Critical Content for an IR Site: Press Releases Most Viewed Within Investor Centers

January 13, 2014
Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

We’ve heard from naysayers for years now that the press release is dead, especially within the financial industry. The statistical truth, however, is that the press release is, by far, the most accessed type of content within an investor relations center, or IR site.

At Business Wire, we work with thousands of publicly traded companies to disseminate press releases containing important financial data. Many of those organizations have also partnered with Business Wire to host their IR site. As we monitored these sites, we noted that the most popular content ranked as follows for 2013:

  1. Press Releases
  2. Events and presentations
  3. Executive biographies
  4. Annual reports and other financial documents
  5. Analyst coverage

With hundreds of thousands of views, the press release reigns supreme as it is viewed almost seven times more than events and presentations, the second most preferred content type. Views for all content types increased from 2012 to 2013. Interestingly enough, executive biographies grew over 300 percent, passing annual reports by a level.

I’ve always championed the frequently asked questions or FAQ section, particularly for the IR site, and it is next in line after the top five content types above. Financial communications can be complex at times, and investors, analysts and financial reporters have a lot of questions they need answered quickly. It makes it straightforward for all parties if the most common questions are provided with the most current answers.

Due to the demand for press releases, it is vital that they post simultaneously and directly to the IR site as they are distributed via the newswire. Categorizing releases not only by date, but also by subject matter, will make them easier to review and manage.


KISS an Online Newsroom

August 8, 2012
By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services, Business Wire
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services


“What I’m hearing is KISS — Keep it Simple, Stupid — correct?” exclaimed one of the 70+ attendees during Business Wire’s “Meet the Media” luncheon. The discussion for this Atlanta-based session covered how the media uses online newsrooms. As moderator of this session, I turned and looked at the panelists to answer this outburst. All three replied with vigorous, affirmative nods.

The panel consisted of Anita Sharpe, Bureau Chief, Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg News; Jeremiah McWillams, Business Reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Stephen Brown,EVP/Managing Director, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta. Each panelist shared their personal insights about challenges and usage of online newsrooms by the media. This included keeping the online newsroom simple and straightforward with easy access to news specifically about the organization.

For many years, I’ve surveyed journalists on what they want in an online newsroom. I’ve also surveyed communicators on how they manage their online newsroom. I use this valuable feedback to make sure that Business Wire’s NewsHQ product contains the best features and functionality. I enjoy listening to the horror stories, and seeing journalists get worked up about obstacles in some of the online newsrooms that they visit.

Atlanta "Online Newsrooms" media panel

(L-R) Jeremiah McWilliams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Anita Sharpe, Bloomberg News; Stephen Brown, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta and Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire discuss how media use online newsrooms.

Although all agreed that an online newsroom is a necessity for any organization, below are simple points that have caused frustration for these particular panelists.

  • Excessive clicks from the corporate site to the newsroom
  • Complicated navigation and design
  • Uncategorized press releases
  • Absence of press releases distributed via wire services
  • Dearth of historical press releases
  • Press releases in PDF format only
  • Omission of dates in press releases
  • Lack of fact sheets
  • Insufficient birth dates for executives
  • Missing subject matter experts
  • Unavailability of email alerts
  • Forced registration/password-protected content
  • Inadequate updates during a crisis situation
  • Failure to provide media contact phone numbers and email addresses

All of these frustrations are easy to avoid with a proper online newsroom. There was one request made; however, that I’m not sure will ever be available in an online newsroom – cell phone numbers for chief executive officers.


PRWeek Takes a Look at Business Wire’s NewsHQ

July 31, 2012


Since its debut nearly two years ago, NewsHQ (and its IR counterpart, InvestorHQ) has made quite an impact, with dozens of companies adopting our versatile, dynamic online newsroom solution.

Today, PRWeek takes a look at NewsHQ, through a Q&A with Tonia Elrod, associate director of global communications, digital and e-commerce for Procter & Gamble. An excerpt:

How does it serve your business needs?

It helps us communicate to the news media and other influencers more efficiently. We now have one place they can go to get all the information they need. We didn’t have newsrooms before this. We’d have to email or call them with information.

Media or influencers can sign up for alerts so we can send out alerts to everyone at the same time now. This has helped us reach media and influencers who we know want to receive information, versus guessing who wants to receive it.

Overall, it’s more efficient for P&G and more real-time for the news media.

Click through to read more on how P&G is using NewsHQ to streamline their global media relations operations globally (and a few nice words about Business Wire as well!).


Online Newsroom or Investor Center – Your Message Must be Mobile

May 21, 2012
by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

I have weekly, often daily, conversations with communicators at Fortune 500 companies. These discussions focus on online newsrooms and investor centers. More and more, I see these top-notch professionals realize that their communications center should be optimized for mobile access.

Whether your message is for investors and analysts or journalists and bloggers, you cannot ignore the fact that your audience is a moving target. And that moving target has a smartphone.

Two years ago, only 18 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned a smart phone device. Today, it is 44 percent according to Nielsen. If you need more statistics to convince you of the mobile momentum, the Pew Research Center reports that a third (34%) of all desktop/laptop news consumers also use their smartphone to access news.

So the question isn’t whether you need your online newsroom or investor center optimized for mobile devices, it is how quickly you can make it happen. Other points to consider include which platforms your mobile-optimized online newsroom or investor center will support; how investors, analysts, or journalists will find your mobile site; if your mobile site is legible; if you will be able to view mobile site statistics; and whether you need a mobile application or a mobile website.

Luckily, mobile-optimized sites should be clean and uncomplicated since we are talking about a very small screen. Therefore, the mobile-optimized version of your online newsroom or investor center should take no longer than two weeks to launch. All major platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) should be supported, and when a member of your target audience visits your online newsroom or investor center, their smartphone should automatically redirect to the mobile version for better viewing.

Simple design is the key to a good user experience when it comes to mobile sites. Shy away from use of graphics that carry a large file size, and keep the code clean. As with any other site, you should have access to analytics so that you will know the number of page views and unique users garnered by your mobile online newsroom or investor center.

Although there are very good reasons to create a mobile application, Business Wire offers the mobile-optimized version. It’s faster and less expensive to provide to communicators with deadline concerns and budget limitations. It’s also searchable via Google so target audiences have a greater chance of finding company news, information and other content types including press kits, stock quotes, and contacts. And, as we’ve seen, web browsers will continue to gain speed, while an individual platform may not necessarily have an indefinite lifespan.

If you have questions concerning NewsHQ Mobile online newsrooms or InvestorHQ Mobile investor centers, contact your local Business Wire representative.


InvestorHQ and NewsHQ Now Available

September 14, 2010

We teased you with them a couple of months ago — now they’re finally available. InvestorHQ and NewsHQ, our new online investor center and online newsroom products, are here for your company to build and better your web presence.

Take a look at today’s press release, and view the two slideshows below that outline some of the terrific features to be found in NewsHQ and InvestorHQ.

To learn more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


Business Wire Responds to Client Demand with Launch of Online Newsroom and Investor Relations Website Solutions

July 19, 2010

by Ibrey Woodall, VP of Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida

Ibrey Woodall

BW VP of Web Communications Ibrey Woodall

In response to multiple client requests, Business Wire announced the upcoming August launch of the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center solutions. The new products complement Business Wire’s current suite of services, improving communication and constructing an enhanced workflow for communications strategies and investor outreach.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are often referred to as microsites. Microsites are auxiliary websites that cater to specific needs and interests. NewsHQ and InvestorHQ were developed specifically to help corporate communicators and investor relations officers house and maintain information for a myriad of audiences, including journalists, bloggers, investors, consumers, analysts, key influencers and others.NewsHQ-InvestorHQ

There are many benefits to employing these content management solutions. One of the main reasons the online newsroom came into existence was because public relations representatives were having a hard time getting cooperation from their technical, or IT department, when they needed a press release posted quickly. Investor relations officers also needed a means by which they could get the most recent financial news and data to their company’s investors and analysts.

So, control was an initiating factor for this technological evolution. Communicators needed to be able to post and organize content in a timely manner. They needed to be able to get their message on their website, and delivered directly to those who were interested in their organization.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are tools that enable communications professionals to edit and manage the overall functionality of the website, without having to acquire complex technology skills. Posting content to the site is as easy as using word processing functions such as bold, italic, underline or upload image.

The NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions also make it much easier for those interested to research the status, history, and news of an organization. All of your company’s press releases, photographs, executive biographies, SEC filings, quarterly and annual reports, relevant stock and background information, along with other components can be accessed and downloaded from one central location – a headquarters – no matter where the site visitor resides. Journalists, investors and analysts expect this convenience 24 hours a day. They do not want to wait for the communicator to “get back to them.”

Search engine optimization is important in every communications campaign. The goal is to optimize your content to gain a higher ranking within search results. The ability to create links and URLs, and add keywords and tags are available within both the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center. These features will help strengthen your SEO efforts.

Business Wire’s clients will truly see a return on investment with the NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions. Simultaneous posting of formatted Business Wire press releases into your online newsroom and investor center, along with streamlined email and SMS alert distribution, and automatic placement of press releases onto your company’s social networking sites, reduces the amount of steps you have to take to post and distribute content. ROI is also realized with the simple equation of placing a dollar figure on the amount of time you spend answering the same questions over, and over, and over again.

If you are interested in learning more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


Congratulations to Our Netbook Giveaway Winners!

June 16, 2010

June is always a big month for our industry & Business Wire is fresh from the floors of some of the most important PR & IR conferences of the year. At the shows this year, we discussed our two new products, NewsHQ online newsrooms & InvestorHQ online investor centers, and gave away netbook computers at the NIRI 2010 Annual Conference in San Diego, the IABC 2010 World Conference in Toronto and the CIRI 2010 Annual IR Conference in Ottawa. Congratulations to our winners:

NIRI 2010:
Angela Steinway, Integra Lifesciences
Plainsboro, NJ

IABC 2010:
Lynne Heasman, Quit Group
Wellington, New Zealand

CIRI 2010:
Dmitry Kushnir, Agnico-Eagle Mines
Toronto, Canada

Congrats, all! Conference Month isn’t quite over for us yet…if you’re attending Bulldog Reporter’s Media Relations Summit on site in New York or online on June 28, we’ll see you there!


International Communicators Hungry for Communications Technology… and Cake

June 14, 2010

– by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Ibrey Woodall

The IABC World Conference took place in Toronto, Canada June 6-9, 2010. It was a perfect opportunity for Business Wire to announce the launch of our NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center services.

So many attendees from all over the country were hungry to learn about communications technology and how it integrates with social media. This was evidenced by the many sessions referring to the subject matter, including “How to measure the ROI of your social media efforts” by Katie Delahaye Paine of KDPaine & Partners, “Integrating multimedia into your social media campaign” by Donna Papacosta of Trafalgar Communications, and my own Sunday session “Online newsrooms with social media integration.”

Other tracks included employee communications, global trends, change management, communication leadership, and strategy and counsel. You can see more of the program by visiting http://www.iabc.com/wc/program.htm. You can also search on the Twitter hash tag #iabc10 to get an idea of the conversations happening during the conference. From this same feed, I found a blog about my session entitled “Online newsrooms with social media highlights” by attendee Kristen Sukalac or Prospero Communications.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the opening general session. A team of musicians called Drum Café (http://www.drumcafe) showed everyone how to listen and play to the same beat using African drums. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many drums in one place. Drum Café has performed for Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, the Queen of England, Tony Blair and George W. Bush, and they certainly didn’t fail to show a good time to IABC attendees.

IABC 40th Anniversary Cake

And of course, Guy Kawasaki, author of nine books, provided a very comfortable and enjoyable closing general session on “The Art of Innovation.”

I would be remiss if I did not mention that this year was the 40th anniversary of IABC, a feat that every organization should be fortunate enough to celebrate. In rolled an extremely large cake that took about six chefs to pick up and place on the table. I personally enjoyed the sigh of relief and self-congratulations on each chef’s face once the cake was successfully transferred.

This was my first IABC conference. It was refreshing, professionally done and held many possibilities for both attendee and exhibitor. Although some may not be there yet, several attendees were well aware of the need to integrate social media and search engine optimization into their press release distribution. Yes, even the ones who work in the government industry.


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