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The Ten Commandments of Social Media for 2018

(These rules are loosely adapted from the 2018 All for Content conference)

 

By Simona Colletta – International Media Relations Specialist, Paris

Social Media is changing the way businesses interact with customers. The way a brand conducts business through social media is a direct reflection of the company. In a world where there are etiquette guides for almost any situation, it should not be a surprise that a communication tool such as social media, which has such a cultural impact, also comes with its own codes of common courtesies and manners.

Brands in particular need to respect this etiquette, since social media is a public forum. One wrong move can have serious consequences for your brand reputation. As a wise man says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." (1)

Here are the 10 Commandments that we all should follow in 2018 to raise our reputation:

  1. Thou Shalt Respect the User: The average user in 2018 has subscribed to three social media channels, and this is probably because he/she has a different purpose for each one of them. This is why you shouldn’t post the same content on different networks. Think about a user who would see the same post on Twitter and Facebook for example. What would he think about your company? Probably that you are not good at Social Media, or maybe that you are just lazy.
  2. Thou Shalt Prefer Quality to Quantity: You should keep in mind to post content for the user, not for you! So, instead of sharing compulsively, take the time to pay more attention to your content and to consider who you are addressing.
  3. Thou Shalt Think Mobile First: 81% of Facebook users connect from their mobile phone (2), and we all use mobile differently than our laptop … we handle it vertically and we check it for a short time, but very often. So every time you post something, think twice and ask yourself, “Is this going to be readable on a mobile screen?”
  4. Thou Shalt Bring About Emotions: As it is difficult to catch the attention of users, emotions are a good way to prevent them from scrolling away. Choose something that switches on an emotion: laughter, admiration, surprise, nostalgia…or even anger! This will generally keep the user around for a few more seconds to know more about what you are trying to communicate.

  1. Thou Shalt Make the Most of Video: If you are posting a video on Facebook, for example, do not simply copy/paste a YouTube link: it is proven that a native video has a higher reach (and a better look!). You can also consider a vertical video, not too long, and that can be watched without audio (mobile first, mobile first, mobile first!)
  2. Thou Shalt Tell your Audience a Story: If everyone talks about story telling for years, it’s probably because it works. Most of the social networks today propose a “Story” function, so why don’t you give it a try? Additionally, your story will appear on top of the page, as the hour of the post is not taken into account.
  3. Thou Shalt not Become your Brand: Keep in mind that you are a person, so don’t just become a sales tool for your company … talk about your experience, knowledge, share what you write. This will be much more appreciated by people, and it will reflect a nice image of your company, because they have a smart person on the team!
  4. Thou Shalt Embrace the Ephemeral: We know that content on social networks has a short life, on some of them like Snapchat even shorter, but this adds a value to it, because the user knows he/she won’t be able to see it later. So don’t run away from ephemeral, embrace it!
  5. Thou Shalt Test the Live Video: Live video is also known as “The King of User Engagement,” and additionally it creates a stronger connection with the user. The simplest use of video is to document a live event. Other ideas can be to organize a live survey, question & answer sessions with an expert, or a live product presentation.
  6. Thou Shalt Offer Conversation: This one is maybe the most important rule of etiquette to follow, because social media are above all a place of exchange. Try to respond to all comments and messages as quickly as you can. Have a person in charge of it, and if you can’t, well, bots are there for that purpose.

(1) Warren Buffett

Tips for Working with Millennial Media Outlets

Today’s communicators have the difficult task of reaching millennial audiences. There is a huge amount of information about this population segment, but how much of that information is correct? What is real and what is a myth? What are the steps to take to reach and activate this key demographic?

Earlier this month Business Wire hosted 5 reporters from leading digital publications for a discussion about millennial media myths, trends, audiences and their top engagement platforms.   

Nearly 100 public relations, marketing and news professionals gathered to hear insights from Business Insider associate editor Tanza Loudenback, Techcrunch senior editor Jon Shieber, Vice writer Justin Caffier, Jalopnik reviews editor Andrew P. Collins, and Buzzfeed writer/editor Norberto Briceno at Business Wire’s Meet the Media: Mastering Millennial Media Breakfast in Los Angeles. 

Each panelist shared their experiences in the evolving industry of journalism as well as pitched tips for public relations professionals in a panel moderated by Stefan Pollack, President of The Pollack PR Marketing Group. You can see the discussion on Twitter via #BWChat.

What is Millennial Media anyway?

When asked to define millennial media, the panelists said it was all about meeting the readers where they are; on social media video, web and mobile. They noted that today’s millennial media is much more segmented and includes a stronger focus on cultural differences than other publications

For instance, Jalopnik’s Andrew Collins said he doesn’t think simply customizing content by age works for millennial media. Successful media outlets are becoming more specific with demographics which allows them to create content that resonates more deeply with their readers. 

Vice’s Justin Caffier also shut down the concept of millennial media as well as millennial stereotypes. He said people like to consume quality stories as they always have.

While millennial media outlets create better content by interest and segment, they are not just trying to engage with millennials. “As long as we’re producing quality stories, we’re doing our jobs. It doesn’t matter if our reader is 60 or 16,” Caffier said.

Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback said that modern media outlets are less structured which gives reporters more flexibility for writing stories that readers want. She said they’re also more respectful of readers’ time.

“If we don’t want to write it, no one’s going to want to read it,” Loudenback said. By thinking of the audience first, they produce more content that resonates.

TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber credited his contributor and reporter network too for ideas and content. He said he has seen that generally the best content comes when writers have freedom to write about what they gravitate towards.

Thus, the current media landscape offers opportunity for broad and general publications as well as niche outlets.

When asked about the length of articles, panelists agreed that both long and short form content are important to create as different audiences consume in different ways. Millennial media consumers want both long and brief reads as long as they are quality and informative.

Set the Trends

When it came to identifying story ideas, discussion turned towards the use of analytics and research tools. While some reporters and creators use tools to monitor trends and story performance, other publications use in-house teams for these analytics. The most popular tools for identifying trends and measuring impact of published content include Google Analytics, Chartbeat, NewsWhip, Google Trends, Reddit and Twitter.

Loudenback noted that Business Insider uses Google Trends to watch a story emerge and find the best positioning statements for her to create a strong “second day story.” Analytics surface what news and consumer stories are performing the best.

Buzzfeed looks at analytics and finds what is trending on the site. They will then use that information to create new content experiences or articles to engage their readers.

However, BuzzFeed’s Norberto Briceno said there is a downside to writing about trending news. He said that by the time you start creating content about a trend, the topic is becoming less popular.

As such, Briceno said millennial media blends both the art and science of content. It is both looking at the trends but also going with your gut to try new things that you believe will be successful.

Shieber added to that point by saying ideally you want to write and report the stuff that becomes the trends.

Social Matters

Bricerno said he doesn’t like to think of himself as a traditional gatekeeper to news; he embeds himself into the conversation. This allows him to better understand the impact of a story on his friends and family, a formula that works well, creating a better dialog between his content and audience.

Social media is a way the panelists stay tuned into what’s trending with today’s readers. Loudenback said Twitter is a wealth of information.

Anytime I scroll through twitter, I find so many story ideas,” Loudenback said.

Further, Caffier said he checks both Twitter moments and his curated feed to see what the talk of the day is. 

On the other hand, Shieber advocated using Reddit for both content amplification, inbound traffic and story leads. It is a powerful tool that helps find reactions to news, which helps shape story angles. Shieber said this isn’t new or surprising since Reddit, social channels and reporting are all naturally collaborative.

So what about crowdsourcing content for millennial readers? Collins uses social media to pull questions from his social audiences. He engages with his audience and discovers what people want to know about the cars he test drives for Jalopnik.

Ultimately, the goal for millennial reporters is to get interesting news into the hands of “the cool kids,” according to Collins. He said that ideally you want people with high social following and highly targeted audiences to share your story because a reader is more likely to share a story that is relevant or interesting to them and their followers. Organic shares are really what make a story go viral. As such, Collins spends time building his social channels to increase the ROI of his reporting coverage.

Overall, social media is a powerful tool for creating content ideas, measuring a stories success and engaging with audiences.

Other Important takeaways

What’s the best time to publish? Justin Caffier said the world still works on East Coast time. He said you can see how traffic dips after East Coast hours because people are literally reading while at work.

How important is a headline? Andrew P. Collins said headline construction is massive. He and other panelists mentioned A/B testing headlines to see what works best. He suggested sticking to the usual formula that has proven to work but he urged people to try new formats too. Click here to learn more about writing headlines that resonate with your target reporters and consumers.

How can you get Millennials to take action when it comes to social justice? Caffier recommended making it easy for them by being on the platforms they use. Setup a twitch page, create a GoFundMe or use Patreon - all platforms commonly used by Millennials.

What can PR Pros do to make a pitch stand out if you don’t have a news update? The panel suggested making news by putting your brand or product in a new context or surrounding. Another panelist recommended building a relationship with the reporter by scheduling some face time over a meal or drinks.

The March eighth event was the third installment of Business Wire’s Meet the Media: Mastering Millennial Media Breakfast. In October, a similar event was successfully held at Business Wire, New York. Business Wire in San Francisco hosted the same event topic and title in November. Each Business Wire office offered different expert panelists from various modern media outlets in their respective markets. You can learn more about the content shared in these events via #BWchat.

 

 

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

The Multi-Channel Approach Every Marketer Needs to Know

By Shirley Leung, Brand Marketing Specialist at Business Wire

Over the past few decades, the media landscape has been a rollercoaster of changes, evolution and revolution. Advances in technology, growth of the internet and adaption to new digital practices have changed how we communicate and how we collect information and gather news. So here are three musts for every marketer to master the multi-channel approach:

1. Mobile-Friendly

We’re in the digital era, not implementing a fully responsive website is just technology faux pas. Media consumers are increasingly ditching stagnant desktops and laptops in favor of mobile, so not only is this where your audience wants to see your content but also expects you to provide that content in an adaptable format. A mobile-friendly website has many major advantages: clear navigation, easy-to-read text, faster download speeds, improved user experience and can recognize what kind of device is being used. If you’re not optimized for mobile, you’re missing an opportunity to reach potential customers and clients.

A recent comScore report states there was an overall 57% increase of mobile users while the news sector saw an audience growth of 66% on mobile. With these numbers to keep in mind, mobile is a force to be reckoned with.

Even Google has made changes to its search algorithm that favors mobile-responsive web designs so don’t penalize yourself or your business! Not only will Google be less likely to display your site in the search results, but having a responsive site also helps with mobile SEO, search traffic and organic reach.

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Test your site URL using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

Learn how Business Wire can amplify your news with GMSM features.

2. Social Media

Regardless of whether your brand is taking on the “digital-first” approach, social media is one of the biggest weapons in in any marketer’s arsenal. Many marketers struggle to seamlessly blend social and traditional marketing practices because they see one or the other as a sole strategy and not both as a tactic. By using this integrated approach, your brand is maximizing impact and putting every single marketing dollar to use which ultimately increases ROI.

This naturally leads to a multi-channel approach where social is most commonly used to extend the message from direct mail, television commercials, print and other forms of traditional marketing to be continued online. While traditional marketing reaches the masses, social will allow you to actively target (and retarget) your audience in real-time and also at a lower cost than traditional! By using both of these methods simultaneously, your brand is bound to reach more prospects and achieve higher conversion rates.

Learn more about integrated marketing as covered on Tempo, Business Wire’s home for white papers, trend reports, videos, articles, tips and tools.

3. Apps

The development of a branded mobile app usually comes later within a marketing strategy. This includes advertising or branded content delivered to smartphones, tablets and other devices. So where does it exactly fit?

A mobile app isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy but should work alongside your current strategy. Find your niche and run with it! By defining your target audience, you will be able craft content for your app and hold on to the app market space with other big name brands but not necessarily compete with them. Know who your ideal clients are and deliver content that’s unique and useful to their needs.

Make your move!

Implementing a multi-channel approach is a game-changer. Today’s consumer uses several different channels and devices to communicate. By using a multi-channel approach with consistent messaging, a single user is able to pick up several touch points in between channels and devices from reading a news release to seeing your presence on social media. Now give your customers the multi-channel experience they won’t be able to resist!

 

Business Wire Launches “The Perfect Match” Campaign

By Vilan Trub, Marketing


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No business has ever failed with happy customers”

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

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

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

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

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

Do our clients notice the difference?

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

This testimonial and others can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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.”      

Don’t Leave Journalists Wondering: “How Do I Pronounce That”

By Vilan (vē-län) Trub, Marketing Content Lead

As we find ourselves looking to generate positive news coverage in the rapidly evolving digital era, we learn more about its defining features. Companies are transforming how we see the world, how we consume, learn and socialize. For a creative brand seeking media coverage, it’s important to distribute interesting news along with engaging multimedia. Although helpful advice, this is a tip that gets suggested often enough to no longer be considered an insider tip. To really tip the scales and leave a memorable mark on the media and news consuming audiences, we need to look closer at how brands can better acquaint themselves with journalists and reporters. Today’s companies exude creativity in all of their decisions, first and foremost with their corporate names. A great way for companies to familiarize their target market with their brand is to announce their name clearly, in a memorable way. Don’t leave journalists and reporters asking, “How do I pronounce that?” Tell them with a pronunciation key!    

 

How it works:

Using a pronunciation key, spell out your brand name using characters that will allow the reader to understand how each letter and section should be pronounced. For example, Bacchus, the Greek God of Wine, would be written out as: (ba-kəs). The reader will have a clearer understanding of how each vowel is pronounced and how the word should be said when spoken aloud. By encouraging the reader, and providing an opportunity to learn how to properly pronounce your company name, you work to create a memorable impression of your brand.

As for where to include the correct pronunciation of your company name, that can depend on several factors. If you’re a startup, a new brand looking to make a strong impression, it might make sense to include the pronunciation along with the first mention of the company in the release. If you’re a publically listed company, including a pronunciation along with your ticker will bring added attention to both. A neutral location within the release is the boilerplate. Readers look to this section to learn more about the company and their goals.

A tool for whenever necessary:

Using the same pronunciation-key, you can provide pronunciation accurate spellings of people’s names and locations pertinent to your company announcement. When issuing a news release always ask yourself, what questions will journalists and reporters be asking? Sure, they’ll be asking about the content of your announcement, details and data points. The one question you don’t want to leave them wondering is how to correctly pronounce a bit of information when presenting your story on air. 

Why Newswires? The Past, Present & Future of Trusted News

Newswires have a long tradition of fulfilling an industry need for the dissemination of market moving information to a wide range of news organizations and other stakeholders. Trends and technical advancements have influenced how news is both distributed and consumed.

The stability, credibility and widespread usage of newswire distribution networks are a primary reason why communications professionals view them as the backbone of the news dissemination process.

With over 50 years of industry leadership, Business Wire has established irrefutable trust from within the news market and has proven its thorough understanding of the needs of the digital age by creating a technologically sophisticated, patented distribution network. This trust and innovation have made Business Wire the launching pad for turning company news releases into credible breaking news.

TRUSTED SOURCE

The credibility and tradition of trust earned from journalists and other downstream consumers of Business Wire content enables companies of all sizes to confidently submit press releases for distribution across the wire. Within its 22 local newsrooms around the world, Business Wire employs experienced and knowledgeable editorial teams who review this content to confirm legitimacy and accuracy. This process of vetting news content is a key feature of Business Wire’s value proposition and results in the unquestioned reliance on our service by leading journalists and investors who act upon the breaking news we deliver.

Business Wire has spent over 50 years building symbiotic relationships with media, investors and consumers by regularly delivering factually reliable and timely corporate news content.

REACH

A comprehensive global distribution system and the hard-earned trust of media and investors results in Business Wire being able to provide broad reach and visibility to its members. In addition to direct distribution of releases to the news systems and mobile apps of publications large and small on a global scale, corporate announcements are disseminated across a platform in which all relevant potential audiences have access to the information. Pushed to media and investors, and SEO friendly on the web, virtually anyone can easily find Business Wire content and move on it, from reporter to consumer, from investor to blogger. Further, all information is distributed in full text, ensuring full disclosure of all the information an issuer wishes to convey. It is also simultaneously transmitted to all end users over a private, encrypted network that guarantees that it is visible and not trapped by spam filters.

Business Wire has partnerships with 60 national and international news agencies facilitating reach to more than 89,000 media outlets in 162 countries. Industry professionals recognize our benefits as exemplified by the 92,000+ journalists who subscribe to our PressPass service, offering convenient and customized news feeds. We also offer more than 1,676 delivery options in more than 50 local languages that reach specified geographic markets and offer a choice of nearly 200 industry trade categories at no additional charge.

VISIBILITY

Every day companies spend significant dollars creating a broad array of content designed to establish credibility among, and deliver key messaging to, their constituencies. In each case, the success of these programs is tied directly to their visibility.

The more promotion content receives, the more likely it is that the target audience will see and act upon it. Rather than simply promoting the content via owned channels or social advertising and platforms, which can limit visibility, utilizing a newswire can enhance visibility, coverage and engagement and drive the traffic needed to make the program achieve its objectives.

With Business Wire distribution, news is disseminated across major global platforms including AP, AFP, Bloomberg, ThomsonReuters and Yahoo! Finance, with dual-platform posting to BusinessWire.com and EnhancedOnlineNews.com. Your press release also includes interactive hyperlinks and social sharing links to help drive engagement and content sharing, improving performance in search. The goal is to create the kind of visibility that will lead to user activity and engagement.

SECURITY

Business Wire’s patented, simultaneous NX worldwide network ensures that news is distributed to every outlet at the same time and in a highly secure manner. In fact, security is Business Wire’s number one priority. As such, Business Wire is currently the only newswire service to have received the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report, providing independent validation that the company’s internal security controls are in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ applicable Trust Services Principles and Criteria.

LONGEVITY

One sure way to maintain visibility is to also ensure longevity.

The online archiving of news releases by newswires ensure that news can easily be discovered by interested parties by searching company names, ticker symbols or key phrases. Such archiving of information guarantees that news is visible and available for reference long after its initial release. Business Wire’s distribution includes full-text posting to thousands of websites and financial databases, such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis, which archive news over a long period of time, increasing the discoverability of issuers’ news to researchers.

DISCLOSURE

As a result of Regulation Fair Disclosure, it is key for today’s public companies to simultaneously disseminate their market moving news to as wide of an audience as possible. It is important to allow analysts, reporters and interested consumers to find company news, and act upon it, as quickly as possible, with no unfair advantage given to any one party.

Business Wire’s simultaneous disclosure network, included in every US geographic wire circuit distribution, simultaneously reaches all key disclosure media including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Reuters, Investor’s Business Daily, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, as well as full-text posting to financial databases, such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis.

A newswire is a trusted method to meet Regulation Fair Disclosure, which ensures all interested parties have access to your news and financial data at the same time. While the SEC has amended its guidance on disclosure to include social channels under certain circumstances, in reality, social channels were not designed or positioned to be disclosure vehicles. Twitter, Facebook and other services modify the visibility of all content to maximize their own advertising revenues. As such, the vast majority of public issuers utilize newswires to ensure broad and simultaneous reach to the investing public.

PUBLIC DEMAND

News consumption is at an all-time high and recent studies show that potential purchasers are spending more time online researching products and services before ever contacting the company directly. Using a newswire helps ensure that news is easily found in the research phase of the buying cycle. The existing interest from potential purchasers coupled with the high visibility provided by a newswire distribution, positions information to both be seen and acted upon in a timely and efficient manner. The news is available in full text as the issuer intended, providing an additional layer of certainty that the consumer has access to full, unfiltered information.

According to a media survey conducted by Business Wire in 2016, 53% of the responding journalists use a newswire service daily. Newswires are a vital utility in the news industry and as a result of Business Wire’s veracity and innovative practices, media professionals routinely rely upon our service.

Business Wire has spent over 5 decades deeply rooted in the news industry and recognizes that a new age has arrived. It is with optimism and enthusiasm that we embrace this new digital age and we look forward to building on our foundation of innovation in order to continue to provide the media, the investment community and the public with a comprehensive, transparent and irreplaceable mechanism for distributing vital corporate news.

 

I’m in the Mood for a Good Holiday Story

I'm in the Mood for a Good Holiday Story

 

by Millicent Hasandras, Business Wire

Millicent Hassandras | Account Executive, Business Wire

 

Fall just started recently, but I can't stop thinking about ... Holiday Story Time. I love the holiday news cycle. Every year I look forward to pictures of kittens in silly outfits, outlandish gift guides, intriguing cocktail recipes, and crazy predictions by Futurists. When you’re in PR, the holiday season starts early with long-lead publication deadline dates and doesn’t stop until the final “last-minute gift ideas” blog posts published in late December.

 

Business Wire takes holidays seriously.

 

We’re a natural fit for holiday news – our weekly holiday recap news distributions kick off November 10 and run through the end of December. The recaps provide companies a second round of visibility for their news, and give reporters an easy-to-follow list of options to write about. If you’re looking to activate reporters to cover your holiday news, NOW is the time to write your holiday stories. 

 

Top Holiday Story Ideas

 

Black Friday:

  • Store hours, discounts, and promotions
  • New products and services
  • Special accommodations for employees to help them survive Black Friday (onsite massages, yoga classes, or meditation opportunities)
  • Tips on a successful shopping plan of attack
  • Success stories, sales figures

 

Cyber Monday news:

  • Last-minute offers lined up for Cyber Monday
  • Predictions for the holiday shopping season
  • Information on Cyber Security   
  • Success stories, sales figures

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Company-sponsored charity events
  • Charitable giving programs and results
  • Toy or food drives and drop off locations
  • Stories of employees in the field volunteering for a company-sponsored charity

 

Holiday gift news:

  • Gift guides! Use Business Wire’s customized distribution options to promote gifts by age and demographic. I have a 73-year-old mother and a 92-year-old grandmother. How about a gift guide with ideas for aging parents and grandparents?

 

 Holiday food stories:

  • Holiday recipes
  • Special menus at restaurants
  • Holiday cocktail recipes
  • Seasonal product offerings
  • Holiday cooking classes by local chefs

 

Holiday travel stories:  

  • Last-minute holiday trip packages
  • Tips and tricks on travel with young children or pets
  • Ideas on celebrating the holidays away from home

 

Late December ideas:

  • Economic predictions for the New Year
  • Weight loss product launches
  • New Year resolution stories with customer testimonials
  • Predictions by futurists

 

To truly tell your holiday story, you will need to write a multimedia rich news release – this means you will want to include a photo, infographic or video showcasing your offer. Reporters need your multimedia content to create a compelling story. Humans are visual learners. They retain 65% of what they learn when a visual is added. Make it easy for reporters to tell a compelling story by adding photos, videos, and infographics.

 

And don’t forget to leverage the reach of others! Social influencers can act as sales associates for you. Work with them to create custom content or give them your assets to drive higher engagement and ROI. Give them easy content to use including infographics, PDFs, and Customer Testimonials. Include videos but keep them short. According to Vidyard’s 2017 Video in Business Benchmark report, a video less than 90 seconds in length sees an average retention at the end of 53%.

 

Once your holiday season is over it will be time to measure the success of your work. Utilize the data Business Wire provides including metrics on volume, sentiment, influencers, geographic location, and virality. These reports provide instant access to a wide range of metrics you can use to extend your outreach or highlight your PR program’s results to your management team, ensuring you, and they, have a very happy holiday season.

 

The holiday season is here! Are you ready? I, for one, can’t wait to read your news! 

How to “Play Ball” with the Media

When Business Wire’s Florida team had the innovative idea to host a baseball themed media luncheon, they didn’t know just how effective the exercise would be for all those in attendance. At the event, “Playing Ball with the Media,” communications pros were matched with journalists and asked to “pitch” their stories.

 

A special thank you to the leading South Florida journalists who attended: Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor at The Miami HeraldAmy Reyes, Editor at Miami.com – Miami Herald’s online lifestyle magazine; Kerry Weston, Assignment Editor at WPLG Channel 10Teresa Frontado, Digital Director at WLRN NewsCatherine Wilson, Managing Editor at Daily Business Review; and Terence Shepherd, News Director at WLRN News.

How to “Play Ball” with the media:

  1. Assemble several tables in a room, each featuring one journalist matched with several comm pros.
  2. Each communicator has one minute to pitch their story with their matched journalist and receive feedback.
  3. After each ten minute round, the journalists switch tables in order to hear what every table has to pitch.
  4. After the final round, the journalists vote on the best three pitches and share why they were selected.
  5. A special award and trophy are presented to the three winners. The awards are: Cy Young (for the best pitcher), MVP (for the best overall player), and the Delivery Man award (for the best closer).

It’s as simple as that but don’t be dissuaded, the educational value from this game will help bolster the impact of any issued news. Not only does it help communicators sharpen their pitching skills, it helps them better understand how to frame a story to pique the interest of targeted media. Start planning your own “Playing Ball with the Media” event and see the results yourself.

Find out what journalists have to say by downloading Media Matchmaker, a blueprint for how and when to best reach members of the media based on the survey results of over 600 journalists in more than 40 countries. 

Vote Business Wire for SXSW

SXSW PanelPicker allows users to propose which panels they’d like to see take place at the upcoming SXSW conference. Always at the technological forefront, and keeping a strong connection with the audience that helped transform what the conference/festival is today, SXSW continues to place the keys to the kingdom in the public’s hands. Business Wire is proud to announce that two of our very own thought leaders have organized creative, and unique, panels that all communicators can benefit from and now’s your chance to vote them in and make them a reality.  

 

Raschanda Hall’s Hacks, Flacks & Robots: Automation in Today's News

Vote here

About the panel: First, you were told to write for robots. Now, robots are doing the writing for you. What are these robots looking for in a news story? What do you need to know to protect your brand and job when robots and algorithms are shaping your company’s image? 
Leading reporters and experts on news automation and A/B testing discuss their impact on the future of the PR/journalist relationship. We’ll also tackle how both sides, are harnessing this technology to feed seemingly insatiable news appetites.

Raschanda Hall, Business Wire’s director of global media relations, has spent 16 years as a leading part of the media relations team. She sets the direction for the brand’s global media relations through the fast-paced, changing media landscape by utilizing her understanding of emerging technology and her pioneering social media presence. Additionally, she serves as the president of the Chicago chapter of Black Public Relations Society.

 

Serena Ehrlich’s The Messy Truth about News and PR in 2018

Vote here

About the panel: Communications today is messy. Today's reporters and PR pros have a wide range of tools at their fingertips that drive ROI, so why are so few actually using them? Which tools are worth using? In this session, we will look at the technologies - from A/B testing to interactive multimedia to chatbots to analytics - available to brand or media communicators today to create and amplify the type of news and content that deepens bonds between their audiences and their organization.

Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, provides guidance for internal and external content creation and distribution services, ranging from PR programming to mobile marketing to social media updates. Over the last 25 years, Ehrlich has worked to provide guidance on investor relations, public relations and overall consumer behavior relations trends.

 

Register with SXSW PanelPicker and become a part of the experience. Voting ends on Friday, August 25th so make sure to get your choices in before then.  

Which Social Media Marketing Measurements Matter Most

The digital revolution has brought upon a whole new world of platforms and analytics. Although it can get confusing when scrolling down a long list of numbers, it’s important to pay attention because some of those numbers can help amplify your social marketing efforts. The key is knowing which metrics matter most.

Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, Serena Ehrlich, sat down with Arketi Group to discuss the important social media measurements that can have the biggest impact on your goals.

Read the full interview

Conversation highlights include:

  • The top three measurements that matter for social marketing
  • Measurements to be cautious about 
  • Cost effective measurement solutions
  • Important tools to enhance social marketing measurement

When asked why measurement matters in social marketing, Serena described the qualities that make social platforms unique and offered a glimpse into just how jarring the digital revolution is when compared to previous tech used for communications. She explained that “the ability to access such granular data so quickly, combined with the real-time nature of social discussions, means you can modify your programming instantly when the data suggests you need to pivot.”

The term clip counting is a relic of the past and results are expected instantaneously today, and the reason is because everything moves so quickly. Nowhere is this more evident than on social media platforms. Find out how to maximize efforts on social media by utilizing the right measurements. 

Find Out How to be a PR Superstar by Using Data

The statement that PR pros are just not paid enough is sure to get any communicator’s attention, and it made quite the impact as the phrase that started off the recent webinar Monitor, Measure, Evaluate, Evolve. The webinar was hosted by Business Wire’s own director of social and evolving media, Serena Ehrlich, and it focused on the role data must play in order for today’s PR professionals to be truly successful in what they do.

In 2017, PR is no longer about relying on one’s gut. You must use data to truly showcase the value of PR and to get PR to be taken seriously within your organization. The data gleaned from companies like Agility PR Solutions creates a roadmap for content – from creation to launch to follow up. By utilizing internal and external data, PR pros can create content that resonates with their desired audiences and generates more coverage pieces. They can then provide senior management with detailed information on how each program impacts the organization’s overall business goals.  By using data, PR pros can now demonstrate the true value of PR.

Learn more about the role of data in today’s public relations programming (including how to do it!) by reading Cara Valle’s recap of what Serena had to say, or watch the full webinar here. Click here to learn more about Business Wire’s NewsTrak reports or here to learn how Agility PR Solutions can create a successful data program for your organization.

Business Wire Miami “Playing Ball With the Media” Event

by Stephan Useche, Client Services

 

On Thursday, July 20, the Business Wire Florida team hosted a successful media luncheon titled “Playing Ball with the Media.” This event brought together a group of “pitchers” and “catchers” to play ball at the Newman Alumni Center in the University of Miami. At each table there was one catcher, a journalist, matched with several pitchers, PR agencies and private companies, who had the opportunity to throw their best news pitches.

Business Wire was proud to bring top South Florida journalists: Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor at The Miami Herald; Amy Reyes, Editor at Miami.com – Miami Herald’s online lifestyle magazine; Kerry Weston, Assignment Editor at WPLG Channel 10; Teresa Frontado, Digital Director at WLRN News; Catherine Wilson, Managing Editor at Daily Business Review; and Terence Shepherd, News Director at WLRN News.

The format for this event went as follows: all of the comm pros had one minute to share their pitches and receive feedback from their matched journalist. After each 10 minute round, the buzzer rang and the journalists then switched tables, giving them the oppurtunity to hear what every table had to pitch. 

After the final round, the journalists voted on the three best pitches and shared why they were chosen. Each of the winners were presented with a special award and trophy. The awards handed out were “Cy Young” (best pitcher), “MVP” (best overall player) and the “Delivery Man” (the closer). Congratulations to these 3 winners:  “Cy Young” - Joanna Palmer, Public Relations & Communications Executive at Gastro Health; “MVP” - Isabelle Pike, Development Director at Branches; and “Delivery Man” - Juan Diasgranados, Public Affairs Manager at Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation. The event ended with each award winner sharing their winning pitch with the audience. 

Overall the event was a great opportunity for both the journalists and participating attendees. Journalist, Terence Shepherd expressed that this event was a way to put a face behind the pitch and said, “An email is too easy to ignore, but you always remember the face.” The other “Catchers” said some news stories may come out of the pitches they received.  

How New Journalistic Practices Are Influencing The News Release

By Agnes Deleuse, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

Recent studies published coincidentally by The New York Times, Reuters Institute and Business Wire Media Survey are highlighting how journalism is changing in order to survive. New technology brought in new challenges and revolutionized our relationship to media consumption.  

The smartphone is our connection to the world. 51% of consumers are getting their news from their mobile device and the trend is going upwards. We hop from one site to an app, and from one social media platform to the next. Our eyes scan thousands of pieces of information and we only stop when an image is appealing or when the news is pertinent.

Tech innovation goes so fast that Facebook Live and Google News Lab have dedicated training centers for journalists, bloggers, and influencers.

What does it say? First, that journalists must today master editorial and technology techniques, social media specifics and creativity. Secondly, that they must constantly train to acquire new competences matching the pace of digital evolution. 

For PR professionals the takeaway is this: if journalistic practices are changing, it is obvious that the news release has to change as well.

Mobile = Visual

Multimedia is not an option anymore. It is the entry door to visibility and engagement. With Business Wire, images and other multimedia included with a release are sent to photography press agencies and are posted on many news sites and social media platforms. They are available for journalists and other news consumers to download in a hi-res format. If you look at a news feed (AFP, AP…) on a mobile app, news with multimedia is news that gets the most attention.

PR professionals must accept these transformations if they want their information to perform. We now live in a digital era and crafting a news release requires new adjustments. Forget the old habits! Here are a few tips that may help:

1/ Anticipation is key - Include the press release in your communications strategy. Think about your message, your target, what you are expecting from the release….
Don’t choose your multimedia at the last minute. If you need a headshot of your CEO or a picture of your new product, anticipate to get the best shot. If you are exhibiting at a tradeshow, take pictures of your booth so that they are available for later use. Create a photo library where you can dig in at any time.

2/ Forget the text only release – A NYT report says that 800 words articles don’t do great on the web. And 63% of the world are visual learners, so why are your news releases text-only? Add multimedia because the old adage that an image is worth 1,000 words rings truer than ever in the digital age. And don’t forget to include a detailed caption of your multimedia asset. News release multimedia captions can be 100-words long so take the time to describe what your multimedia asset is trying to convey.

3/ Be creative - Innovate when preparing your news release. Utilize the latest storytelling tools, such as interactive photos and videos. There are numerous shareable multimedia options that will engage journalists and consumers.

4/ Think like a journalist - Present your message in a journalistic format. The media covers stories they deem newsworthy so offer them a story that mirrors their usual content. Give them what they are looking for: visuals and quality content.

5/ Think social media - Write pertinent and quality content; it will drive sharing and engagement. Engagement is a major goal when issuing a news release because it shows that audiences are interested in your message. The question to ask yourself is how to maximize engagement. Choose the community you want to reach and craft messages adapted to its members.

Like journalists, you should master the popular social media platforms and know exactly which one is the most appropriate for the type of message you want to deliver.

6/ Searchability - Journalists love Google when researching data and info to write an article. To make sure your press release comes on top of searches, it needs to be written for optimization. The first 5-7 words of your news release headline becomes your URL string. These words must be carefully chosen. Click here to learn how to write a headline Google will love. And don’t forget to include multimedia and captions. The distribution process by your news service provider (Business Wire for example) will post your news release on multiple sites on the web and facilitates its archive on the Internet. News release optimization and distribution by an experienced partner will ensure your news release is easily found across the web.

7/ Headlines and Sub-Headlines – Your headline can be as long or as short as you would like, but they should include all the information a reporter needs to see to open your news story. Most editorial systems showcase the first 55 characters of your headline while search engines will show up to 70 characters. This means you have between 8-15 words in your headline to entice your readers into opening your release.  Since sub-headlines are not seen until the news release is open, be sure to include the impact of your news on your desired audience in your headline.

Business Wire Releases New White Paper: Is Your IR Site a Security Liability?

The modern IRO has many areas of responsibilities. At the top of that list should be the creation and maintenance of an investor relations site, a beneficial communications tool that makes it easy for analysts, shareholders and the media to find essential financial documents and material news.

A platform offering important financial news, requiring stringent security measures, might seem like cause for stress, but the good news for IR professionals is that Business Wire just released a new white paper outlining the best practices for internal workflow, technical compatibility, and security awareness and diligence. Is Your IR Site a Security Liability?, written by Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s senior vice president of web communications services,  offers guidance and tactical tips for ensuring that your branded IR site is safeguarded against situations that may compromise your efforts, such as the premature disclosure of earnings data.

Download Is Your IR Site a Security Liability? now and find out how to better protect yourself against unwanted investor relations disruptions.   

One of the most important elements of an IR site is the internal workflow that makes it function, identifying how an investor relations team can efficiently prepare, publish, and protect required content.

Workflow topics covered within the white paper include:

  • Assignment of site administrators
  • Password management
  • Recommended content for publication
  • How to best streamline workflow process

With this white paper, Ibrey aims to educate the reader and bring about a stronger understanding of the technical compatibility between all of the systems used to both announce and host your company’s financial information.

Finally, learn how to protect yourself against the very real threat of cyber security incidents. Ibrey points out what questions to ask your IR site vendor and how to look for a strong information security program supported by industry standard certifications.


About the author

As SVP Web Communications Services, Ibrey is responsible for Business Wire’s InvestorHQ IR site and NewsHQ online newsroom solutions. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a Webmaster certification. Ibrey has been involved in strategy and launch of websites for 3M, Bank of America, Gannett, Office Depot, Procter & Gamble, ServiceMaster, Williams-Sonoma and many other publicly traded and private companies.

Detroit TV Execs Share the Ins and Outs of What Catches Their Eye to Garner Coverage

By Cindy Hopman, Corporate Communications Manager, Valassis

Business Wire, in collaboration with PRSA-Detroit and IABC-Detroit, hosted a panel discussion with executives from the city’s three major networks to provide PR professionals insight into their world and how it has changed. We learned more about what catches their eye for not only the 6 o’clock news but news that starts as early as 4:30 a.m. for some morning shows all the way to the traditional 11 o’clock telecast.

Once upon a time, to announce big news, you either issued a press release or held a press conference.  Subsequent front page news and broadcast coverage meant PR success. Today, those are just two tools used to get the news out and by no means do they stand alone. There is pitching, tweeting and blogging to follow up a press release or press conference for coverage in print, online, TV, radio and across social networks with rich media to further enhance the story.

Despite all of these channels to get the news out as well as for coverage, there remains a strong desire to have your story told on the evening news. And today, broadcast coverage may also extend its reach online with video and via social channels. You see, broadcast, too has re-invented itself to remain relevant and capture the attention of its viewers wherever they are.

While Fox 2 Detroit averages 70 hours of news a week, there is much competition for those time slots.  The WDIV Channel 4 NBC affiliate executive indicated her email blows up each morning between 5:55 and 6:15 with an average of 25 pitches hoping to get first in line for potential broadcast coverage. So how do PR professionals get a step up?

Here are just some of the takeaways from the Detroit-area Business Wire-led panel discussion with:

  • Rhonda LaVelle: WXYZ Channel 7 News Director (ABC)
  • Kevin Roseborough: WJBK Channel 2 Vice President and News Director (FOX)
  • Kim Voet: WDIV Channel 4 News Director (NBC)
  • Tom O’Connell, Business Wire/Detroit 

Consider this:

  • Pitch to reporters and producers direct – but first, do your homework and find a reporter whose beat aligns with your news.
  • Pitch your news via email – do not reach out early in the morning or prior to the evening news; be concise yet engaging.
  • Put a human face on pitches
  • Once there is interest, follow up with a call.
  • Strengthen your pitch with visuals i.e. b-roll, infographics, demos, etc.
  • Target morning shows for non-breaking-type stories/features.
  • Search TV station websites for niche opportunities/features.
  • Make your press release impactful in the headline and lead to garner interest. With the multitude TV stations receive daily, they may not read beyond the headline so put your best foot forward as quickly as possible. All three network execs indicated they are looking at press releases for potential coverage.

Broadcasters realize PR professionals/companies may be pitching the same story to all three networks; whenever possible, deliver a slightly different pitch or offer up a different spokesperson. Keep in mind that the TV stations are also competing for viewers and a different angle or brand-messenger can make a difference in coverage on multiple networks. And if the story is engaging, it may be syndicated across network affiliates and shared via the station’s social channels or on their web page. What they share on their websites and across affiliate stations is selective. TV stations too are looking for ways to attract younger viewers and those on the go. Take a step back and look at the broader appeal of the story you are pitching. With this in mind, the reach of the story can extend exponentially across the country and channels.

When assessing the value of a story, consideration is given to those that are consumer-friendly and still maintain the integrity of the show – meaning, don’t be overly promotional. As PR professionals we do follow the Cheers mantra and want “everyone to know our name,” but it’s a fine line that will factor into whether or not the story is deemed newsworthy.

Happy pitching and see you on TV!

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.

 

What Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions Partnering Means for Comm Pros

With the announcement that industry giants Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions are partnering comes the question of what benefits will clients and partners see regarding the amplification of their news. Business Wire clients have specific needs that are wide ranging. Currently, they have access to a wide set of communications tools, and now that toolset expands even more. This new partnership offers clients a seamless and cost-effective solution to integrate media outreach and multi-outlet monitoring into their communications campaigns.

With the strategic partnership of Agility PR Solutions and Business Wire, customers can:

  • Identify Influencers: Search the AgilityTM media database of almost 800,000 verified contacts in over 200 countries and create and save custom lists. Additional information, including how journalists like to be pitched and what they cover, will help Business Wire clients strategically target the press and follow up on news stories crossing the wire.
  • Amplify Messages: Augment Business Wire’s services with personalized outreach to key influencers, with Agility’s integrated email sending and engagement tracking tools. Quickly identify contacts for follow up by seeing who opened or clicked on emails.
  • Monitor Coverage: Business Wire’s new relationship with Agility PR Solutions provides a breadth of self-service and full service media monitoring capabilities. Track trending topics, customer sentiment, share of voice, competitors and social media activity.
  • Measure Impact: Clients can evaluate the success of communications efforts with integrated reporting capabilities and gain actionable insights into the effectiveness of their communication efforts with pre-made or custom reports.

The reasons behind the new partnership, and its goals, are simple: to provide communications professionals with enhanced distribution, monitoring and media analytics capabilities. Additionally, a critical component of this new relationship is both Business Wire’s and Agility PR Solutions’ commitment to providing exceptional customer support and service. Communications tools are most effective when used to their maximum potential. Both Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions make it a priority to assist clients and partners in understanding each tool and how these tools can best be implemented into a communications campaign.

The new strategic relationship between Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions is effective immediately and is designed to help customers as they build and create their communications strategies in 2017 and beyond.