Business Wire White Papers Now Available

June 15, 2010

- by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist

Recently, Business Wire launched a series of white papers on a variety of public relations- and investor relations-related topics. The first two in the series are now available:  Engaging Global Audiences – Public Relations and Bridging Borders by Neil Hershberg (Senior Vice President, Global Media) and The State of XBRL – Rules, Regulations and Best Practices by Michael Becker (Senior Vice President, Financial Product Strategy).

To download these valuable information pieces, visit http://GloMoSoMe.BusinessWire.com.


Business Wire International: Japan

April 14, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in Japan, from Atsushi Suzuki, Newsroom Supervisor, Business Wire/Tokyo. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris and China.

Business Wire Tokyo is unique in the Business Wire family in several ways, especially how it came to be and how it operates.

We became part of Business Wire when the company acquired its former Japanese affiliate in 2005. (That is when I joined Business Wire, along with the office furniture and equipment!) So we are the only Business Wire office that has firsthand experience being an affiliate before joining the company. To this day, we retain some of those affiliate functions, including distribution of news releases from abroad to Japanese media.

The Tokyo office is one of the few Business Wire offices whose primary language is not English. Many Japanese people have trouble overcoming the language barrier between Japanese and English, and some people are downright allergic to communicating in English. As a provider of primarily English-based services, Tokyo is providing support to Japanese clients in the local language to make our services as accessible as possible.

Business Wire has been committed to localizing its services and accommodating the non-English speaking clients, and the effort has started to bear fruit. BusinessWire.jp was launched in October 2008, providing a more accessible portal to Japanese users. The website provides a basic tutorial on how to write an English press release and a step-by-step guide of the operational and editorial workflow of how releases are processed and distributed via Business Wire’s platform, highlighting the added value of our distribution.

Also, Business Wire’s in-house press release editing software will soon support Japanese and Chinese. This is expected to accelerate our media relations effort in Japan as well as improve the presentation of Japanese press releases at various media outlets.

bwjp

However, language is not the only issue we have to contend with when promoting Business Wire in Japan market, and our struggle to penetrate other barriers is ongoing.

Public relations in Japan is quite different from that of the United States. Just a handful of Japanese companies have dedicated international PR departments, due to heavy emphasis placed on the domestic market. There are also companies that do not release information in English, hoping to contain negative news within Japan, which really is a bad idea in this day and age. All this is changing steadily, albeit slowly, with the increasingly global economy.

In addition, international media characterize the PR efforts of Japanese companies to be “passive” in general. There are a small number of exceptions, but Japanese companies are not known for being good at spin control, and this tendency is magnified when it comes to international PR. Quite a few companies are even reluctant to include contact information in their press releases for fear of inquiries flooding in from journalists abroad.

The media community in Japan is also quite different from western countries. One example is a system called Press Clubs, associations of journalists, which is still quite strong in Japan. The companies go there to physically put their press releases into inboxes to get them to journalists. The big disadvantage of this old-fashioned system is that the journalists tend to pick up only the news from big and prestigious companies. Small/medium-sized companies would need strong connections with journalists to get decent media coverage through this system.

Business Wire Tokyo has had a distribution partnership with Jiji Press, one of the two dominant news agencies in Japan, for almost a decade (counting the affiliate days). Thanks to this partnership, the summarized version of virtually every news release we handle is posted to their website and distributed to Jiji’s news outlets consisting of websites and news portals, financial databases, general-interest and trade-specific newspapers, etc., irrespective of the size or status of the issuing company.

Business Wire’s services are a perfect antidote for respectable Japanese companies suffering from international anonymity, as well as big name companies looking to boost their international presence further. Wire service is still a new concept for most Japanese, and we have been encouraging our prospects and clients to use us in order to actively take control of the information flow and use the media to their advantage to more accurately represent themselves in the international arena.

Now that the average ratio of overseas shareholders among  listed Japanese companies amounts to around 30%, many companies have realized the importance of communicating their corporate messages internationally to improve and maintain their presence in the global market. We see a bright future here in Japan.

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in Japan, from Atsushi Suzuki, Newsroom Supervisor, Tokyo. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris and China.

Business Wire International: France

March 30, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from our colleagues outside the US, with a look at Business Wire’s experiences in France from Agnes Deleuse, Marketing Specialist.

Challenge, challenge, challenge!

The youngest of all Business Wire European offices, Paris opened its doors in the fall of 2005. Business Wire Paris was thus fully operational when the TOD (Transparency Obligations Directive) was enforced in January 2007. Getting the authorization by the French Market Authority to distribute disclosure information was certainly a decisive factor to attract global companies listed on the CAC40.

Representing an important part of our business, disclosure news distributionwas a good way for companies using our services to discover Business Wire and the many advantages of a newswire service. These companies started to realize they could introduce the wire in their marketing and communications strategy, for Business Wire has so much to offer, from global distribution to industry specific media coverage, multimedia posting, search engine optimization and XBRL formatting.

But too many French companies are still unfamiliar with the wire. There is a long educational process to implement here because French people are sometimes too conservative. Changing their marketing and communications habits to use a wire can be considered a revolution.

However, in the economic turmoil the world is now facing, changing marketing behavior is going to be a necessity. There is therefore a new chance for the wire, and thus for Business Wire. Companies want to continue to communicate but are tied to cost reduction, while print media is on a downward slope. Reaching international press agencies, online services, portals, journalists, investors and various trade communities is so easy with a wire service.

French companies are slowly incorporating this new media concept to cope with the economic environment. In France, we have noticed that our new clients are experimenting with the wire on a one-shot basis to start with. Some have already repeated the experience and we hope that they will continue using Business Wire in the long term. The online visibility and SEO tools are certainly enticing. Companies are adapting to a new situation, and so are we.

Thus, challenge is our daily sport.

But there is a corporate challenge as well: International offices have to face many differences from their counterparts in the United States. Speaking a foreign language is a major one, adapting existing tools from the US market to European customers is another. But so far, so good. European offices are very young and still growing.

But should there be no challenge, there would be no fun. We have to be constantly inventive and creative to go on the lookout for new clients, to find new ways and new words to promote Business Wire, its products and services. The high existing potential is very stimulating and the Business Wire Paris team* is up front to face the challenge.

Agnes Deleuse
Marketing Specialist
Business Wire France

*Business Wire Paris office team (12): a regional manager, a sales manager, two account executives, one CSR, one MRT, one marketing specialist, and a newsroom of five persons.


Target the World with Your Financial News

March 26, 2009

The upcoming G20 summit meeting in London, at which world leaders will gather to discuss the global economic situation, shows perfectly how the worlds of business and finance don’t stop at national borders.  Your company’s or organization’s news can have an impact around the world, so it’s crucial to target markets outside the US with your economic news.  Here’s a look at just a few of our options for reaching your targets internationally:

globe_lg1Global Financial Media:  Target media, investors and key financial newspapers, trade publications and news outlets in 117 countries and translation into more than a dozen languages.

Asia-Pacific Financial Media:  Target key broadcast and print media, as well as financial newspapers, trade media and websites, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  Includes full-text translation into four languages.

Europe Financial Media: Send your news to 30 nations, including all of the EU members, Russia and key markets in Eastern Europe.  Reaches consumer and general media plus hundreds of financial-specific publications with translation into five languages.

London Metro:  Reach print and broadcast media throughout the London area, site of the G20 summit, via the Press Association, the national news agency of the UK.

Public Policy Wire:  Don’t forget to target government policymakers and other opinion leaders in the US with news that impacts public policy.

CSR Circuit:  Finally, publicize your corporate citizenship efforts with distribution to leading Corporate Social Responsibility publications and thought leaders, Socially Responsible Invesment funds,  academics, activists and financial analysts.

For a complete list of distribution options visit our Distribution Catalogue, or contact your local bureau for pricing and options.


Business Wire International: Germany

March 25, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from our colleagues outside the US, with a look at Business Wire’s experiences in Germany from Caroline Wernery, Marketing Specialist.  Make sure to also read Monday’s post from Dick Bromley, RVP Europe.


Business Wire in Germany: The crisis and how we profit from US innovations

Our clients speak German and require service descriptions, website information, contracts and bills in their native language. It took us a while to learn and improve all that, but after several years in the market we are settled. BusinessWire.de now provides news and Business Wire product and service information in German, and locally-produced material allows us to serve all of our clients in the language they prefer.

The 8-person Business Wire team in Frankfurt offers news distribution in Germany, the DACH region and of course internationally. Our daily goal is to be recognized as a local news provider, not just as an international wire service.

News distribution in the crisis

During the current economic crisis – which is also being felt in Germany – it is even more important for companies to let the world know about their business and products: Companies should distribute more news to sell their products, and to find new business partners or investors. And this is exactly what we’ve experienced in recent months: Compared to last year, more news has crossed the wire . . . both good and bad news.

As in other countries, the crisis in Germany has hurt local newspapers. Now, more and more people concentrate on online media and portals. Social media sources such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook are no longer unknowns and everybody seems to be using them. Previously, Germans relied on newspapers and television; now time is more limited and people rely on current online news.

For us, as the only wire service in Germany, this development of “being online” offers lots of opportunities. During the past months, people got more and more interested in search engine optimization tools as well as services to distribute pictures and videos. “Being multimedia and getting found in the growing news jungle” is the new direction the PR community follows in Germany. Reputation management is taken more seriously: Take care of which kinds of news get found. With our SEO tools, companies can direct readers to find good news before finding bad news, letting them show up higher in search engine rankings.

Thanks to our US founders and colleagues for the great innovations they made years ago and we can now fall back on. Sometimes it takes a while for new services to get accepted over the ocean, but when people ask for them, we are the first who can offer them.

The lesson for us is clear: It is not all about language, it is all about service.

It is always coupled with challenges, working for a foreign company in Germany, due to language problems, different time zones and cultural differences. Taking the challenges and turning them into opportunities makes it exciting every day.

Caroline Wernery
Marketing Specialist
Business Wire Germany


Business Wire International: The View from Europe

March 23, 2009

This week, Business Wire takes a look at its worldwide operations, by getting the view from our colleagues outside the US about our challenges and successes in different markets.  We start with a history and overview of our growth in Europe from Dick Bromley, Regional Vice President, Europe.


It was always going to be a challenge; that was never up for debate. Sitting comfortably in a safe, secure job some 9 years ago, I had the things I always wanted: A nice car, a new flat and a good career. I was happy and content, and then the phone rang with the call that changed my life. “Hi Dick, it’s Gregg Castano. How do you fancy setting up Business Wire’s first International office?”

Dick Bromley, RVP Europe

Dick Bromley, RVP Europe

Three months later I was sitting in an office in London’s financial district having completed a week’s training in New York. My head was buzzing with all the information I had recently learned, and I was desperately trying to remember what all these funny acronyms meant. “ASCII”, “HTML”, and what exactly again was the difference between a NY metro and a NY state circuit? One thing was for certain — I had to be a quick learner!

It was slow at first, not least because at that time, Business Wire was not well known outside the United States. Our biggest competitor had been in operation here for a number of years and we had a huge amount of catch-up to do.  Gabi Richard (my boss at the time) and I threw ourselves into the daunting task of developing a brand and a presence in the UK. I vividly recall doing as many as eight meetings a day at the time, plus lunch and dinner functions as well as numerous interviews in between. It was relentless and incredibly hard work but we carried on knocking on doors and building new relationships. 

Part of the problem was that unlike in the US, many of our clients had simply not come across the wire before and needed convincing as to its benefits. Just as I was starting to wonder whether all this hard work was getting us somewhere, the phones started ringing. Business came slowly at first, and then the floodgates opened. Before long we had managed to win new business from some of the UK’s largest and most prestigious companies and had expanded our team to include more salespeople, a local newsroom and a media relations department.

In 2002 we became one of only five companies authorised to disseminate price sensitive news to the UK, and before long had racked up a significant market share. It was a good year for the office and we reveled in our status as “Business Wire’s fastest growing office ever.” New premises in London quickly followed and our client base increased at a rapid rate.

New offices opened shortly after in Frankfurt and Stockholm, each with their own unique challenges to overcome. Once again a “back-to-basics” and hardworking approach to business, coupled with a passion for customer service, quickly resulted in Business Wire firmly establishing itself as a local player in its own right. New and often exclusive agreements with many high profile European News agencies followed, including us adding the incredibly prestigious Agence France-Presse to our offering. Business Wire clients could now send their news directly through the World’s largest and arguably best-known newswire. A Paris office opened shortly afterwards, adopting the same winning formula as London, and to everyone’s delight, stormed ahead in winning new business at an incredible rate.

In 2007, with my responsibilities now including managing sales across Europe, we firmly cemented our position in the European disclosure market with the advent of the Transparency Obligations Directive (TOD). Created by the EU as a means of providing regional uniformity in disclosing price sensitive news, we drew upon our unique experience from around the globe to create a springboard to the investment community, unsurpassed by any other provider. Business Wire clients can now disclose news directly into eleven member states within the EU, more than any other newswire on the planet. Believe me when I tell you that coordinating a project of this size was by no means a small feat

Looking towards the future, Business Wire Europe stands poised to continue its growth across the continent and meet its client’s expectations with ease. Having access to unquestionably the most comprehensive network of news agencies across the region, we continue to exceed expectations and win new business from many new fronts. Our unique, “one size does not fit all”  approach to sales, truly phenomenal customer service and a desire to go one step better than the competition continues to win us support on many fronts. I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and continuing to build on our reputation.

Dick Bromley
Regional Vice President, Europe


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