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

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.

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.

If you would like to learn more about Business Wire’s international distribution and targeting services read here

 

Mastering the Press Release: A Lesson from Nintendo

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

Over half a million views in a single day is no easy feat. A news release from Nintendo accomplished just that, setting all kinds of records, and every communications pro should take note of the basic reasons that led to such an achievement.

Before the digital revolution, a hero was born by the name of Mario, and this hero had a nemesis named Bowser. Bowser started off as a Koopa King who breathed fire, but much has changed. There is a new Koopa King and Nintendo of America announced it via a Business Wire distributed news release: Doug Bowser was named as the new vice president of sales in America. Clearly the two Bowsers are not one and the same, but the irony was not lost on Golin, the PR agency handling Nintendo’s communication management. They identified and utilized the humorous angle that presented itself and converted it to incredible visibility for the Nintendo brand. Over 500,000 views, including over half a million views alone of just Doug Bowser’s photograph, made this an industry defining news release.

Especially significant is that 60% of the traffic stemmed from social media. People actively shared for this content, driving awareness through the roof. Doug Bowser became a star and Nintendo could be seen almost everywhere online. The press release showed how powerful of a communication tool it can be.

Journalists, media professionals, news consumers, they are all eager for interesting and relevant content. Golin found a way to satisfy their target market’s needs by understanding the basic elements of a release. What could have been a regular announcement about a new hire was 

instead turned into a story. The story was about the irony of a company hiring a man who shares his name with a notorious character the company is known for. The headline didn’t read Doug Bowser as New VP of Sales.

The decision to omit Doug (pictured right) was a conscious one aimed at waking the reader up by tapping into their sense of humor. The announcement was professionally written but maintained a lightness, playing on the intended readers’ nostalgia and lingering interest. The release included multimedia, both Nintendo’s logo as well as a crisp headshot of Doug Bowser. Readers could see what a real life Bowser looks like, and they did, over half a million times.

Nintendo set a precedent with this release but it doesn’t mean other companies need to start developing video game characters then hiring employees with the same names. The lesson learned here is that every release has a story and the process of writing an announcement needs to start with identifying a story that can grab the reader’s attention. That story is your company’s story and if it connects with readers, it will be shared and reshared all over the internet.

If Bowser can be VP of sales at Nintendo, maybe the team behind Game of Thrones can find a Jon Snow to direct the season finale.

The Nintendo release had significant coverage on mainstream media. Some examples include:

To learn more about news release distribution and how Business Wire can amplify your message read here: https://services.businesswire.com/press-release-distribution

 

Remembering Earth Day’s Impact on the Private Sector

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

Recognizing environmental degradation and climate change as urgent issues, individuals, companies, philanthropic organizations and governments came together on April 22 to advance global awareness of environmental concerns. Some planted trees, others participated in community cleanups, and still more attended festivals and other celebrations, all to honor the latest installment of Earth Day – observed annually since 1970. Many Business Wire clients announced new initiatives, aligning them with both the mission of Earth Day and their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. Also significant was the signing ceremony for the Paris Climate Agreement, during which 174 countries, including the United States, participated in the largely symbolic action.

The private sector has embraced Earth Day, and it’s not just for the potential public relations benefits.

Much has changed since the original Earth Day celebration nearly half a century ago. This is especially true of the business community’s involvement in, and support for, not only Earth Day, but, furthermore, making sustainability a central focus of investors, consumers and other stakeholders. The private sector’s participation is among the key reasons Earth Day has expanded from a celebration by 20 million people in 1970, into the largest annual secular event it is today.  This year’s event was no different, as thousands of companies, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, announced sustainability ventures and environmental projects.

CA Technologies was among the U.S. businesses taking an active role in growing global support for environmental protection. The New York-based, Nasdaq-listed company kicked off on April 18 its annual CA Together in Action campaign, a five-day program, ending on Earth Day, during which employees contribute to environmentally-focused initiatives. These endeavors included aiding food banks, building affordable housing and promoting the expansion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

For some companies, the best avenue to facilitate environmental awareness was to partner with nonprofit organizations. This year, Time Warner Cable (TWC) joined the Imagination Foundation in launching the 2016 Earth Day Cardboard Challenge. The contest called for children of all ages to “repurpose cardboard and other recyclables to develop innovative and creative solutions that address environmental themes and issues.” A national campaign, TWC hosted local Earth Day Cardboard Challenge events across the U.S.

Earth Day isn’t only for those companies that celebrate the annual event through launching or participating in an environmental initiative. Other businesses chose instead to increase awareness of environmental concerns by publishing sustainability reports or introducing new products. KB Home, Craft Brew Alliance and Alter Eco, for example, issued sustainability reports, documenting the environmental and social impacts produced by their respective enterprises. The reports provide details regarding a range of data points, such as carbon emissions, water usage, community involvement, supply chain sustainability and other topics.

Financial services leader BlackRock demonstrated its high regard for environmental protection with its introduction of the iShares Sustainable MSCI Global Impact ETF, launched on Earth Day. The fund, an addition to BlackRock’s suite of socially responsible exchange-traded funds (ETF), will give investors an opportunity to “gain exposure to companies that have a record of positive environmental and social impact,” BlackRock’s Martin Small said in a press release.

The majority of these Earth Day initiatives align with each company’s sustainability and CSR objectives. As most businesses now recognize, it’s not sufficient to only publish CSR reports and, occasionally, give back to their communities via environmental and philanthropic programs. Constructive CSR is about companies integrating sustainable, eco-conscious and socially responsible business practices with their core products and services. And, as most forward-thinking corporations can attest, CSR isn’t just socially good, it’s financially beneficial, too.

To view a full list of our clients’ Earth Day announcements, check out this list on our website.

This Earth Day was unique, as the world’s leading nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement.

In addition to Earth Day events throughout the world, Friday also marked the first time countries could sign the Paris climate deal, developed and agreed upon during COP21 in December of 2015. The initial step among many, 174 nations and the European Union partook in the highly publicized event at United Nations headquarters in New York. The historic climate pact will undoubtedly have an immense impact on businesses, and the regulatory environments in which they operate. The agreement, however, won’t enter into force until 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions formally ratify the deal. This process could last many months, as it involves each signing nation, pursuant to the domestic laws of their respective governments, gaining final approval to join the U.N. climate agreement.

Between the signing of the Paris climate deal and the countless actions organized by businesses, nonprofits and governments, Earth Day 2016 was indeed a success. But while these commitments to environmental protection, and to mitigating the impacts of climate change, are a positive step toward more sustainable business, there is still much work to be done.

To learn more about Business Wire’s Corporate Social Responsibility distribution option, please click here.

Follow us on Twitter: @BWCSRNews

 

NewsHQ Basic: Your News, Delivered to Your Website

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

The Business Wire reputation is well known: releases distributed via our patented network can simultaneously reach multiple news organizations and key markets, while landing a coveted spot on BusinessWire.com. Those same news releases can also post directly and automatically to your company’s website with NewsHQ Basic.

NewsHQ Basic is a central location where all of your company’s Business Wire-issued press releases are organized and made available to the public.

Take advantage of NewsHQ Basic with either a) a “dressed” microsite designed to match the look and feel of your organization's website, or b) a full text XML feed to be integrated into your existing website.

Benefits of a microsite:

  • Archive of Business Wire-distributed press releases
  • Simultaneous, automatic direct posting of press releases
  • Formatted press releases (multimedia, quotes, links, bullet points)
  • Designed to match the look and feel of your organization’s website
  • Inclusion of main navigation from company website
  • Six external navigation links
  • Business Wire-hosted

Benefits of a full-text XML feed:

  • Archive of Business Wire-distributed press releases
  • Simultaneous, automatic and direct posting of press releases
  • URL access provided to your technical team
  • Design is not required for the full-text XML feed
  • A link to multimedia on the Business Wire site is provided
  • Business Wire-hosted

Need more than a feed of your Business Wire-issued press releases? Business Wire also offers full online newsrooms, along with a content management system (CMS) to give your team the flexibility to add key content on your schedule.

On May 17, 2016, learn more about online newsrooms from the person who knows them best, Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s Vice President of Web Communications Services. Register for her presentation, Strengthening Branded Online Newsrooms, and start turning your content into a valuable resource.

Learn how to:

Identify and view examples of each of the Top 5 types of content most desired by media.

Enhance a digital newsroom, strengthen SEO and solidify thought leadership within the industry. 

Use online newsroom resources and features such as email alerts, email broadcasts, the Dark Site crisis module and more. 

Register here: http://www.prsa.org/Learning/Calendar/display/7059/Strengthening_Branded_Online_Newsrooms#.VyeClHarTct

Ibrey Woodall is Vice President of Web Communications Services at Business Wire, where she is responsible for its NewsHQ Online Newsroom service. She has launched online newsrooms for 3M, Aetna, Bank of America, Heinz, Krispy Kreme, Office Depot, Procter & Gamble, Ryder System, Staples, Virgin Mobile and more.

Click here to read more about NewsHQ Basic and our suite of website services. 

How to Measure the ROI or Impact of a News Release in 2016

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

Almost every day, clients ask our teams how to determine the return of investment when it comes to news distribution services.  Thanks to better monitoring and tracking services, tracking the true ROI of a news release has never been easier. Not every news release may be accountable for immediate conversion or sales, but there is no denying its impact in the promotion of the news and content relevant to each organization’s core audiences.

Defining ROI: ROI is simply one’s return on investment or the overall cost of the creation and distribution of your news release vs the financial impact of this outreach within the company’s goals.

News releases are documents written to activate audiences.  These audiences, defined by PR, IR, marketing and management teams, include customers, prospects, stockholders, employees, brand fans, industry experts and other stakeholders.

Smart teams build customer journey maps for each audience that outline the desired outcome for each step of the decision process. Many take it a step further by assigning a dollar value to each customer (referred to as the customer’s lifetime value or LTV).  Journey maps help communicators identify content positioning, while distribution vehicles and assets maximize each piece of content’s overall impact.

Distributing Your Content: Before determining content and news distribution options, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the goal of the news you are sharing out?  Are you alerting media to new products, or showcasing thought leadership with white papers and infographics?
  • What is the expected outcome of this news or content?
  • What audience can share this news out to drive the highest impact on your goals?
  • What audience reactions affect this outcome?
  • What assets are you including to increase ROI?
  • Increasing awareness with coverage?
  • Driving action with inbound traffic?
  • Driving advocacy with social sharing?
  • What distribution options provide both highly targeted and wide visibility?
  • What sharing options do I need to include to increase impact?
  • How can I track ROI

How it Works: Let’s assume the news you are sharing promotes a white paper, video or other piece of content to increase awareness within core audiences and move them into and through your marketing and sales funnel.  How would you distribute this content in a holistic manner that drives meaningful action?

Writing Your Release: The first step is to write a well written release. There are many great examples of how to do this, such as this: https://services.businesswire.com/web/portal/press-release-optimization.

Using Your OWN Channels: Every company already has brand fans!  Alerting these existing audiences of new content is a terrific way to increase impact.  Place your news release and assets within your corporate newsroom, on your blog and across social channels. Distribute the news directly through email mailing lists, including social share buttons to jump start social sharing.

The Power of Paid: While placing your content on your own channels is a no brainer, this tactic alone most likely will not provide the visibility needed to reach your goals.  This is the time to consider paid promotion.  For years, PR professionals have been leveraging paid channels to increase impact and visibility of all kinds of news. And for good reason. To this day, even now in 2016, commercial newswires provide the best ROI when it comes to news distribution. To ensure the highest possible return on investment for your press release, take a close look at your news distribution options.

  • First, determine what geographic region does your news impact? Where are your decision makers located? Are they in specific parts of the country or world?
  • Next, get granular with industry and vertical market reach. Did you write the news release to inform investors, impact IT decision makers, or activate today’s increasingly powerful Hispanic purchasers?
  • Then, understand that to drive meaningful impact, today’s news releases and content must include multimedia. With thousands of news, stories distributed each day, and fewer reporters than ever, the inclusion of an asset may be the key differentiator separating your news from that of your competitors.
  • Finally, consider promoting your content with paid advertising.  One popular way PR pros are increasing the impact of coverage is by placing them within native advertising blocs such as dlvr.it (included in your Business Wire distribution).

EARNED Media Increases Results Significantly: Even the most interesting stories may never reach interested readers and reporters without outreach. Once your news is live and your content is available, reach out to leading reporters and identified industry influencers to discuss coverage focus that engages their audiences and yours. Repeated studies show that coverage has a direct impact on moving audiences into marketing and sales funnels.

To increase the success of your outreach efforts, focus your pitch on the impact your content will have on their readers, and do not forget to reference or include multimedia assets. Consider the impact that News and Picture Capsules have in amplifying your message. Today’s most successful online stories include supplemental photo essays and statistical videos.

SHARING Your Coverage: Nothing moves audiences in and through the marketing funnel better than recommendations, referrals or shares of smart, interesting news by friends and family.  Not only should you share out coverage you receive, you should make it easy for your audiences to share your information as well.  Include calls to actions directly within your news release to simplify sharing by content readers.

MEASURING Your Success: There are several ways to measure the success of this kind of PR program.  One of the easiest things you can do is look at the metrics reports created by each distribution platform.  Most news release measurement metrics, such as the ones below, focus on overall views and generated actions.

Coverage: The first and oldest metric of PR has been the amount of coverage your news and content generated, the placement (and its impact on core audiences), length of article, assets included, message permeation and more.

Visibility: The second step in measuring the impact of the press release is wide awareness of news.  How broadly was the news shared, who shared it and which audiences impacted the marketing funnel the most–was it editorial coverage? Influencer shares of that coverage? Did employee sharing increase word-of-mouth marketing? Did the multimedia assets you included increase impact?

Geo-Impact: Another terrific metric available to PR professionals is the ability to see what regions, locally and globally, the news resonated within. This data can be acted upon immediately by continuing the discussion with paid advertising or a concentrated sales effort, allowing sales teams to strike while the conversational iron is hot!

Social Shares: When tracking social impact, first look at the number of influencers talking about your news, and the number of overall news shares.  Social sharing analysis should also look at message adoption and associated hashtags usage.

Inbound Traffic: Measuring inbound traffic is easy!  Simply add a URL Builder or extension to any URL within your press release that drives traffic back to your website (create this as a hyperlink).  Then, once someone clicks those links, you can track their actions within your website.

Of course, not all media outlets will include hyperlinks to your website, so it is key to note that this will only be a snapshot of the traffic driven in. It is key to look at all increases in followers, or inbound traffic that occurs during the news cycle to get a more accurate look at the traffic you generated.

Owned Channel Registrations: Include links to join your other owned channels including following social channels or signing up for a newsletter.  This enables interested parties to take the first step in creating a relationship with your organization.

As you can see from the above, there is a very real place for the news release, and news release distribution platforms in today’s news and content distribution services. Now, with a few easy additions, communication professionals can highlight their significance quickly and easily.

So what do you think? Do you agree with this program? Is this something you could and would implement?

To learn about the impact Business Wire can have on your ROI check out this informative webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/860557338972742657

 

Business Wire Heads to the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

The Business Wire team is heading to Omaha for the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. It’s Business Wire’s 10th year as a Berkshire Hathaway company and 9th year attending the event. With News and Picture Capsules, the Market Impact Report, and the latest, BizWireTV, each year gets better and better!

As always, we’ll be selling a great item at our booth to support an incredible cause. For 2016, Business Wire will feature a Berkshire Hathaway stainless steel tumbler, available for $10 each.

All proceeds are donated to CASA for Douglas County, Nebraska (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a charitable organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children within the court system through the use of trained citizen volunteers. Each year, Business Wire contributes $5,000 towards the effort and covers all costs for the promotional items.

Thanks to the generous shareholders who will be attending this year, we hope to double the amount we raised last year, all while having a lot of laughs, learning, and meeting some great people

So if you happen to be in Omaha this weekend, stop by the Business Wire booth and say "hi," buy a tumbler and support a great cause!

Click here to share this news on Twitter: http://ctt.ec/H1Bsu

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today's communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

IR Professionals, Institutional Investors and their Opposite Views on Social Media

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

Investor relations professionals and institutional investors have long been in a catch-22 scenario regarding social media. Though each side was curious in using social channels to engage their counterpart, both exhibited hesitation, hoping the other party would kick off using it as a business medium. In NIRI’s 2016 Social Media for Investor Relations Survey, the majority of survey respondent Investor Relations (IR) professionals (72 percent) noted that they did not use social media for work functions, a two-percent decrease compared to NIRI’s 2013 study. When asked why they aren’t tweeting, blogging or posting on Facebook, IR professionals said it was primarily due to “lack of interest in the medium by the investment community.” And for those few IR teams that are using social media, very few were utilizing metrics to review the performance of their efforts.

So from an IR perspective, is social media dead? While the pulse is shallow, there are some signs of life.

There are certainly some IR teams that have become more comfortable using social media, for personal and professional functions. Social platforms allow them to interact with existing and prospective investors and analysts, control messaging, and increase traffic to companies’ corporate websites. It also serves as a tool for crisis communications, providing a real-time method for communicating with all their various audiences and stakeholders in the social media space.

According to BNY Mellon’s 2015 survey of global IR trends, 30 percent of public companies (54 percent of mega caps) use social media for IR purposes, up from just nine percent in 2010. Some forward-thinking companies are already engaging the investment community in the social realm.

Zillow Group Inc., an online real estate database business, is one example of a public enterprise using social media for IR purposes. In addition to distributing its earnings releases via the traditional medium – a wire service – the company uses live tweets and infographics to increase the overall awareness and reach of its news during earnings calls. Zillow has always been at the forefront of social media, so when the SEC announced new rules for disclosing material information via social means, the company took the leap. Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, said in an email to The Street, "Zillow was an early adopter of social media, and for me personally, Twitter is a preferred method of communication. It made sense for us to expand our strategy to begin connecting even more with the investor community via Twitter, Facebook and our blog…”

Juniper Networks, with its multi-featured investor relations website and IR-focused Twitter account, is another example of a public company leveraging social media, in addition to traditional mediums, to publish material content. Juniper’s IR team regularly posts relevant messages on their Twitter feed, @Juniper_IR, including the announcement of their new IR website, links to webcast presentations and live updates of their earnings call.

The role of social media is slowly changing, institutional investors say.

In April 2015, Greenwich Associates released a report titled Institutional Investing in the Digital Age: How Social Media Informs and Shapes the Investing Process. The report questioned 256 corporate and public pension funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations in the U.S., Europe and Asia (Portfolio size ranged from less than $250 million to more than $10 billion in assets).

The study revealed that contrary to popular opinion, institutional investors rely heavily on social media, alongside traditional media channels, when making investment decisions - nearly 80% of institutional investors use social media as part of their regular activities. Of respondents who leverage social channels for business, 30% reported that material gathered using social media had influenced their investment decisions. Additionally, 37% had informed their company’s decision-makers of information obtained on social media. This is huge news for IR teams who continue to adhere to the outdated idea that institutional investors have no interest or no usage of social for work purposes.

So which platforms are institutional investors using? At 52%, LinkedIn topped the list as the most used social platform with Facebook and Twitter closely behind. 

“These results show that social media is influencing decisions that can result in the allocations of billions of investment dollars around the world,” the study’s author Dan Connell, Head of Market Structure and Technology at Greenwich Associates, said 

in a statement.

“With approximately 40% of the institutions globally expecting to increase their use of social media in the coming year, we’re projecting a further, rapid increase of social media influence in institutional investment markets.”

The future of social media: Divergent views

It’s evident that investor relations professionals and institutional investors view social media from very different perspectives. IR teams see a medium that is generally not utilized by their constituents, with little overall value to their communication efforts. Alternatively, institutional investors are following online accounts and blogs of public companies at a growing rate, using social media to assist in shaping their investment decisions.

These opposing attitudes are the foremost impediment to widespread adoption, and to both sides achieving the quantifiable, bilateral benefits that social platforms can deliver. Gaining an advantage from social media, IR teams and investors should understand, is only attainable if both sides are committed to deriving value from these modern, online communication tools.

 

For IROs, this means abandoning their perception that institutional investment professionals have no interest in IR-specific social content. The Greenwich Associates study revealed that most institutional investors use these tools, yet IR teams, according to the NIRI survey, say sell and buy-side analysts rarely demonstrate interest in engaging via social media. These conflicting views confirm a disconnect in communication between the two, and fosters on both sides misconceptions regarding one another’s interest in social interaction.

The path to widespread adoption of social media among IR teams and institutional investors has been a long one, but it appears both have begun to grasp the truth: For public companies and investors to gain value from social platforms, each side must consider the necessities of the other.

Interested in learning more about how you can leverage social media to reach and activate your investor relations audiences? Read this free guide on the 12 Benefits and Risks of Social Media for Financial Disclosure.

 

The Role of Pinterest in Your News Release

(Image above from left to right: Sean O’Neal President of Adaptly, Michael Akkerman the Head of Marketing Developer partnerships at Pinterest, and Brian Magida, Director of Digital Marketing at Warby Parker)

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist at Business Wire

 

Using social media platforms to tell your story is one of today’s best and most crucial tools for communications professionals in order to be part of a 24/7 global conversation. Now more than ever it is imperative to take advantage of the social features that are at your disposal. Every Business Wire press release that is distributed is ready for sharing on the top social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest. When an article, multimedia, or release is pinned on Pinterest, it lands on a platform that is quickly becoming known as a “conversion machine.” 

Pinterest has more than 100 million users who have contributed over 50 billion images, or “pins,” so it comes as no surprise that Pinterest has become one of the highest sources of conversions and traffic for e-commerce businesses.

The platform allows users to curate virtual boards that show the world who they want to be and how they want to be perceived, but also helps assist pinners in planning for the future. Pinterest’s Michael Akkerman, Head of Marketing Developer Partnerships, states it best, “Pinterest is a future planning mechanism and a catalogue of ideas. Users curate what their nirvana is and retailers have the opportunity to play and win in that story.”

Last month, Social Media Week-NY hosted a panel discussion, “Pinterest: From Inspiration to Conversion,” which offered tips, strategies and previewed the future of the platform. The panel, moderated by Adaptly President, Sean O'Neal, featured Akkerman and Warby Parker's Digital Marketing Director, Brian Magida. Here are the key takeaways for brands:

 

KNOW THE MINDSET OF A PINNER

There are more mobile conversions through Pinterest than any other channel. Why? It's the purpose and reason users are there. Unlike Facebook and Instagram—where users are on the platform to view and interact with their friends and family—Pinterest is primarily used to engage with brands directly.

A typical pinner’s path is to “discover, save, and do.” When a user signs onto the site to plan for the future, consumers are in what Akkerman refers to as the “consideration phase.” Whether pinners are planning a wedding, baby shower, DIY project, or simply researching recipes for dinner that night, pinners are more open to trying new things, making it is easier for brands to drive action.

“The fact that users are searching and discovering more content is indicative of the platform,” said Michael Akkerman. During this “consideration phase,” Akkerman also noted that 72% of pinners say they find new brands on Pinterest that they wouldn't have found otherwise in their online searches. This provides ample opportunity for smaller companies and brands seeking to increase online visibility and engagement.

 

SERVE RELEVANT CONTENT

The key to connecting with consumers is to focus on serving relevant content and to understand the planning cycle. Pinterest is largely a mobile-first app with a staggering 89% of pinners interacting with the site on a mobile device, as expressed by Akkerman. The good news is that Pinners are ready for action. According to Akkerman, 9/10 users that click on a pin and visit the brand’s website, convert that day. Consumers use Pinterest to find items to purchase, it’s what they are there for.

SEO marketing is certainly not a thing of the past as it still adds up to around 60% of search results, however, a large portion of pinners have replaced search engines.

Adaptly President Sean O’Neal argues that the old way of marketing was to look at platforms as solely social media channels. Instead, brands need to see the bigger picture and understand that similar to search engines, these platforms can help brands achieve many, if not all marketing goals. 

 

PROVIDE COMPELLING IMAGERY

Earned media plays a huge role on Pinterest because organic and paid content offer the same value to pinners. 75% of the 50 billion pins currently on the platform come from brands directly. This includes brands posting on Pinterest or users pinning from the brand’s website. Each pin lives on the website forever regardless of whether they are organic or paid.

Pinterest is a great tool for marketers to curate content directly to users. Not only does it provide awareness and easy discovery, but it delivers immediate action.  When it comes to press releases on Business Wire, having multimedia in your release encourages users to pin your images and engage directly with your brand. In addition, posting your multimedia to Pinterest with an embeddable URL to your release provides an easy way for users to click directly to your press release and learn more about your product. 


To increase engagement and visibility for your news, check out Business Wire’s Global-Mobile-Social-Measureable features, providing global data, social sharing tools and more.  

The Best Kept Secrets on How to Reach the Media

 

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

On the morning of Friday, April 8th, Business Wire brought together some of the media’s leading journalists and reporters to shed some light on how they find story ideas and leads. A lot was revealed during the conversation and the credit for putting the event together goes to Hannah Herreid, a media relations specialist at Business Wire.

The panel included:

Michael Herzenberg @MHerzenberg

Michael is the General Assignment Reporter for NY1. He joined NY1 as a full-time general assignment reporter in July 2011. Prior to NY1, Herzenberg worked as a national correspondent for CBS News' affiliate feed service. He also spent two years behind the anchor desk and four years as a Legislative and Special Assignment Reporter in Albuquerque, NM, where he covered everything from military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay to forest fires. Michael is an Emmy Award winner and began his TV career behind the camera as a production assistant in New Orleans and as a producer in Baton Rouge. 

 

 

Alyssa Vingan @Alyssavingan

Alyssa is the Editorial Director at Fashionista. She spent her college years in New Orleans before moving to New York where she took her first big-time internship at Fashionista. Since starting out at the site, she's written for Paper, StyleCaster, Marie Claire and Elle.com. Though her first love is fashion, you'll often find her going on about music, models, fitness, and pop culture. 

 

 

Andrew Zimmer @Addzim

Andrew is Time Out New York’s Deputy Editor. He oversees the production and promotion of the magazine and all digital content. Before Time Out, Zimmer was the New York Editor at Thrillist Media Group. He's an experienced eater, researcher, reporter, photographer, editor, and writer. Zimmer puts together food and travel related stories that include things like: where to find the best dumplings at an underground mall in Queens, reporting on New York City's secret supper club scene, and basically exploring and eating everything he can. 

 

 

 

The Secrets

It’s a digital world: mailing in media/press kits is no longer the best way to reach a journalist or reporter. It’s a digital world and the best way to communicate is via digital avenues. If the goal result is media coverage, the recommended method for reaching out is with a USB, digital copy, or email. Hard or print copies might be great for building a relationship but aren’t very useful for building a story.

Know when to send: journalists have set schedules that they like to follow (when they decide on a story, when they write a story) so knowing when to send could be the difference between getting lost in a sea of emails or successfully engaging a member of the media. Try to know your contact’s schedule, but a general guideline of when to make your move is between 8am and noon, the earlier the better.

One journalist, one email: make your pitch relatable and personalized. When you copy and paste your release and send out a mass email blast, the perception is that your message is spam. Take the time to know who you’re pitching to, understand the stories they cover and the audiences they reach. Why would your story work for them?

"Do your research and write a subject that is akin to a title I would write." - Alyssa Vingan, Editorial Director at Fashionista

 

 

 

Exclusivity is key: journalists and reporters want to feel like they’re getting the first look at your pitch. They don’t necessarily need to have total exclusivity on the story, they just need to have it before it’s been stuffed into everyone else’s inbox. It’s not news if everyone has access to the same information, and it makes it difficult for a journalist to approach their boss with a “hot new story” if they see the same email in their own inbox.    

Flexibility: Journalists and reporters are responsible for presenting their audiences with what they consider to be an interesting story. They don’t want to work with agencies who want to completely control the whole story because that ignores their role in the process of news making. They want to be able to add their own flair to the piece. Remember to work with the media for best results.  

Use professional avenues: when contacting a journalist or reporter, try to find their email or LinkedIn profile. These are the preferred communication methods and lead to the best results. Each journalist is different so do your research. For instance, some state that reaching out via a Facebook message should be avoided at all costs, while others are more open. If you’re not sure, stick with email or LinkedIn.  

 

 

 

These secrets are no longer secret and should be utilized, especially with your next release. When a release crosses Business Wire’s patented distribution network, it reaches the media points you select through specific targeting, from regional to global, in a number of industries. Now you know what to include and how to reach out to the media. Give them what they want!  

Include multimedia, make the release sharable on social platforms by utilizing all available social features, and remember to reach out to journalists and reporters, letting them know your story with a link to your release.

To learn more about how Business Wire can amplify your message read here and let us make your news.

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