Cathy Baron Tamraz Discusses Disclosure and Transparency

April 30, 2009

Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire President & CEO, discusses the challenges facing Treasury Secretary Timothy tamraz_cathy_baronGeithner regarding maintaining and increasing transparency in the financial markets in a new commentary at FinReg21.

Tamraz’s recommendations, combined with new SEC chief Mary Schapiro’s “visceral reaction” to the idea of web-based disclosure in which market participants have to go looking for financial information, are good news for the markets and for investors.  Tamraz talks about the press release as a disclosure vehicle, and how the existing framework for news distribution is already in place to help Sec. Geithner reassess the state of disclosure and help avoid future financial crises.

Go read, and let us know what you think in the comments below.


How Tweet It Is to Attend the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting: Please Join us!

April 30, 2009

Warren Buffet and the Wired Wired WestI drew one of the lucky straws to help represent our fine company at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting this year.  A handful of Business Wire folks and I will accompany our CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz to Omaha this weekend, May 1 and 2.    

In preparation, I’ve waded through Snowball, the 900-page biography of Warren Buffett, the chairman of Business Wire’s parent company; boned up on Buffett trivia and quotes; and watched and read what to expect–like this profile of Buffett on Bloomberg.  Last week on vacation in West Texas, I even bought a couple of dipped cones at Dairy Queen  as a show of support for a sister Berkshire Hathaway company.

Wish you could be there?  We do, too.  That’s why Business Wire is “sharing the wealth” of our Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting experience in two ways.

First, I’ll be tweeting live from the meeting, starting on Friday, so feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire.  

I’ll start on the trade show floor helping set up our booth, and hopefully get my picture taken with Mr. Buffett (again!) when he does his walk-through.  I aim to provide updates on the annual meeting and all the hubbub associated with the bally-hooed “Woodstock for Capitalists” where more Monika Maeckle and Warren Buffettthan 35,000 folks are expected.

Second, those  who become followers of  Business Wire on Twitter in the next few days will have their name put into a random drawing for a chance to win one of the limited edition Wired Wired West posters Business Wire is selling for charity.   There’s only 500 of these  coveted collectables.  The set of three posters features Buffett “the Bullett” riding shotgun on a black stallion, Buffet and Baron-Tamraz riding the range, and Charlie Munger slinging a lasso for a good cause.  Check ‘em out.  

We’ll announce the winner next week right here and on Twitter.  Hope you join us.


Round Up Your Exclusive BH Souvenir Posters for Charity

April 22, 2009

Following up on last year’s successful effort, Business Wire is again offering an exclusive commemorative item at this year’s Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting, being held May 2nd, 2009 in Omaha, Neb.

bhbwgraphic421This year, we’ll be offering a set of three limited-edition posters, titled “Legends of the Wired Wired West,” featuring photos of Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger and Business Wire President and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz.  The set will sell for $5, and will be available to conference attendees by stopping at the Business Wire booth.

All proceeds will once again benefit CASA of Douglas County, Neb.  CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a charitable organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children within the court system. So if you’re in casa-logoOmaha at the Shareholders Meeting, please stop by the Business Wire booth and make a $5 donation for this worthy cause. If you’d like to donate to CASA directly, contact them online.

For a full-size look at all three of the posters in the set, take a look below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »


Upcoming Business Wire Events – April 20 Edition

April 20, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Lunch & Learn: Press Releases as Web Pages and Marketing in a Down Economy

Hosted by Business Wire Phoenix

Join Business Wire Phoenix for a two-part lunch seminar. Business Wire Account Executive & New Media Specialist Malcolm Atherton leads “Part I: Your Release Wants to Be a Mini Web Page,” a discussion on developing release content for long tail online visibility. Then, Jeff Luth, President, Luth Communications, presents “Part II: Fear and Loathing in Your Marketing Department: Positioning for the Upturn,” a discussion on best practices for marketing departments during the down economy. This event is free for all attendees.

Tuesday, April 21 at 11:30am MT
Union Square Boardroom
6991 E. Camelback Rd. Suite D-210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
To register: RSVP by Friday, April 17 to Billy Russell at Billy.Russell@BusinessWire.com or call 480-990-9942 or visit http://businesswirephoenixaprilevent.eventbrite.com.

The Role of the Canadian Media in the North American Energy Sector

Hosted by Business Wire Canada

Join Business Wire Canada and a dynamic panel of industry experts for an interactive discussion about the role of the Canadian media in the North American Energy sector. Panelists include Charles Frank, Business Editor, Calgary Herald; Claudia Cattaneo, Calgary bureau chief, Financial Post; Gordon Jaremko, Editor, Alberta Oil Magazine; and Wilf Gobert, Chairman, Calgary Economic Development. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, April 23 at 2:00pm MT
Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Leduc Room
133 9th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta , Canada
To register: Please RSVP by April 17 to Rhianna Padamsey at Rhianna.Padamsey@BusinessWire.com.

Effective Communication Strategies in Challenging Times

Hosted by Business Wire Charlotte

Join Business Wire Charlotte for lunch and a discussion about effectively communicating your message during challenging times. Listen and learn best practices from both IR and PR professionals in the field as well as members of the media. Panelists include Kiley Rawlins, VP of Investor Relations & Communications, Family Dollar Stores; Patrick Scott, Business Editor, The Charlotte Observer; and Laurie Tardif, Media Relations Manager, Goodrich Corporation. Brandon Uttley, APR, President, PRSA Charlotte and Web Business Freedom will moderate. This event is free for Business Wire members and $10 for non-members.

Tuesday, April 28 at 11:30pm ET
The Morehead Inn

1122 E. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC  28204
To register:  Please RSVP to Angela Hayworth at Angela.Hayworth@BusinessWire.com or 704-347-1590 by Thursday, April 23.

Business Reporting: Meet the Media Covering Tech and Business in Sacramento

Hosted by Business Wire Sacramento

For this Conference Series Media Breakfast, a panel of local tech media share and discuss how they report on the business and technology stories that are unique to Sacramento and add their perspective on this important topic. Learn best practices in business media relations. Panelists include Melanie Turner, Technology Reporter, Sacramento Business Journal; Joe Barr, News Director, Capital Public Radio; and Chad Vander Veen, Associate Editor, Government Technology. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, April 30 at 8:30am  PT
California Chamber of Commerce
1215 K Street 14th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
To register: RSVP to Trina Laird at Trina.Laird@businesswire.com or call (916) 772-2570 by Tuesday, April 28th

The Changing Media Landscape

Hosted by Business Wire Philadelphia

Business Wire, Philadelphia’s only local wire service, and the Science Center partner for this media panel discussion on media relations in a Web 2.0 world. We’ve brought together some of the area’s top journalists and bloggers, including Bernard Dagenais, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal; Mike Armstrong, Business Columnist, PhillyInc Blog Editor, Co-Host of Philadelphia Business Today, and Business Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer; Ed Silverman, Bureau Chief, The Pink Sheet and In Vivo blogs, Elsevier Business Intelligence and Founder of the Pharmalot blog, to share their thoughts on media relations and the future of the industry. This event is free for Science Center and Business Wire members, and $25 for non-members.

Friday, May 1 at 8:00am ET
University City Science Center
3711 Market Street, Suite 800, Conference Room Fuller A&B, Philadelphia, PA 19104
To register: Please RSVP to Kate Carr at kate.carr@businesswire.com with the subject line: Media Breakfast: Changing Media Landscape Registration by Wednesday, April 22.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.


Business Wire International: India

April 20, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in India, from Archana Kachru at Business Wire India, a licensed affiliate. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris, China and Japan.

The Rise of Social Media in India

Amongst the mayhem that recession has brought, the communications industry is witnessing an emerging trend in the Indian corporate sector. With constrained budgets, PR professionals are ready (or forced) to look at non-conventional and inexpensive modes of increasing brand visibility and recall. The communications teams in India at large are now more open to using online/social media as a possible way to reach out to target audiences effectively.

With the entry of online/social media the rules of the game are gradually changing; the masses have evolved and so has the medium. And this time around the epicenter of this media is not editorial desk, not the advertiser, but the consumer himself.  On the other hand, corporates are curious but skeptical about the New Media. As of now, it largely remains an unexplored territory for business brands, with perceivably unstructured format.

What scares them most is the fact that each news item that gets floated in this universe can be commented upon without any editorial gatekeeping. The larger picture for consumers, investors and the general public, however, outlines greater transparency and the power of accountability.

Over the past few years, the online media space has become exciting and has gained some momentum in India. This has largely been limited to social issues. Any event which has affected the nation at large has had a social media movement supporting it. From the Mumbai terror attacks, the 26/11 episode, to outcry over Hindu fanatics, social media has successfully engaged the audiences across the various segments to highlight the national sentiments. More recently, political parties in India have joined the league and have given social media a decent share in the media budget. Online and social networking platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, and YouTube have been used to engage their audiences for the forthcoming general elections.

There is no single process or formula to effectively use social media for public relations efforts. What may have worked for a particular product today may not work for another product tomorrow. While several organizations realize this and are totally avoiding the social /online media route due to lack of knowledge of the medium, a few of the companies are currently trying to play safe till they actually understand it. They are for now just letting their feet into the water by going the content marketing route. Conversational marketing may be the next step but does not seem to be very near in India.

The biggest beneficiaries of any change are the products and services which either have a futuristic outlook or have managed to successfully reinvent themselves in changing times.  As far as newswires in India (such as Business Wire India) are concerned, the dynamics may change at our end too.

The market in India is still in its nascent stages but is rapidly evolving. In the coming times, the newswires will probably be much higher on the checklist for a communications plan. However, once social media assumes a greater importance, as everyone presumes it would, the focus of the PR / communications plan will change from “print media generated coverage” to “real time content on online media” and later to “social media generated conversations”. The change from first to second phase is already in place and from second to third phase may not be too far off. This shift from a mass-medium lead communications to a micro-medium lead communications will probably change the way we define Public Relations and Corporate Communications function. We may then need to reinvent ourselves to suit the changing needs of the market.

Business Wire India plans to be ready for the change.             

Archana Kachru

Business Wire India


Business Wire International: Japan

April 14, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in Japan, from Atsushi Suzuki, Newsroom Supervisor, Business Wire/Tokyo. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris and China.

Business Wire Tokyo is unique in the Business Wire family in several ways, especially how it came to be and how it operates.

We became part of Business Wire when the company acquired its former Japanese affiliate in 2005. (That is when I joined Business Wire, along with the office furniture and equipment!) So we are the only Business Wire office that has firsthand experience being an affiliate before joining the company. To this day, we retain some of those affiliate functions, including distribution of news releases from abroad to Japanese media.

The Tokyo office is one of the few Business Wire offices whose primary language is not English. Many Japanese people have trouble overcoming the language barrier between Japanese and English, and some people are downright allergic to communicating in English. As a provider of primarily English-based services, Tokyo is providing support to Japanese clients in the local language to make our services as accessible as possible.

Business Wire has been committed to localizing its services and accommodating the non-English speaking clients, and the effort has started to bear fruit. BusinessWire.jp was launched in October 2008, providing a more accessible portal to Japanese users. The website provides a basic tutorial on how to write an English press release and a step-by-step guide of the operational and editorial workflow of how releases are processed and distributed via Business Wire’s platform, highlighting the added value of our distribution.

Also, Business Wire’s in-house press release editing software will soon support Japanese and Chinese. This is expected to accelerate our media relations effort in Japan as well as improve the presentation of Japanese press releases at various media outlets.

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However, language is not the only issue we have to contend with when promoting Business Wire in Japan market, and our struggle to penetrate other barriers is ongoing.

Public relations in Japan is quite different from that of the United States. Just a handful of Japanese companies have dedicated international PR departments, due to heavy emphasis placed on the domestic market. There are also companies that do not release information in English, hoping to contain negative news within Japan, which really is a bad idea in this day and age. All this is changing steadily, albeit slowly, with the increasingly global economy.

In addition, international media characterize the PR efforts of Japanese companies to be “passive” in general. There are a small number of exceptions, but Japanese companies are not known for being good at spin control, and this tendency is magnified when it comes to international PR. Quite a few companies are even reluctant to include contact information in their press releases for fear of inquiries flooding in from journalists abroad.

The media community in Japan is also quite different from western countries. One example is a system called Press Clubs, associations of journalists, which is still quite strong in Japan. The companies go there to physically put their press releases into inboxes to get them to journalists. The big disadvantage of this old-fashioned system is that the journalists tend to pick up only the news from big and prestigious companies. Small/medium-sized companies would need strong connections with journalists to get decent media coverage through this system.

Business Wire Tokyo has had a distribution partnership with Jiji Press, one of the two dominant news agencies in Japan, for almost a decade (counting the affiliate days). Thanks to this partnership, the summarized version of virtually every news release we handle is posted to their website and distributed to Jiji’s news outlets consisting of websites and news portals, financial databases, general-interest and trade-specific newspapers, etc., irrespective of the size or status of the issuing company.

Business Wire’s services are a perfect antidote for respectable Japanese companies suffering from international anonymity, as well as big name companies looking to boost their international presence further. Wire service is still a new concept for most Japanese, and we have been encouraging our prospects and clients to use us in order to actively take control of the information flow and use the media to their advantage to more accurately represent themselves in the international arena.

Now that the average ratio of overseas shareholders among  listed Japanese companies amounts to around 30%, many companies have realized the importance of communicating their corporate messages internationally to improve and maintain their presence in the global market. We see a bright future here in Japan.

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in Japan, from Atsushi Suzuki, Newsroom Supervisor, Tokyo. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris and China.

Technology Journos Share Trends and Tips in DC

April 13, 2009

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Business Wire/Washington, DC hosted a panel discussion last Thursday with five distinguished DC area journalists who discussed methods of reporting technology stories that emerge from the Metro area. Watch as they share forward-thinking trends that may emerge from recent changes in the news industry.

The panelists (from left to right)

  • Paul Sherman – Editor-in-Chief, Potomac Tech Wire
  • Gautham Nagesh – Staff Correspondent (Technology) NextGov.com and Government Executive magazine
  • Mark Kellner – Freelance Technology Columnist, incl. Washington Times
  • David Hubler – Associate Editor, Washington Technology
  • Darlene Darcy – Technology Reporter, Washington Business Journal
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    Read more about the event from some of the attendees themselves:

    Becky Sheetz-Runkle outlines the “Top 8 PR Mistakes you may be making” in her write up of Thursday’s event.

    Chris Parente takes a look at the tips and tricks that every PR person should know in “Meeting the Local Tech Press.”

    Mayra Ruiz is taking a 3-part look at the “Pounds of Wisdom” shared by the panel in her blog.

    For more information on similar events and webinars be sure to check out upcoming Business Wire events.


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