Business Wire and Stockr co-sponsor “The Future of Television”

October 30, 2013
by Fred Godlash, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

Stockr is a sophisticated social network for the investment community that is making a name for itself with investors, analysts and public companies.

Earlier in the month Stockr hosted a panel with thought-leaders from the technology and financial industries to discuss Twitter’s potential as a public company. The panel was a huge success with numerous followers having the chance to interact and learn from the intuitive forum.

This week Stockr is doing it again with a panel discussing The Future of Television moderated by CNNMoney’s Julianne Pepitone. The panel brings together thought-leaders from CBS, Lionsgate, Luminari Capital, Roku and Maven Research to discuss the technologies and trends that are shaping the rapidly changing television industry.

We sat down with Stockr CEO and co-founder Vinny Jindal to find out more about Stockr and the upcoming panel.

Future of Television
Is it important for Stockr to do educational panels? Why is it important to have this voice to talk to investors?

Our mission at Stockr is to help people make better investment decisions. We bring people together who have deep experience and expertise in different industries and different companies – that is really core to the whole idea behind Stockr.

We feel like people’s options for really generating a deep understanding of companies, often that they becoming shareholders of, is limited. There are very few opportunities, not only to see what an industry expert might say about a company, but to even engage that expert, ask your individual questions and round out your specific knowledge base so you can make an informed decision on that stock. These panels give us an opportunity to bring together experts on a specific industry or a specific topic.

Do you feel the forums are a better way of discovery than traditional media sources?

The current process is that journalists have been elected by the masses to be the arbiters of information. The process is they tap their network to get insights for that topic from a limited number of experts and then cut that down to the character limits they have been given.  The sea of information that is given has a very narrow passage to get to the investors who would benefit from that information. Stockr is an open platform where experts can layout the fullness of their thoughts. They can communicate not just sound bites, but truly a thesis or a really rich point of view and have that be part of an interactive dialogue.

How do you choose experts for the forum and how do they benefit from participating?

We first go to our Stockr user base and then we go to people who are supportive of the company. Stockr’s current user base has representatives from almost every industry imaginable. A journalist who is interested in a topic can come to Stockr and see who is posting on different companies and then engage that person and invite them to be a panelist.

Beyond that we are lucky to have a lot of smart people who are supportive of the company and we reach out to them based on their expertise. We have found that most experts are really happy to participate.

Panel experts can interact with their colleagues on a really high level.  As an example, for “The Future of Television” panel, it is not often that you are going to see a board member from Roku interacting with an executive from CBS and a strategic executive from Best Buy.

Why did you choose the subject of the future of television? Were you inspired by an event or was it topical?

Well it is partly topical – it is something that is easy for everyone to recognize because people every day are changing their TV habits using HBO Go or Netflix or watching a show on Hulu. It is also an important topic for the markets because it is apparent that the fortunes of these companies are changing dramatically. The future is kind of unknown and since the market is forward-looking, we are helping people understand what the future of television is and therefore what their prospects are for companies like Comcast,  Netflix and CBS. I think it helps them make better investment decisions today.

Another reason we decided to do the future of television was that CBS is one of the companies that has taken over their Stockr page and has been using it to communicate. The information they have posted on Stockr is genuinely fascinating. For example,  there is a lot of handwriting on the wall if you are a shareholder of traditional media and traditional television – shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad have gained a lot of popularity – there is an ascendency of popularity for TV shows outside the big four networks.

That would naturally cause shareholders of CBS or other companies to say, “Wait a minute, am I holding on to stock that has a pretty bleak growth prospect? Are these alternative sources of TV programing eating their lunch?” CBS, knowing that this is a concern as they heard it from their institutional shareholders and from their retail shareholders, was able to address this head on.

They were able to point to the fact that the Breaking Bad’s series finale received 6.6 million viewers yet CBS tends to cancel shows with less than 7 million viewers. What they were able to convey to their institutional shareholders or their “sell side” analyst is that statements like “Breaking Bad is threatening the growth of companies like CBS,” is patently false and CBS was able, using Stockr, to address that in a community. So that kind of information that has come across from CBS has really helped our members to understand where television is headed and stimulated a full interest in the topic – that is why we decided to do a full-blown panel on it.

What kind of impact do you think you are having on the IR Community? Is anyone doing what you are doing?

No other company has a product that can facilitate this sort of dialogue on this topic. In terms of impact, we are very clearly producing the best content available on the internet. The more investors that choose to come to Stockr and view the content – the more investors we will impact.

What we are also doing is creating examples that help public companies see that they have the opportunity to take this enormous volume of information that they are marketing everyday – on the phone and by email ­- and put that online. Leaving that out on IR campaigns is really overlooking possibly the most powerful tool they have in their arsenal.

Are users accountable for their comments?

Stockr requires a real identity to participate and this is different from other social platforms that let users post anonymous comments. You can have a shouting match with someone online but if you are anonymous there are no consequences to your words. So when you force people to use their own name that conversation becomes real.  IROs are going to want to engage with those audiences because they are meaningful conversations.

Why do you think the investment community does not embrace social media?

I think the words “social media” have unnecessarily scared companies, and specifically investment professionals, but if we called Stockr an online interactive technology that allowed investor relations professionals to stay better connected to their institutional investor base and a high-quality group of retail investors – IROs would say, “Where do I sign up?” Investors don’t want to just read the press release – they want to comment on it and they don’t want to just comment on it but they want to have a conversation about it.  The quality of that conversation increases based on the quality of the participants and their authenticity of their identity.  Stockr provides that platform for the company to tell their story.

The idea of investor relations using social media isn’t an idea of something being used in the future, it is happening now.  The sooner companies get on board, the better they will be at telling their story instead of having their competitors tell it for them.

The Future of Television is as part of an ongoing educational series co-sponsored by investor network Stockr and Business Wire. Members can engage with the panelists by posting their questions and sharing their own views. If you would like to join the discussion please visit www.stockr.com


Tweeting the Campaign: Three Ways Social Media is Changing the Way Reporters Cover the Election

March 5, 2012
by Shawnee Cohn, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York
MRT

Shawnee Cohn

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recently proposed that 2012 is going to be the year of the “Twitter Election,” referring to the power that the social network offers presidential candidates to engage with voters.

Not only are candidates contributing to the Twitter conversation, but the media is also breaking important campaign news in 140 characters or less. Here at Business Wire, we offer all of our Public Policy and Election news at the Twitter handle @BW_PublicPolicy.

In response to this trend in news distribution, Twitter recently created an official account, @TwitterForNews, which offers tips for journalists on how to cover the 2012 election most effectively.

As part of Social Media Week, The New York Times hosted a panel discussion which delved deeper into the topic of how social media impacts political coverage. The panel featured:

The panelists offered compelling evidence for the argument that social media is critical when sending out your election-related news. Here are some highlights of how journalists utilize Twitter and other social networks:

To monitor breaking news: Stevenson stated that “every political reporter uses Twitter as a news feed all day long.” Smith agreed, admitting that he now heavily relies on Twitter traffic, in addition to some RSS news feeds, to get the day’s headlines. Instead of tuning in to watch the debates on television, one could simply scan all of the highlights by solely reading relevant tweets, noted Hamby. However, both Hamby and Stevenson advised that it is important to occasionally detach yourself from Twitter. Taking a step outside the Twitter realm helps journalists to avoid snap judgments and observe the opinions of those who are not as involved with the social network. Being that reporters rely on various mediums to get their news, it is important to send out your message on multiple platforms, such as a news wire, Twitter, mobile alerts, etc.

To accurately relay readers’ real concerns: Michel discussed how social media offers journalists the capacity to “systematically engage people” and therefore “find stories that you wouldn’t otherwise.” Smith also uses Twitter as a “place to find questions” from the public, rather than answers. Social networks allow the media to get a feel for what people are wondering about, and to consequently be more responsible to their audience, said Stevenson. For example, in the recent cases of the Komen/Planned Parenthood decision and the SOPA bill, journalists monitored the negative reactions to the policy choices on social networks and chose to report on the backlash in depth. The Washington Post places importance on reflecting “what’s happening socially,” and incorporating the “conversation around things” into their reports, says Zamora.

To interact with other political reporters:  Stevenson explained there is a “clubhouse effect” when it comes to political reporters; they tend to engage in discussion with one another and this can sometimes lead to a closed feedback loop. This creates a sort of “virtual spin room” that plays out in real-time. You can watch and learn from this ongoing conversation by following multiple political journalists (you must follow both users on Twitter to be able to see @ messages). It is also critical to establish yourself as a credible source if you are trying to gain the attention of any number of these reporters. CNN and other major media will not report anything on Twitter that they would not report on any other platform – a valid source is always essential.

For more information on Social Media Week, visit socialmediaweek.org.You can find the latest election/campaign news by registering at www.businesswire.com, or by following @BWPolitics and @BW_PublicPolicy.


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