The One Thing Journalism School Didn’t Teach You: Newswires 101

November 30, 2015

By Jean-Adrien Delicano – Media Relations Specialist, Canada

I am a recent graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and

Carleton University

Carleton University

there are many things about my education I enjoyed. I liked the fact we were taught the general workings of the media industry and I appreciated networking with industry professionals and spending time with classmates who would soon become full-time journalists themselves. The attentive, engaged community is what made journalism school worth it and I wouldn’t trade a second of the experience.

That said, there was one important piece of the journalism puzzle that was hardly talked about during my education: Commercial Newswires. With the advent of social media and easily accessible news, newswires can be seen as the more traditional method of sharing news. This clearly isn’t the case. In addition to being a reliable vehicle for business news, newswires continue to be valuable for accurate and timely journalism. Here are a few reasons why Newswires 101 should be taught in every journalism school.

Newswires can start or complete news stories

As a journalism school graduate, I always needed to find original, but captivating story ideas. To meet this goal, it certainly would have been useful if my professors had placed more emphasis on the subject of newswires. Newswires are filled with breaking story ideas!

Taylor Barrett

Taylor Barrett

Taylor Barrett is a current journalism student at my alma mater and is currently the Web Editor for the university’s campus newspaper, The Charlatan. She argues newswires can be an important tool for any aspiring journalist.

“I think not enough journalism school students use newswires,” Barrett says. “One of my second-year reporting professors was a business journalist, so he often spoke to us about using newswires.

“I think journalism students sometimes don’t realize they are already reading from newswires,” she continues. “As I’m sure you know some publications rely on newswires to fill in the gaps in their reporting.”

Newswires are official

News releases are issued by organizations, without alteration of the original meaning or intention. This means that stories from newswires come straight from the horse’s mouth; they are what the company wants the public to know. News releases contain useful information.

Media_Relations_micro5 (1)

They contain breaking news, company data, quotes and story lines, all of which are valuable for today’s reporters. This notion is supported by the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey, which showed that 84.7% of media respondents use commercial newswire services to find and augment their news coverage. In addition, 62.8% of surveyed reporters say that their jobs would be harder if newswire-distributed news releases were no longer available, proving just how vital newswires are for today’s reporters.

Newswires are innovating for the mobile audience

In order for any company to survive in today’s increasingly technologically-savvy world, one must keep in mind the mobile aspect of their product or service. Newswires are no different. Now more than ever, newswires like Business Wire are innovating to accommodate for today’s mobile audience.

optimizing for discovery

Whether it is ensuring that news releases are readily available on every applicable media platform or optimizing news releases for phones and tablets, newswires are making sure to embrace this new digital age in the news industry. These provisions can be particularly useful for mobile journalism, which involves using mobile devices connected to the Internet to create, edit, and share news stories. This new form of media storytelling is increasing in popularity among journalism students and citizen journalists.

Newswires provide valuable insights into an organization’s history

There is an inherent blessing and curse when it comes to the Internet: Everything is there forever. This is certainly unfortunate for many people who post regrettable social media musings and delete them soon after.

When it comes to newswires, it is a blessing for reporters, especially business journalists, who wish to write stories about companies and their history.

Nick Taylor-Vaisey, a writer at Maclean’s Magazine, Canada’s weekly

Nick Taylor-Vaisey

Nick Taylor-Vaisey

national current affairs and news magazine, and currently president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, says that the Internet’s inherent ability to document and archive everything ever posted is to the advantage of traditional newswires.

“They serve as a dependable archive of a given organization’s public statements,” says Taylor-Vaisey. “Those may come in handy for reporters down the road, as they research that organization’s past position on a story they’re investigating.

“Social media provides new, dynamic platforms that allow that same organization to quickly reach a broad audience in, say, a tweet – or a reporter’s eyes in a direct message – that moves faster than a traditional wire,” he continues. “But the Internet’s memory is long, and that’s to the advantage of organizations that make use of newswires that live online.”

Media_Relations_micro7So while today’s media landscape is always changing, one thing is certain: newswires will always have a role in news production and consumption. Whether it is used to find story ideas or to complement news coverage, the benefits of newswires should be made clear to every aspiring journalist.

The Science (and More) Behind Multimedia’s Impact on the News Audiences

October 23, 2015

How much faster does the human eye process visual information (an image, video, etc.) compared to text? Does that play a role in wh3 times as muchy multimedia news releases attain higher visibility than their text-only counterparts? Absolutely it does, but there are other factors as well, additional scientific data as well as trends in technology and communication.

Learn about the various factors behind multimedia’s massive impact on news release visibility and audience engagement by reading the popular guide: Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release

This guidance report details the changes within the communication landscape that have created this opportunity for today’s organizations and answers the following questions:

  • How does the brain process multimedia?
  • How does multimedia influence technology development and design?
  • What is the role of multimedia in today’s mobile environment?
  • What is the role of imagery in news creation and consumption?

Click here to download this guide today: Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release

Business Wire’s 2015 Media Survey Reveals Best Practices in Media Relations

October 20, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social & Evolving Media, Business Wire
Earlier this year, Business Wire asked reporters worldwide their preference for being pitched – from the type of news they prefer, to best practices for continuing relationships after coverage was secured.

The results of the Business Wire 2015 North American Media Survey provide a strong road map for communicators to follow when looking to increase the visibility of their organization via news coverage.

Click here to download the full survey results now:

Media_Relations_Info_FINALStep 1:  Write an interesting release
This may sound easy enough, but in order to catch a reporter’s attention, your news release needs to contain the information they want to cover.

When you craft your next news release, focus on the breaking news and interesting story angles as well as quotes to increase the likelihood of pick up.

Step 2:  Multimedia is no longer optional
As more and more reporters are providing news content for online sources, there is a growing need for multimedia.  What kind of multimedia? The element most preferred is a photographic with graphics, videos, infographics, logos and audio files rounding out the list.

Why is multimedia so important? As we discuss in Let’s Get Visual, multimedia elements allow readers to engage and absorb information in new ways, building deeper emotional connections between the reader and the news story.  And reporters are not just relying on you to provide them with supporting multimedia – more than 64% of reporters are creating their own to supplement content.

In short, if you want to tell your story in your voice, supply reporters with multimedia to ensure the highest possible adoption of your news.

Step 3:  Your News Release Distribution Service Matters
News distribution services such as Business Wire play an important role in the news ecosystem. 63% of media respondents noted that their jobs would be harder without newswires to vet and deliver news releases.  Commercial newswires provide media outlets with an ongoing stream of trusted, breaking news in a variety of formats, allowing reporters to access and produce news coverage throughout the day.  And what newswire do media outlets trust the most?  At 67%, Business Wire continues to be the top newswire of choice for today’s media.

Step 4:  Social Pitching is Not Advised
Despite the use of social media for research purposes or for identifying hot news trends, 75% of reporters said they do not want to receive pitches via social media

Rather than pitch reporters via social channels, use the channels to identify who is writing about your industry and to gain a better understanding to the types of news your top reporters are interested in writing and sharing with their readers.

Step 5:  The Role of Your Online Newsroom
Where do reporters turn to research your pitch? Your online newsroom!

When breaking news hits the reporter’s desk, the next step is for the reporter to research the news, the company and the impact your news has on their readers. 77% of reporters turn to company online newsrooms to find the information they need to turn your news release into a headline.  Frequently updated newsrooms provide reporters, and other interested parties, on-demand access to the news releases, multimedia and other branded content – perfect for reporters responsible for writing news stories in a 24/7 world.

Bonus tip? Share your coverage!
The top metric for judging the success of a news story continues to be inbound traffic to that piece. Help reporters meet this metric by creating a strong coverage sharing program to not only increase views, but awareness of your news.

Securing coverage in a selfie world is not easy, but by following the steps provided in the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey you can build stronger relationships with your key media targets and increase the chance to receive more media coverage.

Click here to share these survey results on Twitter:

Download the complete 2015 Business Wire Media Survey now:

How to Write an Earnings Release For All Audiences

October 7, 2015

By Natasha Artavia, Business Wire

With another earnings season to soon commence, there’s no better time to review a few editorial practices that will provide your investors, the media, and your company with a successful, interactive earnings release.

Let’s start with the basics. Your headline is an essential element of your earnings release, as on databases, RSS feeds and social channels it’s often the first, or only content visible to analysts and investors. Keep your headline short and to the point. Journalists and the investor community will be actively searching for your announcement, and a succinct, search-optimized headline is crucial to their locating your release.

Revolution Lighting Technologies Earnings subhead


Your sub-headlines should emphasize your company’s most important financial figures and business position from the previous quarter or fiscal year. These could include: dividend announcements, sales growth, share increases, financial results from a major product launch, YOY and/or quarterly growth. Using bullet points to format your sub-headlines can make your layout more visually appealing, but don’t go overboard. Treat your sub-headlines as premium real estate that provides your audience with the important highlights of the quarter. Compelling sub-headlines will encourage your audience to continue reading below the fold.

While there is a plethora of financial information that must be disclosed to your investors and the media, this data shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with blocks of text. Here are a few ways you can provide your audiences with a more reader-friendly earnings announcement.

  • Use bullet points to break up the numbers

The use of bullet points in a financial news release will draw the readers’ attention to the significant facts and figures. Plus, bullet points provide clean divisions between separate sections within your text, while also doubling as quick “numbers at a glance” references for the media.

  • Tables can help illustrate your news by providing readers with a visual breakdown of the information you have included in the release

Just because you have provided full financial tables in your earnings announcement, this doesn’t mean you can’t insert imagery within the body of your news release. These tables should be smaller and can provide comparisons to prior years or quarters, or highlight certain aspects of financial growth. Think of these tables as additional resources the media can use to develop their story.

  • Earnings InfographicIncrease message adoption with multimedia

Providing a visual element with your earnings release will not only increase media pickup, but will augment a predominantly text announcement. Consider adding an infographic that shows readers the growth your company experienced this past quarter or fiscal year.

  • Don’t forget your hyperlinks

It’s extremely important to add hyperlinks or URLs for the media and investor community. If you are directing your audience to the Investor Relations section of your website or the earnings webcast, don’t tell them where to go…show them. Provide them with the registration link that will take them directly to the event. If you have a report or are providing your company’s earnings as a download, include the URL that forwards readers to these resources. Hyperlinks are an excellent tool to increase engagement with your audience. Links add additional texture and depth to your release, giving the reader a better experience.

Best_Practices_for_Enhancing_Earnings_Release_WP_1However you decide to format your earnings release, we hope you find these suggestions to be useful. You can also download Business Wire’s Best Practices for Enhancing Earnings Releases whitepaper here.

And remember, at Business Wire, our editors, client services representatives and account executives understand how stressful the earnings period can be. From submitting your order to confirming distribution timing and formatting, we’re here to help make this process as smooth and efficient as possible. Feel free to reach out to your local newsroom before submitting your next earnings release. We can work with you on the best way to submit your release and the best time to disseminate the announcement.

Click here to share these tips on Twitter:

Just in: Hard Data Supports the Effectiveness of Interactive Media vs. Passive Content

August 31, 2015

Nothing ends an argument like data, and the data on interactive media is in.

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Demand Gen’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey offers a startling look at just how effective interactive media is when compared to passive content such as text-only articles when it comes to consuming information. People are spending more time using multimedia that they can click on and explore. These interactive, gamified assets, such as news and picture capsules, are quickly becoming engagement magnets for the industry, attracting and retaining the interest of potential clients and customers.

How do the numbers stack up?


When asked, 88% of respondents stated that interactive content is effective in creating differentiation between brands, while only 55% believed that passive content is effective in creating differentiation.

To read the full highlights of the study and statistics between interactive and passive content, click here.

How can this survey help communicators? By knowing what form of assets  have the greatest impact on modern audiences, communications pros are able to take advantage, create more impactful content and more effectively reach and convert their target market. This data takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what works best and what approach to take in managing dialogue between brand and public.

Understanding the importance of multimedia as a prime tool for communicators, Business Wire recently launched a white paper designed to help communicators take advantage of these highly successful content pieces. The paper details the science and other aspects behind the influence such an asset can have on the success of your news release. Click here to read this piece and click here to share this information with your Twitter followers:

The Experts Speak: How to Brand Your Startup

August 21, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

This past year’s SXSW festival offered audiences enough movies, music and tech to keep busy until – you guessed it – next year’s SXSW. For those in the know, however, that wasn’t the end of the fun. From July 19th to the 22nd there was an additional SXSW event, the SXSW v2v in Las Vegas. This boutique event, aimed to help startups grow, brought together great minds and offered future business moguls an opportunity to learn from and connect with industry leaders.


One of the topics discussed during the four days in Vegas was how a new company can develop a brand with which audiences will identify. Melodie Tao, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Marketing Melodie, spoke on just that and left the crowd inspired.

Coverage and highlights of the session can be found here.

“How can you establish your brand?” was the first question Melodie posed, and what followed was a series of tips and insider tricks to connect with modern markets. Find out what she had to say and how it might apply to your business.


Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz also spoke about startups prior to the Vegas event at the Austin SXSW. Her fireside chat was insightful and declared that “every business has an audience.” Coverage of the conversation can be found here.

How to Produce Professional Videos at Low Cost and with No Experience

August 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire Marketing

The videos you constantly see online, whether on a branded website, a social media platform, or a news73 percent of all adults outlet, can be replicated at low cost and by someone with no production experience. This revelation is important because if you aren’t currently tapping into the trend of video marketing, you will be soon once you realize how easy it is, and how significant the potential results can be.  How significant?  According to an Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study conducted using 1,000 U.S. consumers, “nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.”

Camera phoneCamera

Option 1: Low cost:
Cell phones turned into computers overnight and the world has been watching them ever since. With the launch of the latest series of smartphones, camera technology has been exponentially improved giving everyone access to HD (1920 x 1080) quality recording devices.

What exactly is HD?
HD refers to the lines of resolution in an image. Video footage with a higher quantity of resolution lines is deemed high definition because of the greater appearance of detail in the image.

Take advantage of your access to HD recording devices and create beautiful videos – all with the device you have in your hand right now.

DSLR tripodTo maximize the effect of your smart phone camera stay zoomed out to the widest setting and capture your footage in a well-lit environment. Don’t be fooled, even Hollywood admits to the astounding quality of footage captured with  an iPhone.

What will make your footage stand out from other “smart phone” videos is the use of a tripod. Yes, they make tripods for cellphones, pointing to the quality footage that can be captured from the same device that you occasionally use to order dinner.

Option 2:  Medium budget:
Let’s say you plan on regularly producing video projects and you want some versatility in the tool used to create your visuals. A DSLR camera is an affordable way to create professional quality images with an easy to use technology while giving you more control over the depth of field of your images. And at a $400-$500 price point for an entry level camera, it is so affordable and easy to use that Hollywood often takes advantage.DSLR

What is depth of field?: The range of what is in focus in your image compared to what isn’t. When you see an object in the foreground in sharp focus, and everything else is blurry, you have a shallow depth of field. With a DSLR camera you have more options for how you want your image to look.

A DSLR camera will also give you much better color reproduction as a result of the larger sensors (what captures the image) so your images will be vibrant and pop.


Option 1:  Low cost:
Light bulbs make light. It’s what you choose to illuminate with that light that will make the difference clamp lightbetween clunky amateurish videos, and professional digital media. By utilizing higher wattage bulbs, such as 150w and 200w, and clamp lights that can be purchased at any local hardware store, you can create a studio right in your office.

How can these lights be used to create a professional image? The term to remember is three-point lighting. This lighting scheme uses two lights to illuminate both sides of the subject. The third light is what really makes the image look professional. The third light, cast over the back of the subject illuminating highlights such as hair and shoulder, creates separation between the subject and the background. This allows the viewer to perceive depth on a two-dimensional medium.

Option 2: Medium budget:
Basic lighting kits are affordable and extremely easy to use, assemble, and store. A light kit is superior to using clamp lights because the light stands are easy to assemble and move around. With clamp lights, creativity is required in identifying objects to which they can be clamped. With a light kit all the tools are available. The height of a light stand can also easily be manipulated, offering many variations of lighting schemes that can be tried out without too much time or effort.



Option 1:  Low cost:
For a production, sound is the most important aspect. If the audio is crisp and clear, clean of ambient noise and static, the audience will accept your media as professional grade regardless of what type of camera or camera phone you use. Eyes can fill in the blanks better than your ears, so it’s important for the audience to hear what they need to as if the speaker is in the room. This can be accomplished quite easily and with a low budget.

Wired lavalier microphone: A microphone that clips to the subject’s lapel can be purchased in the $50 dollar range. This microphone is great for capturing the speaker’s voice because it is located so close to the source. This particular microphone is designed to work with mobile devices, however, if you already have a microphone or are purchasing a microphone not designed to work with a mobile device there are solutions. With the addition of an adapter, in the $20 to $30 range, you can easily connect your microphone to a smartphone to use as an audio recording device (use the voice memo app if filming with an iPhone).

Remember that sound and video need to sync. For every time you roll your camera or recording device, film a piece of paper labeled with what take you are recording, then clap your hands together. That clap provides a distinct sound that you can use later to sync your audio and video during the editing process.

Option 2: Medium budget:
If you have any budget at all, it’s always recommended that sound be your first investment. If you can afford it, invest in a wireless lavMic microphone system. Why wireless over a wired microphone? A wireless mic system allows you to record your audio directly into the camera or recording device. There is no need to sync audio and picture when editing and you can immediately view back your footage to test quality of both image and sound. Of course, you should still mark each take with a verbal label (saying take one, take two) so you have an easy way to reference the footage during the editing phase.


Option 1: Low cost:
Editing video is not as hard as most people think. You choose the footage that you want and discard the rest. The digital revolution has ensured that everyone can be an editor and with great ease. Youtube offers editing capabilities, as well as other free online options. If your video and audio was recorded separately remember to locate the exact second the clap (previously discussed) occurred, as well as the sound of that clap; match the two and you have just synced sound and picture.

editingOption 2: Medium budget:
For basic digital media there is no need for excessive editing software. This is not because of the price but rather the learning curve required to maximize your purchased editing software. If you are willing to put in a little time to master such techniques as color correction and more intricate editing, look into tools like Sony Vegas Movie Studio, or the higher end Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. A list of other recommended software can be found here.

We know video is one of the fastest growing content tools, and consumption rates are at an all-time high. We also know that video builds relationships between organizations and their customers.  Now you know just how easy it is to make your own!  Have any additional tips related to video creation?  Let us know.

Share this news on Twitter, just click here:

For more information about the role of video in the news process, we suggest the following articles


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