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

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!

Click here to share these LinkedIn tips with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/bHcX7

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.

The Business Wire services site is also the new home of BizWireTV and The Accelerator Report, Business Wire’s cutting-edge weekly series covering trending news stories published over the newswire’s distribution network. Visit the BizWireTV page here to catch up on previous episodes and watch host Erin Ade in new episodes, every Sunday and Friday.

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!

And click here to share this blog post with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/KZ2w5

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.

Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on Facebook

By Jahana E. Martin, Newsroom Supervisor

Whew! The news release you’ve worked on for weeks just hit the wire. Job done, right? Twitter news on PewWell, not if you want to maximize the return on your investment (ROI). A recent study reveals that 46% of social network users share and discuss news on social platforms, with 64% of U.S. adults -- 30% of the U.S. population -- receiving their news via Facebook.

Facebook makes it easy to share news, but simply posting your release to Facebook versus having an actual strategy will mean the difference between reaching your intended audience and being Facebook roadkill.

So, what steps should you take to maximize your ROI?

Start crafting your post.
The first thing to do after distributing your press release through a newswire service and monitoring it online is to insert the URL to your release into a new Facebook post.

What will make your readers pause in their timeline to read your press release? 
Simply put: your headline. Make it good.

After you insert the URL, your article will be visible in the post. Replace the URL with a headline that grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to share it. The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals suggests a good length for a Facebook headline is 90 -120 characters because it is easier to share and can be rapidly scanned as an email subject line.

Here are some tips to tailor your headline for Facebook.

  • Solve a problem.
    • “MEGA Shows How to Triumph in the Digital Revolution“
      “Tips to Triple Your Followers in 10 Days “
  • Pose a question.
    • “What is responsive design and do you really need it?”
    • “Why Do Start Ups Fail?”
  • Create a sense of urgency.
    • “10 Things you must do Today to Save your 401(k) “
    • “Before you go the ATM, Know This”
  • If you’re in a pinch, and don’t have time to craft a new headline, just use your news release subhead.

Many times, the subhead is more specific and could be more useful for your social media audience.

  • Headline: “It’s Time Again For Our Summer Loan Sale-a-Bration”
  • Subhead: “Refinance your mortgage at an unbelievable 2.85%!”

Is your multimedia compelling for social media?bw fb post with image
If you want to change the image that uploaded with the post, now is a good time to add the new image with the “Upload Image” function. Your picture, graphic or video should be engaging and relevant. Links with thumbnails and teasers receive 20% more clicks than links without. Which leads me to my next tip…

Be a Tease.
Your headline made an impression, but viewers must want to read your release, so give them a little teaser.

Here, under your new headline, add the most compelling data right up front to increase activity and shares. This allows you to tailor your content for your targeted Facebook audience and show why your press release is relevant to them.  The reader is now incentivized to click on the link back to the press release and also to share it with others.

Find your audience.
Your content is ready, now it is time to pinpoint your audience. FB targetingFor a fee, take advantage of Facebook’s “Boost Post” feature. First, you need to answer for yourself: Who is your ideal reader and what is your goal?

  • Goal: Enhance your existing audience. Use the “People similar to people who like your page” boost.
  • Goal: Find new supporters. Use the “People you choose through targeting” boost to select the location, age, gender and interests of your target audience.

You can use your Insights (explained below) to select the age, gender, location, relationship and educational status, language and interests of the user you want to reach.

Perfect timing.
This seems obvious: The perfect time to post on Facebook is when your audience is on Facebook. Paying attention to timing pays off. Posting on Facebook between 1 – 4 p.m. can result in the highest average click through rates. So, how do you find out when your audience is on Facebook?

when to use FB

Best times to post for your existing Fans
Once your page has accumulated 30 likes, you are able to use the “View Insights” tool located at the top of your Facebook page.  Click on the “Posts” tab, then the “When your Fans are Online” tab.  You can use this information to pinpoint the days and times your fans are online.

Best days to post in general - what the experts say
According to What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media:

Best day to post:

  • 86% of Facebook posts are published Monday – Friday, with engagement peaking on Thursday and Friday;
  • Engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday – Wednesday

Best time of day to post:

  • In general, the optimal time to post is early afternoon in your target’s time zone.
  • To get the most shares: 1 p.m.
  • To get the most clicks: 3 p.m.

You don’t have to schedule your days and nights around Facebook. Simply schedule your posts at the optimal time for your target audience and watch the results.

Using Facebook to reach your target audience with relevant, shareable content at the right time is an easy, effective way to get more out of your press release.  A user that promotes your brand by sharing your post can spend 13% more than the average customer, and 84% of consumers trust earned media.

You can’t afford not to have a tactical approach when you share your news release on Facebook. So, what’s your strategy?

Click here to share this post with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/pFm48

How to Increase YouTube Video Views in 3 Easy Steps

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

Earlier this month I attended a Digital Hollywood panel devoted to building audiences and awareness on YouTube.

This is a very common topic here in Los Angeles.  With filmmaking, celebrities and the history of Hollywood permeating every corner of the city, we were the first region to truly embrace YouTube for what the platform could be – a way to entertain, educate, delight and shock audiences with amazing visual content.

So if this is a common topic, something Hollywood content creators and the marketers they work with should know inherently, why is it still on the Digital Hollywood agenda?  Because no matter how great your content is, it means nothing if your content is not seen.

Almost the entire panel discussion, fueled by questions from the audience, focused on how to generate views of the variety of videos being uploaded every single day.  There are hundreds of thousands of beautifully shot, high quality videos on YouTube that no one has ever seen. Why is that?  Because the concept of if you place it here, the audience will come is antiquated and completely misleading, even for producers creating content featuring famous celebrities.  The simple truth still stands, there is no such thing as great content, only seen content.

So how do YouTube video stars get their visibility?  What makes one video go viral, while another video fails?  Just like every other marketing and communications program, video programs need to be supported with paid, earned, owned and shared marketing programming.

In this session, the three top ways to ensure views of your YouTube videos are:

Create relevant content – This may seem obvious but there are still a huge number of marketers creating aspirational content, or content meant to activate new fans, versus content meant to create actual audiences. In reality, content should be made for every touch point in the customer journey, but if you are on a limited budget or time, focus on creating content for the most active of your prospects and customers.  Create content that these existing brand fans will enjoy and share with their friends and reap not only views of evangelism.

Tag your content for search – When it comes to placing your content on YouTube, the description and keywords you use are just as important as the content itself. Utilize titles and descriptions to entice audiences to view your video.  Include relevant keywords and well as real-time keywords, and while you don’t want to use an incorrect headline, writing a compelling, interesting headline will increase views dramatically.

Pay to promote your video – If you spent money to create content, you have to use money to promote it.

Videos should be promoted via earned, paid, owned and through partnerships.

Smart brands are increasing impact of their content by increasing potential audiences.

Paid promotion: To promote your YouTube videos there are two successful kinds of paid promotion that you can do.  First, consider paid advertising across active social channels and via Google AdWords to help relevant audiences find you via search and social.  Secondly, issue a press release to alert media outlets, bloggers and more that your video or video channels exist.  Include a short summary of the types of content you include and, if possible, frequency of updates, to generate views

Earned outreach: Don’t forget to alert your PR contacts of your new content marketing program.  Media outlets are always looking for visual content to accompany industry pieces; let them know your channel may contain the content relevant to their readers.

Owned channels: You have to tell people about your video; how else will they know your program exists? Promote your new YouTube content on your website, social channels, email signatures and intranets to increase views and shares of your content.

Initiate partnerships: The single fastest way to increase the views of your YouTube videos is to ask likeminded, more famous YouTube personalities to share it for you. Yes, this may require an exchange of money but it works.

Leading marketers know that video is one of the top tools in today’s marketing arsenal. Not only are desktop and mobile video consumption rates through the roof, the medium is so impactful that within seconds it can build, and deepen the relationships between a brand and its customer. But first you have to distribute it.

What other ways are you finding success in promoting video content?  Please let us know in the comments below.