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

How to Watch BizWireTV on Your Apple TV, iPhone and Android Devices

BizWireTV, Business Wire's video-news show, launched a series of apps for the hottest mobile and over-the-top platforms including AppleTV, iPhone and all devices featuring the Android operating system. The new apps will bring the show directly to audiences on any screen they choose, amplifying Business Wire’s top trending news stories crossing the wire. 

Why now?

With BizWireTV’s growing success, over 4 million video views to date on Business Wire websites and over 1 million views on social channels, the show has amassed a large audience that continues to grow with every new episode. BizWireTV and BizWireTV Accelerator Report are also influencing conversation, with over 20,000 social media mentions reaching over 12 million followers. Expansion of the program with the new apps gives viewers more opportunities to watch the show. It also gives BizWireTV the chance to develop new viewers looking for stories on disruptive startups and technologies, entrepreneurs in the startup community, funding announcements, hot business trends and companies to watch.

Where to find the apps?

The BizWireTV Apps can be downloaded through the Apple TV and iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android devices.

iTunes app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/business-wire-pr-news/id1104136311?mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frankly.channel.BIZWIRE&hl=en

In collaboration with Frankly, Business Wire set out to develop an easy to use app that would be engaging and accessible on all the top platforms. The keyword behind the design was usability and the end result exceeded everyone’s expectations. Episodes are easy to scroll through and identify with concise descriptions and clear images. Watch as hose Erin Ade brings you the latest trending releases whether you’re at home, on a train, on a plane, or just out and about looking to catch up on some news.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New episodes of BizWireTV premiere every Friday at 6am and catch new episodes of BizWireTV Accelerator Report on Sundays at 3pm. 

8 Questions to Determine if a Newswire is Your Perfect Match

Before deciding on a newswire to help you distribute your message from local markets to audiences around the world, make sure that the services offered match your needs. For a newswire to be your "perfect match" they need to provide the right tools for amplifying your announcement, they need to make your news.  

 

1. Does the provider help me target the journalists, bloggers and influencers that cover my industry?

When releasing a message out into the world for consumption, the key term is targeting. You want your news reaching audiences that are interested in your industry and are ready to engage with your message. Business Wire puts the customers first with 31 offices and 22 newsrooms around the globe, and distribution outlets spanning 60 national and international news agencies. Our highly trained and knowledgeable editors advise clients on the best distribution for their news, from local to global markets. Business Wire has numerous highly targeted circuits with over 150 trade categories.   

 

2. Which news platforms will display my news?

Always remember to find out where your news is being distributed to and what websites will present your messaging. Business Wire has agreements with the world’s leading news agencies including Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones. Your news will be presented in up-to-date web formatting, so your links, bold and italic text, bullets and other style elements carry through to downstream sites including Google News, Yahoo! Finance, Dow Jones Marketwatch and more. Have your news distributed to print and online trade media and industry opinion leaders in your choice of more than 200 vertical market categories.

 

3. What types of traditional and new media outlets do you reach?

As technology changes the way audiences consume news, communicators need to take advantage of all the new platforms available. Business Wire created a distribution network that places just as much emphasis on reaching traditional media points such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, as it does in reaching popular new media portals, such as BuzzFeed and VentureBeat. From A to Z, Business Wire’s reach spans across 60 national and international news agencies.

 

4. How can I reach multicultural and international audiences with my message?

News knows no boundaries or borders. If you have messaging that needs to reach audiences from around the world, audiences that speak different languages, you need a newswire that is built to handle a global market. Business Wire is an international newswire with distribution to more than 100 countries in 19 languages. Reach every region of the world by using international circuits such as Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. 

 

5. Does the provider help me reach my target audiences in social media?

A recent post on Tempo shined light on the importance of social media in today’s age of communications:

For many journalists and readers, social media is a way of life and a primary source of news and information. For marketers, this provides an opportunity to build faster, more direct media relationships, and identify key audiences by keeping tabs on the news organizations that readers follow.

Business Wire offers a series of social media tools to amplify your news on the leading social platforms. You’re able to include with your release a live Twitter feed of your choosing, a preselected Tweet this message, buttons leading to branded social media profiles, and hashtags and cashtags that best represent your story. 

 

6. Can I distribute other types of content like photos and videos?

How people consume their news is changing, as well as audience’s expectations of how that news will look. Multimedia has become so prevalent that visual journalism should be considered standard journalism. Business Wire encourages clients to include photos, videos, and other highly engaging multimedia assets.

 

7. How do you measure online distribution and what type of reporting will I receive?

Putting out a news release is only half the battle. To have a clear idea of the ROI of your communications’ outreach you need to be able to analyze how the audience engaged with your message. Business Wire offers several tracking reports that allow you to identify how your release performed after crossing the wire, as well as on social media platforms. With NewsTrak reports you gain access to release views, traffic sources for those views, multimedia views and user engagement, as well as other metrics. With NUVI, you gain access to real-time social media monitoring and analytics. Gain deep insights with  access to social conversations around your brand or organization happening on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, Google+, Reddit and approximately 5 million RSS feeds.

 

8. What type of customer service can I expect to receive?

Issuing a release can have wide spread effects, from influencing markets around the world to how consumers recognize your brand. You want to make sure that the newswire handling your news is available to work with you in making sure your message gets to the right audience, and without errors or issues. Business Wire has 31 offices and 22 newsrooms around the globe with trained editors that work with you, 24/7 to make sure that your message becomes the news that audiences will be talking about. 

The Press Release: Vital and Valuable in the Digital World

A guest post by Daniella DelaOsa, The Zimmerman Agency

 

Long debated and well established, the press release is a traditional, yet essential marketing tool. By definition, a press release is communication directed at the media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. Creating and distributing press releases is an essential part of a well-rounded marketing plan because of the lasting effect widespread distribution can have on a business or organization.

While there is plenty of argument surrounding the press release as “outdated,” this marketing tool has been modernized and adapted to the online media landscape. Well-written press releases create defining content and are a great opportunity for business owners, marketers, and PR professionals alike. Among many advantages, press releases increase:

  • Online presence
  • Customer consideration and interaction
  • Credibility within an industry
  • Opportunities to establish media relations
  • Social relevance
  • Traffic and, as a result, sales

Well-written, well-formatted, and well-thought-out press releases have the ability to bring visibility and industry influence to an organization, client, or personal business. Mastering press release creation and distribution is a key skill in public relations. As a millennial marketer, crafting a captivating press release provides added credibility to communications and creates the opportunity to develop deeper, more impactful media relations.

 

Old Reliable Can Still Be Effective

With the fast pace of technology, it is no surprise what is considered “media” shifts, changes, and evolves, leaving us wondering if traditional techniques are still applicable. Take bloggers, community forums, podcasts, and social media stars — the fast pace of media’s evolution presents constant new opportunities for publicity and all types of journalists carry influence. New media has created a plethora of new channels and in turn, much more ground to cover, if the goal is to saturate the media with a timely news piece.

Press releases allow for across-the-board saturation of widely read outlets, creating a possible “trickle effect” where a journalist is likely to stumble on news and reach out for more details or a follow-up piece. Additionally, when press releases are picked up by news outlets, they provide cues for journalists to know what audiences are talking about and interested in.

This is especially true with social media. For many journalists and readers, social media is a way of life and a primary source of news and information. For marketers, this provides an opportunity to build faster, more direct media relationships, and identify key audiences by keeping tabs on the news organizations that readers follow.

 

Continuing Value of Press Releases

Today, successful marketers know that achieving success with press releases relies on a few key factors, such as telling a story, having current relevance, personalizing the pitch, and understanding the publication as well as the journalist’s beat.

As such, a press release must first and foremost bring value to the journalist, but also be supported by a strong media relations strategy. For instance, a small business opening its first store would not need to invest in a large national press release package and may instead opt for online-only distribution, supported by direct pitching to media contacts in their local and regional market. However, should that same small business see a 200 percent spike in revenue in a few years and grow to operate hundreds of franchises, that is a story worthy of larger distribution and support strategy.

In any instance, marketers and business owners should never consider the press release in a vacuum. An impactful press release will be supported by a tactful media strategy in order to achieve the desired influence, consumer engagement, or other goal.

 

All Hail The Pitch

You’ve got your press release, you’ve got your media list, now you need the pitch — the “make it or break it” factor of a campaign. Short, informative, professional, and captivating, the pitch should not only suggest a journalist covers a story, but also directly answer the question of why they should. Journalists can receive hundreds of pitches a day. Therefore, a pitch must be absolutely perfect for your story to gain traction.

A team from Communications@Syracuse, the online Master of Science in Communications program from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, recently surveyed 25 key professionals from highly ranked agencies on O’Dwyer’s annual top PR firm rankings. They were asked: “What is the most crucial element of a PR pitch?”

From “deep understanding of the reporter’s readers” to “customizing will always yield the best results,” and “your pitch must answer the question ‘why now?’ ” —  the surveyed PR pros shared the same sentiment. Notably, the responses continually stressed the importance timing, relevance, and personalization as key factors in the success or failure of a pitch.

When a pitch is successful, and results in coverage by a trusted third-party source, your message will stand out. Stories written by a third-party source are more trusted by consumers and as a result, bring greater value to your business than traditional advertising or promotional avenues. A recent study by Nielsen shows that earned media — credible, third-party articles — is the most important source for impacting consumer decisions.

It’s this type of result that ensures press releases will adapt and live on. Effective and valuable, press releases will continue to be an important part of digital media strategy, especially when they have the power to steer social conversations and bring lasting influence.

 

Daniella is a Senior Account Manager at The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, FL where she specializes in global PR efforts for hospitality and tourism brands. She is a graduate of Florida State University where she majored in English: Editing, Writing & the Media. 

 

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? Journalists and Investors Get Candid about Your Earnings’ Release

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

It hasn’t been a secret for some time that reporters are more interested in simpler, easier-to-follow earnings’ releases. We’ve covered the subject before, even bringing attention to a “Squawk on the Street” segment where commentators David Faber and Jim Cramer took several issuers to task for their “newfangled” press releases.

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

Several months passed and it’s the same old story again. New articles have been appearing by Ciara Linnane, a longtime critic of confusing disclosure methods, and they plead with those that continue the practice to include a standard press release. By forcing interested parties to have to find the financial data they’re looking for, stress is created by delaying a process that needs to occur in real-time. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at the retail brokerage First Standard Financial, gave his take on the consequences of the added time it takes to get the information he needs: “by that time, if it’s good news the stock is already up, and if it’s bad news the stock is already down.”

Read - How companies are making earnings more stressful for investors

It’s important to revisit the discussion and reiterate the importance of a traditional earnings statement. Although new technology creates opportunities for issuers to communicate their message using multimedia and other tools, assets that are welcomed by journalists and investors, these practices should be applied only in addition to a standard release, not instead of one. Think traditional + visual, not traditional vs. visual.   

It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, as among the articles was a positive sign as Kohl’s was praised for providing reporters and investors with a “straightforward” release. Referring to the release, Linnane writes, “coming in an earnings season in which companies continued to irk reporters and investors alike with releases that concealed important numbers like revenue and included hard-to-follow non-GAAP metrics, Kohl’s release was a delight.”

Read - Kohl’s deserves praise for a clean, easy-to-follow earnings release

 

 

 

Editorial Coverage Drives Trust…It’s Time to Increase Your PR Budgets

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

It’s been happening for a while now. With the number of communications platforms growing at an ever-increasing pace, marketing executives have been under pressure to move dollars away from traditional public relations efforts in order to fund emerging communication channels. In many cases, this money is being redirected to marketing teams with the belief that marketing can meet company goals better than public relations. And yet, survey after survey continues to show that it is editorial coverage, the work our PR clients do, that is building trusted relationships between organizations and their key audiences.  

Earlier this week, Ogilvy proved this point again in the Ogilvy Media Influence survey. In this survey, Ogilvy asked over 200 journalists and bloggers what sources they trusted when it came to doing company research. Their answer?  The information they trust the most is the information written by their own colleagues.  Even reporters trust reporters more than they trust any other type of content!

When you combine this information with the results of Nielsen’s 2013-14 studies showing editorial coverage is the most trusted content that consumers refer to when making business and personal decisions, we see something startling.  The role of editorial coverage is much more important than any other marketing content an organization can create. 

Let’s take a closer look at the Ogilvy study. Here are a few key bullet points.

  • Reporters consume most of their news via social media (50%), traditional newspapers (20%) and newswires (18%).
  • Reporters believe that earned and paid media (55%) are the most influential medium for driving purchase decisions followed by social media updates and marketing (45%) content.
  • Based on their experience, reporters overwhelmingly trust editorial coverage (72%) vs. company content (27%).

Now let’s look at the Nielsen Inpowered Trust Survey released in 2014:

What is the impact of content types on purchase consideration, affinity and familiarity? In each of these instances, it was expert content that moved people into the marketing funnel the furthest. Why? Trust.  More than 60% of respondents said they were less likely to trust brand-created content due to perceived biases vs. editorial coverage, which was seen as content created by impartial writers.

If editorial coverage generates higher trust, stronger brand recognition and product alignment, why are companies continuing to eschew public relations for marketing?

In many cases, it comes down to attribution. While the impact of one’s marketing programs can be measured from start to finish, the impact of editorial coverage is harder to track. We cannot (yet!) read minds to see exactly how much this content swayed a potential customer.  But there are a few things PR professionals can do to better showcase the ROI they are generating.

4 Easy Ways to Increase the ROI of Public Relations

  1. Promote the editorial coverage you secure:  If editorial coverage is the most trusted content you can generate, you must take ownership of sharing this content out. Create a news amplification program that includes heavy, scheduled social shares (15 times or more per coverage piece), employee advocacy (write social support messages and share these with your coworkers), coverage seeding and more. The more visible your coverage pieces, the faster you will move audiences in and through your funnel. And as an added bonus, by driving traffic to media sites, you are helping the reporter meet their number one metric – story views.
  2. Take credit for your work:  Include URL builders and/or UTM links into your news releases and news conversations.  These snippets of code will allow you to track the impact of the traffic generated from these pieces. Keep in mind, this will only provide you a snapshot of all inbound traffic you initiated but it is enough to show if you are bringing new prospects to the table, moving people through your marketing funnel or if your piece connects directly with a desired action or sale.
  3. Ask for the link:  Ask reporters to include a link (that contains a code snippet) to your website in their coverage.  Many media outlets will resist doing this as they view this as a form of free advertising, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Then you can connect the inbound traffic directly to the publication, providing you insights into whether or not you are pitching the right outlets to achieve your company goals.
  4. Go local! Use the news release data provided to identify the geo-resonance of your news and support the markets with high conversation rates via additional pitching, targeted sales efforts and online/social localized advertising.

With editorial coverage continuing to maintain its high position within the sales and marketing funnel, there is no reason PR budgets should be reduced in 2017.  Want to learn more about tracking the ROI of your public relations program so you can truly take the credit (and budget) you deserve? Let us know; we would love to show you how easy it can be. 

A Visual Look Back at The #dataviz From This Year's “Woodstock of Capitalism”

Text and photos by Paul J.F. Bowman, Senior Editor at Business Wire

When it came to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, the Q&A sessions with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger dominated the news cycle. Lesser known was the meeting’s accompanying expo: a trade show of companies in which Berkshire Hathaway holds a significant stake. As a Berkshire Hathaway company, Business Wire was afforded a booth at the event. Other Berkshire displays included a giant GEICO Gecko, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a Clayton Homes prefabricated house, and a Challenger 650 NetJets plane cabin. While all of that was entertaining and impressive, what was especially awe inspiring was the addition and prominence of data visualization throughout the 2016 event.

As a thought leader, Business Wire regularly advocates the importance of multimedia in today's communications. We even went as far as proclaiming that visual journalism should just be called journalism. What better way to practice what we preach than to take a look back at the wide range of #dataviz displayed at one of this years biggest events, visually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directly inside of the expo, three 20’-by-10’ infoposters detailed the current state of Berkshire Hathaway resources. These towered over attendees as they entered the main floor. The displays were a graphical “State of the Company” address: informative, visually interesting, and detailed Berkshire’s various assets clearly. Separating the information into parts allowed visitors to find specific resources and geographies quickly. It makes sense to highlight your foremost data at conferences and trade shows; data visualization is an exceptionally efficient way to self-promote without unnecessarily repeating information. Additionally, our brains process images quicker than text—60,000 times faster according to The SAGE Handbook of Political Communication—and multimedia increases the likelihood of information comprehension from your audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating infoposters can be costly, but keeping current or potential investors interested and confident in your company is priceless. Hiring a top graphic designer to create these images is unnecessary; the posters need to be more intelligible than flashy. Essentially, data visualization does not need to be elaborate to be impactful. For example, layering too many graphics above or below each other will only complicate reading—not to mention updating—the graphic(s). Convoluting the image(s) may distract from your primary goals: presenting and enhancing understanding of data while keeping the reader’s attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were other tall stands with infoposters from Berkshire Hathaway companies throughout the venue. They maintained formality and consistency while presenting data from a range of industries. Whether organizing or presenting at a trade show/conference, consider asking your graphic design team to create infographics/posters with congruency to the show’s design and palette. You may even be able to obtain the specific font types and stock graphics from the organizer of your event ahead of time. For example, these posters use a standard format (fonts, colors, icons) while their logos, products and highlighted data are very different:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most prominent data visualization highlight was the BNSF booth. Behind their elaborate model train display, audiences watched what could be a future component to earnings calls: an infographic-type video looping on the booth’s backdrop included data of total track length, asset totals, sustainability, carbon emissions and other notable statistics for both consumers and investors. Imagine an earnings conference call that kicks off with an impactful video equivalent to bulleted financial highlights!

Watch the BNSF video 

While viewing the video, consider how your company could make its own version. BNSF’s digital 2015 Annual Review, the inspiration for the backdrop video, is definitely worth a view as well.


(A special thanks to the BNSF Corporate Communications team for uploading the backdrop video solely for this piece!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Wire is a strong proponent of data visualization and other multimedia; news releases with photos and videos receive up to five times as many views. Take a quick look at the type of multimedia releases being issued using Business Wire’s services

To learn a great deal more about the expanding intersection of text, images and video in modern news distribution, download our free Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release white paper.

You can also watch the Yahoo Finance webcast of the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in its entirety (7 hours, 10 minutes).

Keep the data visualization coming!

 

Six Simple Steps to Switch Your IR Site

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Many companies are rapidly performing due diligence to find an IR site hosting partner. If you’re one of these companies and you worry about your IR site – don’t. Review the six simple steps we’ve laid out below, and let Business Wire, and the InvestorHQ platform, guide you through the entire process. 

  1. Schedule Launch
  2. Transfer Content
  3. Choose Categories
  4. Select Navigation
  5. Match design
  6. Go Mobile

These steps will help you understand what is involved so that your IR site can be converted quickly and cleanly.

1.       Schedule Launch

Anytime you begin a new project, you should visualize the desired end result first, and lay out a structured plan to achieve that outcome. Once we have established your required launch date, Business Wire will provide that plan, including a timeline featuring milestone dates that help us meet the deadline. If your corporate site is in the process of being redesigned, the redesign stage will also be incorporated into the timeline.

During this time, you will be trained on the easy-to-use content management system, and advised on best practices for important areas that span a variety of levels. Consultation will encompass the time zone of your IR site so dates and times post accurately, how your site will display in each of the latest web browsers, the importing of your contact database for email distribution, and the security of your content with access levels for individual site administrators.

2.       Transfer Content

Depending upon how long your company has been in business, you may or may not have a lot of content residing within your current IR site. All you need to do is let your assigned Business Wire HQ Specialist know which content you want to keep and where you want it located within the new site. Your HQ Specialist will physically move the content for you, expediting the launch of your IR site. If you are creating new content for new features and sections within Business Wire InvestorHQ, just send the content to your HQ Specialist for set up.

Not only will all future press releases distributed over Business Wire post automatically into the IR site, but more importantly, the releases will post directly. The distribution of Business Wire press releases and the Business Wire InvestorHQ Investor Center remain within the Business Wire framework, eliminating the need for a third-party wire release aggregator and decreasing the potential of a lost or delayed press release. There are cost-savings, workflow efficiencies and security inherent to using one partner for both services.

3.       Choose Categories

Content should be categorized so that it is readily accessible for site visitors. Not only should press releases be available by date, but also by topic or subject matter.  For example, note that CKE Restaurants (http://investor.ckr.com) created categories entitled “Financial Releases,” “CKE,” “Carl’s Jr.,” and “Hardees,” so that their press releases are organized by parent company and brand, yet still allow investors and analysts to locate and access financial releases quickly.

Events and presentations should also be categorized even as commonly as “Past Events” and “Future Events,” as displayed on the W.R. Grace investor center (http://investor.ckr.com/) when future dates are available. If your company has multiple events, you may consider fine-tuning with classifications like “Webcasts,” “Board Meeting,” “Analyst Day,” or “Press Conference.”

4.       Select Navigation

There are certain types of content, including Analyst Coverage, Stock Charts, SEC Filings, Executive Biographies and additional Corporate Governance documents that should be available within every investor center. Your navigation structure should reflect those content types, and your HQ Specialist will present each of these content types to you and order the navigation in a pattern that best suits your company’s needs.

5.       Match Design

Site visitors need to be able to visually trust that the IR site contains official company data. This is done by following the same fonts, colors, spacing and other design elements that reflect the identity of the corporation. It can also be done by using the company’s domain name within the uniform resource locator (URL) similar to http://investor.chemtura.com or http://ir.standex.com, as well as linking to the IR site from an “Investor Relations” navigation button located on the corporate site. We recommend that the investor center follow the same design as the corporate site, positioning all branding available, even down to the “From” identifier on email alerts and broadcasts.

6.       Go Mobile

As mobile usage increases dramatically, it is imperative that sites are easily accessible by a mobile audience. Business Wire offers mobile-optimized IR websites that are legible when accessed by smartphones and tablets of varying screen sizes.

When it comes to news distribution, hosting and consumption, it is worth noting that Business Wire has been around for more than 53 years and provides a multitude of financial disclosure services. Partner with Business Wire and stop worrying about your IR site.

For more information on the “must-haves” and “should-haves” for an IR site, we suggest reading: IR Sites: A Guide to Requirements and Best Practices white paper.

 

 

 

Hungarian Media Today: Q&A with László Dobos

By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist

To understand what is going on in Hungary, we spoke with László Dobos (pictured below, photo taken by Daniel Blaser), a Hungarian journalist who currently lives in Germany and works as a freelancer for the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine, and other publications. He tells us how he sees the media market in his native country and also has some tips how to reach Hungarian journalists.

How did the move to digital media change the Hungarian media landscape?

The move to digital media had both positive and negative effects on the media landscape. Overall, I think there have been more positive changes. The Internet offers journalists the possibility to create and distribute journalistic content at a low price. The Internet allowed the start of a lot of independent, creative journalistic projects in Hungary. Hungarian entrepreneurs quickly discovered the possibilities and started news portals that became profitable. Most notable in this regard is Index.hu that has been in operation since the late 1990s and now is a well-established and trusted media brand. It offers some of the best investigative journalism in Hungary.

News portals play in Hungary a greater role than in most Western countries. Since in the communist era media was completely state-controlled, many Hungarians regarded printed newspapers with mistrust. A habit of reading newspapers did not develop, yet people were interested in news. Online media filled this void. The internet also allows journalistic projects to raise funds for themselves more easily. The highly active investigative journalism portal Atlatszo.hu relies to a great extent on crowd-funding.

On the downside, the rise of the Internet put printed newspapers under financial pressure, as the number of readers and advertisement revenues declined.

 

What sources do journalists usually use to access information?

Journalists in Hungary use in general the same sources as in other European countries. However, there is a tendency towards working solely at the desk. Newspapers publish more press releases, agency material and opinion pieces than Western counterparts. This is probably due to the lack of money which does not allow for extensive research. The same applies for radio and TV stations. You hear and see a lot more studio talk in Hungary than in Western countries. Extensively researched features where radio and camera teams have to travel to remote locations in the country or even abroad are much rarer than in Western media.

Hungarian journalists quote extensively from other media in their own journalistic work. It is worth noting that purely Internet-based portals like Index.hu enjoy a high reputation and are among the most quoted.

 

Do you have any tips for people who would like to reach journalists in Hungary?

I think they value it a lot if you are willing to listen to them and make an effort to understand the circumstances they are in.   

 

Learn more about Business Wire's circuits with geographic targeting from local to global.     

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

 

 

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.  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.

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