How Has Digital Changed Communication

June 25, 2015

The internet changed almost everything. Most facets of life are now either shaped or directly dictated by the internet, especially the way we communicate. How has the internet changed communication? Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of Business Wire, answers that question with one word: multimedia.

“My prediction is that multimedia will be a part of every single news release,” Cathy said to Tim Bahr, CEO of Nextworks, during a conversation on the future of business news communications. The conversation, taking place during this past SXSW, touched upon the Smart News Release (SNR), a news release enhancement first launched by Business Wire in 1995. The ability for a commercial newswire to embed graphics into a news release and transmit it to news media outlets via the SNR was the first marriage of multimedia with text. It wasn’t just a news release with an image or video, it was an entirely new and unique asset for media recipients. What are the benefits of this marriage?

A recent study by Microsoft finds that human attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds. That means by the time you’re reading this sentence, you’re probably ready for some visual stimulation. Today’s constant stream of multimedia might be a cause for society’s diminishing focus, but it can also serve as the cure. A picture has long been touted as being worth a thousand words, making video exponentially more valuable. By including a video with a news release, you are intriguing the audience on multiple senses. According to Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center, approximately 30% of people are auditory learners. By incorporating video with audio into your news release, you are reaching a larger audience than by just including images alone.

The importance of video to public relations is not a surprise. Tamraz elaborated on her comments about multimedia explaining that, “people think visually.” Videos provide the public with news in an easy to consume and engaging format.

It’s been twenty years since the launch of the Smart News Release. How have communications assets evolved in the age of Web 2.0?

PR pros are always looking for ways to amplify a news release – a tool that raises visibility of a company, and encourages engagement of the news within key audiences. And, as Tamraz says in the video, assets such as News Capsules provide that very boost to any news release. A News Capsule is a tool that allows a brand to tell a story using interactive multimedia. It’s the gamification of the news release and it boasts an average reader engagement time of 6:12 minutes. That number really jumps out at you when you compare it with the 20 to 30 seconds it takes to read a text-only news release.

Why are capsules so effective in increasing the impact of a news release? Tamraz describes this multimedia asset as the “crossover between news, corporate communications, and marketing.” Advances in internet connectivity continue to blur lines for every industry, whether it is multimedia, communication, or distribution. By offering information in a way that can be learned both visually and kinesthetically, the News Capsule is a tool that blurs the lines between varied forms of communication. This makes it an ideal asset for amplifying a company message on a multitude of platforms.

The future of public relations and audience activation is interactive content. For Meghan Gross, president of Gem Strategic Goulston StorrsCommunications, a picture capsule was the best way to tell a year’s worth of stories. She recommended using a picture capsule to a professional services client of hers as a way to reach their core audience. In this case, the client wanted to showcase the importance of climate change by bringing attention back to all the great content they created that year. The News Capsule allowed Gem to create one single asset that hosted all of the client’s created content, allowing them to present their entire story in one outreach. Of course, once a capsule goes out, as Cathy Baron Tamraz says, it “travels.” Capsules are sharable and embeddable allowing users to embed it in stories, social channels, websites and more.

The internet proved to not be a trend and neither will mobile platforms. The digital revolution succeeded and we now find ourselves in the digital age. And now, every aspect of life revolves in some way around the era we live in, just like during the Industrial Age that preceded it. How are you adapting your communication practices for the growing needs of today’s digital, visual society?

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“Every Business Has an Audience” is a Key Takeaway from SXW2O

March 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

The venue was large and had already been entertained by the great Al Roker by the time Jim Weiss (CEO, W2O Group) and Cathy Baron Tamraz (CEO, Business Wire) stepped on stage. They had their hands full with a standing room-only audience and only saying something fundamentally mind blowing would turn it around. Fortunately for the crowd, that’s exactly what happened.

Cathy and Jim at SXW2O event

During the session, Cathy was asked how a newswire service could support a startup or organization that journalists weren’t actively looking for information on. “If you have a business, you have an audience,” she told the crowd. “Safe is not going to win the game.”

More news is being created and consumed now than ever in the history of modern man, she continued, adding that there are trade papers, journalists, online publications and consumers looking for relevant company news every day. You don’t have to be a big name brand to get noticed; you just have to have a good product or piece of news. In a world so cluttered with content, it was refreshing to hear someone say what every successful large and small organization knows to be true. You don’t have to be big to get noticed — you just have to appeal to your core audience.

Apple WatchTo reiterate the point that smaller companies can greatly benefit with a newswire service, Cathy cited her own company’s history. When Business Wire first launched over 50 years ago, they were distributing news for companies like Hewlett-Packard, companies that were being run out of garages. This hasn’t changed much. From startup launches to the introduction of the Apple watch, Business Wire continues to distribute market moving news across a wide range of industries.

Jim Weiss chimed in, adding that startups need to get into the practice of issuing releases. It is important to start building and archiving a digital trail for your company during its earliest stages. The digital revolution also created a wide variety of options for the format of your distributed information.

Both Jim and Cathy agreed that multimedia was not just beneficial to a news release, but a requirement in modern news consumption programming. Modern communicators like Hasbro, Intel, Cigna and more are leveraging multimedia assets like News and Picture Capsules that allow users to play a game while learning about the brand and product. IntelBy incorporating interactive multimedia within the news story, audiences spend far more time on the news announcement than they would had it just been a simple text release.  Text-only news releases engage readers for seconds, while interactive-based releases are showing engagement results between 4-10 minutes – rates that are unheard of in the current communications and content marketing space.

The next topic covered was the importance of measurement in the communication space.  Measurability is the single greatest tool in identifying how a release is impacting the market and the company goals alike. Advents, such as NUVI, create an ability to not only see where your news release is being picked up but who is engaging with it and how – reading, sharing or advocating. Being able to distinguish the public reaction of your release gives you the opportunity to take control over your campaign like never before.

nuvi report

The lineup at this year’s SXW2O was fantastic, and the reason why is because the speakers were inspiring. There is a great feeling to knowing that you can make an impact especially when the message is coming from people who make an impact every day, like Jim Weiss and Cathy Baron Tamraz. The question now is who are you trying to activate with your news, and how can Business Wire help you distribute it?

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The Future of Strategic Communications: Thoughts from the C-Suite

March 6, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Marketing, Business Wire 

Business Wire and recently hosted a conversation between seven PR and communication industry CEOs on the topic of innovation in the communication industry.

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Participants of this discussion included:

Click here to read how these respected CEOs view the role of innovation, collaboration, creativity, mentoring and leadership within their agency and the public relations industry as a whole: 

7 Leading CEOs Discuss the Future of Company Communications [Free Webinar]

February 26, 2015

The strategic communication landscape is evolving at an ever-increasing pace.  We’ve seen the move from plain text releases to an era of activation through rich, multimedia storytelling.  Now, more than ever, growing your skill set is critical to keep up with the changing demands of clients and the media. It’s a “learn or get left behind” world.

On March 3 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, seven of the nation’s leading communication CEOs will come together to discuss the changes and innovations changing the way organizations communicate with media, analysts and consumers.

CommPro CEO Leadership Discussion

On March 3, join 7 of the nation’s leading CEOs for an discussion on the future of communications.

Hosted by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO of Business Wire, this conversation will provide attendees of all levels with best practices that will directly impact communications programming for 2015 and beyond.  Discussion topics will include:

  • Where the PR/Communication industry is headed
  • Instilling and showcasing a spirit of innovation in the workplace
  • The role of collaboration in the creative environment
  • How to create a sense of purpose in your organization
  • The value of mentorship and training
  • Mastering the work-life balance

Participants include…

Register for this free webinar now:

Click the following link to share this invitation with colleagues and industry experts via Twitter:

Business Wire in 2015: A look ahead with Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO and Gregg Castano, President

December 29, 2014

Year-end is a time for both reflection and anticipation. In looking back at 2014, Business Wire is particularly proud of leading industry innovations in three important areas: security, multimedia, and measurement. These major advances reinforce Business Wire’s core value proposition, while creating the potential of even greater return on investment for you.

Business Wire Capsule

Our primary focus is developing products and services that are responsive to your needs while delivering exceptional value and results. And while our vision remains fresh and forward-thinking, we have purposely retained our emphasis on the foundations of our success: client service, newsroom accuracy, and network security.

A key milestone for Business Wire in 2014 was our receipt of the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report, which provided independent validation that our internal security controls are in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ applicable Trust Services Principles and Criteria. The report clearly illustrates that security is of paramount concern at Business Wire; it provides assurance that we have the appropriate protocols in place to safeguard sensitive corporate announcements.

Additionally, Business Wire broke new ground by launching News and Picture Capsules. These dynamic content marketing platforms deliver multimedia campaigns that are fully compatible with all media channels and delivery devices.  The capsules provide simple embed links that enable users to integrate multimedia features into their own websites, blogs and social channels, and are accompanied by real-time dashboards providing comprehensive metrics.

Business Wire also expanded NewsTrak analytics by integrating NUVI social reporting into our monitoring solution. The report gauges a release’s impact by analyzing social mentions and translating them into graphically rich summaries that demonstrate engagement, sentiment, and influencer identification. Clients are able to pinpoint which messages are resonating online, identify the key drivers of the conversation, and respond accordingly.

While multimedia and measurement were the twin drivers of our recent product development, we maintained our traditional thought-leadership role through client-focused publications, industry surveys, and webinars. Timely themes included press release optimization, social media and publicly traded companies, multicultural marketing, and a media survey on the content needs of today’s changing newsroom. Look for more of these engaging content programs in the year ahead.

These exciting initiatives set the stage for what will prove to be a richly rewarding new year, filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Business Wire hopes to contribute to your success by providing the tools and turnkey solutions necessary for today’s complex communications challenges.

As always, we sincerely thank you for your business and, most importantly, for your continued trust and confidence.  We look forward to 2015 with great anticipation, hoping that it will be a year of peace, health, and prosperity for all.

Business Wire Memorabilia Pennants Still Available

May 6, 2014


Business Wire Team with warren Buffett at the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. Photo credit Matthew Allinson

Business Wire Team with Warren Buffett at the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting.
Photo credit Matthew Allinson

If you weren’t able to attend the baseball-themed 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting, you can still catch a cool piece of memorabilia, with all proceeds going to charity.
We have a limited supply of Berkshire Hathaway Sluggers baseball pennants available online for just $3 each or $5 for two.

Berkshire Hathaway Sluggers baseball pennants

Berkshire Hathaway Sluggers baseball pennants

Business Wire’s team was in force at the show, with more than a dozen of us representing a wide range of departments and bureaus, engaging with shareholders and raising money for an amazing organization that supports at-risk youth,
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Douglas County, Nebraska.


Once again, Business Wire covers the cost to produce the keepsakes, donates all money raised to CASA and matches funds raised, ensuring at least $5,000 heads to CASA.
CASA for Douglas County, Nebraska is a voice for abused and neglected children via trained citizen volunteers. When juveniles appear in front of a judge, it is the CASA volunteer that becomes the advocate for children within the court system.

To purchase a pennant online, visit:

Read the Business Wire-CASA press release

Read the Business Wire Blog about the event

Best Practices Guide to Successfully Navigating Social Media for Publicly-Held Companies

January 16, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social + Evolving Media

We are excited to share our latest guide for investor relations and corporate communication professionals outlining the steps they should take (and avoid) to both engage and manage their reputation across social channels.

Business Wire Benefits of SM for IROs

This report details the opportunities and risks of using social media as both a research and communication tool in today’s investor relations programs.  Included are 12 ways investor relations professionals can leverage social media tools for a stronger, more effective engagement program, as well as 12 reasons why social media platforms are not compliant communication tools.

Embracing social media as a news sharing and engagement tool

Business Wire continues to advocate utilizing social media channels to amplify the visibility of company news.  These channels, designed to enhance the communication between organizations and their members, are perfect for brand advocacy.

Business Wire’s guidance for running a successful and legally compliant socially oriented investor communication program include:

  • How to spot an emerging crisis or reputation attack using social media monitoring
  • The importance and impact of multimedia to analysts and other key constituents
  • Real time communications, or why live tweeting earnings works so well
  • Ways to initiate and expand third party sharing of pertinent company information increasing the visibility and authority of your news

Avoiding social channels as a sole means of sharing financial or disclosure oriented news

For the last 4 months, we have taken a long hard look at the concept of utilizing social media distribution channels for financial disclosure.  While we are obviously big fans of utilizing social media as a tool to share news and information, the technology simply is not there yet for these channels to replace traditional disclosure platforms.

Business Wire’s guidance on why social media platforms are not appropriate as the sole method of disclosure includes:

  • Potential coverage limitation
  • Lack of visibility of social updates
  • The impact and risk of message modification
  • Social network demographics and usage rates

To download this free guide in its entirety, visit
Share this with your friends!  Tweet this news out in one click by visiting

Want to schedule a time to speak with a Business Wire sales representative about social media, news distribution and disclosure compliance?  Let us know!


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