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.

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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


Less Transparency = Less $$$?

April 12, 2010

We’ve written a lot at Business Wired on the subjects of disclosure and transparency, including the causal relationship between increased communication and capital market benefits.  Looks like there’s even more evidence for transparency being good for companies’ bottom lines — and for lack of transparency hurting them:

After 11 years of publishing a list of the best corporate citizens, Corporate Responsibility Magazine plans to introduce in its April-May issue, out this week, its first-ever “black list” of the worst companies, or those that are the least transparent.

Transparency, as the magazine defines it, means making information about practices like employee benefits, climate-change policies or philanthropic efforts publicly available.

Dirk Olin, editor in chief of Corporate Responsibility Magazine, notes that, when compiling data for the article, they were able to find 30 corporations with no relevant data at all on those topics available publicly.  That group includes such corporations as clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and weight loss specialists Weight Watchers.

And what does that mean for shareholders of those companies?

The best corporate citizens list . . . had a total return on shareholder value of 2.37 percent over three years. But the 30 worst had a negative 7.38 percent return.

“Our aggregate analyses,” Mr. Olin said, “make a strong argument for the business case for transparency.”

Corporate Responsibility’s full “Black List” will be published next Wednesday, April 24.


PR Peeps Poll: 18% haven’t downloaded any apps to their SmartPhone

April 12, 2010

The periodic PR Peeps Poll results are in and suggest  that of those PR folks  who own SmartPhones, 18% have yet to download any apps.

What does that mean?   Perhaps the ultimate app, the web browser, already comes pre-installed on every phone and covers most people’s basic browsing needs.

Of the 82% of SmartPhone owners who HAVE downloaded apps onto their mobile devices,  the largest group–53, or 36%–have added “5-10″ apps to their device.   Another 31 folks, or 20%, have downloaded “10-20″ apps, while 39, or 26%, have installed “more than 20″ apps onto their SmartPhones.

Interestingly, the largest percentage of those who took the poll–79 out of 228–did NOT even own a SmartPhone.   We especially appreciate their participation.

Here’s the details of the March Poll:

How many apps do you have on your SmartPhone?*
  • 26, or 18%, said  “Haven’t installed any yet.”
  • 53, or 36%, said “5 – 10″
  • 31, or 20%, said “10 – 20″
  • 39, or 26%, said “More than 20″

*We removed 79 of those polled who said they did not have a SmartPhone.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:   Do you insert hyperlinks into your press releases? Please let us know.
And:  Speaking of apps, download Business Wire’s app, then enter into our 3x a week drawing for a Best Buy gift card.

228 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted March 1 – April  8 2010.


Do special characters in press release headlines matter?

April 9, 2010

seotipjar-header-v11

Judging from my recent experiment, they do.

For years, conventional wisdom suggested  avoiding special symbols such as ® (registered trademark) and ™ (trademark) in press release headlines.  The assumption has been that search engines and downstream sites to which releases are pushed have difficulty digesting words with symbols attached and your release may be misconstrued.

With that idea in mind, I conducted a small experiment to see the present state of how search engines are actually interpreting releases with symbols in headlines.

Results suggest that search engines are getting smarter about handling symbols and it’s still best to leave symbols out of your headlines whenever possible.  Instead, focus on including keywords in your headlines and properly formatting your release for Google News.

For my experiment I chose the two most common symbols, ® (registered trademark) and ™ (trademark), selecting ten releases including each symbol in the headline.  For each release, I conducted two searches on Google, Yahoo and Bing based on headline content–one with the symbol and one without.  Since it’s safe to assume most searchers are not including the symbols unless copy-pasting, this would tell me if the search engines treated the queries differently and how “searchable” these types of releases are.  I also performed searches with ten releases from the same period with headlines that didn’t include special symbols to serve as a control group.

Here’s what I found.  This chart shows whether the search engine provided the same results whether or not symbols were included in the search.  For example, searching for Acme™ versus searching for Acme.

Identical Search Results Returned With and Without Special Characters

You can see that Google does the best job overall.  Even the single instance when Google’s results were not the same, there was only a very minor difference that could be attributed to Google experimenting with different search result presentation.  Bing is not far behind, doing even better than Google with TM symbol searches.  Yahoo is the real outlier here.  Yahoo actually showed zero results on 7 out of the 10 searches with TM symbols, just a handful of results on two searches, and was the same only once.  That’s not to say that releases with TM symbols were not found; the lesson here is that Yahoo cannot handle people including the TM symbols in their searches.

Another way to confirm this strange behavior is by searching each search engine for the symbol alone.

Google Trademark Symbol Search

Bing Trademark Symbol Search

Google and Bing ignore the symbol, but Yahoo seems to interpret it as the letters TM and has many disparate results on the first page.

Yahoo Trademark Symbol Search

The chart below shows the “success” of each search.  I defined success as finding the release content within the first page of search results when searching for headline terms.

Search "Success" for Press Releases

You can see that every search engine does an admirable job finding the releases, especially when a TM symbol or no symbols are in the headline.  However, if you are concerned about performing as well as possible in Yahoo and Bing, the safest thing is still to exclude symbols if possible.


Congratulations to our First Mobile Madness Winners!

April 9, 2010

The first week of our Mobile Madness sweepstakes has come to a close, and our first group of winners should be receiving their $25 Best Buy gift cards!  Congratulations to:

  • Jeannette Liang, GolinHarris
  • Chrissy Eckert, Campbell Soup Co.
  • Sarah Biggerstaff, Richmond Public Relations
  • Tracy Sullivan, Forrester Research
  • Lori Austin, Motorola

If you haven’t already entered to win a gift card, visit our contest page and enter today.  Then stop by the iTunes App Store and download the new, free, Business Wire Mobile app!


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