BW Media Spotlight: The Security Ledger Launches in 2013

January 29, 2013
by Molly Pappas, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Boston
Molly Pappas

Molly Pappas

Paul Roberts, editor and founder of the recently launched security news Web site, The Security Ledger, is part of an emerging trend in journalism:  reporters shying away from traditional media to branch out on their own.  He left his job as an editor at, Kaspersky Lab’s security news Web site, to launch and work on his own blog last August.

Roberts doesn’t consider himself a pioneer in the field, however.

“I’m not a trailblazer. I looked at Brian Krebs’s site,, and knew I couldn’t do exactly what he did.  But I thought, ‘I am a good reporter and can make this work.’”

He doesn’t believe every journalist can branch out on their own like this, though there are few obstacles to keep them from doing so. To be successful, you need a delicate combination of things – real expertise in a specific subject area where there is an audience for it and for-profit organizations interested in talking about and promoting the content.

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts, editor/founder of The Security Ledger

So, with two sponsors already in place, security firms Qualsy Inc. and Veracode, Roberts and The Security Ledger are now ready for “world domination.”

“Just kidding,” he laughed. “But seriously, [my] goals are really around growing the audience and the exposure of Security Ledger.” With one million page views and 200,000 unique visitors in the first full quarter of operation alone, it seems like Roberts is well on his way.

“I think page views are great, but at the end of the day Security Ledger will rise or fall based on how well we do engaging with and building a community around a very tech-savvy and knowledgeable readership,” he said.

Compared with the capital-intensive publishing industry from 20 years ago, online publishing is a frictionless market and the tools of publishing and distribution have been democratized, through the Internet, blogging and social media, Roberts explained.  With the constant evolution of technology, expensive publishing equipment and paper and ink distribution are no longer necessary tools for having your voice heard.  And because blogging is a nearly-free publishing tool, he clarified, you don’t need “the talent card” to blog. “It’s both amazing and terrifying,” Roberts said.  He, however, is not worried.  This is why credibility in your chosen field is key.

“I think what people want is good, reliable information that is well-reported. In other words, ‘Do your job as a reporter!’” he said.  Reporters are responsible for reaching out to people, getting firsthand information, and then helping to organize and understand it for their readers. “Get the news out there and make it accurate,” Roberts said.  Nowadays, because there seems to be a race among the media to be the first to break a story, readers are beginning to see a drop in accuracy of the news – the initial Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting reports and the early false announcement of Joe Paterno’s death last year both come to mind.  “Many of the gate-keeper or filter functions of the media have atrophied,” Roberts stated.

Readers, Roberts said, are also starting to see an increase in stories, filtered off from news distribution lists and social media, ending up on the front page of major newspapers, like The New York Times. “Most likely, they didn’t break that story. They’re just shooting into the same channels that others are. As a security reporter, who’s written and covered this topic for a while, you see stories eventually bubbling up to the mainstream media, months or more after bloggers have written about it,” he added.

So what does Roberts do to make sure he is bringing accurate, credible and newsworthy information to his readers? “I get up early and go online – social media, various Web sites I follow – to see what’s happened while I was sleeping,” he said. “Depending on what’s going on, it can dictate if I drop everything to write this big story. I follow security researchers, public policy people, the private sector, academia, and so on. I have contacts that will let me know the stuff they’re working on, if it’s not public, but will be soon.” Roberts also cites a big reliance on traditional source development. “I just always have my spidey-sense on.”

If you want to work towards becoming one of Roberts’s go-to source contacts, here’s a few different ways to reach him: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

The Silicon Florist Shares Some Secrets of Growing Good Relationships with Bloggers

January 24, 2013
by Matt Allinson, International Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire
Matt Allinson

Matt Allinson

Legend has it that Rick Turoczy sat up in bed at 2 a.m. one morning in 2007 and decided to start a blog. The blog, called Silicon Florist, would be the place to go for interesting technology startup news from Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding area, known as the “Silicon Forest.” Suffice to say, that moment of insomnia has been a dream come true. Since that fateful morning, Turoczy’s advised the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission, chatted with The Oregonian, appeared on local television and radio, made a brief appearance on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, written for leading tech blog ReadWriteWeb, garnered multiple bylines in The New York Times, wound up speaking at a number of conferences, been selected for the Portland Business Journal‘s “40 under 40,” and named to the board of the Software Association of Oregon (SAO).

Rick Turoczy

Rick Turoczy

Before starting Silicon Florist, Turoczy had spent the majority of his career in the marketing/communications industry. His transition to writing has therefore given him great perspective —  he knows very well both the art of the pitch and the art of being pitched. During a recent Business Wire Media event in Portland, OR, Turoczy shared numerous pearls of wisdom regarding the latter. Below are some that are relevant to those of you in the PR world looking to connect with today’s bloggers. On Bloggers Being Held to the Same Standards as Journalists “I’m not a terribly objective journalist . . . I’m not even a journalist. It’s my personal blog, a lot of people happen to read it and I’m thankful for that but when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing objective in that blog. It’s about my opinions on what was occurring. And I tend to like to use this pulpit for cheerleading. It’s not that I don’t see the blemishes of companies, it’s just that I know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, I know what it’s like to be in a start-up and constantly having to defend why you left a well-paying job to go pursue something crazy . . . you’re defending yourself to your family, you’re defending yourself to your friends . . . you get beat up a lot. You don’t need to get beat up by the media. That’s not my job. My job is to say, ‘I like this aspect of what you’re doing, let’s tell more people that you’re doing that.’ And maybe, just maybe, by getting that out there, let’s find some more people who are equally interested or want to work for your company.” On Working with the Media/Bloggers “One thing I’ve been coaching everyone on is don’t ever come to any of these folks (media & bloggers) with some kind of pitch as if you don’t have any competition. If you come to me saying you don’t have any competition, I’m immediately going to go look and find your competition and figure out why you don’t want to mention them. If you say you do have competition, I’m going to take that as you being more open and honest and I’m probably going to come to you for quotes or I’m going to look to you as my source. I’ll trust you as a source time and time again. When people say they have no competition that tells me two things: 1) They’re hiding something or 2) There’s no market there. There’s no such thing as a market of one company. Competition is a good thing. It proves there are other people besides you who are just as crazy to chase whatever that thing is. And from a journalist’s perspective, it immediately helps me get my head around the situation thematically. Journalists and bloggers can smell desperation better than most people so don’t approach them just when you need something, because it will not be well received. It’s important to spend the time building relationships with us so that when you do need something, we’ll know who you are.” On the Role of Communications and How He Likes to be Pitched “For a long time we were taught that our role in communications was, for the lack of a better term, how to lie. Lie about what the company wants out there. Now it’s more about how do you tell a compelling story about your company. I’m really looking for a concise pitch that tells me thematically why your company matters right now.”

Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 3

January 18, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

After looking at the situation of press freedom in Europe in Part 1 and North America in Part 2 , we spoke with Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists again to find out more about some specific issues journalists are facing :

Business Wire – Taking a look at the member states of the European Union, it is noticeable that press freedom plays a bigger role in some countries than in others. Why are there so many differences?   What do some countries do right and others do wrong?

Jean-Paul Marthoz – There are historical reasons behind this two-tier Europe. Press freedom is a reflection of society and of its institutions as a whole. Blasphemy laws for instance are still in the books in some European countries reflecting the varying status of religion and the various degrees of secularization on the continent. 

There will always be differences among member states regarding the nature and forms of journalism but the fundamentals of freedom of expression, rule of law, media pluralism, etc. should be shared and respected by all member states in order to really create a common and equal “freedom space” across the EU for all EU citizens.

The key point therefore is to review the role that the EU should play in order to assure that each member state respects the European Charter of Human Rights and the other Treaties and conventions ruling the Union, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, which unequivocally defends freedom of expression and press freedom.

BW – The work of the press is usually restricted by governments, but also by companies. Which are the main problems and are there tendencies to a better or worse situation?

JPM – Private companies may exert their influence through the placing of advertising or media ownership, especially in a time characterized by declining circulation or audiences and increased multimedia competition. Although it is often difficult to document cases of direct corporate interference on the media’s reporting or editorial decisions the increased concentration of ownership and the purchase of major media companies by corporations close to the political Establishment are worrisome trends across Europe since they risk limiting the plurality of views and of fostering self-censorship in the coverage of major issues of public interest, especially in the crucial fields of financial and economic issues.

On the legal front some companies have also vigorously used libel laws or injunctions in order to discourage the reporting of their activities. 

For an interesting take on this see our recent blog on the Spanish media and controls there:

The long shadow of Spanish politics over public media

BW – The journalist has the control function in a democratic state and therefore plays an important part. What does it mean when this role is cut down?

JPM – In many EU countries the media still have the capacity and the space to act as watchdogs, as illustrated by the British media’s exposé of the members of Parliament’s abusive expenses of public money as well as the hacking scandal vigorously reported on by the Guardian (UK) as well as by the French media’s dogged investigations of alleged political influence-peddling under President Sarkozy.

Journalism is in crisis indeed due to economic, technological and societal factors but also as a result of the rise of citizen journalists that question its role and legitimacy. There is a growing awareness however that European society needs, to paraphrase Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, “an uninhibited, robust, and wide-open free press for a new century”, especially in the context of the deep economic and ontological crisis that Europe is going through.

BW – What kind of influence has the sinking media circulation and the move to digital media (Internet, mobile devices, social media, etc.) on press freedom?

JPM – The financial crisis facing legacy media has been weakening their power to effectively provide critical coverage of public and private institutions. In some countries like France, Germany or in Scandinavia the public service channels have been able to provide a counter-weight to these trends but their reach has been fragmented and diminished by a profusion of other media voices. The alternative provided by online media and bloggers is still in its infancy but many media analysts and journalists are confident that new models will emerge that will confirm the role of journalism, even if newly defined, as a key pillar of democratic societies. 

Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 2

January 16, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

After looking at the situation of press freedom in Europe in Part 1 of our interview with the Committee to Protect Journalists, we will now focus on North America. CPJ’s Advocacy and Communications Director Gypsy Guillén Kaiser gives us an overview:

In North America, as the Occupy movement has spread beyond Wall Street, U.S. journalists have been detained and some have been attacked by U.S. law enforcement officers during turbulent encounters between police and protesters.  Another more visible issue has been the investigation into Wikileaks, which CPJ warned in 2010 could have dire consequences for press freedom. In a letter to President Obama we stated that the US Constitution protects the right to publish information of important interest to the public. That right has been upheld through decades of American jurisprudence and has served the people well. Our concern is and remains, that a Wikileaks prosecution would reverse these long-standing positions and threaten grave damage to the First Amendment’s protections of free speech and the press.

In Mexico, our biggest concern right now is stopping the ceaseless violence against journalists. After promising a CPJ delegation in 2008 and again in 2010 that Mexico would address rising anti-press crimes in the country, finally in 2012, President Felipe Calderón’s administration approved legislation making attacks on the press a federal offense. As newly elected president Enrique Peña Nieto prepares to take office in December, CPJ is continuing its work for justice in the killings of Mexican journalists and a stop to silencing by murder.

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser

In Honduras we are concerned that the press continues to suffer from the violent fallout of the 2009 coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Due to political and drug-related violence as well as widespread impunity, Honduras, a nation of 7.5 million people, is one of the most dangerous countries in the region for journalists, CPJ research shows. It is also important to contextualize this violence and note that Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries. A 2011 United Nations report found that it has the world’s highest per capita homicide rate, with 82.1 murders per every 100,000 inhabitants.

At least 14 journalists have been killed since President Porfirio Lobo took office in January 2010. The systematic failure of Honduran authorities to investigate these crimes has frustrated any attempt to solve the murders, CPJ said in a letter sent to President Lobo in December 2011. A 2010 CPJ special report, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” found that the government has been slow and negligent in pursuing journalists’ killers. As a result, many journalists fear the murders have been conducted with the tacit approval, or even outright complicity, of police, armed forces, or other authorities.

The climate is so intimidating that reporters told CPJ that they don’t dare probe deeply into crucial issues like drug trafficking or government corruption. Many print reporters have removed their bylines from their stories.

Besides damaging the country’s democracy, the June 2009 military-backed coup that ousted leftist former President Zelaya fractured the national press corps into opposing camps. Journalists in favor of the coup or who work for media outlets that supported Zelaya’s ouster are known in Spanish as “golpistas” or “coup-backers,” while those who opposed it have been pigeon-holed as “resistencia,” or part of the political resistance. Local journalists state that when “resistance” journalists are attacked or killed, the news receives scant attention or comment from pro-coup media—which includes most of the country’s major television, radio, and print outlets.

After this overview on press freedom in Europe and North America, we will talk some specific issues in Part 3.

Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 1

January 14, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

When we hear the words “press freedom,” we think about remote countries where journalists are killed or imprisoned and newspapers & magazines are closed for not reporting in favor of the ruling party. Though we read about reporters being threatened in Europe and North America as well, we usually forget about it very quickly, casting these aside as minor incidents. But what are these minor incidents?  And how minor are they?

To find out more about what is happening in Europe and North America, regions that usually are not associated with restrictions of the press, I contacted the Committee to Protect Journalists – an organization that operates worldwide to promote press freedom and takes action when journalists are threatened or restricted in their work.

The Belgian journalist and CPJ Senior Advisor Jean-Paul Marthoz  gave me an overview on the situation in Europe:

Western Europe is undoubtedly one of the safest zones for the press in the world. Some journalists, however, have faced threats and attacks related to their coverage of criminal organizations (leading Italian journalist Roberto Saviano who wrote on Naples’ mafia is under constant police protection), of religion (the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were fire-bombed after the publication of an special issue on Sharia) and of extremist political groups (the Greek neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn has directly threatened journalists).

Journalists, especially photographers, have also been roughed up by the police when covering social protests in Spain and Greece.

Jean-Paul Marthoz

Jean-Paul Marthoz

In countries like France, Italy and Spain, public service media have been submitted to various forms of control and influence by governments, especially through the power of the ruling parties to appoint presidents, directors and editors in chief of public radio and TV channels.  In some countries the protection of sources remains weak, libel laws are used as punitive weapons against inquisitive media.

In the “New Europe” (former members of the Communist bloc) several countries have frontally attacked fundamental principles of press freedom. Hungary in particular adopted a new media law and a new constitution that have undermined press freedom and pluralism, in particular by concentrating excessive power in the hands of the government. In Romania and Bulgaria the media have been confronted by political pressures and the interference of criminal groups.

 These national “bad examples” threaten the EU as a whole since they undermine the principles of human rights and democracy on which the European project has been built.

Media policies in specific countries often depend on the electoral politics. President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Berlusconi’s defeats have undoubtedly cleared the air in France and Italy but press freedom should be considered an “untouchable principle” irrespective of who is in government.

On the positive side these “cracks” in the pillars of press freedom have mobilized journalists at the European level and have forced the European Union to seriously consider its role in the protection of fundamental freedoms in each and all of its member states. While the powerful European Commission is slowly waking up to its responsibilities as the guardian of the EU’s Treaties the European Parliament is increasingly seeing its role as that of a guarantor of press freedom within the EU.

(Part 2 of this 3-part series will appear on Wednesday, Part 3 on Friday.)

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,

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.

Austin Media Professionals on Social Media, Pitching and More

November 29, 2012
by Erica Shuckies, Account Executive, Business Wire/Austin

During a particularly busy news week for Austin media, the Business Wire Austin office hosted a “Meet the Media” luncheon, featuring Colin Pope, editor of the Austin Business Journal; Corrie MacLaggan, national correspondent for Reuters; and Bonnie Gonzalez, morning live reporter for Your News Now Austin. Paying mind to the notion that “news happens”, the luncheon was smack dab in the middle of preparation for the inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix race and memorial services for legendary University of Texas football coach, Darrell K Royal. Needless to say, we were glad to have the panel available to chat with us.

The conversation focused around the increasingly evolving worlds of public relations and news; specifically, how the media’s day-to-day operations are affected by these changes. Topics included the growth of social media (among both reporters and PR professionals), the importance of multimedia in PR, and the differing preferences among media outlets.

Colin Pope mentioned something that is a good reminder for us all before pitching any media: “remember your audience”. Every pitch should be catered to the individual to whom you are speaking, and each person could have a different preferred method of contact. Follow and interact with them on social media, read past stories they’ve covered, and look through their bios. You will often discover that one reporter prefers email communications, while another loves to chat on social media. As an example of this, Bonnie Gonzalez noted that she uses Facebook for story discovery and research, while Corrie MacLaggan sticks to Twitter. If you skip over this important step, your news will most likely get lost among the many hundreds of story ideas these people see each day.

Moderator Raschanda Hall, from the Business Wire Chicago office, posed an interesting question for the panel: how ethical is the use of social media by reporters for breaking news? Colin Pope answered it best by noting that the job of a reporter is to pass news to the public. As long as they use good judgment and follow any organizational guidelines, how they decide to disseminate that news is up to them.

Here are a few more key takeaways from the event:

  • Keep your press releases short and to the point. Too often, the lead in a release will be buried under ‘fluffy’ information leading up to the important details.
  • Target your pitches and press releases to the right individuals. Do your homework and don’t waste their time. Keep in mind that the media has increasing sets of responsibilities, yet the same amounts of time to accomplish all of the extra tasks.
  • Visuals are a BIG deal. Not only do visuals make the story more likely to get read, but they also give the journalist another aspect of the story to use, enhancing the final product and making their job easier.
  • If you are going to add multimedia to a press release/pitch, make sure it is a professional, high-quality file. Color files are always a plus.
  • Let the media know that you (or a spokesperson) are available as a subject expert in your industry. When journalists are writing a piece about a particular industry, they often like to have outside sources comment on the story. Just like that, you gain easy exposure for yourself and your company!

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Is a Password Protected Company Website a Best Online Newsroom Practice?

November 27, 2012
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor; and Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Miami

Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor

As more and more companies are building their online news sites, many are faced with questions about how best to serve their consumers, employees and visiting journalists:  When building your online newsroom, should you have visitors register to log into your company website? How far back should press releases be archived on an online newsroom? Should executive bios with age be included on the company news site?

These were some of many questions asked at Business Wire Florida’s Online Newsrooms Best Practices for Communicators panel earlier this month at the University of Miami.

Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative

The panel consisted of Bill Faries, Miami bureau chief for Bloomberg; Rick Hirsch, managing editor for The Miami Herald; and Jeff Tavss, executive producer for digital & social media for WPLG-TV. Ibrey Woodall, vice president of web communications services for Business Wire, moderated the panel. Each media professional shared his insights on online newsrooms and the challenges of their usage by the media.

When asked if they would visit a “password protected” company online newsroom where they had to register to gain access, each panelist said no, and had questions of their own on the matter.

“Why would a company do that?” Hirsh asked.

“How prevalent is this practice?” Tavss said.

Pictured left to right: Pilar Portela (Business Wire), Jeff Tavss (WPLG-TV), Bill Faries (Bloomberg), Claudia Perez (Business Wire), Janice Essick (Business Wire), Julia Sotelo (Business Wire), Eric Bushkin (Business Wire), Rick Hirsch (The Miami Herald)

Faries shared that you have to be a big company such as Coca-Cola for him to register for such a site. He even went further to say that once he is in a password-protected news site he should be able to find information that is not accessible by the general public.

“The act of password protecting content types within an online newsroom is not widespread; however, it can be very useful at times. It all depends upon the strategy and specific purpose of the online newsroom,” added Woodall.

Also brought up during the panel discussion was a timeline for press releases and searchable archives. Hirsch said, “Companies should keep everything up”. Faries agreed and added, “Keep it up for transparency.”

Woodall advised that the industry average is to provide a minimum of 2 to 5 years of press release archives. “If you can provide more historical press releases than do so,” stated Woodall. “But if you are unable to do so, at least provide milestone releases that affect  the make-up of the company, such as a merger or acquisition or new CEO. You don’t necessarily need to provide a release about a small community event from 1973.”

Here are some other essentials a company should keep in mind when mapping out its online newsroom.

  • It should be easily accessible, and made available from your home page.
  • Full birthdates for executives should be listed, not just ages.
  • Complete executive bios, including resumes, are preferred.
  • Provide links to the executives’ LinkedIn pages.
  • Phone numbers (very important) and/or email addresses for media contacts should be available.
  • Provide cell phone numbers for executives if possible.
  • Categorize press releases and include searchability functions.
  • Sites MUST be optimized for viewing on mobile phones and tablets.
  • Media does not like when they have to register to access the information.

For more information and tips on building a better online newsroom read our guidance report. If you would like us to create your online newsroom contact your local Business Wire account executive.

The Never Ending News

November 16, 2012
by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist/Business Wire – San Francisco

Chris Metinko

With the growth of the internet, blogging and social media, the everyday news cycle has become a 24 hour a day phenomenon with no start or stop. But what does the modern news cycle mean to journalism as well as the people who help provide the information?

“Essentially, it’s impossible to keep up,” said Mike Isaac of the tech site AllThingsD. Isaac was one of four panelists to discuss the topic at a breakfast hosted by Business Wire in San Francisco.

“You’re feeding a beast that never stops eating,” Isaac added.

While some might point to the advent of social media as the origin of the 24-hour news cycle, Louise Kehoe, who leads Ogilvy’s West Coast technology practice, said the news always has been that way.

“The more things change the more they stay the same,” Kehoe said. “In the news business, the lights are always on somewhere.”

Kehoe said what has changed is so many more people can have their voices heard, and not everyone has the same tight journalist standards.

“We have to figure out how to handle people who don’t play by the rules,” Kehoe said.

Alex Wellins, co-founder and managing director of The Blueshirt Group, said one way companies can keep from getting burned with the nonstop proliferation of information via blogs and social media is to be careful of the information they put out. He said it is especially important for public companies — who are watched heavily by the SEC — to be careful of what they say, and have social media strategists and rules in place to avoid trouble.

“Things like social media create opportunities, but there also is a cost involved,” Wellins added.

Looking to the future of news, most felt there will likely be some kind of shake out as far as where people go to get their news and who is trusted.

“In our industry, we’re under peer review every day,” said Christopher Noble, assistant managing editor for international at Market Watch.

“People are smart and return to the authoritative voice,” Isaac said. “That’s what I see happening.”

Dow Jones Spot News Editors Offer Tips to Get Your News Noticed

November 5, 2012
- by Shawnee Cohn, Media Relations Specialist;
Joe Curro, Account Executive; and Alan Asarch, Manager, Licensing & Content Development, Business Wire/NY

Shawnee Cohn

A common question we get at Business Wire is, “What happens once my press release gets to the actual newsroom?” A key part of our service offerings is the delivery of your market-moving financial and earnings information that fulfills financial disclosure requirements.  Our patented NX Network ensures simultaneous delivery of this important press release content to the Associated Press, Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg, and other leading financial and news organizations around the world, but what happens on the other end?

On a recent visit to the New York headquarters of Dow Jones, several Business Wire employees met with editors at the Dow Jones Newswires Spot News Desk. These editors are some of the first eyes on the real-time news, including press releases coming in through Business Wire and other wire services.  While some news releases may be automatically published over Dow Jones’ various products and services, they have the challenging responsibility of using their swift editorial discretion to determine what news makes their headlines.

The Spot News Desk team at Dow Jones Newswires shared some tips for public relations and communications professionals tasked with writing press releases, to help make sure the releases are seen:

Leave the “fluff” out of your release: At some of the busiest times of the day, such as market open and close, the Spot News Desk editors are hoping to publish several headlines per minute. If it takes longer than a few seconds to determine the market-moving information in the press release, your news is at risk of getting tossed, or at the very least, giving an editor a headache. Instead of forcing the newsroom to sift through your jargon, make the news evident from the very beginning, and try to write in a tone that can be easily understood by multiple audiences. Use bullet points at the beginning to identify salient details, and try to include a subheading that is relevant and would be able to stand on its own.

Timing is of the essence: For a lesser-known company, you’ll have more of a chance at catching an editor’s eye and attention during a slow time of the day. From 10AM-3PM, the influx of wire news tends to quiet down at Dow Jones. If you send out your press release at the market closing time of 4 PM, you risk a greater chance of having your announcement lost in the shuffle.

Use a wire service for your earnings news: Some companies opt out of using a wire service to distribute an earnings announcement and choose instead to post this news directly to their corporate website. For Spot News editors who are monitoring major announcements through a feed of wire news, it can seriously disrupt the flow of information if they are required to open a browser, navigate to a specific page, and/or copy and paste URLs in order to collect the data needed for a story. Needless to say, Spot News desk teams are incredibly busy, and if you can lend a helping hand by making your release easily accessible through a wire service, it is much appreciated.

Beginning its 52nd year, Business Wire continues to be trusted by public relations and communications professionals for the distribution and delivery of their press release announcements to the news and financial community.

For more information about Business Wire’s Public Relations and Investor Relations services, visit


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