Tuesdays Still “Best” Time to Send a Release, Your Mileage May Vary

December 26, 2012
by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist, Business Wire/San Francisco
Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

A couple of years ago, Business Wire polled 215 communicators to find the best time to send a press release.  The consensus was that Tuesday morning is the best time, though the blog post presenting these results included the general disclaimer “it depends.”

Well, apparently that opinion still holds—or a lot of people read that blog post. I did an analysis of all Business Wire releases that were distributed in 2012 (through the end of November), and the most popular day was Tuesday. But Monday, Wednesday and Thursday weren’t too far behind.

Releases running on Tuesdays accounted for, on average, 24% of total release volume for the year.  For Mondays, it was 19%; for Wednesdays  20%; for Thursdays, 19%.  What this also means is that the first four days of the work week accounted for about 82% of all the releases that have run on Business Wire through most of this year.

The significance for communicators is that, if you want company for your release, run it on a Monday, Tuesday,  Wednesday or Thursday. (If you REALLY want company, run it early in the day, or right at market open/close.) Competition for attention isn’t necessarily a bad thing, depending upon how “hot” the release is and what else is going on at the time.   For instance, if your product works with a well-known product that you know is about to announce an upgrade (iPhone, anyone?) you can piggyback onto the mad rush of ensuing attention.

% of Business Wire press releases issued by day

% of Business Wire press releases issued by day

Timing around holidays is another consideration, as Business Wire L.A. editor Alexander Howard outlined in a post on staying relevant during the December holiday slowdown.

The most important factor to keep in mind for those who want to reach particular media outlets is, of course, knowing their deadlines. That goal, and market close, also provide the rationale for beating the end-of-the-day East Coast time.  But timing  is way less exacting in reaching the masses.  Sometimes you’ll want to join the crowd and other times try to stand out. If you’re targeting particular consumer/buyer segments, know their internet usage habits and when/what they’re most likely to be reading

One thing that HAS changed in the communications business is that “burying” bad news on a weekend is not necessarily seen as an effective strategy.  Former journalist and current communicator Brian Adams recently wrote a good blog post called “Buried Alive:  Social Media Helps Bad News Rise From the Dead” which debunks the notion that bad news can be effectively hidden at 5 PM on a Friday or behind the popularity of another event.

So, what’s the best time to send a press release?  Take all relevant factors into account, know what you want to accomplish, and then pick a time—you’ll probably be just fine.

Happy Holidays from Business Wire

December 21, 2012

Stock Exchange Closings for the Holidays

December 21, 2012

Please be aware that the U.S. exchanges (NYSE/NYSE MKT, NASDAQ, OTCBB, Pink Sheets) will close early, at 1:00 pm ET, on Monday, Dec. 24; and will be closed all day Tuesday, Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas Day. The same markets will also be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day.

For markets outside the US, you can check the New York Times Market Holidays calendar.

Calendar of U.S. Federal Holidays:

NYSE Holiday Calendar:

NASDAQ Holiday Calendar:

The following are some numbers that may be of assistance:

Dow Jones: 212.416.2000
Reuters: 646.223.6000
Bloomberg: 212.617.2300

US SEC Branch of EDGAR Filer Support
Telephone: (202) 942-8900

NYSE Client Services Department
Telephone: (212) 656-3000
Fax: (212) 656-7299 (212) 656-2294
Email: pressreleases@nyx.com

Telephone: (212) 656-3000 or (212)-656-5804
Email: pressreleases@nyx.com

NASDAQ Stockwatch
Telephone: (800) 537-3929
Fax: (301) 978-8510
Link to NASDAQ.net: NASDAQ.net

OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB)
Telephone: (203) 375-9609

Three Tips on Staying Relevant during the Holiday Slowdown

December 20, 2012
by Alexander Howard, Editor, Business Wire/Nashville

The holidays can be a slow time for PR departments. Vacations have begun in earnest, and marketing pushes can seem futile while potential customers are busy visiting relatives. But the holidays can be a prime time for companies to stay relevant with a few simple tips:

‘Tis the Season

Tie your message into the spirit of the season. Journalists are more open to timely stories, so concern yourself with releases that spread holiday cheer, forecast the year ahead or review the year past. Tools like Google Trends can help you get a jump on popular search terms. Keep in mind that the lead time for end-of-year feature stories can be fairly long, so know your target media’s editorial calendar, too.

Go Social

Reach out—the holidays are about getting together with friends and family. Major companies use the holidays as a time to bolster their social media presence. Twitter and Facebook are commonly cited by journalists as prime sources for stories.

Consider the Calendar

Heed the holidays. Generally, the advice is that earlier in the week is better, but the holidays can shake up schedules and reorganize routines. US markets (and many others) are closed for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, which both fall on Tuesdays, so market-moving information might be best embargoed for later.

Maintaining your media strategy throughout the holidays will ensure that business will wax well into the new year.

Does your company have a unique PR strategy or messaging tips for the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

Business Wire Mourns Passing of Rudi DeCeuster

December 19, 2012

Business Wire is saddened to announce the passing of Rudi DeCeuster, our senior director of European business development,who died Sunday at his home in Kontich, Belgium.

Rudi DeCeuster

Rudi DeCeuster

“Business Wire was extremely privileged to have Rudi as part of our Business Wire family,” said Cathy Baron Tamraz, our chief executive officer. “A consummate professional, he was instrumental in our European expansion over the past 12 years, where he opened many doors for us and always provided wise counsel. Beyond that, he was a true gentleman and dear friend to me and so many others at Business Wire. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts go out to his wife, Aline and son, Eric.”

More on Rudi’s career with Business Wire and his passing in our press release here.

Le Diable Est Dans les Détails : How the Business Wire Paris Team Checks and Balances News

December 18, 2012
by Manuela Semenzin, Media Relations Specialist,Business Wire/Paris
Manuela Semenzin

Manuela Semenzin

Luca Sofri, a well-known Italian blogger and journalist (founder and editor of the online newspaper Il Post, 2010), has curated for several years a weekly column inside his blog, Wittengstein.it, called “Notizie che non lo erano” (News that wasn’t).

Each week he points the finger at a few news stories published by Italian newspapers without any fact-checking. These stories are often revealed to be hoaxes.

Sofri’s approach to news reporting is nothing extraordinary. Many entities in France (and the world over) advocate thorough verification of information before publishing it.

As David Brewer says in his article “The importance of fact-checking for journalists“, reporters should always apply the “two reliable sources rule”, where one source is often represented by the wires. But he also notes that “wires can be wrong” and journalists should not rely on them blindly.

Of course, error is always possible when publishing hundreds of thousands of releases per year. That’s why announcements crossing a professional wire undergo a rigorous series of checks and quality-control measures before being released to the public.

I asked our Newsroom Supervisor in Paris, Jacky Ringot, to provide details about what editors do each time they receive a new press release from a client in order to avoid mistakes.

“First of all, we are responsible for authenticating the source of releases,” said Ringot, “So we verify who is sending the release via our secured platform.”

Jacky Ringot, Newsroom Supervisor, BW Paris

Jacky Ringot, Newsroom Supervisor, BW Paris

Ringot went on to explain that our clients possess personal codes to access our secured online system, which means that they have already opened an account and have gone through verification by the sales department.

“But double-checking is our motto,” noted Ringot, “So we verify once again. If contact information consists of a company name, an individual name and a phone number, we check the connection between the contact and the company issuing the release. We call the person, we ask for his/her e-mail and verify that it’s a professional address.

“If a website is included we check it and verify that its content is appropriate,” Ringot continued. “We read the entire press release and if the content is questionable we escalate with management. If a release includes previously published articles from newspapers, magazines or other sources approval must be given in writing by the original source of the article.

“We also escalate issues of photo copyright or possibly objectionable images. We check hyperlinks, dateline, spelling, tables, everything! Your Luca Sofri would have an incredibly hard time trying to catch us out.”

This combination of highly secured technology with human action is a key element here at Business Wire France, and this is also true for each of the newsrooms we have around the world. While no system is entirely fail-safe, we are always working to reduce the risk through a series of checks and balances. We know what is at stake for our customers because their news moves the market and a little error can have very important consequences.

Los Angeles Media Breakfast: Content Marketing & PR for Startups

December 13, 2012
by Luis Guillen, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/LA

Starting a new business can be a challenge. Companies are faced with creating interest, establishing brand awareness, and promoting their product to potential customers all from scratch. Marketing is always evolving, and new companies must adapt quickly and efficiently to the new worlds of content marketing and social media.

Business Wire Los Angeles recently invited a panel of industry professionals to speak about content marketing and PR for startups. This well-attended breakfast event generated some very insightful tips from our expert speakers:

Emily Scherberth (moderator) – Founder and CEO, Symphony PR & Marketing Inc.

Dana Block – Account Director, Consumer Technology, Allison+Partners

Dena Cook – Managing Partner, Brew Media Relations

Kevin Winston – Founder & CEO, Digital LA

Kyle Ellicott – Startup & Entrepreneur Columnist, TechZulu/Co-Founder, Techhustlers.com

Start with what’s important. Know who you are, what your company’s message is, and how you differ from the competition. Dena Cook suggested “knowing your objectives, painting a very clear picture to clients, and marching to the same beat” as important steps for companies to help establish credibility. Startups have a great ability to be authentic with the media; remember to give your company a personality.

Do NOT limit yourself. Get out and network —  attending social mixers and meetups is a great way to make yourself relevant. Kevin Winston of Digital LA advised to “find out what the public is talking about . . . certain stories will get picked up depending on ‘what’s hot’ in the media.” Go to events, even if you don’t have a story to pitch, and get involved. Build relationships with journalists and bloggers —  this is an area where many startups fail.

Relationships are important. Journalists are your friends, and have great influence. When pitching the media, do your homework: know the person you are seeking, read their work, and do not blind pitch anyone. Get to know them on a personal level and think long-term. “Establish relationships; it’s important to build a network rather than getting one article written out of it,” said TechZulu columnist and entrepreneur Kyle Ellicott.

Content Marketing is all about objectives. Be mindful of your target audience. “We consume news on-the-go,” said Dena Cook of Brew Media LA, so develop customer-centric content and make that process “organic and as real as possible.” Content marketing should be built around your brand and should always be “relevant, interesting, and easy to understand/make sense,” said Kevin.

The landscape has changed the way we consume information and communicate our message. However, an old rule still applies: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For startups, the best strategy to maximize exposure is for content marketing to supplement your press release campaigns.

Give your company a personality, establish your voice and start a thoughtful conversation.

Pinning Your Press Releases on Pinterest

December 5, 2012
by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist, Business Wire

Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

We already know that having a photo accompany a press release will result in more views of that release.  Back in April, I approached this same topic from a different angle and mentioned that Pinterest had become the third most popular social site on the Web.  But did you know that a press release can easily be pinned right from the Business Wire site?

We have made the Pin It button available on the top of every release, as well as beneath each multimedia asset.  While we have found that people do share both text releases and photos from Business Wire on Pinterest,  people are most likely to share visuals.

Pinterest "Pin It" button beneath a Smart News Release graphic on BusinessWire.com

Pinterest “Pin It” button beneath a Smart News Release graphic on BusinessWire.com

What this means in the context of the modern, super-charged press release is that on top of all the benefits that accrue to multimedia releases – more clicks, more sharing in general, content that can outlast the release itself – Business Wire clients now know that the images they use to tell a compelling story can broadcast that story more readily than ever before.

Who uses Pinterest?  This infographic (appropriately enough) breaks down the demographics along with the most popular interests.  But just because crafts, hobbies and design are among the leading topics doesn’t mean that boards are limited to these rather obvious areas of interest.  As we’ve seen on the Business Wire-sourced page, anything can be pinned.   So, balsamic vinegar ketchup bottles share the page with the world’s smallest 4K USB 3.0 camera and a Charmin wedding dress.  (Make that an award-winning Charmin wedding dress.)

If you are distributing a press release on Business Wire, why wait until a viewer decides to pin?  You can pin it yourself, just as you probably already tweet, or post to your Facebook page, or otherwise share the content you have created on social media.  However, it’s best to remember that even while trying to promote your company or client, it’s best to think in terms of “how can I help someone?” rather than “how can I sell something?”  Your board can be amusing or useful, practical or frivolous, but it has to give people a good reason to stop by and check it out.

Polls Close … Result? Business Wire Seattle Media Event Deemed a Winner

December 3, 2012
by Matt Allinson, International Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire

Matt Allinson, International Media Relations Supervisor

There was no shortage when it came to the turnout of PR professionals, journalists and communicators who gathered at Union Square Boardroom in downtown Seattle the day after the national election (Nov. 7, 2012) for what is being hailed as the Emerald City’s premiere media speed dating event and a mandate on future media events.

Eyes were blurry but spirits high as attendees got the opportunity to spend 15-minute micro sessions with four of the eight journalists in attendance. These PR and communications pros were able to quiz the media on everything from how their news outlet reported election results to proper ways to pitch their respective media organizations to the continued blending of old and new journalism. The journalists, in turn, had the opportunity to educate the PR Community on their preferred methods of being pitched, how they’re using social media what they’re looking for when it comes to local stories.

Becky Bisbee of The Seattle Times leads a candid discussion on pitching.

Media in attendance included:

The event was moderated by the great Roger Nyhus, President & CEO of Nyhus Communications and truly a tremendous MC. Many, many tips and tidbits were shared during the 90 minute luncheon  —  here are some of the better ones (at least in my opinion):

  • The phone might be the toughest way to reach someone from the media these days: email, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all generally far better options
  • The Subject Line of Your Email: Make it compelling or at least attention-getting in a clever way, it is truly the best way to get someone at the paper/TV station/blog to notice your story – avoid putting “press release,” “PR,” or anything overtly self-serving in the subject line
  • Don’t forget anybody when pitching: Find out who the best local bloggers/podcasters/freelancers are in your area and build a relationship with them
  • The Local Angle: If you can find a way to make your news relevant to the locals (be that business or human interest or product development) the media will love that – because the people who live near the Puget Sound like hearing about news relevant to where they live
  • Emotion: A story with emotion is always worth doing – but it must make people feel something
  • Relationships: Your much more likely to get your news in the hands of a member of the media if said media member knows you – take the time necessary to cultivate relationships with your local media
  • Take it Easy: Don’t be obnoxious and/or overzealous (multiple follow-up calls will put you in very bad standing) – it’s ok to be persistent but be professional and that same courtesy should be extended to you
  • Time:  Be mindful of the required lead time of the outlet your pitching – while some media can run stories immediately, others need days and/or weeks of lead time
  • The Human Element: You need to know more about the people involved with a company to get at the story so think about pitching the emotional connection (when applicable) – people within a company (and probably not the CEO) are the ones that are going to help readers/viewers relate to it
  • Multimedia: Links, photos, video, etc. are welcomed and encouraged in your pitches/press releases – anything to give the story more context is helpful

Keeping these tips in mind should help you the next time you need to pitch the Seattle media. But, as in life, it’s different strokes for different folks so the main message here is to really research and do your homework on the publications and people you’ll be pitching. As in life, a little effort goes a long way.

Business Wire would like to thank all of the journalists who took the time out of their busy days to join us and share their knowledge. We’d also like to thank Roger Nyhus for keeping the dating speedy & organized while also keeping the crowd chuckling. And we’d like to thank our guests for their attendance and participation.  Lastly, special thanks to BW Seattle editor Brian Matt for all his help with the event.

Business Wire Seattle will be hosting a client/media reception in the very near future so please stay tuned to our events calendar.


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