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?
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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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.
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