The Rise of Content PR

October 31, 2012
by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

It’s no secret that the public relations business has changed dramatically over the last several years — the amount of commentary and opinion that accompanied PRSA’s attempt to come up with a modern definition of “public relations” should make that clear. Those changes, in the midst of the social and search revolutions, have had a major effect on how PR is practiced.

We’ve been saying for years that press releases are just a starting point for your PR campaigns, an opportunity to leverage an integrated PR/marketing approach to serving media, consumers and other audiences by providing them with valuable information and multimedia content. Now we’ve partnered with Calysto Communications to help put a name to these practices: Content PR.

Through our joint efforts, we’ve produced “The Rise of Content PR,” an in-depth examination of the content PR strategy, which includes the development of original content that appeals to journalists and consumers as well as strategic delivery methods that provide measurable data based on defined objectives.

To download and read this report, please visit . Make sure to also visit Calysto’s new Content PR blog as well as their PR Vibes Blog.

We hope to hear your own thoughts on how your PR practice has changed!

More Upcoming Events for November

October 30, 2012

In addition to the Miami, Charlotte and San Francisco local Business Wire events we told you about previously, we’ve got two more on our calendar:

On Wed., Nov. 7, Business Wire/Seattle hosts a media roundtable luncheon, featuring an impressive slate of journalists from some of Washington’s most important media outlets including KIRO Radio, KING 5, Seattle PI and the Seattle Times. The event is $10 for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members; register here by Nov. 5.

On Tues., Nov. 13, Business Wire/Austin presents “Understanding the Changing News Climate for Better Media Coverage.” Featuring Colin Pope of the Austin Business Journal and Corrie MacLagan of Reuters, this lunchtime event will cover questions including “How does current news technology change the content new outlets are looking for?” and “What do reporters need to help fill their news pipelines in mobile or social platforms?” The event is free for Business Wire members and $10 for non-members; please RSVP by Nov. 9 to Erica Schuckies.

MEDIAmobz Interviews Tom Becktold and Laura Sturaitis on PR/Marketing Challenges

October 30, 2012

Earlier this month at the PRSA International Conference, our partner MEDIAmobz conducted a series of video interviews with thought leaders, in which they asked them to comment on some of the challenges facing PR and marketing practitioners today.

In one entry of their PRSA Thought Leadership Series, MEDIAmobz asked several people including Tom Becktold, SVP-Marketing for Business Wire, “Does your company’s multimedia content ambition outpace your available resources?”

In another entry, Tom and Laura Sturaitis, EVP-Media Services & Product Strategy, were asked, “What are some issues that people are faced with in the communications industry today?”

Click over to each to watch Tom’s and Laura’s answers along with those of other PR professionals.


The Daily Dog Interviews Marketing SVP Tom Becktold on PR’s Role in the Marketing Process

October 25, 2012

The Daily Dog, as part of their “Exhibitor Insights” video series from this month’s PRSA International Conference, spoke with Tom Becktold, our SVP Marketing, about how PR pros are in a perfect position to drive companies’ greater marketing messages, how social media has given PR a bigger presence in C-suite decision making, and how PR should be guiding marketing and advertising. Check out Tom’s interview with Richard Carufel below:

Earnings Release Advice from Top Experts

October 25, 2012
Raschanda Hall

Raschanda Hall

by Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire Chicago

During this earnings period, we spoke with top editors at Bloomberg and MarketWatch to find what they want you to know as you report your financial information to the world.

Susan Warren, Dallas Bureau Chief for Bloomberg  says:

Don’t round up financial information.  Bloomberg prefers decimal points, e.g. “Company revenues are $6.245 billion, instead of $6.2 Billion.” Also, give your bullet points context – if average daily production is up by 20%,  what does it mean for the company?

The less jargon, the better,” says Chris NobleAssistant Managing Editor for MarketWatch based in San Francisco.

Biggest Pet Peeve: Sending news out after market close and not being available to comment.  Warren says, “Whether it’s good news or bad news, you want it covered accurately.”

Our own editors, who process an average of 3,000 earnings-related announcements every quarter, also have suggestions that can help ensure a smooth earnings process: Submit file types that can be converted easily.  Excel files (including embedded tables in Word documents) Word tables and tables created via Webfilings all convert well in the Business Wire editorial system. Be sure to check with your wire service for types of files they prefer.

“We need to be able to copy and format the tables, so unfortunately we can’t work with picture files or PDF files,” say Colleen Edmundson, who has been with Business Wire for nearly seven years and oversees the veteran editorial staff in our Chicago office.

Want more tips to a smooth earnings process? Check out our full 2 minute tips interview with Colleen on SoundCloud.

Editorial Planning Note: UK and EU Fall Back One Hour This Weekend

October 24, 2012

If you’re planning on distributing news in the UK or the EU this weekend or early next week, please note that both will be moving their clocks back one hour this Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 am UTC (which is 9:00 pm EDT on Saturday, Oct. 27). Make sure you take the time change into account when scheduling your news.

For a quick reference as to when various time zone around the world change to/from daylight savings see:

Upcoming Local Events: November 2012

October 24, 2012

Next month, three of our local offices bring you great events with top media experts to keep you up to date on the latest trends and topics:

On Friday, Nov. 9, Business Wire/Florida presents Online Newsroom Best Practices for Communicators. Ibrey Woodall, our Vice President of Web Communications, moderates a panel that includes Rick Hirsh of the Miami Herald and Bill Faries of Bloomberg News. To register for this free event, please RSVP to Julia Sotelo by Nov. 2.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Business Wire/Charlotte will travel to Durham to host A 360° View of Social Media. A panel including Meg Crawford of SAS, Claire Spina-Russell of Quintiles and Gavin O’Hara of Lenovo will discuss how to effectively garner coverage from today’s new media, such as blogs, social media, video and smartphone applications.  This is event is free for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members; to register contact Christine Ruel by Nov. 9.

Also on Nov. 14, Business Wire/San Francisco hosts The 24-Hour News Cycle and the Evolving Newsroom. Christopher Noble of MarketWatch, Mike Isaac of All Things Digital, Alex Wellins of The Blueshirt Group and Louise Kehoe of Ogilvy PR will provide a look at the modern news cycle and the effects that changes in media and the elimination of deadlines have had on the timing of news and the accuracy of reporting. To register for this free event, please contact

Be sure to check our Events Calendar for other upcoming local events and webinars, and to follow @businesswire and #bwchat on Twitter for live tweets from our events!

New NIRI Survey Confirms Industry’s Strong Endorsement of IR Best Practices

October 22, 2012
by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media/Business Wire
Neil Hershberg

Neil Hershberg, SVP – Global Media

They are known as IR “Best Practices” for a reason: collectively, these disclosure tools meet the information needs of all market participants simultaneously and in real-time, and they promote fair, orderly, and efficient capital markets.

The good news is that the National Investor Relations Institute, the prestigious international association of more than 3,300 IR professionals representing over 1,600 publicly held companies, released its 2012 survey on corporate disclosure practices last week.  The overwhelming majority of respondents indicate that they will stick to tried and proven compliance platforms — SEC filings (91%), press releases via paid providers (89%), and publicly available conference calls/webcasts (67%) — as their primary tools to reach the investment community, and to satisfy their regulatory obligations. Interestingly, these statistics are unchanged since the last NIRI survey focusing on this issue in 2010.

The NIRI survey of 2,038 IR professionals bore a number of interesting findings, including:

  •  88 percent of respondents indicate that their companies have no immediate plans to move towards exclusive use of their corporate website to disclosure material information. Nearly two-thirds said that their companies will never exclusively use their corporate website as the only method of material disclosure information.
  •  Social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook corporate apps) are slowly being embraced by IR professionals as part of their broader disclosure arsenal. However, no single option is used by 20 percent of the universe sample.
  •  The most important factor determining the method/channel of disclosure is the materiality of the information; cost ranks as the least important influence in the dissemination decision.

The major takeaway from the membership survey’s findings is that four years after the SEC published its controversial Interpretive Guidance Release on Web-Based Disclosure, the industry has responded with justified caution, and a genuine concern and commitment that the information needs of all of its investor constituencies are addressed.

There is a clear recognition that a broadly disseminated news release that is simultaneous and freely accessed on an equivalent basis by the investment universe is the surest way to providing a level playing field for all market participants.

It also is noteworthy that IR professionals are adopting supplementary tools to reach investors, augmenting the reach of proven disclosure channels. In the NIRI survey, respondents report using over 15 different channels for disclosing information.

The NIRI survey invited members to submit open-ended, qualitative responses. Here is a sampling of what NIRI members are saying:

  •  “…I am increasing the channels that I use to communicate and not relying on any one channel, certainly not my website which requires investors/analysts to be more pro-active to access..”   (Small-cap, Other Services, Corporate, Global Brand)
  • “Our goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible with information, not limit the audience to only those people who happen to visit our website at a particular time.”    (Micro-cap, Manufacturing, Corporate, Global Brand)
  •  “In my opinion, the dissemination of important information should be as broad and simultaneous as practicable.””  (Micro-cap, Information, Corporate)
  •  “We don’t believe that our retail shareholder base has equal and timely access to our website for fair disclosure.”   (Mid-cap, Finance and Insurance, Corporate)

 Based on the NIRI survey findings, the IR community should be commended for its corporate responsibility, in addition to its excellent work serving the interests of investors.

In a world of diminished services and diluted values, it is especially reassuring to see the IR industry’s steadfast commitment to ‘Best Practices.”

  Business Wire firmly believes that it is the best choice for disclosure services, which has been our core business for more than a half-century. We are the only service provider to have patented technology that provides simultaneous, real-time access to network recipients worldwide. Our network security and editorial processes are audited annually in multiple international jurisdictions by leading independent accounting/management firms. And we offer a full-suite of reporting services, all handled in-house, including EDGAR and SEDAR filings, as well as fulfilling disclosure requirements in 14 markets throughout North America and Europe.

We once again salute NIRI members for their unwavering commitment to preserving the ideal of fair and full disclosure, and for their support in maintaining the integrity of our financial markets.

13 Tips To Sharpen Your Communication Skills in 2013

October 18, 2012

Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire/Chicago

By Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire/Chicago

There is a distinct buzz in the air during the final quarter of the year.  In the PR community, this growing sound is our nagging reminder to sit down and think about new business, budgets, cuts and strategies for 2013.

We’re no different, so our team looked at our own best practices to empower you with 13 tips to make you a better communicator in 2013.

13. Commit to commenting. Stop being a social media voyeur.  Be active by liking and commenting on posts you read.  The comments can be as interesting as the posts; many people read them and they’re a good way to make connections.

12.  Give before you ask. No matter what service you provide, even the well-intentioned invitation can be seen as a demand for time, effort, and attention. Take this tip from Chris Sacca, advisor to some of the top social media companies, “If you’re insightful and helpful, people will want to be around you.”

11.  Refine your elevator pitch. How? Practice, edit, repeat. If you pitch TV stations you know assignment editors are willing to listen, but you’d better be able to get your point across fast! Call five assignment desks, and chances are, you’ll hone your pitch quickly.

10.  Subscribe to industry newsletters and READ THEM. PR/communications newsletters such as CommPRO.Biz, MediaBistro,  Smart Brief on Social Media and Ragan’s PR Daily offer helpful suggestions for improving your written and verbal communication skills and keep you up on industry trends. You might recognize a misstep you consistently make, such as avoiding an overused word.

9.  Get involved with an industry organization.  Don’t just attend events — join a committee, serve on the board, or simply volunteer your time as you can. Be sure not to limit yourself to PR/IR groups.

8.  Learn more about the offerings of your service providers. OK, this one may be a bit self-serving, but don’t shoot the messenger.  Many PR-related service providers are constantly advancing their catalog of offerings, providing free reporting, or creating complementary products to go along with the services they’re most known for.  Take the meeting and find out what else they offer for you to maximize your relationship.

7.  Have an SEO discussion with your web team, your wire vendors and your content creators. If one conversation isn’t enough, have however many it takes for you to understand search engine optimization (SEO) basics and start using these strategies to improve the visibility of content you produce for the web.

 6.  Take a class or seminar.   Many schools and professional societies offer continuing education classes at a low cost, and some even offer free sessions. Consider classes in photography, advanced web technology or web design.  You can even brush up with a business writing or grammar class.

5.  Attend a journalism conference. The price tag of some PR conferences can be off-putting.  Directly across the aisle our industry peers are putting together great and pertinent programming at a fraction of the cost.  Check out conferences organized by the Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists or one of the journalists-of-color member organizations like NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists.  You’ll learn a lot and make some new contacts while you are at it.

4.  Share your experiences. If you have no time to sit on a board or a committee, offer to speak at one of their programs on a  topic you know matches the interests of their members.  In PR groups, speakers on the topics of social media, measurement, crisis communications, media relations and brand strategy are highly sought after!

 3.  Invite a blogger out for coffee. If you don’t work with bloggers, meet up with an editor, producer or member of the Twitteratti who you value having a relationship with.  Even if they can’t meet face to face, the check-in email is a nice gesture and way to keep a relationship top of mind even if you’ve moved on to cover new areas.

2.  Be an active listener.  Multi-tasking, while great in so many ways, contributes immensely to our eclipsed attention spans. Make an effort to listen more closely.  Practice by playing a prerecorded webinar and not clicking away; or watching or listening to an on-air personality you don’t agree with and resisting the urge to turn away or blurt out.  Just listen.  If you improve your listening skills you might pick up the other half of what most people don’t hear when someone is speaking.

1. Immerse yourself in mobile.  Mobile marketing is the future, but the future is today.  To leverage this market for you and your clients you need to use it. Download news apps and visit the mobile rendered pages of your favorite brands. Then make sure your own messaging is mobile friendly.

Business Wire at the 2012 PRSA International Conference

October 12, 2012

Business Wire is pleased that the 2012 PRSA International Conference is returning to San Francisco the place we were founded in 1961 – Welcome to our Hometown!

We will have a large contingent of BW people on hand so please be on the lookout, stop by Booth 18, and say”Hello” to us all.

For those coming to San Francisco early for Assembly (PRSA’s gathering of representatives from local chapters, industry sections and others as a governing body for the organization) on Saturday, look for Mike Gibaldi and Lee Marshall, who are there representing the Miami and Philadelphia chapters, respectively.

Here’s what you can expect when you visit the Business Wire booth:

Learn about some of our staff’s favorite San Francisco hotspots, giving you great ideas for trying new places. You will also meet team players from all areas of our business in addition to our industry experts.

See a demo of our award-winning NewsHQ online newsrooms presented by Ibrey Woodall. She is a true expert in designing online media rooms and knowing what is really important when working with them.

Discover our Smart News Release and Smart Marketing Page options for your integrated marketing plans – cost-effective ways to present attractive multimedia press releases and online marketing platforms, engage with reporters and consumer audiences, boost your organic SEO and get measurable results.

We hope you also save some time for the following:

Once again, come find us and learn why Business Wire remains an extremely important tool for your public relations and marketing campaigns. We hope to see you there!


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