Happy Birthday Business Wire: Looking Back, Forward…it’s STILL All About Relationships

October 5, 2011

by Mike Maguire, National Editorial Supervisor

The big day has come and gone.  Business Wire is 50 years old and we celebrated in grand style  with company executives led by Chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway – our parent company.

Business Wire rings the opening bell at the NYSE September 30, 2011

Business Wire rings the opening bell at the NYSE September 30, 2011 (Photo by Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext)

As 9:30 last Friday quickly approached, and our team took the podium, I couldn’t help but think back over the past two decades that I have been a part of Business Wire. We’ve come a long way and to be part of a day that brought Business Wire VIPs in from across the country together with our clients and other distinguished people is a day I won’t soon forget.

After the Opening Bell, media conducted interviews of Tamraz and Buffett, including Andrew Sorkin of CNBC, Liz Claman of Fox Business News and Susie Gharib of PBS Nightly Business Report.   At 11 am, a luncheon took place with more than 200 attendees, including our College Contest winner Jenna Marie James from Ball State University.

A viewing of our 50th Anniversary Video was on tap next, followed by Business Wire President Gregg Castano leading a congratulatory toast. During a Q & A with Tamraz, Buffett and the audience,  Buffett opined on the current state of the economy, taxing the wealthy, doing business in China, President Obama as a CEO, and investor relations.

In anticipation of the day, I had coordinated the receipt of proclamations from the mayors in 17 cities of offices where we conduct business. The proclamation from New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg read in part:

`Throughout our history, New York City has been proud to be an engine for economic growth worldwide. Even during these challenging times, more and more companies are locating or expanding here, including firms focused on international business and financial reporting. Of course, in a former life, I was one such small business owner, and I am proud to say New York’s future looks brighter than ever thanks to its status as a leader in the financial news industry. That is why we are honored to join Business Wire in celebrating its 50th Anniversary.’

Those words, along with a blog post from long time client Gene Marbach from Makovsky and Co. about the relationships between clients and companies sum up the significance of 50 years in business:  it is truly golden!

To see more birthday photos, check out our 50th birthday scrapbook on Facebook.


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.


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.

 
 

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.


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.


Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary College Contest Highlight: Shannon McGreal-Miller

August 31, 2011

It’s been said in order to see the future, you must look into the past.  Our next finalist for the Business Wire college video contest just did that.  Shannon McGreal-Miller, a junior from Michigan State University studying Marketing, used examples from Abraham Lincoln’s campaign where Mathew Brady took a photo of Mr. Lincoln to communicate with voters that Mr. Lincoln was not the wild man he was being portrayed as. It ultimately changed his image allowing him to win the election.  As a top ten finalist, Shannon may win a chance 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 her video here (7th video).


When asked why she wanted to meet Mr. Buffett, Shannon answered “If I was able to meet Mr. Buffett I would be honored to hear any advice he had for a determined, college-student who wants to make an impact on the world! Meeting Mr. Buffett would be like Mufasa showing Simba Pride Rock in Lion King: Epic!!”

Shannon has a real passion for her hometown, which is also her college town, and considers herself a Spartan fan to the core. She credits this to the wonderful people including Val Berryman, curator of history at the MSU Museum.  Shannon shares that prior to Mr. Berryman’s help she was planning on using spray paint and cardboard and is thankful to have Mr. Berryman as a resource.  She has received numerous emails from her MSU professors, including the chairman of her department, and even received a Lincoln mug from a fan.  Read her article in the MSU paper here.


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 #BWSHANNON.


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