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.


Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary College Contest Highlight: Eric Tawney

September 6, 2011

What kind of kid starts a “Stock Market Club” in high school? Eric Tawney, a Finance and Economics student from Oakland University does. With such a young excitement for investing, it is no wonder that Eric is a huge fan of Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway. Eric discovered Business Wire college video contest when he was searching for a way to write a letter to Mr. Buffett because he wanted to share with him the impact he had on Eric’s decision to study finance and economics. With the chance to meet Mr. Buffett in person, Eric entered our contest and is now one of the top ten finalists with the winner to receive a trip to Business Wire’s NYSE Opening Bell luncheon on September 30th, 2011. View Eric’s video here (1st one).

 
When asked why Eric wanted to meet Mr. Buffett, he answered “Mr. Buffett’s message for people to identify their passion and pursue it has resounded inside of me. I want the chance to speak with him about his life’s path; his successes and his failures and thank him for guiding me to pursue a career that I am absolutely passionate about. I would show Mr. Buffett that he has touched individual lives by speaking with him on how he played an integral part in my development growing up and how his life story became an inspiration for me to pursue investment management.”

Eric is current President of the Society for Applied Investing and Financial Education and also President of the Economic Students Association. In addition, he is a business scholar within Oakland’s School of Business Administration. In his free time, Eric volunteers his time tutoring and advising students on career planning and this past summer volunteered as a summer finance instructor at a Detroit intercity youth community center. Next up for Eric is getting his Masters in Public Policy or International Affairs.

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 #BWERIC.


Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary College Contest Highlight: Stephen Roegge

September 1, 2011

One google search on “How to meet Warren Buffett” was the beginning for our next finalist who is now one of the top ten finalists in Business Wire college video contest.  Stephen Roegge, a sophomore studying Business Administration at Georgia Tech, has always been a fan of Mr. Buffett and is even more so after he finished reading The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.  The winner of the contest will 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 Stephen’s video here (8th one).

When asked why Stephen wanted to meet Mr. Buffett, he answered “I want to meet Mr. Buffett because he is one of the smartest people in the world. He is seriously my #1 role model and getting to meet him would make me the happiest college student in the world.”

Stephen was born and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia and has a real love for Atlanta sports.  His favorite team is the Atlanta Hawks, but he is also a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves.

Stephen is still unsure what his future holds, but he knows it will involve business and investing as these are his main interests.  He hopes to have a job in the future that allows him to work hard and also allows him to make the world better.  Stephen feels Mr. Buffett is a great example of both and consider Mr. Buffett a major inspiration.

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 #BWSTEPHEN.


Just in Time for Hispanic Heritage Month, Tips for Reaching the Hispanic Media

September 1, 2011
by Pilar Portela, West Media Relations Supervisor, Ethnic Circuits
Pilar Portela

Pilar Portela, West Media Relations Supervisor, Ethnic Media Circuits

New Census data shows US Hispanics have become the second-largest population with 50 million citizens.  Their buying power should reach a projected $1.3 trillion in 2015. With Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) right around the corner and in anticipation of the 2012 presidential elections there is renewed interest in reaching this demographic.

As the media relations supervisor overseeing LatinoWire, I provide media outlets with content relevant to their coverage area and help our clients with questions uniquely inherit to Latino media and pitching them successfully.  I wanted to share my thoughts on some of our most frequently asked questions.

1)      Send your release in both English and Spanish.

US Hispanic media organizations are becoming more bilingual catering to both English and Spanish-speaking Latinos to increase their audience.  Sending in both languages saves them from having to translate your release. Additionally, merged newsrooms such as NBC/Telemundo have staff that may not speak Spanish. It ensures they will be able to read your press release and consider it for their newscast.

2)      Don’t skimp on Spanish-language translation.

Translation bloopers can cost your organization in reputation, time and money. Keep in mind not everyone who speaks Spanish can translate. Free translation tools have come a long way, but if you want to avoid embarrassment (which translates to embarazo or pregnancy in Spanish) have someone who is fluent go over the text. Be on the look out for literal translations which could change the tone and/or message. Business Wire feels translation is such an important part of reaching the US Hispanic market we include it in our LatinoWire distribution.

3)      Remember to reach out to Hispanic media year round.

If the only time you target this group is during Hispanic heritage month then you are missing out on opportunities. Hispanic media is faring better than mainstream media. There are more than 800 US Spanish-language papers and they are interested in any news item that has the potential to impact the Hispanic community (positively or negatively). Year round you should share your story ideas on everything from awards and marketing campaigns to surveys, studies and trends.

For ideas on reaching out to the Hispanic community, check out the diverse companies using our LatinoWire service to reach over 1,200 Hispanic print and broadcast media outlets throughout the U.S.  Clients include: Coca Cola, Winn Dixie, Sprint and the Mayo Clinic, among others.


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