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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 (infographic pictured left), 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:



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.



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. 



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.

America’s Most Trusted Companies Choose Business Wire

By Amirah Bey, Marketing Associate

Your brand’s reputation is more important than ever. It may be easy to get swept up in the exciting advances of modern technology and dismiss reputation as an old-fashioned construct, but that would be a mistake. Reputation is more than a relic leftover from days when elders counselled that “a man’s word is all he has,” and Henry Ford was known for quips like, “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” With social media and search engines that can index in seconds anything ever said or written about your brand, our high-tech, fast-paced modern society has only made a good reputation even tougher to maintain.

For communication and public relations professionals it is the most important thing, as it’s our job to maintain the reputations of our clients. With 80 percent of consumers researching a product before making a purchase, both online and in-store, a brand’s reputation could a halt a customer on their buying journey. These reasons and more are why the Reputation Institute’s U.S. RepTrak® 100 is so significant. The list ranks the most reputable global companies based on more than 83,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016 from members of the U.S. general public.

“The emotional connection that consumers have with a company drives supportive behaviors – ranging from purchasing the company’s products to wanting to work for it,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Vice President and Managing Director of U.S. and Canada at Reputation Institute. “The results of the U.S. RepTrak® 100 tell us which companies are of highest repute, and gives us unique insights into what drives trust and support in the U.S market.”

Half of the brands on this list are Business Wire clients using our services to disseminate press releases. We’re not taking credit for the hard communication work of our clients, but we did want to acknowledge a job well done and discuss what some of these other reputable brands may have in common.

Overall companies with strong corporate brands have better reputations, and part of a compelling brand is an organization’s willingness to be a societal steward. Reputation Institute found that, 6 of the 10 top ranked companies also performed well on their CSR (corporate social responsibility) Index.

It’s important not only that companies invest in constructing an effective CSR program, but that they ensure alignment between their corporate and social values. Business Wire client Samsung was highlighted in Reputation Institute’s report for excelling in CSR with a focus on the environment, supply chain, social values, philanthropy, people and openness. 

Certain brands, due to their status in popular culture were noticeably absent from the list, and the reasons why spoke volumes about the necessity of the work of public relations practitioners.  In one case, excellent scores for products/services, financial performance and innovation, failed to make up for low scores on workplace, governance and especially citizenship.

This can be due to a lack of a corporate narrative. If the general public does not know a brand beyond its products, a sense of mistrust can develop. In order to develop a strong corporate narrative, a brand must be open and expressive in its corporate communication.

To gain the trust of the public and rank high on the list of Reputable Companies an organization should 1) communicate often 2) provide sufficient information and 3) welcome open discussion. Intel, ranked 8th on the list and a quick audit of their recent communication shows they distributed 8 press releases through Business Wire in March alone. Topics of Intel news releases range from award recipients to strategic partnerships so they are certainly providing sufficient information to their audiences.

Communicating often is also key when it comes to an organization’s CSR program. An active CSR program should also include an active effort to inform your audiences of what your brand is doing to be socially responsible. Getting that message to the correct audiences is imperative. Business Wire can segment your target audience not only by geography, industry and demographic, we also have our CSR Circuit that distributes to a) leading CSR magazines and news outlets, b) specialty trade publications covering environmental, educational, finance, consumer, health and philanthropic topics c) top CSR-focused universities. We also wrap up our CSR-related stories in a press release that’s distributed to our global circuit getting our clients the reach they can’t find anywhere else.

Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” As communicators doing things differently means keeping the seven key drivers of reputation (product/services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance) front of mind when composing our brand narratives. Buffett’s words also caution that we be diligent about nurturing this narrative, because in 2016 when it takes seconds to screen capture a Tweet or a LinkedIn post – 5 minutes can be an eternity. 

How to Use Business Wire's New Social Features

Business Wire's New Social Features and How to Use Them from businesswire on Vimeo.

By Vilan Trub, Marketing


The news release is going social with Business Wire’s new social features, a series of tools that amplify your news and promote the sharing of your message over the top social platforms. These features are now available for you to include with your next announcement.

Social media provides a great opportunity for your announcement to be viewed by audiences that engage with and act on the news they consume. According to a study by Pew Research Center, the role of Twitter and Facebook as a resource for news is on the rise. In 2015, 63% of Facebook users "say the platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family." With Business Wire’s new social features you can better reach your audience, and grow your audience, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other top platforms.

New social features include:

  • Live Twitter feed of your choosing.

  • Preselected Tweet this message.

  • Social media profiles.

  • Hashtags and cashtags.

These features enhance your news release, help maximize your exposure and facilitate the sharing of your message. To include them in your next release, fill in your social media information on Business Wire Connect. To learn how, watch the instructional video and start using these great tools with your next release.

To read more about the importance of social media and other enhancements for your news releases click here.


How to Reach Local Markets in the U.S. via TV News Websites

By Vilan Trub, Marketing


Reaching local markets with your news is important for raising visibility and growing your audience. For these reasons, Business Wire offers highly targeted local and regional distribution circuits. We offer our clients a wide range of solutions for reaching readers that will engage with and act on their branded message.

We don’t believe in the status quo, however, and always strive to offer the best amplification tools for the news that crosses our wire. In our quest to continue to expand the distribution of our client's announcements, we have enhanced our tool box of solutions by adding direct posting to over 200 online TV news websites across the U.S. This news comes as a result of a new partnership with Frankly, a technology leader in powering online and mobile television news sites.

Expanding distribution presence in local markets provides access for announcements crossing Business Wire’s network to readers interested in news that affects their communities and their lives. This creates a strong touchpoint influencing the customer’s experience, moving them further along the marketing funnel.  

“This partnership gives our clients additional tools and solutions for amplifying their news. By tapping into local markets via distribution to TV news websites around the country, we add another stream to our patented distribution network and offer our clients greater reach to news-consuming audiences,” said Laura Sturaitis, Business Wire’s Executive Vice President, Media Services & Product Strategy.     

The expanded distribution benefit is available now and comes included as an enhancement to Business Wire’s GMSM (Global Mobile Social and Measurable) amplification feature. When accessing GMSM features, clients will see analytics that provide in-depth data for how audiences are reacting to their news release on the applicable local TV news websites.


A sample of leading local stations in the Frankly network:

Fox 19 NOW in Cincinnati, Ohio

Fox 29 in West Palm Beach, Florida

CBS News 8 in San Diego, California

CBS 5 in Phoenix, Arizona

ABC6 in Providence, Rhode Island

NBC2 in Fort Myers, Florida

Fox Wilmington in Wilmington, North Carolina

ABC57 News in South Bend, Indiana


Frankly, who absorbed WorldNow and their unified media platform, is a great partner for Business Wire and offers a great addition to the solutions we offer our clients.

“We are excited about the new partnership with Business Wire. This highly engaging news content will add to the user’s experience on our local TV news station sites and drive additional visibility for Business Wire’s news releases,” said Lou Schwartz, COO, Frankly.


To learn more about Business Wire’s geographic targeting solutions click here

The National Press Club Presents: Multimedia Press Releases and Other Visual News Trends

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


Earlier this month, National Press Club Broadcast committee member Adam Konowe and I sat down to discuss the steps PR professionals must take to generate significant ROI in a cluttered news environment.


Click here to listen to the discussion via podcast:  http://www.press.org/news-multimedia/audio/multimedia-press-releases-and-other-visual-news-trends


  • When did Business Wire begin distributing press releases and what did the early days of news distribution look like?

Business Wire was founded in 1961. In those days, corporate news releases and newswires were primarily for the purposes of disclosure with couriers distributing releases to the financial news wires. Business Wire's founder Lorry Lokey replaced this process by utilizing simultaneous satellite delivery share news to press releases directly into editorial systems. 

  • At what point did visuals, initially photos, become common?

Multimedia has been a staple in the news industry for well over 100 years, but they started becoming the norm in news releases in the early 90s. That is when Business Wire launched the Smart News Release, which was the first time a newswire service was able to transmit multimedia embedded into a news release over the Internet. 

When it comes to newswires, we continually must consider not only how news consumption has changed for news readers, but the technical capabilities of each of news media outlet we reach around the globe.

  • Fast forward to today and we’re in a multimedia world. You say the future of news is visual. What does that mean?

This is a great question. There are so many things driving the need for companies to include visuals in their news releases.  First you have human preference. Did you know that 63 percent of all humans prefer to learn through kinesthetic learning – meaning they prefer to learn via interactions and imagery?  How does this learning preference impact public relations? It is very difficult to activate these audiences with a text-only news release, today’s organizations must include multimedia to ensure visual and textual learners can consume the news equally.

Then you have a change in technologies which have also impacted the need for companies to include multimedia.  Thanks to the amazing leap forward in camera technologies included in today's mobile phones, consumers are also multimedia creators.  If you want to get someone's attention in 2016 - whether it is a reporter, consumer or employee, you have to mix visuals with relevant, interesting text. You can no longer distribute news releases in a text-only format and expect actions or adoption. It is time for PR professionals to adapt to this change.

  • How are PR practitioners at companies and other organizations leveraging this emerging trend?

The good news is many PR practitioners now understand that message adoption is deepened and message actions are increased when you include multimedia. They are creating news imagery, or repurposing marketing content to ensure their stories are told not only textually but visually as well. Very modern PR pros are even moving PAST standard multimedia and utilizing interactive content, which average approximately 4-10 minutes of engagement which is unheard of in modern news consumption.


  • What visuals do editors and reporters really want to receive? Aren’t they drowning already?

Oddly enough, no. The amount of time it takes for reporters to create or find and vet news assets is extremely high, especially in the age of rapid news creation. By providing reporters with relevant, useful multimedia content, public relations officers not only increase the opportunity of coverage, they reduce the amount of time it takes for a story to be created. We frequently hear from media outlets that the elements they look for when considering covering a news release include a strong, relevant headline, interesting multimedia asset and a good quote.

  • After photos, videos and infographics, what’s next in terms of visual news content?

Interactive content such as hyperspotted images and traveling microsites are the wave of the future.  Not only do they gamify the news, increasing message adoption and content interaction, they provide media outlets with assets that are keeping readers on their news site longer. 

These interactive story capsules are being used for everything, from healthcare product launches to CSR efforts with startling results.  When was the last time someone engaged with your organization’s branded news content for 4-10 minutes? That is an outrageous amount of time for someone to learn, and adopt your message.

  • How does the increasing focus on search engine optimization impact press release writing and distribution?

This is a tricky question. Google knows that editorial coverage moves people through the sales and marketing funnel faster than any other content, so they place this content very high in mobile and desktop search results.  Now they are including the news release in this 

same section to provide search users access to the "source news".  To increase your news’ opportunity to appear more frequently in 

search, the most optimized sections of the news release is the headline, subhead multimedia asset. 

Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR recently released the results of a SEO test he did with news releases.  He found that news releases that include relevant industry keywords, such as "the Internet of Things" increased coverage, open rates and product sales than a non-optimized news release.  We highly recommend our clients utilize tools like Google Trends, Google AdWords and Spyfu to identify relevant industry keywords to include in their release. HOWEVER keep in mind, these keywords must be relevant or else the release will not result in higher activity.

  • Do you think the evolution of the press release with additional content helps overcome journalistic skepticism about the medium in the first place?

Actually, it's funny. In our media surveys, journalists tell us they use newswires every day. Media outlets use newswires, but they are more likely to pick up and cover a story if it includes an optimized headline and multimedia asset. PR professionals must adopt this visual trend if they want to continue to receive news coverage.

  • The evolution to an increasingly digital news landscape changes the way we measure PR success. What metrics do customers expect these days?

The PR industry has a ways to go when it comes to tracking. The most frequently tracked result is coverage or shares, but we recommend moving past that to track inbound traffic, time on site, additional content consumed and even sales.  News releases kick off sales and marketing supported projects, it only makes sense to track their impact in reducing the sales journey.

  • All of this content requires things like a communications strategy and a budget. How do PR practitioners get organizational buy-in to get started in the first place?

This is my favorite question! The easiest way to get buy in on multimedia is to do a few things: 

  1. Reframe success metrics to showcase the true impact of news releases, not simply coverage count
  2. Perform an asset audit to determine what multimedia assets you already has available for news use. This will help determine what new pieces need to be created or how to refresh existing pieces. 
  3. Work more closely with marketing and web analytics teams to ensure the correct assets are being created, used and tracked.

Public Relations in 2016 is more exciting than ever before. You have media outlets publishing more content, faster than ever. You have search and social surfacing coverage, increasing news visibility higher than ever before.  You have consumers reading more than ever.  And you also have news technologies evolving into more engaging and impactful content, and then finally a wide range of free and paid measurement services that really track true impact of news on company goals. Nothing drives consumer trust more than the work PR teams generate.  If you're in PR today, you deserve a raise!


Click here to listen to the discussion via podcast:  http://www.press.org/news-multimedia/audio/multimedia-press-releases-and-other-visual-news-trends


Click here to share this data with your Twitter followers:  http://ctt.ec/fi8tR


To learn more about visual marketing, check out our recent SlideShare presentation – Everything You Need to Know about Visual Marketing – the Ultimate Guide at http://www.slideshare.net/businesswire/everything-you-need-to-know-about-visual-marketing-the-ultimate-guide

How the Paris Climate Agreement Impacts CSR and the Private Sector

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

Recent announcements like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and The American Business Act on Climate Pledge propelled climate change and corporate sustainability into mainstream news channels. Most years, these agreements alone would constitute a banner year for climate policy, but 2015, by most accounts, was hardly a conventional year. The aforementioned measures, while important, paled in comparison to the hype, scale and media attention of The Paris Agreement, a comprehensive climate accord signed by 195 countries at the conclusion of the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) in December. The agreement was the culmination of years of negotiation between governments, the private sector, NGOs, UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations - however, the real undertaking, especially for businesses, is only just beginning.

The Paris pact will enter into force in 2020, once 55 nations that account for at least 55% of the world’s emissions ratify the agreement at the UN in New York. Four years may sound like an eternity in today’s business landscape, where many companies form decisions that appease investors’ short-term approach, and quarterly performance often triggers stock volatility. With the Paris Agreement on the horizon, businesses in all sectors have begun to realize the urgency and magnitude with which they must integrate corporate sustainability targets with long-term financial goals. In fact, the private sector’s presence during negotiations and its significant commitments to combat climate change were among the key factors that contributed to COP21’s success, experts say.

Forward-thinking corporations have already formed sustainable, low-carbon strategies, which will further align these plans with nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and industry-specific regulations. Procter & Gamble, for example, recently published its 17th annual sustainability report to update its progress toward reaching self-mandated sustainability goals. P&G is also among the several multinational corporations that, leading up to the Paris conference, pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The company joined more than 150 other signatories on the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

“The global governments were only going to go so far in how they approached the issues, and their commitments were, you could say, a little underwhelming on the national levels,” Chris Walker, Director North America, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said during a recent event at Baruch College’s Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity in New York. The Baruch talk, sponsored by the Sustainability Practice Network and titled “The Business Climate in the Wake of the Paris Conference,” brought together panelists, a few of whom attended COP21, to discuss its impact on business. Bernhard Frey of the UN Global Compact and another panelist who attended the Baruch event said the mobilization of business was a key facilitator of the Paris Agreement.

If some companies had yet to realize the inevitability of the business community shifting to a more sustainable, low-carbon environment, the Paris Agreement should, at a minimum, encourage top executives to discuss long-term sustainability. Though the climate pact won’t be available for signature until April 22, 2016, and will enter into force even later, businesses risk falling behind if they don’t consider the agreement’s impact on their sustainability strategy. So what actions, if any, should the private sector examine to align corporate strategies with the Paris legislation?

It’s of crucial importance for stakeholders to first understand the Paris Agreement’s basic components, including which elements are legally binding. According to the official compact, the major objectives of the agreement are:

  • to curb the global increase in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Ideally, to reduce potential negative consequences of climate change, all parties should aim to restrict the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • to expedite the peaking of greenhouse gas emissions, and begin in the second half of the century to achieve a balance between GHG emissions and “removals by sinks of greenhouse gases.” Experts have called this language a “net-zero goal,” and acknowledged that realizing this balance will likely involve using technologies capable of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
  • to require all signatories to publish NDCs - official climate plans - every five years. Most governments submitted intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) prior to COP21, and these blueprints may be used as their first official NDC.

Despite these unprecedented, ambitious goals, it’s important to note the limited ability with which the agreement can enforce its stipulations. Under the terms of the Paris Agreement, countries are legally required only to submit NDCs, and to report their progress toward achieving specific NDCs. This is a positive development, but it’s potentially problematic that the UN will have no legal authority to mandate penalties against those which fail to meet their self-established targets. There is also language regarding countries’ funding to assist developing nations transition to clean energy, but this commitment of at least $100 Billion per year is not legally binding. Given the lack of legal authority, some experts question whether the agreement is enforceable. But that might not matter.

“The enforceability is not the driver of success,” Dale Bryk, Director of Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council, said at the Baruch climate talk. “Even for enforceable agreements, a lot of times what makes them successful are really the transparency and the reporting and the being called to account, not the use of the enforcement measures.”

The enforceability of the Paris Agreement will likely remain a debated topic for years, yet there’s little doubt each nation will implement enforceable domestic regulations that correspond to their respective NDC targets. For the private sector, now is the time to begin aligning corporate sustainability practices with core business strategies, and ideally, their nation’s NDC. The United States, for example, submitted last year its official INDC. The five-page document outlines in clear terms the U.S.’s emissions objectives and its recent regulatory actions to mitigate climate change.

For those companies that have yet to view sustainability as a mandatory business practice, there are several approaches each should consider. For starters, executives must examine these questions:

  • As governments, investors and consumers shift to a more sustainable, clean and carbon-free environment, what impact, if any, will this have on our core business products, services and investments?
  • Have similar companies in our sector launched corporate sustainability goals and strategies?
  • What sustainability practices can we institute to align with domestic regulations, NDCs and the more global targets of the Sustainable Development Goals and The Paris Agreement?
  • In what ways can we better integrate corporate sustainability with profitability?

Developing a detailed sustainability strategy is an essential first step, and it can be a long, time-consuming process. Communicating companies’ sustainability progress should be a multi-channel approach, as it’s likely that various stakeholders, such as investors and consumers, will seek access to information of different complexity. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), for instance, is a popular reporting standard for sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).Though GRI’s reporting metrics are a perfect tool for informing investors of companies’ sustainable programs, it’s also necessary to publish information that’s more suitable for consumers. To this end, Business Wire’s CSR circuit is a targeted news release distribution service that reaches magazines, news outlets, investors, trade publications and other organizations in the CSR and sustainability domains.

The Paris Agreement will continue to be a major topic on news programs, in investment circles and among corporate executives for the forseeable future. While the agreement is not yet official and is years from full implementation, nearly all governments, businesses and environmental experts believe its lasting effects will be vast, global and profound. However, as Frey said during the Baruch event, quoting Christiana Figueres of the UNFCCC, “COP21 was a success, but that was the easy part.”

To learn more about amplifying your CSR news visit Business Wire’s CSR circuit page here.

What do Investors Think of Visualized Financial Disclosure?

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

In the modern visual world, the demand for earnings data to join the multimedia club is greater than ever. Financial information, traditionally released in text-only format, can be presented along with infographics or other illustrations, even videos, to highlight key figures in ways that make it easier for investors to understand how a given company is performing. Presenting earnings data visually is a multi-prong approach to delivering a message to the public in an easy to consume package: the audience is engaged, entertained, and the information is better retained.

According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, education consultant who writes and speaks about visual literacy: “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2) […]. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”

For the financial sector, a new study confirms the validity of these claims. With support from 300 retail investors, more than 20 Wall Street professionals, and select financial media professionals, Business Wire and Edelman Financial Communications & Capital Markets spearheaded a study on the relationship between the investment community and earnings data. They set out to determine not only how earnings data is used and digested but specifically “how new visual approaches are being received by key stakeholders.” A combination of an online survey and in-depth interviews contributed to a series of points showcasing the consensus that visual story telling has become an integral tool for relaying financial information.

Financial Disclosure & The Big Picture

  • The earnings release is considered to be an essential resource for all audiences, and provides fast, easy-to-access data.
  • Ninety-two percent of institutional and retail investors believe the future of earnings releases is more visual and features creative storytelling; these investors also believe this is a step “in the right direction” for the industry.
  • However, there is still absolutely a need for traditional financial data to accompany the visual-driven 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.
  • Both institutional and retail investors agree they need earnings data “at the drop of a hat” and that visually-driven earnings releases are accessible, easy to read, easy to understand, and it is easy to find relevant data.
  • Investment professionals and financial media value quotes from the highlights section, and presenting in a visual manner makes them more readily accessible for readers.

For a more detailed account of the study and complete set of data download Raising the Bar in Financial Disclosure here.

The conclusion is that visual, creative displays of information are a benefit for investor relations professionals. These findings also encourage collaboration. In an ever shrinking world, IR teams benefit from working closely with marketing and public relations departments, crafting messages that will be read by a wide variety of audiences, “all stakeholders, not just investors.”

“As we see more and more companies incorporating visual elements in financial reporting – whether through infographics or directly within their press releases - we wanted to take a step back to see how key stakeholders view this trend.  The quarterly reporting process is not just about recapping historical financial results.  It’s an important touch point on the health of an organization and the company’s vision for the future.  Visual elements are a great way to incorporate brand image and company narrative into the financial reporting process.”

- Deb Wasser, Executive Vice President,

Financial Communications & Capital Markets at Edelman


Think Traditional + Visual

IR professionals shouldn’t see a competition brewing between the “old” methods and “new” assets, but instead see this as an opportunity to amplify ongoing communications for better results. By supplementing text-only earnings releases with visual assets, a larger audience benefits from the provided information, and the investor community has more options for how to process the information, and present it elsewhere, to other audiences and decision makers.

Examples of visualized earnings releases include:

- The Hershey Company: http://bizwire.pr/CIxIE

- WWE: http://bizwire.pr/pHK8z

- Sovran Self Storage: http://bizwire.pr/68uO2

- Ace Hardware: http://bizwire.pr/cf0iW


For IR solutions visit the disclosure page on our new services portal here      




2016 B2B Marketing Predictions Start to Take Hold

by Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media


As we approach the end of the first quarter for many organizations, it’s exciting to see some of the 2016 marketing predictions and trends from the top B2B marketers—including Business Wire's —start to unfold. And while predictions vary across the board from personalization and disruptive marketing tools to brand engagement and sharing, there’s a lot to learn from the marketing insights.

Check out my thoughts below! You can also check out all the marketing strategies savvy tech marketers are incorporating this year at http://arketi.com/blog/archives/8750


2016 is going to be the year of news visibility.

There is a record number of content pieces being created by consumers and companies alike. Smart PR pros know they must create more personalized news and brand content in 2016 – pieces customized to engage highly targeted audience, but they also need to know when they must add budget behind the content to increase visibility, impact and ultimately, ROI.  To help communicators determine when to use an amplification tool like newswires or native advertising to drive higher activity and results, Business Wire created this handy Q&A guide: http://blog.businesswire.com/2015/09/10/how-should-i-promote-my-content-an-infographic-for-smart-marketers/

As you can see, this graphic asks a series of questions that will help you determine which content pieces should be amplified and provides tips on how to do it." (Click to view the full graphic in a new tab.)

Click here to read the full blog: http://arketi.com/blog/archives/8750

Enjoyed this post? Click here to share this information with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/g9Ysb

Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on LinkedIn

By Jahana Martin, Newsroom Supervisor

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, so chances are you already have a LinkedIn profile and use it to network with colleagues and prospective employers. You probably have read articles that your connections have shared or shared your own industry news.

Its popularity is no surprise when 93% of business-to-business marketers have rated LinkedIn as the top business-to-business social media lead generation source. If you issue news releases, you should use LinkedIn to increase the visibility of your company’s news, increasing the opportunity for internal and external audiences to see and act upon it.

How to Publish News Releases on LinkedIn
The first thing to do is log in.  Then get the URL of the news you want to share, and an image you can use to catch the eye of LinkedIn users.


LI updates


On your LinkedIn page, click “Share an update.”  Copy and paste the URL of your published press release into this box.  LinkedIn will automatically insert the news release headline in the Title field, the beginning of the release text in the Description field and to the left, the first picture associated with your news release.

You could push publish now, but to drive even higher interest in your news, try the following tips.

Instead of simply pasting the URL into the box, craft an introduction or teaser to your news release in this section. Use the title of your news release, or customize the title to be more relevant to this specific online community.

LinkedIn allows 600 characters, so try to incorporate a question or a call to action, and a relevant keyword or two. Some examples include:

  • Why do #PR Pros use Business Wire? Watch and find out. (Business Wire)
  • It’s CPI day! Use the Atlanta Fed’s myCPI tool to find out how you compare to the national average. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
  • Do you see a lot of recruiter traffic in your LinkedIn inbox? How do you manage your current employment during a LinkedIn job hunt? We're asking these questions and more on Twitter! (The Coca-Cola Company)

To find relevant keywords that are meaningful to your connections, observe the news for the week, what’s trending, and hot topics on your company (and your competitor’s) blog and online newsroom.    Use the words and phrases your clients and prospects would use when describing your news to increase the impact and potential shares and inbound clicks from your LinkedIn update.

Next, if necessary, revise the description and photo that LinkedIn automatically pulled in from your article URL.


Description:  In this section, you want to revise the text that LinkedIn automatically pulled in to drive even more interest in your news. Some suggestions would be to craft a new lead in or to copy and paste the sentences from your news release that most succinctly tell your story. Be brief, as LinkedIn does limit the amount of text you can add in here.

Picture:  If there is a graphic more suitable for LinkedIn than what was distributed within your press release, you can swap out your multimedia asset by clicking the “x” next to the current graphic and uploading your new image. Your photo should be no larger than 100 MB and you can’t resize it.




When to Post on LinkedIn
Because LinkedIn is mainly for professionals, most users post on weekdays during business hours. There are a variety of studies outlining what time is best for news sharing on LinkedIn.  The consensus is weekdays are best:

  • Midweek posting is optimal from 5 – 6 p.m.
  • The best times to post are Monday – Friday between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • The most clicks and shares occur on Tuesdays between 10 and 11 a.m.

If 19% of U.S. adults use LinkedIn, and consumers who refer friends spend more and refer business equal to 45% of the money they spent, then it makes sense to have those users sharing your news on LinkedIn.

Follow these small steps to see big impact in the reach and action of your news release within this business oriented news site. Try these steps with your next release and let us know how much more activity you receive!

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Sleek and Responsive: The Launch of Business Wire’s New Site

By Scott Fedonchik, Vice President of Marketing

For the better part of 2015, a new services portal was being designed and tested with the end user in mind. The words simple and clean became a mantra in the kind of experience we wanted for our clients. Communications professionals face problems daily; crafting a message, identifying potential targets for that message, seeking out the best ways to bring their news to those targets and in a way that would maximize visibility, engagement, and ultimately, ROI. Business Wire put together a portal that makes it easy for comm pros to find solutions to their problems, facilitating better focus on making the news that counts. Now, Business Wire makes that sleek and responsive new site available to the public.

Visit Business Wire’s new services site here.

What can users expect? The navigation experience has been simplified to four categories: PR Solutions, IR Solutions, Distribution & Analytics, and Website Services. From these four sections you can find the product or assistance you need to help amplify your story, whether it be a brand announcement, financial disclosure, or creating a better overall bridge between your company and your clients. After investigating the services portion of the website users can scroll down to reveal access to Tempo, a forum where Business Wire’s thought leaders share insights, industry updates, and today’s best practices.

Other updates to the site include any-screen accessibility. Whether you’re on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer you’ll have a sleek, simple, and responsive experience navigating around the website.

Visit the site yourself to see why Business Wire is the industry leader in service and innovation. Business Wire is “Where Your News is Made.” The marketing services site and Tempo show you “How.”      

News Optimization Quantified: Measuring the impact on your ROI

News Release Optimizationby Vilan Trub, Marketing


Was your last news release optimized?

Search engines don’t just present audiences with content without rhyme or reason. When you enter a keyword or search term into an engine such as Google, a process of filtering for specific information occurs. Many websites are scanned using a set of criteria that Google, Yahoo!, and other engines use to determine if the content is a good match. News optimization is a process that edits your release, shaping it so search engine make it easier for audiences to find and act on.


Why is news optimization important?

Optimizing news releases is important because it’s measurably effective.  Since 2010, SEO-PR and Rutgers CMD published 5 case studies on the subject of PR measurement regarding optimized and unoptimized releases. For each study, two releases were created around the same story, one would be optimized and one wouldn’t. The optimized release was distributed using Business Wire’s patented distribution network while the unoptimized release saw distribution over another wire service. All releases went out using comparable distribution circuits and the results were analyzed. Four comparisons stand out as a definitive advocate for the importance of news optimization.


Release views (within 2 hours of release) - 886 to 161

Optimizing a news release resulted in 725 more views within 2 hours of initial release. That number is significantly large enough to indicate that the additional reach of the release was not coincidental. Optimization of the headline, subhead, and body copy directly impacted how the news travelled once it was released to the public. More people saw it, many more people, so many more people in fact that if your goal is to maximize ROI for a marketing campaign, optimizing a release becomes critical to achieving such goals.     


Number of Tweets - 19 to 1

An important aspect to raising the visibility of a message is inciting audience engagement with your news. The more people are talking about your announcement, the more people learn about your news. With an optimized news release the result was 19 tweets. Those tweets included individuals with over 100k followers. The news release that went out unoptimized? The result was only a single tweet. Comparing 19 to 1 is a huge difference in engagement. When you start comparing the amount of followers that each of those Twitter users have, that’s when the impact of news optimization becomes astronomical.


Number of Sessions - 96 to 12

The optimized news release generated 96 website sessions. That’s 96 times someone entered and used the client’s website to learn more about the product or service. An interested party is a potential client, especially when the average session duration was 2 minutes 25 seconds. That average time indicates that people didn’t just visit the website; they stayed there and read the provided information. The optimized news release incited people to want to learn more about the company, more than was even provided in the initial release. The unoptimized news release only resulted in 12 sessions with average session duration of only 58 seconds. The website received fewer visits and when people did visit, they spent less time absorbing the provided information.    

Another way to look at these two numbers is by the total time spent on site as a result of each release. The optimized release saw a total of 13,920 minutes while the unoptimized version only saw users for a total of 696 minutes. The benefit of an optimized release was 20x more time spent on site



When talking about sessions it’s important to remember the people behind those sessions, the potential clients. The optimized news release generated 67 new visitors compared to only 9 generated by the unoptimized release. The difference is stark especially when taken into consideration that each one of those visitors still needs to be converted from interested party to potential client, and finally to client. The marketing funnel features many touch points so it’s important to attract as many people as possible to maximize your ROI.

News Optimization Quantified

Optimizing a news release has a direct impact on the amplification and subsequent visibility of your message:

  • 3.1x more leads
  • 2.7x more visitors
  • 12.9x more ROI

When such a powerful tool exists at your disposal, why wouldn’t you use it to your advantage? The optimization of a news release is a process that anyone and everyone preparing an announcement can implement. Try it with your next announcement, see the results and judge for yourself what SEO-PR and Rutgers CMD already know, and want the rest of us to know: news optimization leads to optimal results.


How does news optimization work?

The basics of news optimization lie in crafting better written content, according to specific rules. Google offers an entire starter guide teaching the basics of search engine optimization. Tips include creating content primarily for users, not search engines. This means avoiding the use of “numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users.” Another good tip is to use your key word or key phrase in the headline.

A major aspect of news optimization is also the inclusion of the right type of links. There are follow links, and no follow links. Search engines want to clear spam from their results to ensure that only quality content reaches their users. Filtering through links found within articles is a way these search engines make sure that black hat SEO spammers aren’t abusing the system. Business Wire automatically includes "no follow" links behind the links included in your news releases.  

A great read on “follow” vs. “no follow” links can be found here.

In order to increase the visibility of your news within search engines, you need to build a smarter news release.  Include key phrases in your headline and/or subhead, including multimedia, and add links to drive interested parties back to key sections of your website.  Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to optimize your news release.

Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on Twitter

By Jahana E. Martin, Newsroom Supervisor, Atlanta

survey recently found that nearly six of 10 Twitter users use the social networking site to keep up with breaking news. The use of Twitter as a news source increased from 55% to 67% for users under 36, and from 47% to 59% for users over 35.

Are you tweeting your press release? If not, you are missing a great opportunity to expand your reach and brand. After all, your Twitter followers are following you because they want to learn more about your business.  This is the perfect audience to activate by sharing your news.

If you are tweeting your press release, then consider the following questions: Are you tweeting at the right time? Are you including multimedia in your tweet to increase visibility and shares? How did you craft the Twitter version of your news release headline? Did you use hashtags? How many? How did you choose your hashtags? If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, then now is a good time to start working on your strategy to use Twitter to amplify your next press release.

Here are four ideas to get you started.

1. Your News Release Headline: Make it Twitter-Friendly

Your press release headline may be amazing for the newswire, but chances are you will need to make some modifications for it to rock on Twitter.

Write several tweets
Twitter is a real time, news distribution service. You will need to share your news many times to ensure broadest reach.  News releases and subsequent news coverage should be shared as many as 15 times or more to activate your entire audience.

Make your news release tweet interesting
This is a fantastic opportunity to speak directly to your company’s end user. Use your Twitter headline to highlight key points directly of interest to each of your various audiences.

Make it shareable.
Help your followers retweet easier and faster by leaving them enough space to promote your brand.

Twitter allows you 140 characters, but you want people to share your tweet. Consider crafting 96 character tweets to be able to include links (22 characters, regardless of length of link) and multimedia (also 22 characters)

Testing. Testing.
You have an idea about the length, but now what about choosing that headline? Sometimes it can take a little practice and you may have to do some testing.

Buffer outlines the A/B experiment where you write and tweet two different headlines at least one hour apart. Then you compare the data and responses and choose which headline performed best.

Some keywords garner more attention than others, and you should use popular keywords that are relevant to your news. If you want to do a bit of competitive analysis and Twitter research, check out what keywords your competitors or industry influencers are using by taking a peek at their Twitter feed. Is there a recurring keyword that you see appearing in retweets? Try it.

There are many resources available to help you find the most popular words to use in your Tweets and headlines. You can find extensive analytics to boost your SEO and a good place to start is Twitter.

Call to action:  Just ask.
Assert yourself and ask for what you want. 

  • ASK for a download. Promoted Tweets in timelines that explicitly ask people to
    download material accompanied by a link increase URL clicks by an average of 13
  • ASK for a retweet. Promoted Tweets in timelines with an ask to retweet increased Retweets by an average of 311 percent.*
  • ASK for a follow. Promoted Tweets in timelines that asked for a follow increased follows by an average of 258 percent.*
  • ASK for a reply. Promoted Tweets in timelines that highlight an ask to reply increased replies by an average of 334 percent.*
    *Tweet tips: Most effective calls to action on Twitter

2. What time is good for you?

There are a myriad of studies analyzing the best times to post on social media. First, you must identify your demographic so you can choose the best time to reach it. You can be as broad or as specific as necessary. For example:

  • Are you reaching businesses or consumers?
  • What is the age of your audience?
  • Are they parents? Are they teenagers?
  • Where do they live – what time zone?
  • Do they work a 9-5? Do they commute to work?
  • What is their average income?

Neil Patel’s study distinguishes peak times between Business-to-Business (B2B) and
Business-to-Consumer (B2C):

  • B2B: Weekdays provide 14% more engagement than weekends.
  • B2C: Engagements and Click-through Rates (CTRs) are highest on weekends and Wednesdays.

In general, Patel says the best time of the day to tweet is 5 p.m. The peak times for CTRs are 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. SurePayroll  highlights the best, peak and worst times to tweet:

  • Best times to tweet:   Mondays – Thursdays from 1-3 p.m.
  • Peak times to tweet:   Mondays – Thursdays from 9 a.m – 3 p.m.
  • Worst times to tweet: Every day after 8 p.m. and Fridays after 3 p.m.

Their advice? Schedule tweets for lunchtime when audiences have time to consume your news.

Considering these factors will help you choose the best time to reach your followers and potential followers.

3. Use Your [Multimedia] Assets


Multimedia in tweets have been shown to increase engagement rates by 3-4x over messages without multimedia. Include multimedia in every tweet to increase reach, actions and overall ROI.

To do this, after you compose your tweet, click Add Photo. Your thumbnail image or filename will appear as an attachment. This is a real chance to maximize on the opportunity to include an image because you can add up to four pictures.

To add video, follow the same steps and then select the 30-second clip you want to emphasize in your tweet.

Ideas for good Twitter images
Hootsuite gives great examples of Twitter images that get shared. Here is a short summary of their tips:


  • Use text/graphic combination. Your words are limited in your Tweet, but you can include more text within your picture. You may gain an extra few seconds of additional engagement because readers may stop to actually read the text within your image.
  • Use gifs. Although gifs will not play automatically on Twitter, people are still curious about the video, which earns you a few extra seconds from your audience.
  • Use video. Twitter now allows you to upload videos with your Tweets. Select the 30 seconds you want to feature, and let the reader watch your news.
  • Use images that work. Humorous memes, food and cute animals are popular. Twitter users love to share news that delights them. Surprise them by using humor to get your point across.
  • Follow your followers. If there are images that your followers consistently share, you should get onboard. Post the types of images that your followers like to share.

Your best photos
Keep in mind Twitter’s photo specifications:

File size:  Photos can be up to 5MB; animated GIFs can be up to 3MB (Your file will be automatically scaled for display in your expanded Tweet and user gallery.)
File type:  GIFs, JPEGs and PNGs are accepted; BMPs and TIFFs are not.

Tip: To achieve even greater visibility, you can make your image tweetable. There is a good set of instructions here.

4. Hashtags: Do Your Research

Why should you add hashtags to your Tweets?

Think of a hashtag like a label or filter for your topic. The goal is for as many people as possible who are interested in that topic to see your tweet and hopefully share your news. Reporters frequently use hashtags to view the entire discussion on a particular topic, a great way to see what consumer sentiment is before crafting coverage pieces. To exponentially expand the reach of your communication, you should be using hashtags with almost every tweet.

Twitter TrendsThere are plenty of tools you can use to research, analyze and manage hashtags, but the easiest way to see what’s popular is free! Start with Twitter and look at “Trends” and “Moments.”  Those topics are insanely popular at the moment, so if you see something that is relevant to your news, use the hashtag to expand your reach.

If trending hashtags are not relevant, is your news about a particular theme? If so, add them in to allow reporters and interested parties to not only see your news, but understand the larger impact and context.

Are you:

  • Presenting at a tradeshow or conference? They probably have their own hashtag, find it and add it to your news to ensure broadest reach. #CES2016 #BWCHAT #MWC16
  • Targeting holiday consumers? Try #BacktoSchool #Halloween #TrickorTreat #Thanksgiving2015
  • Discussing current events? #Benghazi #ACA #GOPdebate


By following the above steps, you are increasing the visibility and impact of your news release. You are now armed with tools to increase your ROI by posting your news release on Twitter.   Do you have any tips for increased engagement on Twitter? Share them in the comments below, we would love to hear them!

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60 Seconds with Julia Kassam: Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo

by Branavaa Deva, Marketing Specialist

Dare to Do Things Differently is the title of NEO Exchange’s latest video, one that signifies bold innovation from Canada’s newest stock exchange company. The NEO Exchange is part of a greater push by Aequitas to give the public fair access to consolidated market data at a reasonable price. NEO Exchange embarked on a mission to redefine the role of a national stock exchange in Canada and on January 12, 2016 named Business Wire to their Trusted Service Provider program.

Julia Kassam, Head of Listings, Aequitas Neo Exchange

As NEO Exchange celebrates the announcement of its first listing, we had the opportunity to talk with Julia Kassam, Head of Listings at the exchange. Julia is in charge of identifying and working with organizations suitable for listing and it’s easy to imagine how busy her schedule is. Despite this, we had the chance to get her take on the exciting new partnership between two innovative companies.

What is the leadership and vision of Aequitas NEO Exchange?


Julia Kassam: Aequitas NEO Exchange [NEO] is Canada’s newest stock exchange, using a bold new blueprint that puts investors, companies raising capital and their dealers first.  Launched in March 2015, NEO offers an innovative trading platform to trade all TSX, TSX-V and NEO-listed securities.  It also has a value-added listing platform for companies and investment products, offering unique liquidity, transparency and efficiency benefits. NEO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aequitas Innovations Inc., a company founded by a diverse group of prominent investors, representative of all Canadian capital markets stakeholders. In addition to its trading and listing business, Aequitas has a number of other innovative solutions to meet the needs of investors across Canada.  Aequitas Connect, the innovation hub of Aequitas Innovations, is building Aequitas PTF Connect, leveraging the innovative PTF structure and related intellectual property developed by Invesco Canada, to offer a shared services technology platform enabling mutual funds to be traded and settled like ETFs.  Aequitas Connect is also pioneering a new solution to offer Canadian market data at a reasonable price to all investors and investment advisors.


Based on the quote below, can you explain what kind of solutions for what kind of companies and products?


“Aequitas NEO Exchange Inc. (NEO Exchange) is proud to launch its Trusted Service Provider Program to curate a group of advisors and other service providers who are committed to meeting the needs of public companies and investment products.”


JK: For public companies and investment products, this includes ETF’s or Closed-End Funds.  This includes a diverse range of evolving support and service needs as their business grows and expands as a publicly listed entity. The list of segments will continue to grow and expand.


Why are competition, innovation and superior client service important for a company?


JK: In today’s constantly evolving marketplace, competition, innovation and superior client service are fundamentally important to an organization if it is to grow and prosper. Competition drives innovation, which in turn drives growth.   Growth is sustained through repeat business, a direct outcome of providing superior customer service.


Why was Business Wire named a Trusted Partner, and being the only partnered newswire, what made Business Wire stand out?


JK: Business Wire was named as a Trusted Service Provider because for over 50 years it has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. With a committed presence in Canada and its strong commitment to providing outstanding customer service it was a natural fit for the NEO Exchange Trusted Service Provider Program.


These are exciting times ahead for NEO Exchange and Business Wire. This partnership represents both companies' dissatisfaction with the status quo and an appreciation for innovative products and services that benefit investors, dealers and companies. We thank Julia for taking the time out of her busy schedule for this interview.

What makes Business Wire an expert [in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure] is its long history in this field and demonstrated track record of innovation, customer service excellence and leadership.”


- Julia Kassam, when asked about Business Wire’s reputation


To learn more about Business Wire’s Canadian circuits, including timely disclosure and more, visit our Canadian circuits page here.