Have You Heard? We’re #1.

August 11, 2010

We were recently informed by the kind folks at the online brand optimization platform Heardable that Business Wire is currently the number one brand on their Heardable 100 list which measures thousands of online brands across a variety of metrics which they classify into categories including:

  • Portable (optimized for mobile browsers?)
  • Shareable (is it easy to send and receive feeds?)
  • Measurable (do you use analytics?)
  • Actionable (do you make it easy for visitors to engage with me?)
  • Sociable (do you participate in social media?)
  • Searchable (is your site SEO friendly)

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Business Wire Founder Lorry Lokey Rises to the Billionaire Challenge

August 10, 2010

Lorry Lokey, who founded Business Wire in 1962, has always been a believer in the virtues of charity and philanthropy. Over the years, he’s given hundreds of millions of dollars, primarily to secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, and he’s frequently appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as both an interview subject and one of America’s Top Donors.

So it’s no surprise that Lorry has risen to the challenge — the Billionaire Challenge, posed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to America’s richest people, to give half of their wealth to good causes. Lorry is one of the 38 people (so far) on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans to make such a commitment.

Lorry recently appeared on CNN’s “American Morning” to discuss his signing on to the pledge, and his thoughts about philanthropy and giving. Watch the interview here or read a transcript here.

NABJ at 35: The Power of Change

August 10, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

I recently attended the 35th annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair held July 28 to August 1 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. The sold out event was a huge success, drawing more than 1,600 media professionals from across the country. The convention was packed with a plethora of workshop and training sessions, forums, plenary ceremonies, and networking opportunities.

Dr. Mehmet Oz at the opening ceremony of the NABJ Convention

In keeping with this year’s theme, “The Power of Change,” a new initiative was introduced: Healthy NABJ. The opening ceremony featured television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and veteran broadcaster Rene Syler. According to Dr. Oz, in order for journalists to do their jobs effectively they have to take care of their health. In addition, journalists can spark change in the black community by spreading awareness of health issues that affect African-Americans including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The most talked about panel discussion was “Context and Consequences: Conversation with Shirley Sherrod.” Sherrod was animated as she talked about how she was forced to resign from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because a conservative blogger posted video excerpts from a speech she gave at an NAACP meeting. Sherrod claimed her words were taken out of context and she was accused of being a racist.

During the conference, workshop and training sessions were held to provide journalists with the skills they need to stay current in the industry. Some of the sessions were:

  • Advanced Multimedia Training
  • Power Writing for the Web
  • Google for Journalists
  • Internet Etiquette: Being “Socially” Responsible

Benèt Wilson and Nikelle Feimster

I really enjoyed the workshop called “Public Relations and Journalism – The Intersecting Highway.” The room was filled with reporters and PR professionals who were eager to know how they can build better relationships with each other. During this lively discussion, one of the attendees asked if the reporters thought press releases distributed through wire services were useful.  Not only did the reporters find them useful, but one of the panelists, Benét Wilson, Online Managing Editor of Business Aviation, said that “Business Wire is great.” She praised Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager at Business Wire Chicago. Raschanda helped Benét  create a custom newsfeed with Business Wire’s PressPass tool. With PressPass, Benét receives only the news she needs at her convenience. This free media service is a valuable resource to journalists’ news gathering and it makes their jobs a lot easier.

Swayne Hall, AP photo editor, and Nikelle Feimster

Other heavy hitters in journalism who attended the convention were CNN contributor Roland Martin, Soledad O’Brien, and JET senior staff writer Clarence Waldron. Soledad was named Journalist of the Year, and Clarence received the NABJ Legacy Award.

Next year’s convention will take place in Philadelphia. To learn more about NABJ, visit www.nabj.com.

What can Public Relations Professionals Learn from TBD.com?

August 9, 2010

by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/DC

TBD.com, which launched today, is taking a unique approach to providing hyperlocal news.  Unlike AOL’s recently launched Patch.com, which hired reporters to cover local communities in California, New York and other states, TBD.com will partner with more than a hundred community blogs to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the DC Metro area.

TBD.com Homepage

TBD.com, a hyperlocal news site which launched today in Washington, DC

That’s not to say that TBD.com won’t have a reporting staff of its own.  The TBD.com editorial team is comprised of several journalists from a number of traditional media, including The Washington Post, as well as new media platforms like local blog DCist.com.  What makes TBD.com different from other competitors that are also looking to provide news down to the ZIP code is its willingness to admit that no one news outlet can cover it all.

“Aggregation will play an important role.  We’re not just producing content, but will be linking to traditional media outlets and our community of blogs when they have content we’re not covering,” said Jeff Sonderman, Senior Community Host of TBD.com. “We’re taking an approach that is almost the opposite of legacy media by not keeping the traffic all to ourselves.”

In addition, TBD.com plans to use an editorial style that mirrors the format of its community blogs, which cover news about a variety of topics including neighborhood issues, food, sports and entertainment.  “Our reporters will have more of a blogger mindset.  They’ll be focused on talking to a community of users, creating short dispatches, constantly updating stories and linking to other sources,” Sonderman said.

According to Sonderman, there are a number of reasons why the blog movement has developed as much as it has.  Blogs tend to engage readers with a more personal perspective versus traditional media which adhere to a specific formula.  Blogs are also infinitely customizable and can appeal to even the smallest group of readers.

Sonderman gave the example of Allergy Life in Loudoun – a blog about child food allergy issues, written by a mother raising a daughter with life-threatening allergies.  “You’re never going to find a reporter who covers allergies in Loudoun County,” he said.  “But there happens to be a blog for that niche audience.”

What can public relations professionals learn from TBD.com’s approach to hyperlocal news?  First, we take a lesson from TBD.com’s model of aggregation.  Although you can provide journalists with valuable information, you don’t have all the answers.  Providing resources or additional credible contacts can help build relationships with journalists.

Second, engage your reader.  Press releases don’t always have to follow the same format.  Write with voice, humor, wit and get a journalist’s attention by breaking through the clutter.

Finally, find your audience – even if it’s a community interested in a girl living with allergies.  Identify who you’re trying to reach and go where they are even if it’s a small publication or local blog.

Interview: Cathy Baron Tamraz on “2 Minutes & More”

August 5, 2010

Business Wire CEO & Chairman Cathy Baron Tamraz recently sat down for a few minutes with Renee White Fraser and Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, hosts of 2Minutes&More, an hourlong business program that airs Sunday afternoons on KFWB-AM in Los Angeles. Both of the hosts are successful business owners who each week share their own tips for success and interview others to inspire success and entrepreneurship.

Cathy Baron Tamraz

BW Chairman & CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz

Cathy’s fifteen minute segment covers topics ranging from how Business Wire helps its clients by being a credible, trusted source of news:

“When a release runs over Business Wire, Dow Jones, Reuters and Bloomberg, as examples of financial wires, they don’t check the source, because they know that, coming from Business Wire, we’ve done that. The release will go out a lot faster, it will be automatically posted to their constituencies. Everybody has faith that when it comes out through Business Wire, it’s real.”

. . . to how our formatting and distribution models help our users with their SEM and SEO efforts, to our acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway and our own successful corporate culture:

“We’re a real homegrown kind of company. We’re close with each other, we run it very entrepreneurial, but we’re serious about what we do. [I’ve] been there 31 years, and I like to know everybody’s names, and their families and what’s going on in their lives, and I really think that builds loyalty and good morale. We’re all about the longer you stay with us, and continue to do a great job for us and take care of the company, the more we want to take care of you.”

Cathy’s interview was part of a program on “Public Relations & Earned Media”; listen to her segment here. And be sure to listen to the rest of the program, which includes interviews with Business Wire users Susan M. Tellem, CEO of Tellem Worldwide, and Rebekah Illiff, owner of Smart Girls Consulting.

Tuesday Mornings the Best Time to Send a Press Release According to PR Peeps Poll

August 4, 2010


by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media


Tuesday mornings are the best time to send a press release, according to 215 professional communicators surveyed in our latest PR Peeps poll.   The data reinforces our longstanding advice on the topic.  For decades we’ve told  clients that the best time to send  a press release  is “early in the day, early in the week.” 

Of course the general disclaimer “It depends” applies here, as the timing of  any press release is subject to the nature of the news, goals of that release, the news of the day, and other variables.   That said, we’ll resist the urge to say “I told you so,” and enjoy the fleeting affirmation of having PR Peeps confirm our sage advice. 

This poll was  a challenge to analyze, as it was the first time we asked an open-ended question.  (Note to self:  in the future, ask only multiple choice questions. ) In retrospect, we could have done a better job framing the survey, as responses ranged from time of day, to day of week, to general musings such as “when you have news to announce” or “you’re the experts–you tell us!”

That said, the single most common answer, with 135 votes, was “mornings” or a variation thereof, such as “before noon” or “before 10 AM.”   The second biggest vote getter, with 71 votes, was Tuesdays or a variation, such as “Tues. – Thursday.”

Below are the details, as best we can present them.

When’s the Best Time to Send a Press Release?

Tuesdays–71, or 53%

Mondays –16, or 7 %

Mornings–135, or 63%

10 AM–17, or 8%

As mentioned above, the numbers don’t add up to 215, since many people answered with multiple recommendations such as “about 10 AM, Mon – Thursday” while others answered in unique and difficult-to-quantify ways.    The numbers above are our best reflection of the data. We apologize for the lack of scientific approach here–any market researchers who want to pile on with advice, please email me at monika.maeckle@businesswire.com.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:  Do You Tweet the Links to Your Press Release?  This poll is back to multiple choice. 

215 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted July 6 – August 2, 2010

Business Wire’s Michael Becker Takes On Web Disclosure

August 2, 2010

Recently, Bulldog Reporter’s IR Alert published a piece authored by Thomson Reuters’ Steve Roycroft on web-based disclosure and its future.  Michael Becker, SVP, Financial Product Strategy for Business Wire, responds today in an article called It’s Time for the Truth: Let’s Unleash the Facts — a Response to Thomson Reuters’ Web Disclosure Column. If you work in investor relations, make sure you give it a read to ensure you’re getting an accurate picture of the state of disclosure today.


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