How Much Does XBRL Compliance Cost?

May 11, 2010

– by Michael Becker, Senior Vice President, Financial Product Strategy

Recently, I had the chance to address a question that’s becoming more common, and wanted to share the answer with readers of this blog: What does XBRL conversion cost? While I cannot tell you what other vendors and software companies charge, I can share that costs (time and money) are in line with or less than the SEC prediction on pp. 132 – 142 of its final rule (http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2009/33-9002.pdf).

This is very positive news for the U.S. SEC XBRL initiative. Remember the SEC’s prediction that SOX compliance would average roughly $34,000? We know how that turned out.

A June 2010 article in the Journal of Corporate Finance entitled, “How costly is the Sarbanes Oxley Act? Evidence on the effects of the Act on corporate profitability,” states that the SEC initially estimated that the direct cost of SOX compliance would amount to about $91,000 for the average firm; however, subsequent estimates from a survey by Financial Executives International place the costs of SOX closer to $2.9 million per firm for 2006 (FEI, 2007). A Charles River Associates International (CRA, 2005) survey pegs 2004 SOX costs for firms with a market capitalization greater than $700 million at about $8.5 million; and at about $1.24 million for firms with a market capitalization between $75 and $700 million (CRA, 2005). These costs are substantial, averaging roughly 0.10% of revenues (Asthana et al., 2009; Eldridge and Kealey, 2005; Hartman, 2005, 2006; U.S. GAO, 2006).

As for IFRS, according to a recent CFO Magazine article, the SEC predicts that the largest U.S. registrants that adopt IFRS early would incur about $32 million in additional costs for their first IFRS-prepared annual reports. Smaller companies likely will have a disproportionately higher cost to begin the conversion process, if regulators mandate that they, as well as their larger counterparts, move to IFRS.

Therefore, it is imperative to keep the cost of XBRL conversion in perspective. XBRL conversion costs a fraction of other current and proposed SEC initiatives and the benefit, when all issuer financials are mapped and tagged, should be immense.


Business Wire: Remaining Relevant for All The Right Reasons

May 10, 2010

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

Neil Hershberg, SVP - Global Media, Business Wire

The Washington Post Company’s decision to put Newsweek on the block this week is the latest example of the modern Darwinism that is radically reshaping the media industry. For me, the news was more personal, having  spent a decade [1977-1987] at Newsweek when it was near the top of its game, still basking in the afterglow of its Watergate heroics.

Newsweek‘s top editors were known internally as “The Wallendas,” a reference to the famous circus family that walked the high wire without a safety net. Ironically, it was the magazine itself that decades later would become the victim of a potentially fatal free-fall that endangers its very existence.

In chronicling Newsweek‘s near-death experience, Jon Friedman, the MarketWatch media columnist, pinpointed the core issue confronting all media companies today. “In the 21st century,” Friedman writes, “the key question that media companies will face is this: Is my product relevant? “

Of course, Friedman is right. Relevancy is king, and always has been.  Routine relevancy checks are a requisite for survival in today’s media metamorphosis.  I’m not entirely convinced, however, that relevancy is a phenomenon that is unique to the Digital Age. As far as I’m concerned, relevancy has always been the name of the game.

Business Wire has always revolved around relevancy, and staying ahead of the curve.

We vigilantly seek out new technology and formatting opportunities that will enhance our client value proposition and end-user experience. Business Wire is well-known within the news and information industry for pushing the envelope, and for setting industry standards. Our pioneering NX news delivery system, for example, has been awarded patents in the United States and Canada for its simultaneous, real-time news delivery capability — a must for full and fair disclosure. Most recently, we began formatting our transmission in XHTML,  a web-based display format that provides the user with increased functionality and flexibility.

To be candid, Business Wire is not very popular with the IT departments of major media organizations and financial information providers, as we are always raising the bar in terms of our delivery standards. We are more interested, however, in retaining our reputation as the industry technology leader than in winning any popularity contests. It’s a small price to pay for staying relevant.

Despite today’s seismic changes, Business Wire is more relevant than ever. Indeed, Business Wire is likely to play a more significant role in global communications and regulatory compliance in the years ahead.

We’ve made the successful transition from traditional “wire service” to a multi-lingual, multi-media publishing platform that leverages the full spectrum of available delivery channels, ranging from RSS feeds to social media networks, to SEO, to mobile applications. Our network is like a snowball accelerating down a steep mountain — it continues to grow exponentially.

We can say with total confidence that Business Wire has the most robust and dynamic delivery system in the industry, transforming the once humble press release into a rich media, interactive presentation that can be rendered into multiple formats across a range of platforms. Anyone who still thinks of a “wire service” as clattering teletypes and satellite transmission is seriously out of step with reality. We’ve taken Internet delivery to the next level — and have patents in multiple jurisdictions to prove it.

And with the push for financial reform a top global priority, Business Wire’s ability to deliver material information to ALL market participants simultaneously and in real-time takes on a renewed sense of importance. There is simply no substitute for disclosure and transparency, as regulators and reformers worldwide agree.

In our view, there is more than one definition for relevancy.  While technology is the backbone of what we do, it is only part of the story. To be truly relevant in today’s era of intense competition requires a commitment to core timeless values, including client service, editorial integrity and credibility, and network security. Without a commitment to these fundamental values, irrelevancy is all but guaranteed.

As Business Wire approaches its  “half-centennial”  anniversary in 2011, we have never been more optimistic about the future. Rather than being a prisoner of its past, Business Wire is justly proud of it. And we look forward to remaining at the nexus of the global information exchange in the decades ahead.



Upcoming Business Wire Events – May 6 Edition

May 6, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

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:

How to Add Video into Marketing, PR and Social Media Programs to Increase Lead Conversion

Hosted by Business Wire Silicon Valley

Business Wire Silicon Valley partners with MEDIAmobz & Visible Gains to host this breakfast and panel discussion on using video to engage and convert leads.  Panelists Linda Crowe, Marketing Consultant, Former Group Manager, Media & Production, Sun Microsystems; Dos Dosanjh, WW Customer Solutions Manager, Marketing, Cisco Digital Media Creative Services, Cisco; Jay Durgan, Head of Business Development, MEDIAmobz; Cliff Pollan, Co-Founder & CEO, VisibleGains; and Mark Rotblat, VP, Business Development, Tube Mogul discuss how to integrate video across marketing channels to increase awareness, lead generation and conversion. The panel will give tips and tricks for engaging video for lead general, as well as share mistakes to avoid. This event is free for all attendees.

Visit the BW Events Page to see a video preview of this event.

Tuesday, May 11 at 8:30 am PST
TechMart Networking Meeting Center
5201 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054
To register: RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at 415-986-4422 x561 or email sandy.donnelly@businesswire.com by May 7

Social Media ROI: Being Seen is Not Enough

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland [Cincinnati Event]

Your organization has started blogging, tweeting and updating Facebook, but is it working? Like many communicators, you may be unsure how to quantify the success of your social media efforts. Join Business Wire Cleveland and a panel of experts for a discussion on social media ROI measurement. Michael DeAloia of Tech Czar will moderate the panel, which also include Krisa Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, Daniel Lally, VP, Pinger PR at Powers Agency and James Pilcher, Business Projects Reporter at The Cincinnati Enquirer. The panel will give advice on setting goals for your social media campaign and arm you with the tools you need to generate both quantitative and qualitative results. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. ET
The Phoenix – Cincinnati Room
812 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
To register: RSVP to Melissa Chambers at 800.769.0220 or email melissa.chambers@businesswire.com by May 5

Media Relations Boot Camp

Hosted by Business Wire Philadelphia

Join Business Wire Philadelphia and a panel of media relations experts for a discussion on getting your news heard over the background noise. Learn about the numerous platforms in today’s communications landscape to reach the media, industry associates, investors & the public. Michael Smith, PhD, Associate Professor of Communication at La Salle University will moderate the panel, which includes Bernard Dagenais, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal; Mike Armstrong, Business Columnist, PhillyInc Blog Editor, Co-Host of Philadelphia Business Today, Philadelphia Inquirer; Michael Wood, Sr. Manager, Communications, PECO; and Alex Hillman, social technology and community developer, co-founder of IndyHall. The panel will discuss tactics for determining which platforms are best for which audiences, pitching those audiences, the differences between social, mobile and traditional media platforms, and how to use each correctly. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. EDT
University City Science Center
Conference Room Fuller A&B, 3711 Market Street, Ste 800, Philadelphia, PA 19104
To register: RSVP to Kate Carr at 610.617.9560 or email kate.carr@businesswire.com

Best Practices for Working with Journalists in an Ever-Changing Media Landscape

Hosted by Business Wire Minneapolis

Join Business Wire Minneapolis & NIRI Twin Cities for this breakfast and a panel discussion with area journalists. Panelists Brad Allen of MinnPost, Dirk DeYoung of The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; Annie Baxter of MPR, Jason DeRusha of WCCO-TV and Ann Harrington of The Pioneer Press discuss best practices for media relations professionals in today’s changing media landscape. This event is free for Business Wire and NIRI members and $25 for non-members.

Thursday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. CT
Graves 601 Hotel
601 1st Ave North, Minneapolis, MN 55403
To register: RSVP to Jane Cracraft at 612.376.7979 or email jane.cracraft@businesswire.com by May 14

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


Seven Traits of Highly Effective Press Releases

May 6, 2010

For this edition of SEO Tip Jar I wanted to look at hit releases and see what attributes they tend to have in common.  My methodology was simple and straightforward.  I defined hit releases as those getting the most release reads (or page views) and took the top 10 releases on EON: Enhanced Online News for each full month so far in 2010.  I looked at 40 releases in total.

For each release, I counted the words in the body, the date and time of release, whether the release included a photo, and so on for a total of seven main traits.

The “Average” Hit Release

Across the board, these releases were an average of 642 words, with the longest being nearly 1500 words and the shortest being just over 250 words.  The word counts were quite evenly distributed as well, and there didn’t seem to be any word count exceptionally more likely to hit than another.  In total, 58% of releases were over 500 words.

The most common day of the week to release was Thursday, which was the date of choice for 22.5% of releases.  Tuesday and Wednesday were close behind with 20% of releases each and Monday and Friday were slightly less likely at 17.5%.  Just one lonely hit was released on a Saturday and no hit releases premiered on Sundays.

Moving on to the best time of day (rounding to the nearest hour), 10am and 12pm ET were tied for the most frequent, each with 12.5% of releases.  Additionally, 40% of all the hits were released before noon, 35% between noon and 3pm, and 25% from 4pm onward.  It looks like news consumers tend to be early risers, so get your release out during the workday if you can.

Traits from Top to Bottom

  1. 87% of releases included at least one link in one form or another in the body of the release, with many of the top releases containing quite a few very descriptive links.  If your company happens to be a holdout in the release linking game, I hope this may persuade you to start adding descriptive links to your press releases.
  2. 73% of releases incorporated some special formatting within the body of the release, whether it be bold, italics, underlining or an embedded image.  In today’s xhtml world, special formatting can be an excellent way to emphasize key points of your releases, break your content into distinct sections  and provide cues for ‘skimmers’ to gather meaning as they quickly scan content for relevant information.
  3. 68% of releases had a subheadline.  This stat was the most surprising to me.  The subhead seems to have an unclear role in press release SEO, since it’s not really the headline and not really the body either.  While the robots digesting releases may not pay it much mind, it’s clear that the subhead offers valuable supplementary guidance to readers as they consider whether to continue on reading a release and possibly even share that release.
  4. 58% of releases included the company name in the release headline (Ex. Company X releases XYZ app).  Of course, this also means that 42% didn’t include the company name and still performed quite well with readers.  There is very little real estate available within your headline and if it is more than 22 words you might not make it into Google News.  With this in mind, consider the goal of the release and campaign when making your choice.  If company branding is a chief concern, including the name is probably a good idea.  However, if the focus is more product or service focused, for instance, maybe the company name should take a back seat.
  5. 35% of releases included a photo or video, with the vast majority of those including a photo only.  It’s safe to say that much fewer than 35% of all releases include multimedia, so it’s clearly a good idea to include multimedia in order to help your releases stand out.  Product photos, charts, infographics, company executives, high-resolution logos . . . the list of possibilities is nearly endless.
  6. 23% of releases encouraged social sharing or engagement within the body of the release, typically Facebook or Twitter.  All EON releases already offer social sharing chicklets covering all major social networks, so it’s not absolutely critical to give them additional emphasis within your release.  However, if social engagement is a priority or your release is geared towards “sharability”, why not give readers a bit more of a push?
  7. 5% of releases, just two, had any special characters in the headline.  So perhaps adding special characters in headlines is not a good idea.

Have a burning SEO question? Drop us a comment or talk to Joseph on Twitter @EONpr to get it answered in the next SEO Tip Jar!


Business Wire’s Ibrey Woodall on Mobile Investor Relations

May 5, 2010

Ibrey Woodall

Business Wire’s Director of Client Development, Ibrey Woodall, has an article in today’s Bulldog Reporter IR Alert, “Are You Ready for 3G IR? Investor Relations Should Heed the Momentum of Mobile.” With the explosive growth of the mobile internet, financial and investor information joins the other types of content that needs to be prepared for the 3-inch screen, and as soon as possible.

Ibrey offers key tips for getting your own site up to speed:

As many components, as technically possible, that are found within an investor relations website should also be readily available for mobile browsing. Stock quotes, stock charts, stock history, events, investor relations contacts, company information, financial press releases and more should be properly formatted for legibility. Smartphones have small viewing screens, so attention to display is particularly important for financial content. Table columns should line up, navigation icons should be larger, and scrolling should be limited to one direction.

Click through to read even more in-depth suggestions and analysis.


Tap Into the Hispanic Sports Market With Ease

May 5, 2010

– by Nikelle Feimster and Pilar Portela, Media Relations Specialists, Business Wire

Nikelle Feimster

Pilar Portela

On April 7, 2010, strategic planners, PR agency thought leaders, and brand and product managers convened at the 2010 LatinVision Sports & Networking Conference in New York to learn about the evolving Hispanic demographic in the US, and how to reach the Hispanic audience using sports as a platform.

The panelists were comprised of marketing experts and top executives who shared insight and best practices on how businesses can leverage Latinos’ passion for soccer and other sports. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Soccer United Marketing each use grassroots campaigns across the country to garner support for their sports, FOX and ESPN use branded media events to target the Latino community, and the NBA and NFL have increased the content available in Spanish on their websites.

According to Mario Flores, managing director of Sportivo, the right marketing mix is key to success. You have to harness the power of editorial media coverage for added exposure.


Don’t pass up opportunities to engage the Latino market. The 2010 US Census is expected to find that Hispanics number more than 50 million in the US and command $1 trillion in buying power. Unfortunately, the reality is that even though Latinos make powerful consumers, half of the U.S. advertisers are not including them in their marketing efforts.

A recent MediaPost column by Jack Loechner highlights a new Hispanic marketing trends survey by the Orcí agency that shows Hispanics are tech savvy, young trend setters with incredible spending power and yet 82% of its survey’s respondents have no plans to begin or increase existing efforts aimed at US Hispanics in the next 12 months.

Here are some key reasons why you should consider including US Hispanics in your next marketing and advertising campaign.

  • 89% believe Latinos will somewhat impact American taste in foods in the next five years.
  • 87% believe Latinos will impact fashion and beauty.
  • 82% expect Hispanics to impact entertainment.
  • 78% believe Hispanics will impact technology/communications.

The Orcí survey also found that 78% of respondents do not use social media to engage Latinos despite the fact that Hispanics are the heaviest users of wireless access through mobile phones and laptops than any other ethnic group.

Today’s brand leaders can and should actively engage with Latino customers, and Business Wire can help. By utilizing our LatinoWire product line, in conjunction with SportsWire, companies can bolster their print and Web marketing campaigns. With LatinoWire, your press release reaches the leading Spanish-language news and information outlets throughout the U.S., including more than 1,200 Hispanic print and broadcast media outlets. Our SportsWire distribution sends your news to sports reporters, columnists, syndicates and television programs as well as newspapers and other local media in your specified geographic circuit area.


Once Again, the Press Release

May 4, 2010

- by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist

Todd Defren of PR Squared tweets about a blog entry at The Practitioner by Steve McAbee of Wunderkind Public Relations, called “Social Media: Breathing New Life Into the Press Release.”  McAbee discusses ways to use the traditional press release in conjunction with social media, by using links to attract online readers to your company’s social media newsroom on your website, as well as to content on Flickr, YouTube and other sites.  This is a notion that we’ve been pushing for years  — since launching our own site in 1995, we’ve always tried to stay ahead of technology and urge our users to do the same. We describe press releases as search engine optimized platforms for connecting with your audiences, including the media; not having appropriate links to content just won’t work.  Whether you use Todd’s SMPR template or continue to write your releases the traditional way, appropriate multimedia and link content is a must.

(Steve does briefly praise Google’s use of using a wire release to link back to their own newsroom, but in the contest of their recent earnings notice-and-access release, which Neil Hershberg discussed here yesterday.)

I do have to take issue with one thing, though:  Steve also links to a piece at Fast Company by Wendy Marx, “B2B PR: New Uses for Press Releases.”  In that article, Marx notes that “The social media release came of age in 2006 when wire services like PR newswire didn’t include multimedia components in releases.”  While I’m not going to defend the competition, Business Wire has had multimedia components in press releases for more than a decade now.

We launched our multimedia Smart News Release back in 1997, with photos and video available right from the get-go. At first, they were linked to from a thumbnail or link within the release. Today, they’re embedded in the release, with multiple resolutions and bandwidths available with a single click; and in many cases, they display at the downstream sites, too.  We made both hyperlinks and embedded logos available by 2001.

We believe in making the tools available to our users to have implement the best PR strategy possible. It’s nice to see our notions of using the press release as a pathway to other content taking root in the PR community.


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