Business Wire Gives Back: Charlotte Staffers Support Library through Rock & Read 5K Run

November 15, 2011

Established in 1982, the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, its collections, programs and services. Recent budget difficulties have highlighted the need for the community to come together in assisting local government to maintain traditional levels of service throughout the library system.

The Friends’ mission is to support the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library as a vocal advocate before elected officials, community leaders and citizens at large and to raise funds to help achieve a level of excellence. The Friends’ 2nd Annual Rock & Read 5K Run/Walk is a fun community initiative to help raise awareness and funds for the community libraries. Katie McKiever, new (and former) CH editor, is on the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library board and was co-chair on the planning committee for the 5K.

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This year’s event had 300 runners and raised $20,000 that will be used specifically towards supplementing the library’s book collections. The Rock & Read 5K utilized dozens of volunteers from the area who were vital in helping make the event a success.

Cedric Tillman, CH newsroom supervisor, was one of those volunteers. The event was fun for all ages. The race started and finished in front of Charlotte’s Scaleybark library branch. Rufus, the Charlotte Bobcats NBA mascot, and Chubby, the Charlotte Checkers Hockey team mascot were in attendance along with a number of food vendors and the U.S. National Whitewater Rafting Center.

Find out more: http://cmlibraryfriends.org/

Photos courtesy of Bryan Bazemore Photography (http://bryanbazemorephotography.blogspot.com/)


BW50: Without You, There is No Us

October 24, 2011
by Gregg Castano, President, Business Wire

Gregg Castano, President, Business Wire

As part of Business Wire’s 50th anniversary celebration, Business Wire held a cocktail reception in San Francisco, the city of our founding in 1961, at the Palace Hotel in downtown SF on Thursday, October 13.

I had the honor of delivering brief remarks to the assembled throng of about 200 or so clients, partners, friends and colleagues.  Since we couldn’t invite all of you to this event, I wanted to share the substance of those remarks via this posting, because the sentiments expressed there apply to all Business Wire offices, clients, partners, friends and colleagues worldwide:

Business Wire is really a story of the local kid who made good.  On October 2, 1961, in San Francisco, Business Wire was founded by Lorry I. Lokey, a former journalist and PR professional, and a man with vision, perseverance and a firm belief in an IDEA.  While Lorry may be unfamiliar to many of you of a certain generation and outside of the Bay Area, after the sale of Business Wire to Berkshire Hathaway in 2006, he has gone on to become one of the world’s leading philanthropists and a significant participant in the Warren Buffett-Bill Gates “Giving Pledge” campaign.

Business Wire President Gregg Castano

Gregg Castano addresses attendees of Business Wire's 50th Anniversary event in San Francisco

While we have held similar celebrations across the United States this month in honor of our 50th anniversary, including ringing the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on September 30th with Warren Buffett, the simple fact that this celebration was being held in San Francisco made it a unique and poignant event for us – because this is where it all began. In fact, in another indication of our deep San Francisco roots, our current CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, began her Business Wire career as an editor in our San Francisco office more years ago than she will permit me to divulge.  And though based in New York, Cathy still maintains an oft-visited office in our co-Headquarters on Montgomery Street in the SF financial district. As the icing on the cake, in recognition of those humble SF beginnings and what ensued over the next half century, the Honorable Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, officially proclaimed Oct 2 to be Business Wire Day in that city.

So how did we get from there – October 2, 1961 – to here?

Without embarking on a Business Wire 101 history lesson, let’s just say that from Day 1, Business Wire was imbued with the spirit with which we were founded. One that enabled us to defy long odds to grow from a tiny local Bay Area experiment to a global leader in the communications industry, which became so accomplished that it attracted the attention of the world’s most respected investor, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett.

Throughout the years, that spirit has driven us to be disruptors (the good kind), first movers and innovators in a highly competitive environment in which change is rapid, unforgiving and inexorable.

Here are just a few examples of this:

  • Business Wire was the first newswire to transmit releases via satellite, rather than teletype, which at the time was revolutionary.
  • While, unlike Al Gore, we didn’t actually invent the Internet, we did figure out some pretty good uses for it. Such as:
  1. We were the first wire with its own website.
  2. We were the first wire to send news simultaneously to both the media and the investment community in the wake of Reg FD.
  3. We were the first – and only – wire to be awarded both a US and Canadian patent for our Internet-based news delivery platform – N/X.
  4. And for good measure, we also were recently awarded a patent for our Search Engine Optimization technology.

While technology is at the heart of Business Wire, we’ve always recognized that its soul is our people.  We know that people are the keys to success and the ones who establish and perpetuate any company’s reputation. So we take great care in selecting people who represent the values we most cherish – knowledgeable and people-oriented men and women who possess an abundance of honesty, integrity, professionalism and a customer-first attitude.

When you combine folks with those characteristics with our technological prowess and a passion for breaking new ground, you get success.  You get – Business Wire.

However, there is an additional, essential piece to this puzzle.  It’s YOU, our customers and business partners.  We know that without you, there is no Us.

So the recent celebration in San Francisco, and elsewhere, wasn’t just the marking of a milestone in the passage of time, but was also a commemoration of a tremendously successful, 50 year long partnership between Business Wire, its customers and its business partners.

We thank you all for being part of this fabulous 50 year ride – and we hope you will be with us for the next 50!


Business Wire Gives Back: Texas Butterfly Fan Uses Social Media as Monarch Butterfly Ambassador

October 17, 2011

I’m lucky that my job as Vice President of New Media for Business Wire has allowed me to apply the useful skills  learned in my professional life to a passion for butterflies.   For the past several years I’ve blogged about butterflies at www.texasbutterflyranch.com, provided updates on the Monarch butterfly migration as

Tagged Monarch Butterfly, September 2011

Tagged Monarch Butterfly, September 2011

@butterflybeat on Twitter, and used my Powerpoint prowess to share the daily miracle of metamorphosis with children, gardeners, seniors and others.  I’ve also raised caterpillars (butterflies-to-be) in my kitchen and brought them to work when they’re about to “go chrysalis” on me, much to my colleagues’ amusement.

Recently I had another amazing opportunity to spread the butterfly gospel, thanks to Business Wire’s generous BW Gives Back program.  Organizers of the Amazing Butterflies Exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (SABOT) invited me to lead a butterfly hunt, demonstrate how to tag a Monarch butterfly, and share the beloved insects’ remarkable migration story.

SABOT’s educational exhibit, which runs through January 8, leads participants through a garden maze in which they can simulate life as a caterpillar, then a butterfly, gaining insight about the life cycle along the way.

About 30 nature lovers attended the talk, admiring Monarch eggs and caterpillars collected along the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country.  Prior, we netted a Monarch butterfly in SABOT’s lovely butterfly garden and finished up the presentation with a tagging demonstration.

Monika Maeckle at San Antonio Botanical Gardens

At the San Antonio Botanical Garden: Let's go tag some Monarch Butterflies! --photo by Mary Fisher

For those unaware, Monarch butterflies make an amazing migratory journey from  Michoacan, Mexico each year, starting in April and flying north to Canada.  Over the course of multiple generations, the resilient creatures traverse the eastern United States to Canada in the Spring, their great great grandchildren returning in the Fall to their ancestral winter roosts in Mexico.  April and October are primetime for Monarch butterfly fans in Texas, which is the “funnel” for all Monarch traffic, north and southbound.

Metamorphosis, mediamorphisis–when you think about it, the two have much in common: constant change, endless fascination, reflections of ourselves.    Thanks to Business Wire for allowing me the opportunity to marry the two passions that most consume my time at work and after hours.


NYSE Opening Bell with Warren Buffett: A Day in the Life of SVP of Marketing Tom Becktold

October 10, 2011

Here’s a glimpse into one of the best days I’ve experienced in my 23 years at Business Wire. This is a recap of my experiences planning and participating in the Business Wire 50th Anniversary NYSE Opening Bell events on Friday, September 30.  (Learn more about Tom Becktold)

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We had planned for months – event details, contests, timing, logistics, media interview scheduling.  When the most famous investor in the world accompanies you to the NYSE Opening Bell under the gaze of media, employees and clients to honor the 50th anniversary of your company, you want to get it right.

It was an incredibly exciting day as dozens of our staff were on hand as Warren Buffett joined Business Wire on our big day.

The NYSE hosted a breakfast for the Bellpodium guests in their historic board room, which has played host to heads of state and business leaders for the past century – impressive to say the least.  Joining us were executives from Barclays Bank, including Berkshire Hathaway market maker Jimmy Maguire, who’s been on the trading floor for more than four decades.  NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer welcomed us and presented Business Wire with a framed proclamation honoring our 50thCathy Baron Tamraz and Warren Buffett each made remarks, with Warren pulling out a copy of the letter Cathy sent to him that started the process of Business Wire being purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2006.

To the Bellpodium we headed at 9:20 am, where we saw BW colleagues and traders cheering us on.  It was a tremendous honor to be among the group on the podium representing the amazing Business Wire team around the globe. Duncanput us all at ease by demonstrating some entertaining clapping styles.

We then headed to the trading floor, which was a frenzy of activity.  Traders wanting Warren Buffett’s autograph or to shake his hand – really everyone there was in awe of him, and he couldn’t have been more gracious.  A trip to the Barclay’s trading desk, and then to a photo op for wire service and news photographers quickly followed, along with a video interview by the NYSE, conducted by their senior media relations manager (and former BW colleague!) Annmarie Gioia.

From there, we split into teams.  Most BW folks headed up to the Board Room or luncheon along with many of our trade press for interviews that have or will be appearing soon.  I stayed with Cathy,Warren and a couple NYSE reps on the floor as we did four live and one taped interview in about an hour – Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg, Nightly Business Report and CNN.  Cathy did a fantastic job summarizing our anniversary and fielding questions along side Buffett (see links to coverage below).

Our luncheon then took center stage, with more than 225 in attendance, including BW staff, Berkshire colleagues, executives at our top clients and agencies, executives and reporters from our trade media and major media – Fortune, CNBC, industry influencers like Jeff Morgan, head of NIRI, among others.

The luncheon opened with remarks by Cathy where she introduced our College Video Contest winner, Jenna Marie James.  Jenna has become quite the celebrity as a result of winning our contest to come to NY to meet Warren Buffett.  She’s been interviewed by newspapers and radio stations in her home state of Indiana (she’s a senior at Ball State University), and did a live interview with the CBS Early Show on the morning of the event.  She’s pretty amazing and her videos are great fun to watch.

We then played our 50th Anniversary Video, produced for the event, featuring interviews with BW execs, and followed with a toast by Gregg Castano.

After lunch, Cathy did an interview with Warren Buffett and then opened the floor to questions from the audience.  The subjects covered were timely and Buffett’s comments were informative and in his disarming style.  He touched on the European debt crisis and his thoughts on the Euro surviving (they need a more unified monetary policy or need to break up) to the “Buffett tax” (he jokingly said he always wanted a tax named after him) to our economy (watch housing starts – we need to the number of households, which will take time, to absorb the available housing; when we have a million new housing starts a year, the economy will be back).

The luncheon wrapped at about 2:30 with Buffett signing autographs and posing for pictures with our clients.  The feedback, tweets and blog posts we’ve received indicate that Friday was a resounding success!

Happy 50th Business Wire!

Television Coverage Highlights

CNBC Squawk on the Street (CNBC link)

CNN Newsroom (CNN link)

Fox Business News (Fox Biz link)

Bloomberg In the Loop (Bloomberg link)

PBS Nightly Business Report (PBS link)

CBS The Early Show (CBS link) interview with our College Video Contest Winner Jenna Marie James, also covered on local television stations, including ABC-Channel 8/Omaha, CBS-Channel 5/San Francisco, CBS-Channel 8/Indianapolis.

Trade Coverage Highlights

IR Magazine/Inside Investor Relations

http://www.insideinvestorrelations.com/articles/ir-tv/18503/warren-buffett-and-business-wire/

Warren Buffett and Business Wire bring cheer to Wall Street

Happy 50th anniversary, Business Wire

PR Newser

http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/warren-buffett-business-wire-celebrate-50-years-at-the-nyse_b28023

Warren Buffett, Business Wire Celebrate 50 Years at the NYSE

PR Week

http://www.prweekus.com/buffetts-communications-advice-keep-it-simple/article/213288/

CommPro.biz

http://blog.commpro.biz/irthereforeiam/?p=1094

Great Partners: Warren Buffett Helps Celebrate Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary at NYSE

PRSA Tactics and NIRI IR Update are planning pieces for their print editions.

Feintuch Communications (client/guest, Henry Feintuch)

http://prniblets.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-lunch-with-warren-buffett-and.html


Business Wire Boston Celebrates 50 Years, Hosts Publisher of The Boston Globe

October 7, 2011

by Rachel Gould, Senior Client Services Representative,
Business Wire Boston

Boston-area clients and friends of Business Wire, including members of the media, gathered at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Oct. 4 to celebrate our landmark anniversary.  The event featured a keynote address from Christopher Mayer, Publisher of The Boston Globe, and a champagne toast to commemorate the occasion.

Mayer discussed the recent launch of BostonGlobe.com as a separate entity from Boston.com, including the new paywall for content and better understanding the diverse interests of their online readers.

Through research, Mayer’s team discovered that more than 50 percent of the people accessing Boston.com were not aware they were reading The Boston Globe.  He explained that while the Globe has an expansive online audience, the readership is fragmented and has forced the organization to adapt and focus on how they are connecting with readers.

The Boston Globe has the traditional role of producing quality journalism, but Mayer said in today’s media environment, success is just as much about being a facilitator of content and connecting advertisers to readers.

For a more detailed overview, check out this blog post by Bill McLaughlin, EVP of Lois Paul & Partners, who interviewed Christopher Mayer after his talk.

Check out some great pictures from the event:

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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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