BW Fun Fact: Business Wire Has Been Adding Multimedia to Press Releases for More Than a Decade

March 14, 2011

In 1997, Business Wire introduced the Smart News Release (SNR), which allowed users to embed photos, audio, video and other multimedia into press releases. Not only does multimedia help a press release stand out to reporters or readers, but it also increases the reach of a release in search engines. Although often overlooked, Google Images receives a huge amount of search traffic and can actually drive readers back to your release. Our research has found that releases with multimedia receive 1.7 times more reads than those without.

Back when we first introduced SNRs, clients would often provide us with hard-copy photos, which were then scanned by Business Wire editors to be made available in high resolution to media and web viewers. Today, we distribute hundreds of releases with multimedia every week.

Check out what some of our experienced editors have to say about how best to submit multimedia and best practices for writing photo captions.


Daylight Saving Time And Other Timing Tips for Your Press Releases

March 10, 2011
by Rebecca Rose, Business Wire Editor, Atlanta

If you’re sending a press release in the next couple of days, please factor Daylight Saving Time into your plans.

Rebecca Rose, Editor, BW/Atlanta

Daylight Saving Time was first enacted in the U.S. in 1918 and in classic “spring forward”  fashion, it begins Sunday, March 13, this year.  Clocks will jump forward an hour at 2 a.m. local time in most areas. The time shift will also occur in other parts of North America, including Mexico and most of Canada.  The European Union (EU) won’t change their clocks until the last Sunday in March.

Exceptions to Daylight Saving Time include the entire state of Arizona, northwest Indiana and the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.  We recommend verifying the local time in your targeted distribution area.   And, if you’re at all unsure about the correct time zone, contact your local newsroom – we’re always here to help!

The most common goof we see on news releases during time change season is communicators failing to note event timing announcements in the current timing scenario.  For example, a press conference taking place at 8 o’clock in the morning in New York City will be noted as starting at 8 AM EST versus 8 AM EDT.   Our editors are on the look out for such errors.

Here’s a good reference to see which locales change when.  Below we’ve assembled a few extra timing tips to get you through the night as that extra hour gets shelved until autumn.  On November 6, we’ll “fall back” and get those 60 minutes back.
  • When writing and scheduling your press release, be sure to consider the time zone of your desired geographic circuit. If you’re located in Atlanta, but are targeting media points in California, sending your release out at 8 a.m. ET (5 a.m. PT) probably isn’t going to get you the most bang for your buck.
  • Templates are frequently used when crafting press releases, so be sure to double-check that time zone abbreviations are updated and correct.
  • A simple, albeit effective, strategy for boosting pickup is to release your news slightly past the hour. For example, rather than scheduling your release to cross the wire at 8 a.m., try scheduling it for 8:01 a.m. or 8:06 a.m. This will set your news apart from the rush of releases scheduled to go out on-the-hour.

With 32 bureaus around the world and more newsrooms than all of our competitors combined, Business Wire is proud to provide local expertise and superior service, backed by the most accurate editors in the world. In Editor’s Corner, we ask some of our best to chime in on how to get the most out of your press release, based on their years of experience in the industry.


Dos and Don’ts of Pitching a Features Editor

March 8, 2011
by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/DC

Business Wire’s Features National circuit and Feature Topic Series can help distribute your press releases, but how do you create an effective story that will appeal to a features editor? I reached out to Katie Aberbach of the Washington Post Express and Katy De Luca of the Washington Examiner to find out the dos and don’ts of pitching a feature editor.

Katie Aberbach

Katie Aberbach is a feature editor for the Washington Post Express‘ Lookout, Weekend Pass and Digs sections. According to Aberbach, a good feature is “a human interest story, something the average reader can relate to.” The best feature stories are when you become invested in what you’re reading or when you can tell that the reporter truly enjoys what he or she is writing about. When it comes to getting ideas for feature stories, “press releases do help out a lot because there is no way you can know everything new that’s coming out,” she said. “Tell me about your new product, television show and book and offer a source to comment on it.”

When it comes to writing your press release, she suggests the following:

  • Do break up the story and summarize key information into bullet points.
  • Do include links to other trend stories and think of what visuals would work for your story.
  • Don’t forget the hook. Even though you’re pitching a feature story, a hard news hook is still valuable. Say why I should care right away. Naming the names is really important.

Katy De Luca

Katy De Luca is the features editor of the Washington Examiner. For De Luca, the best feature stories are ones that appeal to the Examiner audience. “I look at all pitches and think about what will be most interesting to our readers. I think about what they would want to read and what is the best way to get the information to them,” she said. Most of the story ideas come from the writers De Luca works with. She also reads a variety of media and if a topic grabs her attention, she’ll forward the lead to one of her freelancers.

When pitching a feature reporter or editor, De Luca recommends these points:

  • Do include as much information as possible in the subject line and personalize your pitch. Provide all basic details. Simple is better.
  • Do periodically ask the person you are pitching to what sort of things they are looking for. Communication is a key part of the process.
  • Don’t send long-winded e-mails with attachments.

For more suggestions on how to help get your feature news noticed by the media, check out these Features News Tips. You can also contact our features department at features@businesswire.com for additional writing tips and story suggestions.


March Mobile Madness: Win an Amazon Gift Card!

March 7, 2011

March is Mobile Madness Month at Business Wire! We’ll be giving away free prizes all month long and reminding you to download our free mobile apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. Business Wire press releases also automatically post to leading mobile news apps, including AP Mobile, AFP Mobile and Postmedia Network Mobile. We also just updated Business Wire Mobile, our platform designed for mobile viewing. Check it out today by visiting BusinessWire.com on your phone to view full-text press releases and set up your personal page to receive customized news.

To celebrate Mobile Madness, we’re raffling off $25 Amazon Gift Cards, just for checking out one of our free apps or creating a free personal page on our mobile site. Visit our Mobile Madness site to enter the drawing and check out more information about our mobile distribution.


BW Fun Fact: Business Wire Has Gone From 1 1/4 to 500+ Employees in 50 Years

March 4, 2011

BW founder & original employee Lorry Lokey

Business Wire opened its doors for business on October 2, 1961. At that time, there were 1 1/4 employees (founder Lorry Lokey was the full timer) and one office (in San Francisco) that has been described as the size of a broom closet. We didn’t open another office (Los Angeles) until 1967 & employed just 15 people at the end of the 1960s.

Today, Business Wire boasts more than 500 employees in 32 bureaus around the world, including 21 newsrooms staffed with the most accurate editors in the industry. We’ve definitely come a long way in 50 years!


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Meet the Media of Richmond, Learn About Powerful Pitches in Cleveland

March 3, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Meet the Richmond Media

Hosted by Business Wire Washington, DC

Join Business Wire DC for breakfast and a panel discussion with Richmond editors and reporters. Jon Newman of The Hodges Partnership will moderate the panel, including: Scott Bass, News Editor, Style Weekly; Rachel DePompa, Richmond Reporter, NBC12; Gregory Gilligan, Business Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch; and Susan Winiecki, Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher, Richmond Magazine, RHome and RBride. This event is $10 for all attendees.

Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Ramada Plaza Richmond West
6624 West Broad St., Richmond, VA 23230

To register: Please RSVP to Neeli Yelamanchili at 703.243.0400 or email neelima.yelamanchili@businesswire.com by March 10.

Powerful Pitches

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland

Just about everything in a communications professional’s life involves some form of pitching. A successful pitch involves a great deal of persuasion and creativity. Join Business Wire Cleveland for a breakfast seminar featuring Jim Kukral, web entrepreneur, blogger, professional speaker, educator and author of two books – Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and The Ultimate Pitch. Jim will draw from his years of experience counseling major corporations, entrepreneurs and small businesses to provide you with the tools and inspiration to prepare powerful pitches that will grab attention and help you accomplish your goals. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m. ET
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

To register: Please RSVP to Melissa Chambers at melissa.chambers@businesswire.com by March 18.


Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag
#bwevents


BW Fun Fact: Five Years Ago Today, Business Wire Joined the Berkshire Hathaway Family

March 1, 2011

Celebrating our five-year birthday as a Berkshire Hathaway company on the occasion of our fiftieth anniversary year makes us want to run out and buy a lottery ticket with lots of “fives” as our quick picks.

From the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway company calendar

Just 60 short months ago, on March 1, 2006, Business Wire joined Warren Buffett’s family.

Employees learned of the pending deal on January 16, 2006, when founder Lorry Lokey sent a company-wide email coauthored by BW CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz with the subject line:   A Renaissance:   A re-birth for Business Wire.

The classicly coy email, kept many of us on the edge of our seats as Lorry waited until the eighth paragraph to inform us: 

“Many of you might have heard rumors these last few years that Business Wire might be for sale. It’s true that in order to ensure our future and continue what we’ve built, we have considered options such as a sale, merger, acquisition, etc.
I am pleased to announce that Business Wire has been sold to Berkshire Hathaway and its leader, Warren Buffett.”

At 8:55 AM Eastern Standard Time on March 1, 2006, the news broke on Business Wire (of course) that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway had bought Business Wire, making it a wholly owned subsidiary.


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