Holiday Event Gives BW Houston Clients a Chance to Network

December 29, 2011

by Cindy Cantu, Client Services Representative, Business Wire Houston

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Client and prospects mingled with Business Wire Houston staff, while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks at a Holiday Happy Hour on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. The event was held at Sambuca Jazz Café, an elegant dinner club located in the downtown district’s historic Rice Hotel.

More than 40 attendees made an appearance throughout the evening. Some were sincerely appreciative of the opportunity to network with other professionals they might not otherwise meet. “I like that as an agency, I get a chance to network with people I seemingly do not see except for the Business Wire holiday party,” said Ed Davis, General Manager and PR Leader for Fifth Ring. “The only thing I don’t like is that it ends too soon.”

Live music and dancing were also on-site. Sambuca is well-known for its eclectic music menu, including sultry singers, crooners, classic rock, Top 40, jazz and Latin rhythms. While the music is great, having to shout to have a conversation is not. The BW event was held in a private upstairs area, which attendees saw as a plus. “Sambuca’s was a great venue and being tucked away upstairs allowed you to not only enjoy the music, but also the conversation,” said Dan Bach, Investor Relations Manager for Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. “I could hear the other person talk and did not have to yell above the music.”

Processing press releases on a day-to-day basis doesn’t exactly offer the chance for staff and clients to get to know each other. The casual setting gave clients a chance to meet the people behind the voices of BW staff they work with regularly. “(I) wanted to meet face to face the great folks that help me with my news releases,” Bach said.

Business Wire Gives Back: Miami Staffers and local NAHJ South Florida Chapter Support Library through Charity Book Drive

December 27, 2011
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire/Miami
Pilar Portela

West Media Relations Supervisor, Ethnic Media Circuits

This holiday season, Business Wire Florida and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) of South Florida joined forces to raise books for a local Miami school library through the non-profit organization Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) of South Florida.

Established in 2009, SWSG South Florida is dedicated to supporting grade school girls (mostly Hispanic) who live in Miami-Dade County. The organization asked for books to be donated to a local elementary school library.

Throughout the month of November both organizations promoted the charity book drive via NAHJ’s local chapter website, Facebook fan page, and Twitter handle; and on Business Wire’s LatinoWire Twitter handle. On Friday, Dec. 9, NAHJ South Florida Chapter held a Holiday Mixer & Book Drive where they asked fellow journalists to bring new or gently used hard cover books at the door. Pilar Portela, Business Wire Florida Media Relations Supervisor and NAHJ South Florida At Large Officer helped organize the event and held a Business Wire Florida office book drive. Together they successfully rose over 50 books and more awareness of SWSG South Florida

Pilar and NAHJ South Florida’s President Christine Armario dropped off the collected books at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary school library in southwest Miami-Dade County. Stoneman serves 1,300 students in grades pre-kindergarten to five on three campuses and offers a dual-language curriculum of English and Spanish.

Due to the large number of students Stoneman serves there are still many book shelves to fill in the library, especially in their Spanish section. For more information about Strong Women Strong Girls and city locations go to:

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Moving to Mobile: Tips for PR Pros on Creating a Winning Mobile App

December 20, 2011
— by Shawnee Cohn, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/NY

Shawnee Cohn

If you think mobile apps are solely for fun and games, think again.

A recent study conducted by Flurry showed that consumers are spending more time on their mobile applications than on the Internet. The tablet revolution is changing the way in which journalists tell stories, as well as how they prefer to be pitched.

However, PR pros do not have to sit back and wait for their clients to generate media coverage. Smart businesses can ‘go mobile’ by creating their own apps to connect with customers and build their brand.

Here at Business Wire, we launched our very own mobile app so that our news content can be easily accessed from any location.

Leaders in the industry insist that PR professionals must not only learn about mobile app development, but also take advantage of the opportunities it offers to increase brand loyalty.

However, not every application hits a high note, and many have failed in the past. So what is the formula to create a successful mobile app?

Recently the International Association of Business Communicators/NY Chapter hosted a panel covering the ways in which brands can utilize mobile strategy to strengthen their PR, communications and marketing efforts.

The panel featured:

  • David Weiner, Digital Media Manager, PepsiCo
  • Lou Tosto, SVP Digital & Mobile Sales,
  • Sarah Meron, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications, American Express Company
  • Adam Carey, Client Services Director, Imano
  • Nicole Kuritsky, Senior Manager Emerging and Social Media, Rodale

The group of mobile marketing experts had a wealth of beneficial tips to offer regarding best mobile practices. Here are some key take-aways:

The customer is key: The panelists agreed that positive user reviews are highly influential when it comes to the success of your app. Make sure that your design allows for both a seamless and engaging user experience. Also, keep in mind that including polls and surveys within your app can be a valuable tool to help you learn about your audience.

Ask yourself, “Do I need an app?”:  Sarah Meron of American Express notes that brands must consider whether their application creates a new experience for the user, different from that which is available on the original website. Will your iPad app offer value that the customer cannot find on any other platform? David Weiner of PepsiCo commented that brands should first place emphasis on becoming mobile-friendly before beginning the app development process. You might be convinced that your app is the first of its kind, but take a thorough look at the various stores to make sure an app similar to yours does not already exist, suggests Nicole Kuritsky of Rodale.

If you build it, they might not come: Building an app does not necessarily guarantee that customers will automatically rush to download it; thorough marketing and PR efforts are still as critical as ever. Make sure all systems are go before the app is live, and remember to include a link to the app store in whatever marketing materials you release to promote the new development. Adam Carey of Imano also suggests including a casual game within the app to spark the interest of potential customers. But be careful before you try to create the application yourself; development is a complicated undertaking. Partnerships with mobile consulting firms are the “name of the game,” and you “will fail if you try it yourself,” according to Sarah Meron of America Express.

 For more information on the IABC New York Chapter , visit You can also get the latest mobile/wireless news by registering at

Tips for Your Business Meeting with a Japanese Company

December 16, 2011
by Ai Arakawa, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Tokyo
Ai Arakawa, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Tokyo

Ai Arakawa

Different people have different customs, and you might think that the uniqueness of Japanese customs is outstanding or exotic.

Robin Pharo, who, after working for a Tokyo IT department, penned an article in JAPAN TODAY about the Japanese and their “entirely different” meeting style compared to their American counterparts, is awed by the seriousness and formal structure of meeting in Japan.  And it’s true – the Japanese could make the business meeting formal in a harmonious and respectful mood.  

I’d like to introduce some tips that might help you at your visits with Japanese companies on your business trips.

Meeting time

It’s important to arrive on time, or five minutes earlier than the meeting’s start time, as Japanese value punctuality. If you arrive late, call your contact person as soon as possible and announce your estimated arrival time. However, it’s another story for the meeting’s closing time. Meetings in Japan often exceed the allotted time, expanding on various topics including non-business related talks, so it’s best practice not to schedule back-to-back meetings.

Appropriate attire for business meetings

Even though this certainly depends on with whom you are meeting (CEO or ordinary employee), it’s safest to wear a suit (with tie for men). But in recent years, thanks to the government’s energy saving campaign “Cool Biz” for summer and “Warm Biz” for winter, the dress code at the business meeting has become more relaxed. This is particularly the case this year as many companies try to save electricity to avoid the power shortages that could have been caused by the great earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku region earlier this year.

Bowing and the seat you take in the meeting room

When you visit and meet your client, your contact person may bow instead of shaking hands, as Japanese people frequently bow when meeting others or thanking or apologizing to someone.

Also, your client may pay attention to where you sit down. The seat furthest away from the entrance is called “kamiza” and it is reserved for the most important person in the room. As the guest, you may be taken to this “kamiza” seat with respect. It is expected that you take the seat if it is offered to you.

Exchanging Business cards

Exchanging business cards

Japanese values the meishi (business card) exchange as the time of formal self-introduction. The person with higher title exchanges the card with the more senior person of the other company first. Then the persons with lesser titles will exchange cards. Introducing your company name and your own name with a bow, hand your card out and receive the other one with both of your hands.

Do not put the given card away in your card case or in the pocket of your jacket, keep it out on the table during the meeting. Writing something on the given card is not recommended — take good care of the card with respect as if it was an extension of him/her.

Any gifts to bring?

Offering a gift is not a strict tradition as is often thought. It would be nice timing to bring a gift if your visit occurs during either of the two gift giving seasons: One is “ochugen,” the season from the beginning to the middle of July; and another is “oseibo,” which is the season from the beginning to 25th of December. People and companies exchange gifts during these periods to express continuing gratitude.

If the meeting person doesn’t unpack your gift, don’t think he/she doesn’t like it, as there is a code of conduct and it’s rude to check what it is in front of the client.

These are just a part of Japanese business manners. Your client should understand that they are meeting with non-Japanese visitors, so do stress over following these guidelines precisely, but just enjoy the communication with your client. That’s what matters most.

Upcoming Business Wire Events: Holiday Events in Houston & Phoenix

December 6, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Holiday Happy Hour

Hosted by Business Wire Houston

As a sign of appreciation to current and prospective clients, Business Wire Houston will host a Holiday Happy Hour on Thursday, Dec. 15. Mingle while enjoying delicious food and drinks in the beautiful backdrop of the elegant dinner club located in the historic Rice Hotel. Live music and dancing are also on-site. Sambuca is well-known for its eclectic music menu, including sultry singers, crooners, classic rock, Top 40, jazz and Latin rhythms. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, December 15 at 5:00 PM CT
Sambuca Jazz Café
909 Texas Avenue,Houston, TX, 77002

To register: RSVP by December 9th, as space is limited. Please contact Jessica Anderson at 713-871-1900 or via email at

December Open House

Hosted by Business Wire Phoenix

Come visit your local Business Wire newsroom, share a light breakfast with us, network with your colleagues and mingle with your editorial team. A raffle will be held and new product demos will be available for attendees. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Friday, December 16 at 7:00 AM PT
Business Wire Phoenix
6991 E. Camelback Road, Suite C-309, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251

To register: Please RSVP to Billy Russell at or call (480) 990-9942 by Monday, December 12.

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwchat


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