When Press Releases Go Global, Timing Important: All Things Press Release Podcast

January 28, 2010

Timing is everything, especially when press releases go global, says Marianne Pohl, an editor in Business Wire’s London newsroom.

All Things Press Release launches a “Going Global with Your Press Release” podcast series today with an episode on timing. Marianne shares tips on what to consider when sending press releases across time zones around the world.

Simultaneous?  Play to the local market’s time zone and work day?  What about local holidays and celebrations?   Take a listen and learn–and let us know what you think.

If you like what you hear, subscribe via RSS or iTunes. You can enjoy all our podcasts by clicking on the All Things Press Release tab at the top of this page (third tab from left).

Have ideas for a future podcast?   Please let us know. Email blog_group@businesswire.com or connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire


Mobile Is A Game-Changer

January 20, 2010

Jesse Stanchak wrote recently at SmartBrief’s Smart Blog on Social Media about the growth of the mobile market and what it means to marketers and PR people.  Jesse says that aiming your news at mobile users is less of a small, tactical change to the industry and more a revision of entire strategies, much like the advent of broadcasting changed things in the past.

It makes sense.  Never before have consumers of information been more in charge of when, where and how they get it.  Going forward, successful marketers are going to have to make information available in a format and through channels that reach consumers everywhere.  Not just at home or in the car, and not just on TV or radio, but on game consoles, on phones, on netbooks . . . on pretty much anything.

Take a look at the expected growth of mobile internet devices over the next few years.  The 3G smartphone market alone, which includes iPhones, Blackberries, Droids and other devices, grew 42% from 2008 to 2009.  And as Adam Cahill notes, “We’re talking about a fundamental shift in how people access the Web and, presumably, a corresponding shift in what they do once they get there.”

So while you’re tailoring your strategy for mobile web users, we’ll help you deliver it:  Along with our new mobile-optimized site, we now deliver your news to mobile devices everywhere via multiple channels.  And keep an eye out for more exciting Business Wire Mobile news coming in the next several weeks.


PR Peeps Poll: 32% say 2009 Social Media Efforts “Good not Great”

January 20, 2010

The December 2009 PR Peeps poll results are in–better late than never, folks–and 32% of respondents rated their social media efforts for 2009 “good, not great.”

Regarding the question, “How would you rate the success of your social media efforts in 2009?” 174 answered as follows:

  • Fantastic–22, or 13%
  • Good, not great–56, or 32%
  • Fair–41,  or 24%
  • Still debating if  it’s worth the time–40, or 23%
  • Terrible–15, or 8%

We’ll leave the commentary on this poll to the social media evangelists.

To those who participated, thank you–and hey, how about helping with the January 2010 PR Peeps Poll?    Do you monitor news and press releases on your mobile device? Please let us know.

Happy New Year!


Valentine’s Day Features

January 14, 2010

Valentine's candy

Did you know that Valentine’s Day sections are one of the largest sections the media runs annually, even after Santa returns to the North Pole?  Or that the National Retail Federation estimates the size of the Valentine’s Day market at more than $14 billion?

That, according to Hallmark, 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually?  That 58 million pounds of chocolate candy, at a total of $345 million, will be sold in the week before Valentine’s Day?

Now is the best time to help out Cupid and prepare your Valentine’s Day feature . Tell section editors about the latest gifts, trends or expert advice you want to promote and keep consumers in-the-know.

If you have a good story to tell, Business Wire will be sending two Valentine’s Day feature news packages to the media this year. Copy for these topics is due January 15 and January 26th.

Find out more about our Features Topic Series packages at http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/features/.

And if you’re covering Valentine’s Day in your publication, broadcast or blog, be sure to sign up to receive Business Wire’s customizable news feed service via PressPass so you don’t ever miss a story.

(Photo: Denise Cross/Flickr)


How to Reach the $713B Latino Market: Hispanic Media Panel Provides Targeting Tips, Trends

January 12, 2010

Business Wire San Antonio hosted “How to Reach the $713B Latino Market: Hispanic Media Panel Provides Targeting Tips, Trends,” a media breakfast where San Antonio area attendees learned valuable tips on reaching the Latino market.

The panel included:
Samuel Belilty, News Director, KWEX Univision 41
Frank Elizondo, Regional Manager, El Mundo
Javier Barroso, Deputy Editor, Conexión

 Among the key insights provided by the panel:

Mr Belity says:

  • San Antonio’s Hispanic density ranks above top Hispanic markets  (Miami, LA, Houston, Phoenix)
  • San Antonio’s Hispanic population is growing  four times faster than non-Hispanics
  • A phenomenon marketing experts call retro-acculturation is taking root, noting that Latinos who have lived in this country their entire lives develop a need to reconnect with their roots – and language
  • Because 9 out of 10 Hispanics in San Antonio speak Spanish, they can choose what media they want to read, listen to or watch and 84% of them usually choose Spanish media

 Mr Elizondo says:

  • The Hispanic reader loves color in their newspaper
  • El Mundo is currently published entirely in Spanish in full color
  • Current efforts are being made to reach the non-Spanish speaking Hispanic as well (online version has some English portions)

Mr Barroso says:

  • Conexión’s focus is local stories, local profiles, human interest and ½ the pages include entertainment-oriented stories with a focus on “our people”
  • Know the publication’s audience when you pitch and provide your press releases in English
  • Don’t pitch live events, unless it’s way ahead of time. If you’re going to pitch an event you want covered, pitch it to the San Antonio Express-News because it’s a daily publication and has the staff and resources to cover the event

If you’d like Samuel’s presentation or the seminar takeaway packet, please email Barbie Dunn, barbie.dunn@businesswire.com.

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


XBRL Update: Jan 2010

January 8, 2010

On December 4, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched its XBRL information portal, which can be found at http://xbrl.sec.gov. The portal consolidates in one easy to find central location all SEC related XBRL information and also highlights new XBRL developments to simplify searching for the most up-to-date information. In this issue of the XBRL Update, we will summarize the information available on the SEC’s XBRL portal, discuss the quality of the second wave of filings and provide you an update on how to best prepare for the upcoming 10-K and detailed tagging requirements.

SEC’s XBRL Portal

The SEC’s XBRL portal contains five main categories: Rules and Regulations; Background; View Filings; Interpretive Guidance; and Technical. Details of each category are as follows:

  • Rules and Regulations: Contains postings of final XBRL rules for Publicly Traded Companies, Mutual Funds, Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations and the Voluntary Filer Program (VFP).
    • Allows users to access the respective rules and regulations without having to search through the SEC website.
  • Background: Contains general XBRL information, covering:
    • A brief synopsis of XBRL and the countries in which XBRL has already been implemented.
    • A glossary of frequently used terms (i.e. element, concept, extensions, etc).
    • History of the SEC’s adoption of XBRL and information regarding the Office of Interactive Disclosure (OID).
  • View Filings: Various options for viewing XBRL filings submitted to the SEC are listed:
    • Users may subscribe to an RSS feed or view the latest 100 XBRL files submitted to the SEC.
    • View filings submitted under the VFP.
    • Search EDGAR filings (which include XBRL exhibits, if submitted) by company name, ticker symbol or CIK number.
    • Link to upload XBRL files to the Interactive Data Viewer (“Previewer”).
  • Interpretive Guidance: The SEC will continue to issue XBRL guidance based on their

review of interactive data submissions and questions raised by filers and agents.

  • Technical: The technical section includes links to:
    • Approved taxonomies.
    • The EDGAR Filer Manual.
    • Shortcut to the SEC Previewer.
    • Listing of EDGAR XBRL Validation Errors and Warnings.

Second Wave of Filings Submitted to the SEC

On September 28, 2009, the SEC updated the EDGAR system to enhance its Interactive Data (XBRL) file validation capabilities. Since the update, Business Wire has been closely monitoring the quality of the filings, noting a marked improvement in the SEC submissions as compared to the prior quarter. Furthermore, upon closer examination, we have noted through two sets of independent validation tools that the SEC continues to accept filings with EDGAR Filer Manual

errors. From September 28th through November 20th, we noted 30 out of 410 filings had at least one error according to one of the validation tools.

10-K and Detailed Tagging Requirements

Along with the 10‐K filing come additional XBRL requirements, which include mapping: the Statement of Shareholders’ Equity, additional notes to the financial statements and financial statement schedules.

  • Detailed Tagging: For clients required to file XBRL exhibits in the first phase, detailed tagging will be here before we know it. First phase filers will be required to present detailed tags for their second quarter filing in 2010. Detail tagging creates an additional burden on the filer as it increases the amount of work required to ensure XBRL compliance and forces the filer to change their financial reporting process to ensure ample time in incorporating last minute changes.

Have any XBRL questions or concerns?  Simply contact us at XBRL@BusinessWire.com.


Live from CES 2010: Optimism!

January 7, 2010

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

Optimism was the word at Wednesday night’s pre-opening keynote at the 2010 International CES, where Business Wire was on-site. As Keynote speaker and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put it, even with the economic difficulties in 2009, the consumer electronics industry stayed focused and innovative and still managed to make an impact on people. Both Ballmer and CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro showed optimism about the new year, with Ballmer echoing Berkshire Hathaway and Business Wire boss Warren Buffett’s recent remarks on feeling “bullish” about the future.

Ballmer’s presentation emphasized the idea of “delivering the experiences that people want, whenever they want them, wherever they are.” We certainly agree; our business is getting information to the people to whom it is most relevant, wherever they happen to be. That’s why we’ve added mobile to our distribution network, so our members’ full-text releases can be viewed easily on any mobile device.

Another theme becoming prevalent is user input in product development or user-developed products. Obviously, user-created mobile applications have gone mainstream and crowdsourcing initiatives like MyStarbucksIdea and Dell Ideastorm have successfully involved consumers in product development for major brands. Ballmer noted that Windows 7 was beta-tested by eight million Microsoft customers.

What other major themes do you see coming out of the 2010 CES?

If you missed Steve Ballmer’s keynote last night, you can catch the full video on the Microsoft website or read cNet’s detailed live-blog.

Did you know Business Wire is the official wire service for the 2010 International CES? We’re live and on-site! If you’re at the show, come see us in the South Press Room s229. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @businesswire for live updates from the show!


Editor’s Corner – January Edition

January 7, 2010

With 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.

BW LA Senior Editor Roger Johnson

Years ago, teaching English composition at the University of Arkansas, I gave a half-joking, half-serious commandment to my students the first day of class: don’t bore me.

I didn’t mean that a tiger had to leap out at me in every sentence, or that each paragraph should end with someone hanging from a cliff. I meant that their prose should be vigorous –clear and concise, filled with specific detail.

In my past 13 years as an editor at Business Wire, I’ve discovered that readers of your news releases want the same thing. They’re not looking for pouncing tigers – just clear, concise, detailed information that keeps them reading. And keeps them using your releases — in their newspaper, television broadcast, blog or online database.

We all know “the rules” by now: omit needless words, clearly attribute speakers in quotes, use nouns and strong verbs, etc. (Pick up a style guide for a refresher course. From the fussy Elements of Style to the practical and sturdy AP Stylebook, there’s a million of ‘em out there.)

Writing a tight, detailed release definitely will get your news noticed. But an even better way to attract media attention is to include a multimedia element with your release — something you can do by ordering a Smart News Release (SNR).

Press releases about new hires or promotions will definitely attract more eyes if you include photos. Open up any newspaper’s business section, which is filled with executive headshots, and you’ll see how valuable these are to editors – and thus to your company.

That old adage about “a picture being worth a thousand words” endures because it’s true. Many times I’ve worked on an SNR one day and then seen the same image in the pages of USA Today or the Los Angeles Times the next morning. And I’ve seen videos SNRs I’ve worked on in the morning on that evening’s local news broadcast.

Some things to keep in mind when you send in a photo as part of your SNR:

  • Send it in .jpg format. (Other graphics files like .tif, .gif, .bmp, and .png are usable, too.)
  • Send images of at least 2400 pixels on the longest side. (Although we can run any size as an SNR, print media won’t use smaller images.)
  • Always include a caption with your photo.

Some things to keep in mind when sending us video files:

  • Send original digitized files (MPG, MP4, AVI, WMV and MOV files, for example) rather than files already converted to a streaming format.
  • Make the video for a window of at least 320×240 pixels (a 4:3 aspect ratio).
  • The frame rate should be at least 15 fps (frames per second) or higher.
  • Most web viewers say they prefer videos of five minutes or less.

Along with photos and videos, you can supplement your news releases with Excel spreadsheets and charts; PowerPoint slide shows; PDF documents; Word documents; or Flash animations.

Finally, include your company logo with your photo or video. This will help brand your company news and help complete your multimedia package.

-Roger Johnson, Senior Editor, Business Wire Los Angeles


A Closer Look at the BRIC Countries: Brazil

January 6, 2010

by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire New York

The conventional wisdom among economists is that the so-called “BRIC” countries–Brazil, Russia, India, and China–will be the primary engines powering the 21st Century economy. These rapidly developing markets promise to have a disproportionate influence on the trends shaping the global economy.

At Business Wire, the future is now. Business Wire is uniquely positioned to offer its members privileged access to these dynamic markets by virtue of its special relationships with influential distribution partners. In this issue, we will focus on Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, an awakening giant only now beginning to realize its true potential. Already an agricultural and mining power, Brazil is also becoming a player in the world energy market after a major oil find by state-run oil company Petrobras.

Business Wire maintains an exclusive relationship with Agencia Estado (AE), part of Grupo Estado, one of Brazil’s largest media groups.

Agencia Estado is a real-time information provider with a strong emphasis on economic and political news. It’s multi-channel distribution platform reaches diverse audiences including the financial community, the mainstream media, and industry decision-makers. For companies seeking to tap Brazil’s burgeoning capital and consumer markets, there is clearly no better conduit.

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s financial center, AE Broadcast may be viewed as the local equivalent of Bloomberg, with a desktop terminal network that has some 15,000 subscribers. It is a mainstay of the investment sector, featuring corporate data, earnings, analytics, commodities, and indices, delivered in real-time to trading desks and others linked to the financial markets.

Estado also provides strong penetration of the Brazilian media, both tradition and online. Business Wire’s content is integrated into AE Midia, Estado’s general-interest news service. Midia is delivered to some 200 newsrooms, including leading broadcast stations, magazines, radio stations, and web sites.

Two other important planks in the Estado platform are Sistema de Informacao, a professional information resource for business executives with several hundred subscribers, and a Business Wire press release channel on Estado’s popular website.

Clearly, the Agencia Estado connection serves as an invaluable link to investment professionals, business executives, government leaders, and an increasingly affluent consumer market.

Business Wire goes beyond leveraging Brazil’s most powerful media and financial information platforms. We pride ourselves in providing a turnkey solution that includes a full-text Portuguese translation, all logistical coordination, and a distribution network that includes display presentation on desktop terminals and guaranteed web placements.

To put the opportunity into perspective, Business Wire takes a potentially complex and culturally challenging project, and provides a clear-cut circuit option that is comprehensive, cost-efficient and convenient.

Brazil is available as a standalone option; it is included in all Latin America regional distributions, as well as Business Wire’s Global circuits.

In future newsletters, Business Wire will focus on its distribution solutions in Russia, India and China. With Business Wire, robust yet remote markets are only a click away.


Why Business Wire for XBRL?

January 5, 2010

by Ali Paksima, CPA, XBRL Accounting Manager, Business Wire

We believe Business Wire is the obvious choice for converting your financials to XBRL format.  It’s not only because we are more cost-effective than most, it is also because our approach to XBRL sets us apart from all others.

Below are several statements we hear frequently from public company clients.  Our hunch is that many of you are having the same thoughts, therefore we’ve provided our responses to these statements.  We believe you’ll understand precisely why Business Wire is better after learning more about our approach:

Client Statement: We know our financials better than anyone else.

We cannot agree with you more. However, we know the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy and the SEC requirements for reporting in XBRL inside and out.  We also hire only CPA-level staffers who are intimately familiar with public company financial statements. For this reason we take a collaborative approach to XBRL (i.e., your knowledge combined with ours) and work as an extension of your team.

Our first step is always to read your financial statements so that we may understand your company and your financial statements better.  We then hold an introductory call to discuss your financial statements and afterwards immediately begin the task of identifying the appropriate XBRL elements and drawing up a list of points to clarify with your organization.  Next, we send you a report to review the selected elements, the corresponding definitions, and any additional points to discuss.  This process allows us to couple your knowledge of your company’s financials and our knowledge of the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy and the SEC requirements to identify the best elements that present your company’s financial statements in XBRL, fairly.

Client Question: Will we have control over our process and know exactly all of the inputs in our file?

With our collaborative approach to XBRL, you are in complete control throughout the entire process without having to become an expert in XBRL. We will review the element mapping with you and provide you with review and rendering reports. Furthermore, our collaborative approach includes unlimited consulting time. We will spend as much time with you as you want in order to increase your understanding of XBRL.

Client Question: Who at Business Wire works on our XBRL documents?

We have the best and the brightest people working here:  CPA-level accountants and financial statement experts who know the implications of incorrectly tagged data.  Our in-house XBRL taxonomists (to whom you can reach out directly whenever you like, for no additional fee) bring their U.S. GAAP accounting experience to your XBRL filings.

It is important to note that Business Wire’s XBRL team works in the secure, audited confines of our New York operation, adjacent to our fully in-house EDGAR operation.

Business Wire is the clear choice for converting your financial statements to XBRL format.  We hope that these answers will enable you to make well-informed decisions when not only selecting an approach to XBRL, but when selecting a vendor too.  Feel free to contact us at any time (XBRL@BusinessWire.com) with any and all XBRL questions you may have. We look forward to showing you why Business Wire is better.


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