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.

Agence France-Presse Shares: How to Work with Global Newswires

November 19, 2015

Legendary news agency, AFP, opens up to discuss their organizational structure, Agence_France-Presse_Logo.svgcoverage criteria, and practical tips on how  to build a relationship and work more effectively with their journalists. This is a must-listen-to webinar and can fundamentally transform the impact of your global communications.

To listen to the full webinar click here  

Agence France-Presse [AFP] is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious news agencies, with a network of 200 bureaus generating some 5,000 stories per day. Despite its prestige and influence, many communications professionals, particularly in North America, are largely unfamiliar with the scope of AFP’s geographic footprint, and its role in shaping the global news agenda.

Speakers included:

Moderator:  Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire

A Behind the Scenes Look at How Newswires Distribute News Releases

October 26, 2015

Sometimes the best way to learn how something works is by watching it in action. Business Wire wants people to know exactly how news is made and have captured the process in an exciting new video.

What starts off as an announcement goes through a process of editing and enhancement before entering a hub. Think of it as a digital metro station that leads to stops around the world where your information travels to journalists, bloggers, reporters, and other media professionals and publications.

Key takeaways from the video about the news making process:

  • A news release should go through several drafts to ensure maximum readability and accuracy
  • Know (and write for) your target audience
  • Include multimedia such as photographs, graphics, and if possible, videos to increase release views
  • Measure the results to gauge impact of your news

In order to make the news it’s important to know how news is made. Learn the exact steps and make sure to maximize the impact of your next announcement.

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.

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[GUIDE] 12 Steps for Integrating Corporate Communications Successfully

September 29, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

We are thrilled to announce the release of Business Wire’s latest guide: The Convergence of IR and PR: 12 Ways to Create a Stronger Corporate Communications Team.

This guide provides today’s communications professionals the rationales and steps to take to build a more robust corporate communications process, one that meets the needs of today’s audiences while reducing internal costs and redundancies.

The truth is many internal communication teams are working in silos. While internally these teams have separate reporting structures, goals and messaging, externally their customers and key audiences see no divisions within the company as it relates to accessing company information – they are just as likely to read an earnings release as they are to share a white paper or download a coupon.

But if today’s consumers are engaging with companies as a whole entity, why are most organizations still communicating different messages from different departments on different channels? Now is the perfect time to streamline internal processes to not only ensure a singularity in messaging, but to achieve higher message adoption and sharing, all while reducing internal costs and processes.

Recent, rapid technical and human behavioral evolutions have changed how humans consume news. Because the market is now aware of the intricacies that differentiate marketing, public relations, and investor relations, it is important for communications pros to work together to decrease those perceived separations.

And consolidating processes is not that hard! In our latest guide, we outline current communication roles, and how to bring them together to create a new, more effective process.

12 Ways to Create a Stronger Corporate Communications Team: The Convergence of IR and PR delves into how companies can:

  • Understand RegFD disclosure as it pertains to all discussion platforms
  • Cross promote company news and information
  • Share multimedia assets to increase emotional connections with end audiences
  • Centralize social outreach to increase visibility and awareness of one’s company information
  • Measure and monitor outbound and inbound discussions, decreasing the opportunity for negative brand attacks

Download this free Business Wire guide now!

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How Should I Promote My Content: An Infographic for Smart Marketers

September 10, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Great content is only as great as how it’s distributed. If people aren’t seeing your branding and message, they won’t be able to act on it. If people aren’t engaging with your content, they can’t be eased further into the marketing funnel.

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

A major goal of a marketing plan, reaching out to the public, is to turn potential leads into clients and customers.  A successful marketing campaign raises visibility, creates brand loyalty, and more resulting in a large ROI. After all is said and done, how do you actually reach your market and effectively engage your audience? 

The first step is identifying the power of content marketing. According to a 2015 poll by Smart Insights, almost 30% of respondents listed content marketing as the most important digital marketing trend for the year. The second most selected answer (big data) received less than half the votes (14.6%). The most popular forms of content marketing are social media content other than blogs (93%), eNewsletters (80%), articles on your website (78%), illustrations/photos (75%), and videos (74%). There are many options for how to reach an audience and companies are trying them all. Are they organized in their efforts? A shocking 56% of the respondents said they do not have a content marketing strategy or plan, even though they are actively utilizing content marketing.

Not having a game plan is very inefficient and can lead to disaster. Imagine a basketball team running onto the court without knowing any plays to execute. LeBron James might be the best player in the world, but even he wouldn’t score too many points if he was playing with a team that didn’t have a strategy. Your content, similarly, might be the most interesting, engaging, and disruptive, but if you don’t have a plan of distribution, you’ll be the only person aware of it.

How do you get as many eyes as possible onto your great content?

Business Wire put together this infographic that illustrates how content marketing travels down a road, and what steps to take to reach your desired audience.

It’s important for communicators to remember that assets are tools and how you use them will determine their effectiveness. If your news features an eye-catching headline, native advertising is a good route. If you have newsworthy content, issuing a news release would amplify your content to journalists and other media professionals. If you have multiple related pieces and multimedia, a news or picture capsule makes for a great interactive asset that captures audiences’ attentions for far longer than passive content.

What are some of the key takeaways from the infographic?

  • If you have newsworthy content – issue a news release
  • If you have comparative data – make an infographic
  • If you have a video – make a vine or GIF for additional social messaging
  • If you have multiple related pieces – issue a news or picture capsule

Content marketing is proving to be more than just a trend. If you utilize this highly effective method for reaching potential clients and customers, for building brand awareness and loyalty, remember to have a game plan. Content and distribution working together will raise visibility of your message and lead to a desired ROI.

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Armenian Media Today: Q&A with Gegham Vardanyan

July 13, 2015

By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire Frankfurt

Armenia is a country with an ancient cultural heritage that once reached from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea. It also was the first country to adopt Christianity in 301 AD.

To strengthen the statehood and instructing the people in the news religion, the Armenian alphabet was introduced around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots and the first media was produced Many of these old scripts still exist and are collected in the Matenadaran, the repository of ancient manuscripts in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.

Detail of the portal of the Matenadaran. Photo by Rabirius.

The first Armenian printing establishment was founded in Venice in 1565 and focused on religious texts; it was later moved to Istanbul. The first newspaper was published in Madras, India, in 1646, but it took another 60 years before Armenian papers and journals were printed in Armenia. As part of the USSR, most Soviet-era publications were in Russian; however, in the 1980s, there was a language and cultural revival that sparked an increase in journalistic activity. After independence, Armenia developed its own press laws. Though some media enterprises failed, more publications were founded that are still in circulation today, like Aravot, Yerkir, or AZG

The Internet began to spread with the beginning of the 21st Century and online media was developed.

To find out more about the development of online media and other trends of the Armenian media market,we asked Gegham Vardanyan, producer of, a project of the Media Initiatives Center, to give us an overview:

1.  The media market in Armenia is small. Which effect does it have on the media landscape?
Armenia is a small country; the actual population figure barely reaches 3 million. This doesn’t prevent us from having, for example, a large number of TV channels. For instance, there are 14 TV channels broadcast in Yerevan alone. There are many daily newspapers, but the print media is experiencing a crisis: print runs barely reach 5,000. In addition, newspapers are printed 5 times a week: there are no newspapers on Sunday or Monday.

Online media is well developed. News websites usually publish in three languages: Armenian, English, and Russian.

Despite the quantity I mentioned, it’s not always that the same TV station offers diverse TV products for its viewers, especially in terms of news. Armenian news outlets are not wealthy, and few have their own correspondents, not even in Moscow or Washington. In order to keep abreast of international news, Armenian news outlets often make use of different news agencies, especially Russian sources.

2.  Who owns the classic media outlets, like publishing houses, broadcasting stations, etc.? Does it interfere with journalistic work?

There is the Public TV and Radio Company of Armenia, which is completely financed by the state budget.

The matter of media ownership, by and large, is a problem. In many cases, large media holdings are Closed Joint-Stock Companies (CJSC). The law allows neither members of the public to apply to the state registry to receive the names of stockholders nor requires media companies to make the names of stockholders public.

Some of the private stations belong to politicians and businessmen close to the government. Though the law officially prohibits political parties from owning TV channels, four parliamentary parties have a huge influence on four different TV stations and the public knows this. This, of course, has a direct effect on the work of these TV channels.

Gegham Vardanyan. Photo by Sona Kocharyan.

Gegham Vardanyan. Photo by Sona Kocharyan.

3.  How did the move to digital media change the Armenian media landscape?
News websites in Armenia that operate according to the convergent newsroom model are advanced. Leading websites offer their readers not only text, but also high-quality photos, video, and live video coverage of developing news.

The most widespread social networking site is the Russian Odnoklassniki, though for discussions on social and political topics, the main platform is Facebook.

Though there is a lack of professionalism in the Armenian media landscape, the increasing number of news websites ensure media pluralism and are relatively more free (i.e. less controlled) than broadcast and, to a lesser extent, print media.

4.  What sources do journalists usually use to access information?
In Armenia, journalists use press releases. There are 5–6 press clubs that host press conferences on different issues every day. Republishing content from local news outlets without permission, as well as translating from various foreign media, is extremely widespread.

5.  Which topics are most popular in the media?
Here, the picture is the same as in the rest of the world. The most popular topics are crimes, celebrities, and sports, especially football. From political topics, of interest are news on the Karabakh conflict, when the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijani border is tense. In general, developing news are of interest.

But the overall picture is different on different websites. For example, the top 5 most read stories in 2014 of a few leading news websites in Armenia were drastically different.

6.  Do you have any tips for people who would like to reach media, or journalists in Armenia?
You can read about Armenia’s media in a few industry websites, such as the Media Initiatives Center, (a project of the Media Initiative Center), and the Yerevan Press Club. See also the database of Armenian media outlets and professionals on the Yerevan Press Club website, as well as the Media Map on, which is organized by region (for example, see here for Yerevan).

Journalists in Armenia can be reached through social media. They are active primarily on Facebook, though also on Twitter.

Note:  Adrineh Der-Bogossian helped Gegham Vardanyan with the English text.

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