How Business Wire Works: From News Release to News Coverage

July 15, 2015

Every day, Business Wire distributes the news releases that become news headlines.  But how does it actually work? What is the role a commercial news distribution service like Business Wire has in the news creation process?

To answer the question of “how your news is made” take this guided tour of the company that transforms your news into everyone’s news.  Welcome to Business Wire.

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Want to learn more about news distribution services and how to use them to increase awareness, coverage and engagement of your company’s releases?  We suggest reading:

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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 Media.am, 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, Media.am (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 Media.am, 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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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Journey of a News Release

July 7, 2015

We can tell you how a press release develops into breaking news, reaching everyone from industry reporters to regular folks enjoying morning coffee with their tablet. We can also show you the same information with a cool sharable video. What’s the difference? The difference is the same as reading a recipe for the perfect steak or watching Gordon Ramsey prepare one, step-by-step. Visuals relay information that is both unique and engaging and when executed correctly, highly effective.  These are the reasons why we won’t tell you how a news release works – we’ll just show you.

The release of How Your News is Made – An Inside Look at News Releases and News Distribution aims to showcase the steps that a company announcement takes before issuers can celebrate the full results of their communications outreach.

The new media playing field is changing. Taking full advantage of social and mobile platforms, as well as advances in smartMastercard Sample Release technology (even air conditioners seem to be smart these days) can make significant impact in maximizing news release visibility. How does that happen? First a news release needs to be written. Not all releases are written equal and certain actionable tips can go a long way such as crafting a compelling headline, ensuring the first sentence contains key information, inserting calls to action and leveraging well placed hyperlinks to drive inbound traffic.

The next step shows just how much influence the digital revolution has on how people communicate. Once you have crafted your interesting news release, it is time to add in supporting multimedia. The reach of a text-only news release is minor compared to the reach of a release that includes multimedia. An image, an infographic, a video—these assets push your news across the internet and keep audiences engaged while consuming your core messages.

3 times as muchThe reason for multimedia’s success is how easily it relays ideas. Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. When reading text you try to paint an image of what you’re reading with your imagination. A video offers information in such a way that can’t be misinterpreted, both offering information and explaining it, simultaneously. Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz does not hide her confidence in the role multimedia will play in the communications industry.

“My prediction is that multimedia will be a part of every single news release.” – Cathy Baron Tamraz during a conversation with Tim Bahr, CEO of Nextworks.

Once the release has been built and sent to Business Wire, our editorial team reviews the release, suggests edits and distributions to ensure the release meets your goals.  Once edited and approved, the final news release is disseminated across the wire and into the hands of your key constituents.

But you can’t celebrate just yet!  Once the release is out, media outreach performed and online discussions have begun, it is time to measure the results of your work.

Business Wire provides a wide range of measurement and monitoring tools to help you track the impact of your news rulerrelease. Business Wire NewsTrak and NUVI reporting shows not only how much activity your release received, it provides detailed information on social discussion and shares surrounding your news. For more specific data, the Market Impact Report tracks the impact of your release upon your (and your industry’s) stock price.

Your release has been crafted, assets added, received editorial review and feedback, crossed the wire, activated your key and secondary audiences and provided you with data to help craft the next one.

This is the path of a news release.

Interested in learning more about Business Wire’s news distribution service? Let us know! And just click here to share out this exclusive sneak peek on the distribution of a news release:  http://ctt.ec/CdaQm.


PR Tip: How to Work with Global News Agencies: Agence France-Presse

June 29, 2015

Last week, Business Wire presented audiences with an inside view of the global news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) and tips on how to pitch your business news to their global editorial team. AFP is one of the largest newswires in the world, behind Associated Press and Reuters, with regional offices and bureaus covering breaking and business news generated in over 150 countries.

Our panelists included David Williams, deputy editor-in-chief; Amina Ben Cheikh, marketing manager of web and mobile; and Francois Bohn, international sales coordinator. The event was moderated by Raschanda Hall.

The webinar provided listeners with a better understanding of AFP’s international reach and offered best practices in securing news coverage from AFP journalists and staff around the world.

Click here to listen to this discussion: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/7831143293398660097

During the hour-long event speakers shared key figures that depict just how many lives are reached as a result of AFP’s news coverage, including:

  • 5 24-hour regional headquarters in Washington, Montevideo, Paris, Nicosia, and Hong Kong.
  • 200 news bureaus around the world
  • 150 countries covered
  • 1,500 journalists filing news 24/7
  • 2,300 staff covering world news
  • 800 subsequent media subscribers utilize Business Wire’s news feed
  • Partnerships, such as those with CBS
  • AFP mobile app which provides instant access to breaking news, and news releases alike (in fact, news releases happen to be one of the most accessed sections of their English language news app)

In addition to the news agency’s global reach with coverage ranging from sports to business, AFP also has 1.4 million Twitter followers including nearly 400k English speaking followers.

It’s clear that Agence France-Presse has its ears to the ground all around the globe, but how does that translate into news coverage? What is the impact of AFP reporting on the world in a single day? In a single day, AFP is responsible for writing and distributing more than 8,000 pieces of news content.

AFP in a day

What was especially fascinating was the importance of Business Wire to AFP’s corporate news coverage. As Williams noted, every AFP economic news editor is required to monitor Business Wire for breaking company news throughout their day.  Why?

  • Speed: AFP relies on Business Wire’s business news feed because it is fast and efficient, and often times quicker than receiving news via a company’s website. Business Wire feeds are especially important for earnings releases.
  • Accuracy: When it comes to crafting coverage, the most important element of the news coverage for AFP is accuracy.
  • Trusted source: As David Williams noted, company news releases received from approved commercial newswires such as Business Wire provide a level of trust in the shared content.

How BW file appears in AFP

When asked how PR professionals can increase the potential of news release coverage by AFP?

  1. Write compelling news releases
  2. Include a useful, humanized quote
  3. Add compelling multimedia
  4. Distribute news releases over a trusted newswire like Business Wire
  5. Reach out to AFP’s local news bureau (Click here to find the one closest to you: http://www.afp.com/en/agency/afp-in-world/)

AFP news bureaus

The journey of a release starts as news coverage of just a single sentence, later evolving into a several hundred word piece before being developed into a full feature. Afterwards an AFP post, possibly in multiple languages, may follow to offer readers background information. Oftentimes more than one reporter will be covering a story, including translation for distribution in multiple regions.

Why is AFP an important resource for today’s local, regional, national and international communication pros?

When a company makes an announcement, it wants that information to reach the largest interested audience possible. That is the cornerstone of converting a news release into news. With roots dating back to 1835, AFP is a world leader in bringing breaking stories to the public. If you have newsworthy content crossing the wire, make sure to contact the corresponding regional headquarters and bring their attention to the release. Because they have so many journalists regularly checking BW’s feeds, there’s a good chance they’re already on top of it.


The ROI of News Releases: Business Wire Stands Above the Rest

June 9, 2015

By Gregg Castano, President, Business Wire

An announcement is only as important as the impact it has on the intended audience. For publicly traded companies, the biggest impact is typically financial, to influence individuals in how they invest in and analyze the markets. In 2009, University of Chicago doctoral candidate Eugene Soltes conducted a study aiming to find a correlation between the dissemination of company issued news and beneficial fluctuations in capital markets. His research, including the analysis of 9.3 million articles, indicated that, “greater dissemination causally leads to lower spreads, increased share turnover, and lower idiosyncratic volatility.”

Identifying the best avenue for news issuance is a vital decision that can dictate the future of company communications. Business Wire has a vested interest in being the optimal avenue and made it a priority to define the unmatched benefits our services provide. With the help of News Quantified, we decided to put Eugene Soltes’ theory to the test by setting out to measure the impact of company issued news on financial markets by the top newswire services. The report was based on an assessment of key financial elements including bid-ask, volume, and volatility.

News Quantified News Impact Survey Results

The execution of this study was intended to paint a definitive picture of how company announcements issued via a newswire, specifically Business Wire, affect market activity. The results were significant and they were consistent. The beneficial impact of a Business Wire issued news release on stock market activity is second to none.

The data for the report was compiled by a first-of-its kind research initiative conducted by News Quantified that leveraged a sample size of over 211,000 press releases issued between January 2014 and April 2015. The releases were for companies whose stocks trade on the NYSE and NASDAQ and were disseminated by Business Wire, PR Newswire, GlobeNewswire and MarketWired.

What were the results? Releases issued through Business Wire had a 4x bid-ask spread improvement over the combined average of the other tested newswires. This means that Business Wire issued news releases influenced easier conversion of stock to cash. Other metrics assessed showed similar results. Business Wire’s influence on trading volume showed to be 24% greater and volatility saw a 16% reduction when compared to the combined average of the other wires. For news releases issued through Business Wire the result was more stock being traded with more stable fluctuations in price change. All across the board the numbers show that investors are not only paying attention to, but also acting upon the news stemming from Business Wire’s patented distribution network.

An analysis of the difference between asking price and the price a buyer is willing to pay for a stock on the day company news is disseminated illustrates a direct cause and effect. How does a news release influence the liquidity of a stock? The same applies to measuring the amount of stock being traded in a given amount of time and the amount of uncertainty or risk regarding the size of changes in a stock’s value. These bid-ask spread, volume, and volatility figures, as well as the other metrics provided in the report, pinpoint the beneficial influence a Business Wire issued news release has on investor sentiment.

This data is significant because it exhibits a consistent pattern.  These findings are based on the foundation of a bridge between public relations and investor relations. When financial ROI is tied to company issued news, one distribution method stands above the rest. A news release issued through Business Wire will have the strongest impact on trading activity around your company stock.

News Quantified is an industry leading innovator in measuring news’ impact on stock market activity. Founded by Oliver Schmalholz, News Quantified utilizes a specially developed software system to monitor daily news releases and the trading behavior of specifically selected stocks. The extensive measurements provided facilitate a clear understanding of the type of investors being reached by company issued news and how their trading behavior is being influenced.

Business Wire has a long tradition of earning trust from both media and communications professionals.  A measure of that trust and the value we bring to our partners can been seen in the News Quantified analysis that identifies Business Wire’s superior market benefit on company issued news. This is a new benchmark of influence and we look forward to continuing to drive innovation in market-moving news dissemination for our customers.  For news results that matter most in the C-Suite, there is no more effective “wire” than Business Wire.

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Peter Shankman Does it with Pizza: How to Build a Professional Relationship

June 3, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

At the recent HUB Convene event, we had the opportunity to hear from Peter Shankman, a communications pro with a lot on his mind, especially about airlines and a certain car rental company. During his presentation, Peter discussed the importance of customer service on a company’s sales and marketing funnel, and the lack of customer service received from most of the companies we interact with on a daily basis. After asking an audience member why they praised a recent flight, and learning that it was because they were safely transported from point A to point B, Peter broke down society’s current standards for customer service: Getting what we pay for passes as the pinnacle of service today. For the consumer, this is terrible, but for organizations this presents a fantastic opportunity. If people’s expectations of customer service are so low, it shouldn’t take much to wow someone, making it very easy for smart organizations to create a positive and lasting impression.

shaking hands

Paying a friend a compliment or going out to lunch can strengthen ties and facilitate a year’s worth of inside jokes. Building a professional relationship is no different. It is the small, almost effortless, actions that can be the difference between meeting people’s expectations and completely redefining them. In today’s world of low customer expectations, it doesn’t take much to impress someone, so impress as often as possible.

Peter Shankman didn’t just preach relationship building; he described how he puts his plan into action. For Peter, going above and beyond in relationship building starts with pizza. After signing on a new client, he likes to drop by their offices unannounced with a surprise pizza lunch. This allows Peter and his clients to communicate and learn more about each other’s expectations and goals, ultimately resulting in better executed programming. What makes it special is that for Peter, it is not a required act, but rather done as a choice of goodwill.

Peter Shankman does it with pizzaThis is something we at Business Wire are keenly aware of – the impact building relationships has on the success of one’s PR program.

Media relations doesn’t have to be about throwing a pizza party but can be just as easy. One of the easiest ways to build awareness, and potentially coverage, of your company is to build relationships with key journalists and bloggers, before news is available to share, and after. If a journalist likes communicating with you, that can help you build a respectful, reciprocal relationship. With a personalized email or a tweet, you may end up surprising the very person you need to help amplify your message.

The digital age has made everything impersonal. We believe that we are building stronger, more personal ties with a person because we have access to their lives, their day-to-day activities and insight into their thought process. But in reality, access to information is not the same as building relationships.

Professional relationships can’t survive on the back burner. Here are some other steps that you can follow to make a new acquaintance in the media industry:

  • Be Neighborly – Allow reporters, bloggers, and other media access to learn more about your company or business. Inviting them to your facilities and providing access to both c-suite and ground level employees allows them to understand your company and your company’s vision. Let the people covering your story learn more about your organization’s story, beyond just the latest announcement.
  • Show Interest – A relationship is a two-way street so you should make sure to not only reach out when you need coverage, but also follow reporters on Twitter and other social media without the intention of pitching. They receive hundreds of pitches daily in their email box and don’t need the same clutter in their social media feed. @reply to comment on topics of interest, answer questions, engage in conversation and retweet articles when relevant to your followers.
  • Know Their Schedule – One of the best ways to stay on the media’s good side is to know the publication schedule of the person you are contacting. Knowing when a particular writer goes to print or has a deadline allows you to reach out at an appropriate and convenient time, as opposed to the night before their work is due.
  • Preferred Treatment – If you invite a journalist to an event, or even to your offices, reduce the friction associated with that visit. Providing transportation such as car service, a meal, a room to work out of while on site and more can make a lasting impression. Making someone feel special, without showboating, can go a long way.

Check out the following articles to learn more about building media relationships in 2015.


How to Get An In With the Mommy Blogging Community

May 12, 2015

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire

Connecting with Mommy bloggers has a wide range of benefits. Bloggers provide influence and reach on a more personal level which can result in increased audience loyalty and a higher response rate.  Mommy bloggers offer authenticity that can be hard to find at larger outlets.

Last week I attended the PRSA: Meet the Lifestyle & Family Bloggers in Manhattan. Four Mommy bloggers shared insight on the best ways to pitch, develop relationships and connect with bloggers of a similar demographic.

Mommy Bloggers

From left to right: Amy Oztan – Selfish Mom, Onica Cupido -The Mommy Factor, Jen Rabulan-Bertram -The Next Kid Thing, Nellie Acevedo – Brooklyn Active Mamma

Moderated By: Erica Saviano Tsioutas – Ketchum and Nicole Chismar – MSL Group, the speakers included Amy Oztan – Selfish Mom, Onica Cupido -The Mommy Factor, Jen Rabulan-Bertram -The Next Kid Thing, Nellie Acevedo – Brooklyn Active Mamma

Here are five takeaways from the panel.

Do Your Research: Not all bloggers are giveaway bloggers and not all bloggers have time to blog daily.
First and foremost, “Do Your Homework.”  Thorough research is one of the most important aspects of reaching bloggers.  Bloggers take pride in the topics they choose. They want to know that you are sincerely interested in what they care and write about. Like Amy Oztan from The Selfish Mom stated, “If I’m going to take the time to read your pitch, then I expect you to take the time to read what I write about.” This may seem obvious, but it can be overlooked when you’re in a time crunch. Make sure to take the time or wait until you have the time. Bloggers talk to each other, so don’t be the publicist who sent an irrelevant pitch.

Make a Genuine Connection:  Mass emails are a thing of the past.
As we’ve heard time and time again, building relationships and contributing to valuable conversations are crucial for public relations. This theme still applies in reaching bloggers large and small. How do you achieve “Valuable” communication? Like any relationship, make an effort to connect and understand the person. Does the blogger have a son or daughter? What is their favorite hobby?  Do they love engaging in conversations on Twitter? Find their touch points and make sure you touch on them. Like exercising, make an effort and you’ll see the results.

Be on Your Trend Game: Watch for holidays, social media, news, events, and pop culture.
Similar to larger media outlets, bloggers are interested in exclusivity and being topical. They want new stories to break on their blog; especially products, events or something that is trending in the digital realm. If your company news can correlate with an event or something that is trending, your chances of getting pickup are much higher.  Be familiar with what’s happing in the social media world. It’s  quick and easy to find what’s popular and what your bloggers are excited about. Like Nellie Acevedo from Brooklyn Active Mamma said, “Twitter gives life to the voices in my head.”

Create a Partnership: Lay out the benefits for everyone involved.
Many bloggers participate in brand ambassador programs as a way of getting paid, or for an opportunity to experience something interesting and new. Partnering with a blogger can be a simple way to gain awareness for your brand and an easy step to the start of a relationship. Make sure your communication with the blogger is clear and concise. Every detail should be laid out including: your final goals, frequency in posts and content of posts, as well as length, and parameters. If you don’t have the budget for a partnership, offer exclusive stories, product, or a guest post on your company website.

Gifting: Be straight forward and know what their tastes are.
If you want to gift a Mommy blogger, take a look at her social media and confirm that what you’re sending will be useful. If her kids are 10 and 12 do not send baby food samples. Send a note, and make sure to include your contact information and an end goal. For example: “Dear xx, I noticed you’ll be taking a trip to the Bahamas next week with your daughter, so I wanted to share these funky flip flops for fun in the sun. Feel free to tag us on Twitter and/or Instagram at @____ if you wear them. Have a wonderful vacation!”  Keep in mind that if you’ve invited a blogger to an event, most bloggers will take car service over a “swag bag” any day.

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