How the value proposition of newswires has increased significantly over the years

How the value proposition of newswires has increased significantly over the years?

Newswires — a mid-20th century innovation — are somewhat of an anomaly in a rapidly changing communications industry: their value proposition continues to grow with the passage of time, delivering ever increasing ROI to clients.

Commercial newswires were pioneered in 1954 by Herb Muschel, who set up a private teleprinter circuit reaching a dozen New York media outlets.

The idea came to Muschel while working at CBS, which had created a private network for internal communications purposes. At the time, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission stipulated that only AT&T and Western Union could be used for the electronic delivery of information to third parties.

Muschel recognized the enormous potential of a proprietary network that could be used by corporations, public relations agencies, and other organizations to deliver announcements to journalists at leading news organizations. Newswires quickly became an integral part of the media ecosystem, changing forever the dynamics of the newsgathering process.

As a side note, Muschel was a serial entrepreneur who made several other notable contributions to the media landscape. He conceived the forerunner to TV Guide, which for many years was one of the most popular magazines in the United States. He also introduced the “all news” radio format, which was revolutionary at the time, but today is a staple in most markets.

For publicly traded companies, the importance of newswires was cemented in 1968 with a federal court ruling in the Texas Gulf Sulpher case, which involved allegations of insider trading. The legal decision set standards for the disclosure of material information to the investment community, which newswires were uniquely positioned to provide at a reasonable cost.

Newswires, with feeds to Dow Jones, Reuters and other key financial information platforms, quickly became a turnkey solution for satisfying the newly stringent reporting obligations of issuers in the United States.

Today, in the U.S. and multiple jurisdictions worldwide, newswires play an important role in fulfilling regulatory compliance, ensuring that market-moving information is broadly disseminated to the investor universe.

Rather than threatened by technology over the ensuing decades, newswires have embraced change. Today they are more relevant than ever.

For example, newswires are the gateway for release postings on popular websites. While media databases are now widely used by PR practitioners, many heavily trafficked sites will only post releases ingested via electronic news feeds. Newswires and media databases are therefore complementary, each with their own unique attributes that supplement each other’s strengths to provide maximum impact.

Newswires feed into the content management systems of leading national and global news agencies. NewsVoir, for example, has network access to the prestigious Press Trust of India network. Client releases are accessible to all PTI subscribers; editorial coverage is discretionary. Other full carriage arrangements are in place with United News of India and Indo-Asian news service. Through its strategic relationships, NewsVoir has similar access to the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters and other agenda-setting media organizations.

As the media environment has evolved, newswires have kept pace by broadening their scope, targeting influencers, bloggers and other audiences in addition to traditional journalists.

They also have amplified their focus beyond mainstream media to include trade media in dozens of industry-specific categories.

Most importantly, newswires have been responsive to the growing needs of their clients by expanding their portfolio of services beyond traditional news distribution, as well as providing meaningful analytics documenting a campaign’s success.

In addition to their own dedicated networks, newswires have entered into agreements with leading news aggregators and syndicators to leverage their magnified reach in the financial community, specialized media, as well as general news outlets. This multiplier effect has increased the reach of newswires exponentially, which is reflected in the proliferation of online postings.

Complimentary monitoring reports provide valuable insights that clients are able to share with the various constituencies that have collaborated on a particular communications project.

Newswires also have conquered the final frontier: today they provide the option to reach worldwide markets, offering distribution on a global basis or to individual countries. Herb Muschel’s vision obviously has no geographical constraints.

One thing remains certain in a world of constant change: newswires will continue to evolve and incorporate relevant new technologies that will further solidify their essential role in modern communications.