Woo-hoo! Happy 50th Birthday to Us! Business Wire Celebrates at the NYSE

September 30, 2011

This Sunday, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary as the global leader in press release distribution & regulatory disclosure. And rest assured: we still know how to party.

Today, we ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Warren Buffett, Chairman of our parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, and Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire CEO.

The event caps a year of looking back on a wonderful first 50 years, and forward to the future of communications.   And the celebration’s not over yet…we still have local 50th Anniversary events in several cities in October. We hope you can join us!

For the past half century, we’ve been proud to serve thousands of public relations and investor relations professionals with the communications tools and platforms that tell your story in the most compelling way possible. From all of us here at Business Wire, thank you for making the last 50 years special.

Watch video of us ringing the bell & a great interview with our CEO Cathy & Warren Buffett.

Here are some pictures from our big day at the NYSE:

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Business Wire’s College Video Contest Winner Jenna Marie James Gears Up to Meet Mr. Buffett

September 27, 2011

We’re just days away until Business Wire heads to New York city to ring the opening bell with Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, at the New York Stock Exchange.   Meeting Mr. Buffett along with Business Wire’s chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz is our college video contest winner  21-year-old Jenna Marie James, a senior majoring in telecommunications at Ball State University.  Students were asked to answer the question “What is the future of public relations and communications?” and Jenna was chosen based on creativity, originality and appropriateness to theme.  Read press release here.

We asked Jenna how she was feeling about winning the contest and she shared, ” This is all still so surreal to me. I got a golden ticket! I feel like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory except Willy Wonka is Warren Buffett and the Chocolate Factory is The Stock Market Luncheon. I’m just trying to soak it all in and get everything ready in order to head to New York.”

Check out Jenna’s video below and learn how this superstar is training to meet one of the most influential people in the world:

To see Jenna’s winning video along with all our top ten finalists, visit facebook.com/businesswire.


Seattle Tech Media Discuss How to Get Your News Noticed

September 23, 2011


By Mary Oehler, Senior Editor, Business Wire Seattle

Business Wire Seattle recently hosted a luncheon featuring top Seattle Tech media  journalists.  Both online and traditional journalists offered their thoughts and insights into what makes a good story and how to go about getting your news noticed.

Lauren Linscheid, Business Wire Seattle’s senior client services representative, organized the tech media event featuring moderator Jennifer Archer, Vice President, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, with panel participants John Cook, Co-founder, GeekWire; Brier Dudley, Technology Columnist, The Seattle Times; Tricia Duryee, Senior Editor, AllThingsD; and Curt Woodward, Senior Editor, Xconomy.

Seattle Tech Media Panel (L-R): John Cook, Curt Woodward, Tricia Duryee, Jennifer Archer & Brier Dudley.

Below are some of the key takeaways from our panelists:

It’s ALL about narrative.  Journalists want to cover a compelling or quirky tale whether the actual subject matter is a product launch, personnel change or company profile.  Get personal, look around at your employees.  If somebody in your company has a fresh angle to offer, use it. Are you or  your company involved in something new and/or exciting?  Find a way to add that to your news. The bottom line: if the story is interesting, we’ll use it.

Be an industry source and expert when using social media.  With the tens of thousands of stories that cross social media outlets daily, these tech journalists are more likely to notice and follow a company, individual or organization on Twitter or blogs when that entity does more than report on its own news.   Curt advises:  “Be a source of information and not just a purveyor of pitches.  Be an expert.  Be a reader of all kinds of media.  Be into the whole scene.”  Tricia added, “create a personality.”  This is the type of online presence that gets the journalist’s attention and puts you on their radar, increasing the chances of your own news getting noticed.

How to effectively pitch a story to the journalists?  John Cook: “No calls!” Across the board, these journalists stated they do not regularly pick up their phone or check their voicemail.  They prefer an email to a phone call and that brings up another point of agreement: if it’s an email pitch, be succinct.  They want the pitch to be direct and concise with good communication and follow-up. Don’t bury your intent 16 paragraphs down.  Get right to it.  And while traditional journalist Brier relies heavily on these email pitches and his RSS feed for leads, the online journalists say a tweet is much more likely to catch their attention – in fact, Tricia works with two computer screens full of nothing but twitter feeds and John Cook says, “I have to cut myself off of Twitter because I will find so many stories to cover.”

Multimedia is much desired … but.   The bottom line is that these journalists love multimedia but are more likely to use it as an enhancement to the written story than as a stand-alone.  A busy schedule means they may not always have the time it takes to produce a polished asset, but if they receive a high quality multimedia piece with a good set of information, they’ll likely use it when reporting on the story.  That being said, it still goes back to being about the narrative – “what’s the story here?” and will this enhance the quality of that story?  It must be meaningful.

Finally, in response to moderator Jennifer Archer’s inquiry on how the media view PR professionals – “friends or foes?” – panelists were unanimous in their position that the working relationship between the media and PR professionals is a necessary and valuable “partnership,”  though Brier did jokingly offer up the term “frenemies.”  However, the journalists agreed that the media do need PR professionals to do their job.  They especially appreciate those PR professionals who do their industry homework and know the outlet they are pitching and what it covers.  And, very importantly, they value good, effective communication.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwevents.


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Hispanic Media in DC, 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Boston, LA, Newport, San Diego

September 21, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Business Wire Brings You LatinoWire

Hosted by Business Wire Washington, D.C.

Reaching the rapidly growing Hispanic American community with your organization’s message is of critical importance today.  Hispanics still depend on traditional and print media for their news, but many rely on the internet and mobile devices as well.  What is the best way to reach this audience? Join Business Wire DC for a chance to meet some of the nation’s most important and influential news leaders & learn about their news gathering operations in terms of what’s being covered and when – and how to best interact with their reporters. Speakers will include: Rossana Rosado, Publisher and CEO of El Diario/La Prensa; Hilda Garcia, VP of Multiplatform News and Information for impreMedia; Lori Montenegro, Washington correspondent, Telemundo Noticias; and José Manuel Sanz Mingote, General Director, Agencia EFE. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Wednesday, September 28 at 8 a.m. ET
National Press Club
First Amendment Lounge
529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004      

To register: RSVP to danny.selnick@businesswire.com

Celebrating 50 Years: Anniversary Reception & Media Mingle

Hosted by Business Wire Boston

Join Business Wire Boston for a reception in celebration of our 50th anniversary.  Socialize with colleagues, mingle with the media and join us for a champagne toast while watching the sunset over Boston Harbor! This event is open to Business Wire members, non-members & media professionals & is FREE for all professional communicators.

Tuesday, October 4 at 4 p.m. ET
Boston Harbor Hotel
70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA, 02110

To register: RSVP to http://bw50boston.eventbrite.com by Sept 30

What is the Future of PR?

Hosted by Business Wire LA

Join Business Wire LA in celebrating our 50th Anniversary. We start the afternoon with an interactive panel discussion about how communications has changed in the last 50 years and what the future holds for our industry. Roger Pondel of PondelWilkinson will moderate the panel, which includes Martin Beck of the LA Times, Sonya Quick of the OC Register, Robert Hernandez from USC and Beth Mansfield of CKE Restaurants. We’ll end the session with a champagne toast to thank you for making the last 50 years special. Beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres will also be served. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, October 6 at 3 p.m. PT
The Mark
9320 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035

To register: RSVP to Garrett Henricksen at LARSVP@businesswire.com by Oct 3.

What is the Future of PR?

Hosted by Business Wire Newport Beach

Please join Business Wire Newport Beach for breakfast & help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary! We’ll start your morning with an interactive panel discussion about how communications has changed in the last 50 years and what the future holds for our industry. We’ll also raise a toast to thank you for helping make the last 50 years special! This event is FREE for Business Wire members & $20 for non-members.

Wednesday, October 19 at 8:30 a.m. PT
Hotel Hanford
Promenade Ballroom
3131 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

To register: RSVP to Kathy Tomasino at kathy.tomasino@businesswire.com.

Meet the Media

Hosted by Business Wire San Diego

Please join Business Wire San Diego in celebrating our 50th Anniversary with a meet the media event. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, October 20 at 8 a.m. PT
Andaz San Diego
Studio East Room
600 F Street, San Diego, CA, 92101

To register: RSVP to LARSVP@BusinessWire.com or call 310.820.9473

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


Business Wire Gives Back: BW Staff Helps Grow Miracle Gardens on Chicago’s South Side

September 16, 2011
 
by Abbie Sullivan, Client Services Representative
 
Eight Business Wire Chicago employees volunteered recently to help create an edible landscape  located at the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.   The effort was made on behalf of the Make Miracles Grow Youth Garden and was associated with Business Wire 50th Anniversary Give Back program.
 
Chicago office members Matt Blouin, Global Media Relations Manager Raschanda Hall, Editors Christina Jahnke, Colin MacLaughlin and Arunas Statkus, Senior Editor Yvonne Moy, Regional Manager Elaine Stiles, and CSR Abbie Sullivan spent time turning dirt, planting apple trees, harvesting cucumbers and tomatoes and completing gardening chores like mulching, watering and fertilizing.
 
 

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The gardening investment will pay off in fresh fruits and vegetables for the neighborhood, which is considered one of the city’s “Food Deserts.”  Grand Crossing’s 2,500 residents must travel .81 mile to buy fresh produce from a small grocer, yet only .32 mile to a fast food outlet. Located within the community and adjacent to GCYC, the Make Miracles Grow Foundation is working in partnership with GCYC to redevelop two acres of a vacant former industrial property into an urban farm.
 
The Make Miracles Grow Foundation is dedicated to urban agriculture and youth education on Chicago’s south side. The Make Miracles Grow Youth Garden will serve as a model for sustainable urban farming methods, youth career and education development, economic development and job and food security improvement for the community. The foundation and garden provide residents in the community with a sustainable, green economy that is youth-led and maintained. The youth garden also teaches local sustainability through growing food, culinary arts and community outreach.
 
Find out more about the Gary Comer Youth Center.

In honor of its 50th Anniversary, Business Wire is giving back by providing each of its 500+ employees up to 12 hours of paid time off in 2011 to volunteer with the nonprofit of their choice. Read more about what BW employees are doing to give back.

 
 

Pete Codella Shares Twitter and Social Media Tips in Salt Lake City for Business Wire Phoenix Event

September 15, 2011

Business Wire Phoenix hosted a luncheon in Salt Lake City recently with Pete Codella, CEO of Codella Marketing, titled “Facebook and Twitter:  How-to tips and tools for PR.” 

Codella’s presentation provided useful insights on utilizing social media tools from his personal and professional experience.   His fearless video,  “That Crazy Little the Web”  has provoked strong reactions on YouTube, and pretty much sums up his approach to social media:  take risks, engage personally, and be proactive.
 
Codella believes social media is no place to be shy or humble.  He advised asking your team, customers, vendors and business partners to support your efforts by “liking” you on Facebook and following you on Twitter.  By encouraging questions, you’ll gain valuable feedback and likely to appear in others’ newsfeeds, he said.   
 
Pete Codella, Debra Lund of Franklin Covery, and Business Wire Phoenix Regional Manager Grant Armendariz

Pete Codella, of Codella Marketing, Franklin Covey's Debra Lund, and Business Wire Phoenix Regional Manager Grant Armendariz

 
 
 

BW Gives Back: The Borough of Ramsey 9/11 Remembrance

September 13, 2011

by Alan Asarch, Manager, Licensing and Content Development, Business Wire

Located in Bergen County New Jersey, The Ramsey Wind Symphony is one of the region’s most established wind groups.  Celebrating its 26th Season, the Symphony consists of volunteer participants from all walks of life who love to play and perform music.  Every year, the Symphony holds several concerts for the community, and is invited to participate in seasonal community events.

Since the events of September 11, 2001, the Borough of Ramsey conducts memorial services for the three local residents whose lives were lost on that tragic day.  The Ramsey Wind Symphony provides patriotic and solemn musical interludes as part of the 9/11 Memorial Services, as community leaders speak and those we lost on that tragic day are remembered.

Borough of Ramsey 9/11 Remembrance

Local police and firefighters attend the Borough of Ramsey 9/11 memorial service

On the 10th anniversary of September 11, Ramsey held its memorial ceremony in a remote, peaceful, tree-lined area of Finch Park, which will soon include a beautiful, permanent memorial in remembrance of the 3 residents.  The families who lost loved ones were invited back to participate in the groundbreaking of the memorial.  Only two of the three came.

Also in attendance were the mayor and councilman of Ramsey, and many members of the Police and Fire Departments of Ramsey. In front of one of the firefighters stood a bell, which would ring three times, once for each person the town lost on that fateful day.

Prior to the groundbreaking, the Symphony played patriotic interludes in a somber, rather than celebratory, tone.  The families were invited to light candles in remembrance of their loved ones.

For the first time, I saw with my own eyes families of the victims of that fateful day:  A mother and father who lost a son, and a wife and her children who lost a husband and father.  We all watch the 9/11 ceremonies on television and hear the roll call of names of loved ones who were lost.  Seeing it on television does not have the same impact as observing it in person.  I looked into their eyes as they sat in the front row, stood for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, and walked to light their candles.  In their eyes, I see straight through to the holes in their hearts that will never be filled and the pain that will never completely heal.  My eyes fill with tears desperately wanting to be shed.

As the ceremony reached its conclusion, the Mayor thanked the Symphony for participating in the service.  The applause was warm, yet unnecessary.  More surprisingly, the families honored on this late Summer day stood for us as they applauded.  It should be the other way around–the Symphony stands for those families,  applauds them, and honors them for their strength and courage.

Memorials for Ramsey, NJ 9/11 victims

Memorials for the three Ramsey residents who lost their lives on 9/11

I walked to the banner that displays the design of the new memorial.  I wanted to speak to the families and look closer into their eyes, offer a simple, thoughtful handshake, and let them know that I share their sadness, even though I was fortunate enough to not lose a loved one on September 11, 2001.  I saw them stare at the model of the memorial, envisioning the names of their loved ones on it, which will be permanently displayed for everyone to see and never forget.  And they deserved to spend this time alone in thought.

Even though I did not speak with the families, I know that the Ramsey Wind Symphony’s participation in the ceremony gave them solace from unimaginable sorrow.  I am honored and grateful to be a part of an organization that gives back so much to its community.

In honor of its 50th Anniversary, Business Wire is giving back by providing each of its 500+ employees up to 12 hours of paid time off in 2011 to volunteer with the nonprofit of their choice. Read more about what BW employees are doing to give back.


Editor’s Corner: Grammar Snob Alert! Who vs. Whom Demonstrates Usage in Transition

September 13, 2011

by Andrew Guinn, Graveyard Newsroom Supervisor, Business Wire Nashville

Andrew Guinn

by Andrew Guinn, Newsroom Supervisor, BW Nashville

Who vs. whom, which is it? 

 “Look it up.”

This was my fellow university newspaper staffers’ reply to a grammar question, accompanied by an AP Manual flying toward my head.  I’m far from an expert, so, when confronted with the question of who or whom, I looked it up… and found confusion.

Why?  Apparently we’ve changed how particular we are about the correct usage and now find whom awkward in some instances – mostly when our misuse is corrected.  

In a typical press release, the sentence structure is simple and doesn’t call for complication.  The characters you write about are usually getting hired or promoted, maybe sued, so the trick for determining which usage is correct revolves around this: Who is a subject and whom is an object.  Or, who does stuff while stuff happens to whom

 Who came up with this idea?  We, they, he or she came up with this idea.

 We can’t tell for whom the package is.  Awkward, isn’t it?  But correct useage tell us the package is for them, us, her or him.

If the people being replaced in your sentence are committing the action, they are replaced with who.  If they’re just there, near the action, replace them with whom.

 Give this to someone who knows how to use it.  Even if it’s not an actual action.

 Without an address, we didn’t know to whom the package belonged.  Guess it’s for us.

 Whoever and whomever work in the same manner.

 Whoever finds the keys gets a reward.  If he or she finds the keys.

 We will look for the keys in the pockets of whomever we meet.  We meet them.

Some of these feel strange to say.  If you saw a birthday cake in your break room, would you ask, “For whom is this cake?”  Or, would you ask, “Who’s the cake for?” 

Will there be a “grammar snob” around who is still willing to correct us?  I wouldn’t count on it.  But, why wait on someone else when you can do it yourself?

With 31 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.


How Are You Managing Your Online Newsroom? Please take Survey, We’ll Share Results

September 12, 2011

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services

Ibrey WoodallIn several years of creating online newsrooms, many of my most enjoyable experiences have been working directly with, and learning from corporate communicators in the field. I’ve met some great people, and I’ve been fortunate to be involved with online newsrooms for educational institutions to Fortune 500 corporations.

The stories I’ve heard are endless and entertaining. To me, public relations professionals are the soldiers on the front line. They maintain the reputation of their organization and deal with a barrage of questions – especially when things go wrong. I began surveying journalists in 2004 to see what they wanted from an online newsroom. That’s all pretty common knowledge now.

My goal today is to continue accumulating more real-world knowledge from PR warriors, and relay that to other communicators. Business Wire has teamed up with Bulldog Reporter to gather responses, and share them with all communicators.

If you have an online newsroom, please participate in the Communicators Online Newsroom Survey. Let us know how you manage your online newsroom. There are only 29 questions, so it won’t take long. You have until Sunday, September 18 to help your industry peers, and maybe even win an Apple iPad2TM.

Communicators Online Newsroom Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OnlineNewsrooms

I look forward to learning more.


Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary College Contest Highlight: Zan Zhang

September 7, 2011

We knew there was a reason to open up Business Wire college video contest to Canada and one of our top ten finalists is proof it was the right decision.  Zan Zhang, a junior working towards his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada may just win the grand prize with the winner to meet Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, at Business Wire’s NYSE Opening Bell luncheon on September 30th, 2011. View Zan’s video here (9th one).

When asked why Zan wanted to meet Mr. Buffett, he answered “I want to meet Mr. Buffett because he is someone that has helped shape my life, just as Benjamin Graham influenced his. Currently, the principles of Graham’s value investing are fading into the past, with few advocates leading its future. I hope to continue spreading financial literacy and investing discipline to emerging markets around the world, and Mr. Buffett can definitely help me progress along the correct path.”

Zan Zhang is the previous President & CEO (2009-11 of Investors of Tomorrow, Canada’s largest charity devoted to spreading financial literacy amongst youth, as well as the Queen’s University Investment Counsel, which invests a real-money portfolio of approximately $600,000 in equity markets. In the fall semester, he will be going on an academic exchange as part of his program to Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. 

When Zan isn’t investing or learning about investing, he is playing the piano.  Zan was a music instructor and has also won awards for classical piano at the ARCT-Performance level. You can even listen to him play on his video.

Show your support to all the top video finalists on our Facebook page and let our executive judging committee including Business Wire’s chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz and President Gregg Castano your favorites by commenting and “liking” them. You can also show your support on Twitter using hashtag #BWZAN.


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