Dallas Area Media Discuss Strategies for Marketing to the Hispanic Market

October 30, 2009

Business Wire Dallas hosted “Targeting the Hispanic Market: Strategies & Trends,” a media breakfast for Dallas-area communicators on October 22 to discuss how to target communication efforts to the ever-growing and influential Hispanic consumer market.

Dallaspic

The panel included (left to right):

Among the key insights provided by the panel:

  • Mr. Carbajal recommended sending press releases in English instead of possibly using incorrect Spanish grammar or spelling.  Most importantly, he advised that when sending a press release, it is important to “highlight the audience that the news will impact” and to “put a face” on the news when you are pitching it.
  • Ms. Juárez shared that 75% of DFW households speak both English and Spanish.  Ms. Juárez said when sending in a press release it is best to keep it short and sweet preferably emailing the release to the general newsroom inbox rather than to one specific assignment editor with the ideal submission time being between noon and 2 p.m.
  • Mr. Murphy suggested five objectives you need in order to reach the Hispanic community: Trust, Education, Community, Emotional Component and a Face-to-Face Relationship.
  • Mr. Pinzon gave insight on a typical Telemundo viewer being a married person in their 30’s with children, bilingual and with legal U.S. citizenship.  On the topic of pitching a story idea to Telemundo, Mr. Pinzon stated that he prefers shooting their own footage because the B-roll provided by companies always tends to be a little too “advertiser-y.”  When emailing, Mr. Pinzon advised giving specific information in the subject line beyond a general subject like “Important Event!”
  • Mrs. Romero shared the importance of having a bilingual spokesperson in order to ensure ease during the interview process when speaking to the Hispanic media.  Mrs. Romero believes the Hispanic market to be educated and technologically savvy, giving the example that more and more Hispanics are now booking their flights on Southwest using mobile devices.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Editor’s Corner – November Edition

October 30, 2009

EditorsCornerheaderWith 30 bureaus around the world and more newsrooms than all of our competitors combined, Business Wire is proud to provide local expertise and superior service, backed by the most accurate editors in the world. In Editor’s Corner, we ask some of our best to chime in on how to get the most out of your press release, based on their years of experience in the industry.

mike_macguire

Business Wire NY Editor Mike Maguire

As a 20 year veteran of Business Wire and 25 year veteran of the newswire business, I am often asked…how do I make the most out of my press release?

For those that use a commercial newswire like Business Wire, one of the most important things to remember is timing the story so that it can get maximum attention.

Does it make sense to send a story out at 8 a.m., when there are potentially 100 other stories moving at that time of the day?  The answer is no.  While we ultimately will send a release when a client desires, we also are in the business of making sure customers are getting maximum attention on their story – both in the preparation phase and the ultimate launch time.  Often sending the release before the top of the hour is much more effective than on the hour, when the majority of releases are sent.  This gives editors time to get on your news first.  This General Mills release from Sept. 23 is a prime example.

Additionally, take a look at the major news events of the day when you are scheduling a release.  Try to stay away from the times when major economic reports are being issued – such as jobs data, durable goods, housing reports and Federal Reserve decision days.  Giving editors time to digest those numbers gives your release a better chance of actually getting read than sending a release when those reports are being made public.  The Economic Calendar on Bloomberg.com is a good reference for any IR or PR professional.

Finally, in this age of multimedia, social media and sharing, do more with the copy in your release. Put in links to other sources/references for the reporter or reader. Add photo and video (they cost the same on Business Wire) to make the release jump off the page. These are just some ways to get the most out of your release.

-Mike Maguire, National Editorial Supervisor, Business Wire New York


Five Tips for More Search Friendly Headlines

October 29, 2009

by Joseph Miller, EON: Enhanced Online News Product Manager, Business Wire San Antonio

I recently wrote a post that covered some key search engine ranking factors and how they apply to your press releases.  Today I thought I would dive into one of those key factors: the page title.  In the context of press releases, your headline serves double duty as your page title and is thus the most important signpost for steering searchers and readers towards your content.

Using these simple tips can help you get the most out of your headlines and reap benefits for your organization.

1.  Give ’Em What They Want
When crafting your headline and release, it’s important to think like a searcher.  Look at past release reports or your web analytics to see what keywords tend to bring readers to your unique content and build on that.  If you don’t have access to your company’s web analytics, try to request a report from your web team with top search referral terms.

2.  Emphasize Your Most Important Keywords
Once you have some quality keywords to choose from, pick one or two that are most important to you and focus your headline on those.  You don’t have a lot of room to work with, so don’t try to work too many keywords into your headline just for the sake of it.

3.  Keep It Brief
Speaking of room to work with, Google generally displays only the first 63 characters (letters and spaces) of release headlines in search results, so make sure to get your key information across as concisely as possible.  If you are going to go beyond the limit, always make sure that your headline reads well when truncated.  That’s how searchers will encounter your news. If it doesn’t make sense, they are much less likely to click through and read the rest what you have to say.

Here’s an example. This is how the headline of this release from 977music.com reads on EON: Enhanced Online News:
977image1
And here’s how the title reads, as displayed in Google search results.  Note that the headline’s been shortened, but it still conveys key information:
977image2
4.  Choose: Descriptive or Catchy
It can be very difficult to be both descriptive and catchy at the same time, and both techniques have their benefits.  Descriptive headlines may be more relevant to more people and tend to work in more keywords for SEO, but catchy headlines might be better ‘linkbait’ and more likely to be shared via social networks or blogs.

5.  Keep At It
Search engines like Google and Bing are here to stay and securing your place in search results is an ongoing effort.  Incorporating press release SEO techniques can provide both short term benefits and serve as part of a long term strategy to build your presence in search.

For more press release optimization tips, visit EON: Enhanced Online News.


Two Frank XBRL Questions, Two Candid Answers

October 28, 2009

by Michael Becker, Vice President, Global Disclosure and Financial Reporting Services, Business Wire

Quite often I speak at industry events on XBRL. At these events I take off my Business Wire hat and speak in general terms about the XBRL community. And while I enjoy nothing more than speaking to folks about XBRL, I have not had an opportunity to let you know how I personally feel, until now. This month we will answer two questions: How should you file (do-it-yourself vs. outsource); and if you opt to outsource XBRL, how do you select a partner?

However, before we can use words like “in-house,” “outsource,” “dimension” or “hypercube,” your organization must first lay the groundwork for XBRL. The primary task is to select a cross-departmental team of individuals who possess the requisite knowledge of your financial statements and footnotes (e.g., investor relations and financial reporting). This XBRL team will be tasked with knowing the SEC’s Interactive Data rule [PDF], the EDGAR Filer Manual (Volume II, Chapter Six), all relative U.S. GAAP Taxonomies and of course, the XBRL rules themselves. It will also be this team’s responsibility to set the XBRL timeline and recommend an approach (do-it-yourself vs. outsource) for your organization.

Question One: Should we tag XBRL in-house with a piece of software or outsource XBRL to a vendor? Do-it-yourself tagging is a long, long (long) way from perfect. This is because the software on the market today is not mature. While many of the XBRL software packages possess a nice graphical user interface (GUI), a solid GUI does not equate to high-quality XBRL. As a matter of fact, the XBRL filings that possessed the highest number of errors in Q2 originated from issuers who attempted to tackle XBRL on their own.

The problem with the in-house approach to XBRL is twofold. As stated earlier, the XBRL software community is maturing and, in my opinion, still has a way to go. Secondly, while XBRL is a computer language that should be easily handled by a computer program, today high-quality XBRL requires a human mind to make determinations on best practice use of taxonomies (e.g., to extend or not to extend a line item) and the EDGAR Filer Manual and XBRL rules. It is no wonder that several software vendors have changed their model to consulting.

Therefore, my recommendation is to not attempt XBRL on your own at this time. And, if you do opt to purchase a piece of software and tag your XBRL filing, work with a partner like Business Wire to QA the tags and assure that the XBRL exhibits validate properly prior to SEC submission.

Question Two: We’ve opted to outsource XBRL to a vendor. What questions should we ask when selecting a partner? Selecting an XBRL partner is important; this is one project where I dare say you get what you pay for.

First, ask where and how the XBRL services are being performed. This includes initial mapping and tagging, creation of the XBRL exhibits; and for those issuers who outsource EDGAR, ask if the XBRL team is in the same location as the EDGAR operation. We are aware that in order to scale, many vendors are outsourcing work to myriad locations in myriad manners. I disagree with this approach wholeheartedly.

An issuer must maintain control when outsourcing. Outsourcing to a vendor who outsources stymies the process and adds unnecessary variables, variables that are not welcome when working with material, non-public information.

Furthermore, the corporate XBRL team must be engaged because nobody knows the nuances of its financials better. Therefore, when selecting a vendor you will want:

  • First, the ability to speak with your taxonomist, who knows both U.S. GAAP accounting and XBRL , when you want;
  • And second, the ability to update your EDGAR filing and associated XBRL exhibits seamlessly, down to the last minute.

In essence, you must find a vendor that becomes an extension of your financial reporting team.

Nobody wants to make last-minute Author’s Alterations to an EDGAR filing, but it happens, and if it does, make sure your vendor can handle the XBRL and EDGAR changes in real-time. At Business Wire we have our EDGAR and XBRL teams located in one secure office to ensure updates are made in real-time and there are no version control issues.

You must also ask prospective vendors about the knowledge level of their XBRL staff. Be sure to speak with the individuals who will make tagging decisions on your financial statements. Confirm that these taxonomists are knowledgeable and that you will be able to work with them in a collaborative manner, at your pace. For example, at Business Wire we only hire CPA-level staff on our XBRL team.

Lastly, here are several additional questions to ask prospective vendors: At what level do you validate (e.g., XML, XBRL, EDGAR Filer Manual)? How much does the entire process cost (e.g., beware of hidden fees)? What sort of XBRL experience do you have and is the vendor financially stable?

In conclusion, one could easily argue that I am biased on this particular subject. The frank answer is that I am. From my seat, I can see the issuers who have attempted XBRL on their own and the errors they have made, I can see the vendors who outsource XBRL to foreign partners, I can see the vendors that have turned XBRL into an assembly line, I see the challenges of detailed footnote tagging ahead and then look at the brilliant XBRL minds who sit alongside me at Business Wire and think: Who in their right mind would not want to outsource XBRL to a partner like Business Wire?


Social and Mainstream Media Must Learn to Live Together

October 27, 2009

Business Wire/Phoenix account executive Malcolm Atherton recently attended Blog World, and had some observations about the interaction between mainstream and social media:

After spending three days at the 2009 Blog World & New Media Expo, I got the feeling that social media and mainstream media have some issues to work out.

 This was clearly illustrated when Don Lemon of CNN took part in a keynote panel titled “The Death & Rebirth of Social Media”.

 Don noted his positive and negative social media experiences, how he thinks social media and mainstream media can help one another and how social media “made me up my game [at CNN] – I have to be more accurate.” However, as JD Lasica wrote on SocialMedia.biz, when Don was asked “’Why should bloggers want to work with CNN?’ Lemon should have more artfully worded his reply — ‘The plain truth is that my platform is bigger than your platform.’”

 Perhaps that statement is part of the problem – mainstream media likes social media but doesn’t give it equal billing.

 On the flip side, during the same Q&A, one feisty blogger angrily stated that he would never share an information source with CNN or any other mainstream media outlet because “mainstream media is not interesting to me anymore.”

 Sigh.

Later that day, during a panel titled “How Social Media is Changing the Definition of News,” social media maven, journalism degree-holder, and panelist Robert Scoble stated that old school journalism doesn’t like that they have to publish in real time and do all fact checking later to stay competitive. Animated discussion ensued between panelists and the audience.  (And with good reason – mainstream media were slow to break the news earlier this year of Michael Jackson’s death, which had already broken on Twitter and various entertainment blogs; while other recent events have shown that with running with a story before fact checking comes the possibility of getting your fingers burned.)

As legacy media find themselves increasingly dependent on and successful with blogs, Twitter and other real-time publishing outlets, they’re going to have to learn to live with some different standards and protocols; social media, on the other hand, needs to account for the reputation, reach and impact of large corporate media outlets.  Bulldog Reporter shows how more journalists are dipping into the social media pool; while Search Engine Watch discusses how big players can earn respect in social media.

Follow Malcolm on Twitter at @MalcolmAtherton.


SEO Tip Jar: Common Questions about Press Release Link Practices

October 16, 2009

seotipjar-header-v11
Looking to learn more about the art and science of Search Engine Optimization?  Join Joseph Miller, EON Product Manager, for a new batch of tips from his SEO Tip Jar.

Links are the currency of the web and are quickly becoming more important to savvy PR practitioners and communicators.  Links help determine where you rank in searches and drive qualified traffic to your website, blog, and social presences such as Twitter.

Press releases can be a great source of links for your company, and we get questions all the time on how to best employ them in practice.   This post will address some of the most common questions and dig into the why behind linking techniques.

Q: Do links going to a specific page on my website hurt my homepage’s Google ranking?

This is a pretty big question with regards to SEO and search rankings.  The short answer is no.

Links to specific pages on your website will not hurt the ranking of your homepage for relevant search terms; they will simply boost the ranking of that specific page and the site as a whole.  There are two big advantages to linking to a specific page within a website rather than the homepage.

First off, company homepages are often more general in focus, appeal to all possible audiences, and cover a broad range of topics.  A page deeper within a website is usually more specific and will more quickly direct relevant readers (and potential customers) towards completing your desired actions such as filling out a form, signing up for newsletter, calling to inquire, requesting a brochure, or ordering online.

Secondly, deeper pages often hold greater appeal to search engines for more specific long tail search queries.  So while your company’s homepage may be better optimized for more general search queries (ex. ‘online university’, ‘pet food’) pages deeper within your site will be geared towards more specific search queries (ex. ‘accredited online MBA program’, ‘organic cat food’).

Experiment with different strategies depending on the release content and campaign to see what works best for you.

Q: Are more links always better?  How many links are appropriate for my release?

Less is often more when it comes to the number of links on a page.

Google assigns each site and individual page on the Internet a certain amount of power called PageRank (often referred to as “Google Juice”).  Google states that they “use more than 200 signals, including our patented PageRank™ algorithm, to examine the entire link structure of the web and determine which pages are most important.”  Your PageRank can range from 0 to 10, and when another site such as your Business Wire press release links to you, that site passes PageRank to you.  Calculating PageRank is somewhat complicated, but it essentially boils down to adding up the quality and quantity of links pointing at each page of your site.  Tools including the free Google toolbar can give you an estimate of your score.

Within a page, each link passes an equal share of PageRank to outbound links as the image below illustrates.

Press Release Link Juice

So while you can include a hundred links in a release, you will likely be diluting their individual value.  It’s often a better idea to prioritize and judiciously link only to your most important destination pages.

Q: What text should I use in my links?

Along with PageRank or similar criteria used by Bing or Yahoo, search engines also use link anchor text to help determine the relevancy of a page.  Employing descriptive anchor text is a great opportunity to tell search engines more about you and direct more relevant traffic your way.  When deciding what to use, try to think like a searcher.  Create a list of search terms that you would expect to bring people to your site and use some of the terms you come up with.  Try not to settle on links such as ‘Click Here’ whenever possible.

I hope this post helps you craft a linking strategy in your future press releases.  Please let me know if you have any linking questions or comments.


Upcoming Business Wire Events – October 12 Edition

October 12, 2009

bwupcomingeventsheader2

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:

Press Releases: The Road Not Taken

Hosted by Business Wire Nashville

Add more life to your press release. Join Business Wire Nashville for this educational workshop that will show you how to partner your text release with multimedia, stylistic elements and SEO techniques, the “road not taken” that can earn you big media results. This event is free for all attendees.

Tuesday, October 13 at 11:30am CT
Courtyard by Marriott
1901 West End Ave., Nashville, TN 37203
To register: Please RSVP to Denise Higgins at denise.higgins@businesswire.com or call 615.661.6123

Targeting the Hispanic Market: Strategies & Trends

Hosted by Business Wire Dallas

Join Business Wire Dallas for breakfast and a panel discussion on the ever-growing Hispanic consumer market and how to target your communications efforts to this influential segment of the US population. Our panel of experts include: Alfredo Carbajal, Editor-in-Chief of Al Dia, Eloina Juárez, Assignment Editor at KUVN Univision 23, Brent Murphy, Publisher of Mercado Bilingue, Juan Carlos Pinzon, Executive Producer at Telemundo and Olga Romero, Spanish Public Relations and Spokesperson at Southwest Airlines. This event is free for Business Wire members and $10 for non-members.

Thursday, October 22 at 8:00 a.m.
Hilton Dallas/ Park Cities
5954 Luther Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225
To register: Please RSVP with Susie Wolan at susie.wolan@businesswire.com or call 972-458-9555.

GreenTech, CleanTech and Pitching New Energy Technologies

Hosted by Business Wire Boston

Join Business Wire Boston for a special event geared toward communications professionals working in the emerging green industry. We will hear from leading journalists in print, broadcast and new media on how to position and pitch stories related to new energy technologies, including wind energy, solar technology, biofuels and other renewable resources. The discussion will emergence of a strong “GreenTech” (clean energy) industry in New England and how to make sure your organization is well-positioned in the field. Panelists include: Jay Fitzgerald, General Economics Reporter and Blogger for the Boston Herald, Stephen Lacey, Podcast Producer and Editor for Renewable Energy World, Curt Nickisch, Business and Technology Reporter for WBUR and Andrew Brengle, Senior Analyst for KLD Research & Analytics. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, November 5 at 8:00 a.m.
Westin Waltham
70 Third Ave, Waltham, MA 02451
To register: RSVP here.

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.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39,769 other followers

%d bloggers like this: