by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Business Wire
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, in prepared remarks to the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals last Friday, stated the SEC is intent on ensuring that all investors have access to a highly complex and technologically sophisticated trading market.
We at Business Wire could not agree more — that’s been OUR intent as well for the past 50 years — to support and enhance full and fair disclosure, via our own patented Internet-based news delivery platform that ensures that material news is available to all market participants in an easily accessible and digestible format.
With all the hoopla about new newswire models, I thought it might be useful to provide some perspective on why we invented our business model and, further, the myriad and increasing benefits we provide to the investor relations and public relations communities. There are two primary reasons companies use a commercial newswire: DISCLOSURE and DISTRIBUTION. While the delivery mechanisms have radically transformed (from messenger, to mail, to dictate, to fax, to FM sideband, to satellite, to internet, mobile and more), the goals are everlasting — transparency and eyeballs.
It’s significant to note that Business Wire has been on the bleeding edge of this technological change. In fact, most of the newswire technology changes these past 50 years have been driven by our company (via our proprietary internet patents and many other firsts in the industry). Having been born in the SF Bay Area, we live and breathe innovation and technology; it’s simply what we do and how we view our business model — everchanging and everlasting.
Companies use Business Wire to both satisfy their regulatory requirements AND get the word out quickly and simultaneously to all market participants. When you use Business Wire, you are assured of satisfying disclosure and getting the broadest distribution possible via our proprietary, secure network. The benefit of ubiquitous distribution is that anyone interested has the opportunity to: buy a product, buy/sell a stock, attend an event, analyze a company, report on a story, blog, tweet, etc.
When your news is on Business Wire, everyone can access it via their choice of platform — and, most importantly, rely on the veracity of the information.
And therein lies the power of our brand — TRUST.
AT THE CORE:
Material news is clearly a company’s most important news; simple logic suggests that it deserves the broadest possible distribution, maximum visibility, an authoritative, credible editorial environment and a permanent, easily accessible archive for future reference. Business Wire has always been a convenient, effective and cost-efficient way to accomplish each of these critical objectives.
Business Wire is also a strong proponent of the spirit and intent of the SEC’s Regulation FD: full and fair disclosure means that all market participants have simultaneous and real-time access to corporate news that may influence their investment decisions. The integrity of our financial marketplace is predicated on the principle of fairness and transparency; and that’s our sweet spot.
Business Wire’s proprietary NX platform (awarded U.S. and Canadian patents, and patent-pending in Europe) provides for equal access by institutional and individual investors. We have been sanctioned as a recognized regulatory disclosure service in multiple international jurisdictions; as such our network security, redundant technical systems and operational procedures are audited annually by the world’s leading accounting firms to confirm Business Wire’s strict and continued compliance with rigorous approval criteria. Simply put, it’s the best system out there — and built in-house, too.
With nearly 200 editors in 21 newsrooms worldwide, we authenticate and validate our members, vet copy for accuracy and legitimacy and catch countless client errors. The coding, keywords and meta-tagging (XHTML) that we add to each release are critically important in how copy is processed by advanced search engines, enterprise IT systems, algo-traders and databases. While much of this behind-the-scenes process is invisible to issuers and investors, it is absolutely critical to the proper parsing and distribution of information given today’s highly intricate IT network architecture.
Lastly, we won’t outsource disclosure. It’s way too complex to leave to someone else or put on auto-pilot.
The other major reason clients use a newswire is distribution; there is no better way to get your message out than Business Wire. We have the most expansive global reach in the industry, capitalizing on strategic relationships with scores of national and international news agencies, major web portals, aggregators and, of course, our own robust and highly viewed website.
Most recently, we’ve leveraged our reach to include the mobile apps of many of our news agency partners, including Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Canwest and more. Business Wire provides anywhere, anytime, up-to-the-minute access in multiple languages via a choice of mobile platforms. This is just another example of how we have embraced the latest technologies to address the shifting work habits of the on-the-go professional and retail investor — and to make information easily available to all market participants.
Business Wire has also integrated social media and search engine optimization into every distribution, exponentially heightening the online profile of each release. Our advanced metrics provide clients with valuable statistical usage data and online posting reports. Yes, it really is all about pickup; the more eyeballs, the more pickup — which is the start of the engagement process. In our business, less is definitely not more.
We live by the Warren Buffett quote: Price is what you pay, value is what you get. Our mantra is to continually increase the value we provide for our members. As we approach our 50th anniversary, our motivation and commitment is to continue to be the best that we can be. Our passion is to be the industry’s technology leader, and to offer the most innovative and enterprising products and services. And we are equally passionate about our clients, who have trusted us with their important news for nearly a half-century. Our goal is to continue to exceed their expectations.
While Business Wire has continuously evolved with bleeding edge technology, the technology exists to build upon our core business principles: to always provide the gold standard in disclosure and global news dissemination.
Stay tuned… the best is yet to come.