Business Wire Smash!

April 30, 2010

– by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist

The Incredible Hulk’s famous battle cry came to mind today as I arrived at the Qwest Center in Omaha to find our newly-assembled Penny Press machine, which will be used by attendees of the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting to create their souvenir pennies for charity.  Mike Compton and his team from Renze Display did a terrific job putting together the penny smasher as well as the rest of our booth.

The best thing is that I got to be the first person to run a penny through it!  Several of them, in fact — one for each of the four designs we’re making available. With a bunch of shiny, newly-minted pennies in hand, I turned the crank for each design and was rewarded with four fun new souvenir collectibles. Even better, we’re providing a nice little keepsake card for your pennies.  And just one penny will look lonely, so of course you’re going to want to get all four, right?



BW’s Laura Sturaitis in New Book on Product Launch

April 29, 2010

Business Wire’s own Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services & Product Strategy, is quoted in The New Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics & Trends from the Most Memorable New Products, a new book by Joan Schneider and Julie Hall from Boston-based PR firm Schneider Associates (disclosure: SA is a Business Wire client). In the book, which is about how integrated marketing ideas fuel and sustain successful product launches, Laura discusses how enhanced press releases can improve product launches. Specifically, she discusses how links and multimedia improve the visibility of press releases and the importance of being able to measure the ROI of a release.

For more information, check out the press release about the book. The New Launch Plan is on sale now & can be purchased on Amazon here.


San Francisco PR Pros Discuss Today’s Global Mobile Social World

April 29, 2010

More than 90 PR and IR professionals joined our Business Wire San Francisco media breakfast panel at Autodesk’s Gallery Conference center on Thursday, April 15th, in San Francisco, CA for “Navigating Today’s Global Mobile Social World from a PR Perspective,” an engaging discussion on the state of social media, best practice case studies, trends and online community management.

Moderated by Monika Maeckle (far left), Vice President, New Media, Business Wire, the thought leaders and panelists included (L to R):

  • Kimarie Matthews, Vice President, Customer Advocacy and Loyalty, Wells Fargo Bank, Internet Services Group
  • Rachel Polish, Vice President, Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence
  • David Toole, Founder and CEO, MediaMobz
  • Chris Heuer, Founder, AdHocnium and Social Media Club
  • Maura Ginty, Customer Experience, Worldwide Marketing, Autodesk

Here are some notes from each of our panelists from the discussion:

Kimarie Matthews

  • Her Wells Fargo team leads Customer Advocacy and Loyalty for Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Group.
  • Her group manages a variety of programs that enable the company to listen, respond and act to improve the customer experience, including Wells Fargo’s two Twitter channels: @Ask_WellsFargo and @Wachovia.
  • They strategically have chosen a non “corporate communications” voice to relay posts and messages to there online community and customer base.
  • They have many campaigns like “Mobile Mondays” to engage their community online and in the social sphere.

Rachel Polish

  • The 360 Digital Influence team, Ogilvy PR’s global, digital world of mouth marketing practice, is designed to manage brands at a time when anyone can be an influencer and we are all influenced in new ways.
  • The team’s focus is on engaging through conversations, outreach to new influencers and word of mouth marketing.
  • She’s also a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, where she still serves as a public affairs specialist. The social media rule they apply is simple: If you have “done it,” then you have the perspective and understanding to engage customers, community in social realm.
  • Companies must listen first and really do there homework and research before engaging customers or prospects with social media.
  • Her tried and tested method has a name: LPEAO. Customer mapping should follow a process and strategy similar to this:
    L = listen
    P = plan
    E = engage
    A = amplify
    O = optimize

David Toole

  • Virgin America/ airline industry experience that speaks to the value of reaching out. He used Twitter to send message to the airlines regarding flight times and status and was pleasantly surprised with how quickly he was answered. Companies must observed and fix old structure of communicating with customers.
  • Social media and the tools involved assist in the conversation you have with your customers and clients. The do not replace working systems.
  • Companies and organizations must have community managers that are actively listening to requests and customer support related matters and engage.

Chris Heuer

  • He believes the social media and online world industry must step up its ethics and SEO to enforce clear roles. He believes in the future, “certifications” will ensure a more transparent relationship for those creating the copy/posts and customers.
  • The airline industry were very argumentative with him after he posted a story that touched on his negative customer service experience. As this is now a “public sphere,” it’s prudent that internal and corporate communicators own their words.
  • The 80/20 rule applies to this social world that is still in an “infant” stage. 80 = attitude and 20 = aptitude. Therefore, a brand and communications plan muse embrace the public sphere that is non-traditional as this is now seen as social signaling, brand casting and pea cocking.

Maura Ginty

  • Maura established Autodesk’s first centralized SEO, web content, and social media platforms. She also created the company’s first series of best practices and led it’s cross-functional councils for these new forms of online marketing.
  • Maura’s next project will be the management of the company’s third global SEO case study
  • Important to view blog posts that have a rant like angle as an opportunity to reach out to your customers, influencers and online community of followers.
  • Her and her team were able to turn a potential negative online story into something positive by reaching out and showing value. This was directly visible by the comments that were posted following the media and pr outreach. They evaluated the need to spin ‘in’ correct noise and signal. Create filters to catch what you can. As the average person is consuming media- both traditional and non-traditional for at least six hours a day, it’s extremely relevant to your larger PR and IR plan.
  • Autodesk’s “Social web council” works with all departments of the company to fold in the best practices-like the PR, manufacturing etc. to keep afloat of changes and to link relevant announcements to a social media world.

Nielsen Search Results Show Google Still Leads the Pack

April 28, 2010

Nielsen published their latest data on US Search Providers today, showing Google far ahead of all competitors with a healthy 65.7% of all search traffic, representing more than 6.3 billion searches in the month of March.  The next closest competitor, Yahoo!, had 13.4%.  Guess that makes our recent SEO Tip Jar advice on making sure your release gets into Google News even more relevant!


Pennies From Omaha

April 28, 2010

It’s nearly that time again:  The 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting is this coming Saturday, May 1.  I will be attending this year’s meeting, along with nine other Business Wire people including our CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz.  And once more, Business Wire is providing a fun item for other attendees to pick up and help support a good cause.

This year, visitors to Omaha can visit Business Wire and spend a dollar to smash a penny! Our specially designed penny press will allow you to create a souvenir penny with any of four fun designs, including images of Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.  Each souvenir penny, which will include a commemorative folder, will cost $1.  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 come to our booth and spend $1, $2 or even $4 to smash four pennies and support a great cause.  While you’re there, say hello to our staff and find out more about how Business Wire continues to lead the industry in making the humble press release a crucial communications tool.

Read the entire press release on these fun souvenirs here.  I’ll also be tweeting from the event under Business Wire’s handle; you can follow at http://twitter.com/BusinessWire.  I, and everyone here at Business Wire, look forward to seeing you there!


BW Florida Event Presents Views From All Sides of the Press Release Spectrum

April 22, 2010

On April 13, Business Florida hosted a media breakfast that brought together panelists from all sides of the “press release spectrum”:  a traditional journalist, a blogger, an SEO expert & a multimedia business reporter.

The audience remained engaged as our moderator, Business Wire Executive Vice President of Media Services & Product Strategy Laura Sturaitis, asked the speakers to share tips on how to get press releases noticed & how to maximize exposure leveraging today’s new social media tools.

Margie Schneider, VP of Operations for Internet Marketing Consultancy firm Ten Golden Rules:

  • Stressed the importance of posting your news/content on an assortment of platforms.  You use the wire for the press release, but also post that news on your own website + your blog + share with your social online community.
  • By maintaining content on an assortment of platforms, you increase the likelihood one of your pages will move to the top of search engine results. Blogs are very good for this, if they are frequently updated, because Google (and other search engines) like content that is frequently refreshed in its databases.
  • Socialmention.com will search social media sites for mentions of your brand. It’s a great way to prove to clients that people are talking about them, regardless of whether they enter the conversation.

Our guru blogger & freelance writer, Maria de los Angeles, continued the topic of blogs & bloggers by providing insight into a bloggers audience:

  • Bloggers or tweeters with a smaller social media following may have higher quality users because those users may be more discerning, influential, or well informed than more “popular” but generic citizen journalists
  • Research and follow the media you want to contact before you ask them to do something for you.  If you just search and spam bloggers on your particular subject, you cheapen what you’re trying to promote.

Niala Boodhoo, The Miami Herald’s Business Multimedia Reporter:

  • Shared how for reporters timing is everything…Send your news too early, and media will forget about it. Too late, and they don’t have time to do anything with it.
  • Including links to your videos/pictures in your press releases can be useful for piquing media interest, or, for example, demonstrating why a speaker from your company would be a good interview subject.

Finally, Cindy Kent from the Sun Sentinel’s Business News Desk:

  • Reinforced that the manner in which you interact with media has not changed, but the tools you use to do so have.
  • She advised to use links in your releases so media don’t have to cut your information to fit a sometimes limited frame. It’s much easier to tweet a link to your content than to try to summarize it in 140 characters…plus, you get the internet traffic directed to your site.
  • Kent told the audience, “Ask yourself, ‘How many clicks am I asking you to make to get where I want you to go? If it’s too many, people won’t follow.’”

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


How Not To Hire A PR Agency

April 22, 2010

Aaron Kwittken, in a recent “PR Post” column for Entrepreneur.com, outlines the “common pitfalls” to be avoided in hiring your PR agency.Make sure you click through and read the whole thing, but here are some highlights:

  • You Want to be on Oprah: Yes, he’s serious, though you shouldn’t be.  Not only are the odds against you, but it “sends a huge red flag to the agency that you have no idea what PR is all about. “
  • The Agency is Willing to Take Equity In Lieu of Cash: Says Kwittken, “[m]any companies assume that agencies that accept equity in lieu of cash will be more incentivized because they will have ‘skin in the game.’ This is not accurate.He points out that agencies that do this are either betting on the outcome or think that a “magic formula” that has worked in the past will work again.  Either way you run the risk of taking a back seat to paying customers.  If you must, arrange for a mix of cash and equity.
  • It’s the Least Expensive Agency You Could Find:  You do get what you pay for, and paying bottom dollar will get you little or no attention from the agency’s principals,  assignment to the least experienced account executives, competition with too many other clients, not enough work put in on your behalf, or all of the above.
  • The Agency Is Guaranteeing a Minimum Number of Media Placements:  This point is related to the above; and Kwittken also notes, “[v]olume follows great stories.”  There is no substitute for a great story and no truly strategic agency would claim otherwise.

Great advice throughout Kwittken’s post.  Got any stories about your own mistakes in choosing an agency? Share them in the comments!


XBRL Update for April, 2010

April 20, 2010

Since our last update, there have been four significant XBRL developments:

  • Transition of responsibility for maintaining the US GAAP Taxonomy
  • SEC release of a new Previewer and Viewer engine
  • Update to the EDGAR Filer Manual
  • SEC Webinar focused on detailed tagging requirements.

Taxonomy Maintenance Transition
On February 5, 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. The current 2009 taxonomy in use by SEC issuers was developed by XBRL US, Inc., an independent non-profit organization, with technical accounting support provided by the FASB. Going forward, XBRL US will transition to other projects with continued technical support from the FASB.

Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles Media Members Give Tips on Pitching to LA Communicators

April 19, 2010

Business Wire LA hosted a “Meet the Media” breakfast and panel discussion titled “How to Effectively Communicate Your Message” on Thursday, April 15. Local media members shared tips on effectively pitching news media and strategies for forming relationships with media and answered questions from the audience of LA area communicators.

Noemi Pollack (far R), Founder & CEO of Pollack PR, moderated the panel (L-R), which also included:

  • Russ Britt, LA Bureau Chief, MarketWatch/Dow Jones
  • Alberto Mendez, Assignment Editor, KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV
  • Eddie Chan, West Coast Financial Editor, Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Davis, COO, TheWrap.com

Here are a few soundbites from the panel:

“Hate the Hard Sell”

“Substance Over Style”

“Mobile a Priority”

Download a full audio recording of this event here or check out these pitching tips from the panelists:

  • Be aware of what’s going on in the world & what is news right now.
  • Be aware of who you’re pitching to & understand when it’s appropriate to pitch. If it’s MarketWatch or Dow Jones, for example, don’t send something or try to contact them around market closing. It’s the worst possible time for them. However, some outlets, such as local news channels, are 24 hours. There is always someone on the assignment desk, news never stops for them. It never hurts to pitch the assignment desk. If it’s relevant, it will make it to the right reporter.
  • Panelists agree that double-pitching (sending a pitch to more than one reporter at the same publication) is okay, although it’s nice to ask if they would mind if you send your story along to someone else. Oftentimes, they will even refer you to someone who might be more interested.
  • Journalists still value accessibility, objectivity, timeliness & exclusivity greatly. Keep this in mind when pitching. Make sure to provide contact information, especially an email and cell phone, on your pitch or press release so you are reachable if the journalist needs to get in touch.
  • Although many journalists now embrace pitching through social media and find Facebook in particular to be a valuable source network, email is still the most reliable and easiest way to reach them.
  • In an email pitch, the subject line is the most important part. It needs to be straightforward & compelling enough to get them to open the email. Often, it’s actually only the first part of the subject line because the email program will cut it off.
  • A good pitch is always substance over style. Lots of exclamation points in your pitch does not make it more compelling.
  • Mobile is very important right now for every news outlet in all formats. It’s very important to be able to access news over mobile.
  • When pitching stories at major conferences and events, such as CES or NAB, it’s a good idea to find out who at the publication will be covering the event and get in touch ahead of time.
  • When emailing pitches, NEVER attach ANYTHING. This includes having your logo in your email signature. With many email programs, this comes across as an attachment & will get your email filtered into spam.
  • It’s always a good idea to offer up an expert or spokesperson, especially one that isn’t quoted all the time in that publication or one that is local so they’re accessible (it’s often hard for west coast based reporters to contact east coast based experts). It’s a good idea to provide the reporter with the expert’s bio to prove his or her credibility.

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


Upcoming Business Wire Boston Event: Combining SEO and Video to Drive Awareness and Lead Generation Online

April 16, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Business Wire Boston is partnering with VisibleGains and MEDIAmobz to host a free breakfast & panel discussion on Tuesday, April 27, geared toward marketing and communications professionals looking for innovative ways to generate new business leads.

This panel discussion will include industry experts from a variety of backgrounds, including public relations, new media and digital marketing practitioners, offering attendees insights on:

  • Best practices for combining video and SEO for effective marketing and public relations campaigns
  • Tips on creating simple, but engaging video for lead generation
  • Practical advice for optimizing video and press releases for search.

Clifford Pollan, Founder, President & CEO, VisibleGains will moderate the panel, which includes:

  • Tim Bradbury, President New Media, American City Business Journals
  • Joe Chernov, Global Director of Communications & Social Media, Eloqua
  • Judy Gern, Director of Conversion Marketing, Constant Contact
  • David Meerman Scott, Bestselling Author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”
  • Dave Toole, Founder & CEO, MEDIAmobz

Tuesday, April 27 at 8:00am ET
Constant Contact Boston
1601 Trapelo Road, Ste 329
Waltham, MA 02451

This event is free for all attendees. Please visit http://seoandonlinevideobreakfast.eventbrite.com to RSVP.

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


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