In your September 12 article, "The news business," Erica Iacono expertly profiled the evolution of newswires. The piece, however, may have misinformed readers regarding a few important points.
Innovation has not always been the strong suit of the newswire industry's founding fathers. While other newswires were launching websites and pushing news out via satellite uplink and fax blasts, Market Wire was the first to use the internet for press release distribution. Market Wire's uses of technology, and its best-value pricing model, have allowed communications pros to demand more of their newswires. We have also raised the innovation bar for all newswires and have set the tone for price and value competition.
Two other specific areas of innovation the article focused on - search-engine optimization and reporting and measurement solutions - omitted key options available to PR pros.
The article failed to mention Market Wire offerings like SEO Enhanced and News Dashboard, both of which address customer needs respectively in the areas of enhancing visibility of press releases among key internet news outlets and search engines, and reporting immediate pickup of client news.
When evaluating partnerships with any newswire, communication pros should consider the following:
True innovation. Are your newswire's products and services truly innovative? Was it first to market? Are its services evolutionary? If yes, chances are your experience with it likely will be better because it's already experienced the challenges associated with being "first," so you don't have to.
Making the most of technology. Does your newswire's history include use of technology from its infancy? Has your newswire been a technological pioneer and a leader? Does your newswire maximize technology to streamline and simplify your workflow? If your newswire's user interface is more of a headache than it's worth, maybe it's time to shop around.
Getting what you're paying for. With technology allowing for more speed and efficiency at lower costs, what you get from your newswire today should be more affordable than ever. Unfortunately, as consumers, we often don't question whether or not we're paying a fair price for something, if that's what we've been used to paying for years. Make sure you really are getting what you're paying for. A little comparison shopping could deliver better results at a much lower cost.
VP, marketing and media relations
Forums for all industry topics require diversity
I am disappointed that the 13 participants in your August 22 Bay Area Regional Forum did not represent the ethnic diversity of the Bay Area (see the fact file that accompanies the article). Your previous discussions about race and diversity almost always include a racially diverse panel of participants. Surely you can do the same for discussions on business, integrated communications, media, and measurement.
The Hester Group
A PR Toolbox item on media databases in the September 26 issue did not identify Nancy Sells as a PR Newswire employee.