PRN gets readers involved

NEW YORK: PR Newswire has unveiled plans to add a feature to its online news releases which will allow readers to give feedback, view additional company information, and buy company products, possibly even stocks and bonds.

NEW YORK: PR Newswire has unveiled plans to add a feature to its online news releases which will allow readers to give feedback, view additional company information, and buy company products, possibly even stocks and bonds.

NEW YORK: PR Newswire has unveiled plans to add a feature to its online news releases which will allow readers to give feedback, view additional company information, and buy company products, possibly even stocks and bonds.

John Williams, PRN's EVP for global markets, said the 'T' button (short for 'transaction') was 'a paradigm shift, a natural evolution of the press release.'

'Historically, the key databases were read only by media and professional investors,' he said. 'They were a tool that the average Joe never had access to. Now, because of the Internet, they do.'

But while PRN said it would empower small investors by cutting out the middleman, others worried that it would cause some to bypass news media altogether.

PRN rival Business Wire's COO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, argued: 'With Reg FD, it's buyer beware,' she said. 'The role of the news media in providing independent insight and analysis is key, and PR is just one part of that process.'

The enhanced releases won't be sent to newsrooms, but will appear on PRN's Web site and on online financial resources such as Yahoo! Finance.

The 'T button' will be rolled out in two phases beginning in February.

In the first, clicking on the 'T button' will bring up a survey to gauge reader response to the release. In phase two, slated for the fall, customers will be able to add up to four buttons. Clicking on these buttons will bring up a pop-up browser within the release through which readers can access earnings reports or buy company stocks and products.

While the first phase will not cost customers extra, PRN will charge around dollars 50 per button for each release thereafter.

- See Editorial, page 12.



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