comes to buying a product, so this is where an influencer, an individual who has the ability to drive a message to a large market much like a brand advocate, would come into play.

As brand campaigns and initiatives shift from traditional marketing strategies to social media, consumers are more invested than ever in what influencer personalities have to say about a specific product or brand. Influencers write about products and brands that they personally vouch for, based on personal taste. Not only does this create social buzz but it ultimately increases sales for the brand. According to a recent study by Twitter and Annalect, about “40 percent of respondents said they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube.”

Similar to a celebrity endorsement, public relations firms and agencies see influencers as a segment of “new journalism.” To compare, they are both considered trusted resources of information, produce quality content and most importantly can captivate a large audience.

As consumers flock towards the organic vibes of social media, influencer marketing has become the new PR gold mine. Just like journalists, influencers are busier and harder to reach than ever… but have no fear!! Just follow these tips and you will be on the road to virality.

 

Do not send everything through the cookie cutter.

Mass anything is your enemy! Always keep it personalized by making sure your pitch is framed and tailored to the tastes of the influencer you are reaching out to. It may take more time and effort but it is far more effective in garnering a response. 

In addition, offering exclusivity is always enticing. It allows the influencer you're targeting to be the first to give their opinion on your product or brand making them the go to source for interested audiences.

Go above and beyond.

You have the plain text of your release that you're showing influencers, but now what? Be sure to take advantage of multimedia to increase visibility and peak interest. This can be done a variety of ways: creating a high resolution image with creative copy, a colorful infographic, a supporting video clip or live link to name a few. By adding these media components along with text, it increases share-ability and it gives you the option to tell your story in various ways. It gives the influencer you're reaching more resources to use when sharing with their audience.

Learn more about multimedia solutions read here.

Press releases are one of the top ways to reach the media. Over 75% of reporters use newswires to search for news and trends on a daily basis (Business Wire 2015 Media Survey). When cold pitching goes wrong, a press release distribution service such as Business Wire can instantly increase the coverage your story receives. It gives legitimacy to the news and helps present more content when reaching out to influencers. With interactive options such as the Smart News Release or Picture Capsule, your story is transformed into an engaging entity that attracts and helps convert the audiences you target.

Build networks, not just contacts.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when contacting influencers is that they receive hundreds of pitches week after week so try to not make your approach invasive when first approaching them. Ask them out for a coffee, lunch or if they will be at any industry conferences or events. This gives you the chance to get to know how they like to be reached, their schedule, deadlines and any other information that will help you get a response from them in the future.

Find the right community.

The same strategies that you would use to determine which publications, outlets or journalists you want to pitch to are also pertinent when trying to find the right influencer for your brand. Craft and stylize your pitch in a way as if you are speaking as the influencer him or herself. Get a feel for their personal style by checking out what kind of content they post, how they write, and by what kind of audience they have. Pitching an influencer, however, is different than pitching a member of traditional media.

Influencers cover topics based on their personal tastes. They need a better reason than your mutual interests in fashion or cars, or whatever industry you're in, to take your pitch. Solely relying on topics and communities that align with your business are just not enough. Tailor a pitch that will connect with them both aesthetically and emotionally. Giving them something they will feel comfortable vouching for to their readers.

Bottom line.

You want influencers to fall in love with your pitch. Be engaging and always ask questions first before sending your pitch. This makes for a warm introduction and they are more likely to do you a favor once they get to know you. It can also result in building great connections with them which will make it even easier for you to pitch next time!

For even more ways to enhance your pitch, check out our recent “Secrets of the Media” event recap.

To learn more about how you can reach your target audience and amplify coverage, check out our PR solutions.

“No business has ever failed with happy customers”

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

When asked about competitive edge, Warren Buffett was quick on the trigger at the 2016 Business Wire International Sales Meeting. “No business has ever failed with happy customers,” he said to a room full of attentive eyes and ears, each set keen on absorbing every tidbit of insight. What Mr. Buffett was describing was the magical key to success and longevity, keeping customers happy. Business Wire, started over 50 years ago, is a company with many happy customers around the globe. How do we, as the industry’s leading news distribution service, keep all those customers happy? What is the secret we follow that can be perennially put into action to maintain this trend?

To determine why Business Wire is so successful when it comes to customer service we have to look at two things. The first is understanding Business Wire’s commitment to customer service. The second is to talk to the clients that gave us our reputation.

When Lorry I. Lokey founded the company in 1961, he established a mantra of “put the customer first.” This is why more than 50 years later we are the only commercial newswires with more than 30 offices around the globe. We put the customer first.

When Berkshire Hathaway chose to purchase Business Wire – the people behind Business Wire were part of the package. Why? Because our team lives and breathes our initial mantra – put the customer first.  From product development, to customer education, every single day, from editorial to sales to operations, we look at our product and services from your perspective.

Do our clients notice the difference?

At the PRSA 2015 International Conference our clients described their experience using Business Wire and why they’ll continue using us as a news distribution tool in the future:

This testimonial and others can be found here.

Much has been said about the solutions that Business Wire offers to today’s professionals – whether they work for an emerging startup or a Fortune 100 company. From partnerships with the top five global newswires, to the Smart News Release and the newly launched BizWireTV, these products provide the public relations and investor relations spheres with tools to not only reach but exceed their news visibility goals. These are the tools that smart communicators leverage to transform an announcement into an engaging story for audiences to read locally, regionally or globally.

In the end though, what value do our local offices provide? What about our suite of news amplification tools?  None of these provide value to you if they don’t serve your needs as promised. Business Wire was founded on the philosophy of creating a relationship based on trust with those that choose our patented news distribution network. Success spanning five decades is as much the result of products offered as it is the public’s appreciation and value in those products. There is a circle that is created: the media, financial industry and public’s trust in the effectiveness of Business Wire’s toolkit, and rewarding clients’ trust with efficient and accurate service. This circle is the foundation for creating happy customers.

In Why Newswires? The Past, Present & Future of Trusted News, Business Wire President Gregg Castano outlines the importance of establishing a relationship rooted in trust, and how Business Wire builds that relationship every day.

If the key to maintaining a competitive advantage is happy clients, then every employee of every company must make it their mission to identify not only the customer’s needs, but the most efficient way to meet those needs. At Business Wire we do just that. What makes a person a potential client is the presence of an obstacle. For today’s communicators that obstacle is the need to amplify their news stories to reach their identified audiences – in a world where news consumption rates are higher than ever. Business Wire continues to innovate and create new solutions for how to overcome this obstacle. That is why Business Wire has happy customers, very happy customers, and there is no scheduled change in the company’s course of action.

To learn more about the tools and solutions that keep journalists and other media professionals happy, visit our services page and our news page.

Best Practices for Presenting Quotes in Press Releases

by Andrew Guinn, Newsroom Supervisor, Business Wire Nashville

Writing for an audience of business journalists can be tedious. You want your story to catch their eye, but the language of business news ties your hands and holds you to a monotonous retelling of the latest bond offering or board meeting. You want to make the release personal and add some zing, but your boss (or client) doesn’t want you to editorialize for them… so, why not let them do it for you?  By asking the right questions, you can build a palette of quotations to break up the rhythm of business speak and breathe a little life into your release.

As the narrator of business news, you convey the facts and answer with the “5 W’s.” Anything you say which attempts to judge these facts without attribution will lead to the dreaded question: “Says who?”  With quotations, not only can you tell the reader how your company feels about its news, you can relay how the reader should feel about it. You also provide business journalists with the tools necessary to make their story about your news seem as though it resulted from an actual interview, not just a press release.

Once you have the quotes you need, you should present them in the proper manner. Such as:

“A standard, run-of-the-mill quote starts out like this,” said Andrew Guinn, Editor, Business Wire Nashville.  “Simply take the first full idea the speaker said and follow it with the attribution.  The first mention of the speaker should give their full name, title and company.”

For simple quotes like this, the punctuation should always be placed inside the quotation marks. Since the attribution is complex, the verb should come first so it is not tacked on to the end like an afterthought. (“This is an example of what not to do,” Andrew Guinn, Editor, Business Wire, said.)  On further references to a speaker who has already been mentioned, only their last name is necessary.

“In hard news, the preferred verb for an attribution is ‘said,’” Guinn said.  “Words like ‘commented,’ ‘stated’ and ‘says’ are fine for fluffy features, but, since most hard news is written in the past tense, quotes should be finite – the speaker said these words.

“Notice the quotation mark is left off the end of the last paragraph. If the statement you’re quoting continues into a new paragraph spoken by the same person, you can use a continuing quote like this and not need to add another attribution. You can carry on in this manner for as long as you need, but, if you change speakers, you’ll need to start a new paragraph and a new quote.”

If you need to introduce the quote, but don’t want to use an entire paragraph or sentence to do it, “you can use a partial quote,” Guinn said.  “This is especially helpful if the idea you’re trying to convey is based on this person’s opinion, if your speaker wasn’t concise or if you simply need to establish context not provided in the quote.”

These are the three most common types of quotations you’ll encounter writing a standard press release.  For further information, the Associated Press Stylebook is considered by many to be the “journalist’s bible.”  Of course, you can always feel free to contact your local Business Wire office and speak with an editor who will be more than happy to assist you.

To learn more about how Business Wire can amplify your news reaching targeted audiences around the globe, read here

Tips for Your Business Meeting with a Japanese Company

 

by Ai Arakawa, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Tokyo

Different people have different customs and while you might think that the uniqueness of Japanese customs is outstanding or exotic, they are standard practices for Japanese and a part of a cultural history.

Robin Pharo, after working for a Tokyo IT department, penned an article in JAPAN TODAY about the Japanese and their meeting style. In comparison to their American counterparts, the Japanese style left Robin awed by the seriousness and formal structure.  And it’s true – the Japanese could make the business meeting formal in a harmonious and respectful mood.  

I’d like to introduce some tips that might help you during your next visit with Japanese companies on future business trips.

Meeting time

It’s important to arrive on time, or five minutes earlier than the meeting’s start time, as Japanese value punctuality. If you arrive late, call your contact person as soon as possible and announce your estimated arrival time. However, it’s another story for the meeting’s closing time. Meetings in Japan often exceed the allotted time, expanding on various topics including non-business related talks, so it’s best practice not to schedule back-to-back meetings.

Appropriate attire for business meetings

Even though this certainly depends on with whom you are meeting (CEO or ordinary employee), it’s safest to wear a suit (with tie for men). But in recent years, thanks to the government’s energy saving campaign “Cool Biz” for summer and “Warm Biz” for winter, the dress code at the business meeting has become more relaxed. This is particularly the case this year as many companies try to save electricity to avoid the power shortages that could have been caused by the great earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku region earlier this year.

Bowing and the seat you take in the meeting room

When you visit and meet your client, your contact person may bow instead of shaking hands, as Japanese people frequently bow when meeting others or thanking or apologizing to someone.

Also, your client may pay attention to where you sit down. The seat furthest away from the entrance is called “kamiza” and it is reserved for the most important person in the room. As the guest, you may be taken to this “kamiza” seat with respect. It is expected that you take the seat if it is offered to you.

Exchanging Business cards

Japanese value the meishi (business card) exchange as the time of formal self-introduction. The person with higher title exchanges the card with the more senior person of the other company first. Then the persons with lesser titles will exchange cards. Introducing your company name and your own name with a bow, hand your card out and receive the other one with both of your hands.

Do not put the given card away in your card case or in the pocket of your jacket, keep it out on the table during the meeting. Writing something on the given card is not recommended — take good care of the card with respect as if it was an extension of him/her.

Any gifts to bring?

Offering a gift is not a strict tradition as is often thought. It would be nice timing to bring a gift if your visit occurs during either of the two gift giving seasons: One is “ochugen,” the season from the beginning to the middle of July; and another is “oseibo,” which is the season from the beginning to 25th of December. People and companies exchange gifts during these periods to express continuing gratitude.

If the meeting person doesn’t unpack your gift, don’t think he/she doesn’t like it, as there is a code of conduct and it’s rude to check what it is in front of the client.

These are just a part of Japanese business manners. Your client should understand that they are meeting with non-Japanese visitors, so do stress over following these guidelines precisely, but just enjoy the communication with your client. That’s what matters most.

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