Upcoming Business Wire Events – March 23 Edition

March 23, 2009

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Biotech Reporting: Meet the Media Covering the Emerging Industry

Hosted by Business Wire San Francisco

Join Business Wire San Francisco and a panel of biotech editors for our Conference Series Media Breakfast. Ian Malcolm, Head of Membership Development at BayBio, moderates a panel including Marcus Wohlsen, Biotech Reporter, The Associated Press; Ron Leuty, Biotech Reporter, San Francisco Business Times; and Andrew Pollack, Health Editor & Deputy SF Bureau Chief, Bloomberg News. The panel will share and discuss how they report on the players and the emerging industries in the Bay Area, and add their perspective on this important topic. Attendees will come away with an enhanced understanding of best practices in biotech media relations. This event is free for Business Wire and BayBio members & $15 for non-members.

Tuesday, March 24 at 8:30am PST

Business Wire SF Headquarters
44 Montgomery Street, 32nd Floor Bay Room, San Francisco, CA 94104

To register: RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at Sandy.Donnelly@BusinessWire.com or call 415.986.4422, ext. 561 by Friday, March 20th.

Meet the Media: Communicating During the Recession

Hosted by Business Wire Newport Beach

Join Chris Meyer, Deputy Editor at the Orange County Register; Sarah Tolkoff, Tech Reporter for the Orange County Business Journal; and Michele Gile, News Reporter for CBS 2/KCAL 9 for a discussion and Q&A on business trends and opportunities for your company to increase its exposure to the media, with a focus on how to communicate with your audiences during this time of economy uncertainty. This is a free event for Business Wire members and is $25 for non-members who RSVP by March 20 and $35 at the door.

Thursday, March 26 at 8am PST
The Island Hotel
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA

To register: RSVP to NPRSVP@BusinessWire.com by Tuesday, March 24 for early bird price (but admission is available at the door). Call 949.757.1021 with any questions.

Features: What Editors are Looking For and How to Write a Successful One

Hosted by Business Wire Atlanta

Nedra Rhone of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nicole D. Smith from Atlanta Woman and Stephanie David of skirt! headline a panel of editors discussing how to enhance your communications program by learning more about the value of an effectively written Features news release. Learn what materials editors find most useful and how they make decisions about what copy to use. This is a free event for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, March 26 at 11am EST
Anthony’s Restaurant
3109 Piedmont Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30305

To register: RSVP by March 23 to Yasmine Holmes at Yasmine.Holmes@BusinessWire.com or call 770.667.7500.

Social Media & IR: What to Look Out For (NIRI Luncheon)

Hosted by NIRI-Arizona – Business Wire Phoenix’s Malcolm Atherton Featured Speaker

Join Business Wire Account Executive & New Media Specialist Malcolm Atherton at this month’s NIRI-Arizona luncheon for a discussion on using social media to enhance business communication. The program will discuss best practices for integrating social media tools, which are constantly changing, into IR communications. Atherton will present case studies and hold an open discussion on this important subject. This event is free for NIRI-Arizona members and $35 for non-members.

Friday, March 27 at 11:30am MST
Capital Grille
Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

To register: RSVP by Tuesday March 24 to Heather Beshears at hbeshears@cox.net or call 480.628.0578.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

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

Journalists-Turned-PR-Pros Offer Tips on Pitching

March 20, 2009


On March 4, Business Wire Seattle hosted a special luncheon event, “From News Cycle to Spin Cycle:
What I Learned Working Both Sides of the Pitch.”  At this event, moderated by Business Wire Vice President, New Media and Twitter voice Monika Maeckle, some 40 attendees took advice and posed questions to a panel composed of:

  • Chris Elliott, Group Manager, Weber Shandwick
  • David Postman, Senior Media Relations Manager, Vulcan Inc.
  • Marty McOmber, Communications Director, Casey Family Programs

All three panelists have extensive journalism experience in print and broadcast, with jobs ranging from beat reporter to nightly news producer.  Each was therefore able to relate how their previous journalism experience shapes their decision-making as a PR person, and discussed good and bad pitches they’ve both sent and received.  One of the key recommendations from the panel was that PR people need to learn to think like reporters — Poynter Online was suggested as a resource for learning how journalists are trained and what are the key topics among reporters.

Among the other points offered by the panel:

  • Use eye-catching, concise email subject lines.  The subject should grab one’s attention and the body of the email should be short. Keep it simple.
  • Develop relationships with beat reporters before you pitch them. Send a note saying you liked their article in Monday’s paper and email a link to a similar story that they might like to read.
  • If a reporter complains that you did not give him/her a story, offer another angle to the story or an exclusive on your next story.
  • Don’t call a reporter to ask if he/she received your email.   (And don’t tweet them to ask, either.)  If you haven’t heard back in a couple of days, feel free to email again. Some emails can get missed or auto-deleted (see tip 1).
  • Contact the correct reporter. If you’re pitching a restaurant story, do not contact the tech blogger.
  • Pay attention to social media, but know which social media is relevant to your industry. Do not dismiss the 17-year-old bloggers; they might have more influence than you think.
  • Thinking more like a reporter means doing your homework before sending your pitch.  Google the reporter. Read their work to learn what kind articles he/she writes.
  • Don’t bury the lede of your story in the fourth paragraph of your press release.  Get to the point in the first two sentences.

Keep in mind, all of these tips relate to working with journalists, but work just as well for targeting bloggers and other nontraditional media as well.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR and media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find an upcoming event in your area.

Upcoming Business Wire Webinars – March 20 Edition

March 20, 2009

Here at Business Wire, we pride ourselves for being experts in all things press releases. We invite you to join us for our free award-winning webinar series throughout the year. Our industry professionals take you through interactive discussions, digging deep into the latest trends in the business as well as long-asked questions about press release strategy. Here are some of our upcoming free webinars:

Press Release Optimization: Build Your Press Release
Like a Pro

In this webinar we’ll dig deeper into the relationship between your company’s overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy and its Press Release Optimization strategy. We’ll examine the concept of Press Release Optimization (PRO)–an effective combination of coding and craft–and provide tips on selecting keywords using Business Wire’s Press Release Builder. The goal? Increased online traction. Join Business Wire SEO experts Maria Van Wambeke and Michael Toner for this free hour-long webinar.

April 2, 2009 at 1pm EST
Register: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/537557577

For more upcoming Business Wire webinars and events, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Takin’ It To The Streets – Your Brand, That Is

March 19, 2009

As if they anticipated my earlier post on the Pew Project report and its implications for PR and marketing, SmartBlog on Social Media (which is written by our partner SmartBrief), talks about a panel at last week’s SXSWi, in which three Fortune 500 brands discussed their own engagement with social media.  Three companies in three very different business segments have shown major success by leveraging Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other tools. 

These companies — H&R Block, Carnival Cruise Lines and JC Penney — have always been major spenders in television and print advertising.  Now they’re finding new ways to succeed by going straight to consumers.  And as TV and newspaper numbers shrink, and corresponding ad dollars get redirected, that’s what a lot of other companies are going to find themselves doing, too.

(JC Penney’s campaign, I should note, included a traditional press release and a social-media-friendly followup release which resulted in nearly 400 click-throughs to their microsite just from the BusinessWire.com page alone.)

The Media, Gatekeepers and You

March 19, 2009

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism recently released their 2009 State of the News Media report, their annual look at the health and status of American journalism.  The report provides a wealth of information for anyone involved with media at any level, most of it not very good — nearly every segment of media, with the exception of online news, saw a shrinking audience and declining ad revenues. More and more newspapers face financial troubles — some of which the report believes may be cyclical rather than structural — and small operations like ethnic media and alternative newsweeklies are being hit especially hard due to their scale.  (Although it appears that the supposed impending deaths of a handful of papers may be greatly exaggerated.)

Three news topics — the 2008 elections, the Iraq war and the US economy — accounted for around 55% of the newshole in major mainstream media; the remaining 45% was often devoted to what the report calls “one-week wonders,” hot news topics that generate intensive coverage for a few days, then quickly disappear.  The agendas of the news media and their audiences didn’t align completely, either.  The News Interest Index shows that, for example, when audiences showed a 66% interest in news on rising gas prices over the summer, stories on gas prices filled only 4% of the newshole.

Worst of all may be the public attitudes towards the media.  Generally, a minority of viewers or readers find the majority of TV, cable and print outlets to be credible or believeable.  And strangely, while online news viewership grows, fewer than 25% of users find the top 7 sites to be particularly credible.  Only Google News and Yahoo! News — both of which are aggregators and don’t do original reporting — were rated as positive on a credibility scale.

There’s a lot more there, and lots of people are going to be discussing what it all means.  But one key takeaway is that, with the gatekeepers shrinking, disappearing, and having a reputation for less credibility, it’s more important for companies and groups with stories to tell to make them relevant to everyone, not just to journalists.  There will always be writers and editors of some sort who help contextualize and distribute information.  But more and more, news seekers are going to be going straight to the sources and making their own decisions about the usefulness and credibility of the news.

What this means for public relations professionals and marketers is (among other things) that content has to be less buried behind corporate-speak and clumsy, made-up quotes; and made more engaging, personal and  — you guessed it! — social.  And it has to be made available via the channels and outlets people are actually using:  Twitter, Facebook, and the growing networks of sites with user-generated content.  People talk about and care about your brand, and if you don’t find them and engage with them via their preferred outlets, you risk PR and marketing disasters.

Brackets,Tourneys & Cinderellas: March Madness is Here!

March 18, 2009

detroitfinal4logoGot those brackets filled out? March Madness is upon us & everyone’s talking about the Big Dance. If you’ve got news about the NCAA Tournament to send out, check out Business Wire’s March Madness target media list, a new SportsWire distribution channel for all things March Madness, from Selection Sunday to the Final Four.

The March Madness distribution gets your news in front of national sports media outlets like ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated, as well as every major newspaper covering a team in the tourney, like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pitt) & the Commercial Appeal (Memphis), and online outlets like Deadspin and CollegeHoops.net. You can order the list alone or in conjunction with any SportsWire or Business Wire circuit all the way through the end of the Tournaments.

Ask your Business Wire representative for more info. PS: Go Longhorns!


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