It’s been a couple of months since we announced Marketwire’s acquisition of Sysomos , and we are very pleased with our progress to date. As we anticipated, our clients have responded very positively to our move. It was our clients who had been asking us to integrate social media feedback and analysis into our portfolio of services. Because communication professionals understand the value of knowing what is being said about their company, products, people or brands in the broader market, they also know why it makes sense to seamlessly integrate the ability to respond to those conversations. Beyond that, they realize the significance in what we’re delivering: the power to incorporate intelligence learned from those social media conversations into their strategic plans.
As the flow of communication continues to evolve, so do the ways in which we attract, inform and engage audiences. And while Marketwire continues to push the envelope and explore new solutions, we also recognize that the press release still plays an important part in the communication cycle for so many of our clients, the media, investors and other audiences.
To those who have been saying “the press release is dead,” for several years now, I say the opposite: Today’s press release  is smarter than it has ever been. And while it is indeed changing, it is changing for the better. It looks and works differently than it has in the past and serves a much broader audience. But as a vehicle to communicate and share information with people, it is far from dead — it is alive and kicking.
I’ll use an analogy from the telecommunications business: Just because mobile phones are becoming far smarter by having all sorts of communication features added that go far beyond just voice, does it mean that voice communication over a mobile handset is dead? Of course not! The same goes for the press release. Marketwire continues to add smart, innovative capabilities to the press release, some we never dreamed possible 10 years ago: SEO , embedded multimedia , XHTML formatting, social media functionalities, reporting and monitoring , and so much more. It is both our desire and our job at Marketwire to add and enhance value to this communication tool and help the press release continue to evolve as a vital, central role — for communication professionals to distribute information and share their messages with relevant audiences.
I also question those who favor the use of corporate websites alone to house and publish relevant material instead of combining broad dissemination with a targeted “push” of information. Indeed, there are obvious benefits for companies that make their information available on their corporate websites: branding, easy access to information for journalists, investors and other stakeholders, SEO, etc. And many corporate websites are sophisticated in how they apply technology to enhance the sharing and syndication of their news via social media, RSS and other means.
As such, it should go without saying that an organization’s website is an integral component of any communication plan. But, to post important information only to a website is often an ineffective means of engaging with the very audiences you need to engage, and may mean a missed opportunity to fully impact them. Would a marketer post collateral, e-campaigns and other lead-generating opportunities only to a corporate website and consider that a solid marketing strategy? Should a PR professional post information and resources about a product recall only to a website, and trust affected stakeholders to find that important news on their own? News and content consumption is changing every day, and the places that audiences look for information are expanding. With greater frequency, our clients find the greatest benefit by combining web-based communication with a well-planned, targeted mix of distribution and outreach strategies.
Part of Marketwire’s ongoing strategy is to integrate many communication processes, including Sysomos’ monitoring and analysis tools , press release distribution capabilities, and other services, into a single, intuitive client-facing platform. The Sysomos acquisition represents a strategic enhancement to the communication cycle that is so critical to our clients and their audiences. Marketwire will continue to integrate vital communication services to simplify and streamline our clients’ workflow, and help them add more powerful tools to their overall communications strategy .
We are very excited about the future, and based on the reaction from our clients and the market to date, we are more confident than ever that the direction we are taking will help Marketwire and our clients reach new heights.