I find it amazing that the PR Newswire would be worth $1 billion. They distribute press releases and charge for the privilege. In a world of links, anyone who wants your flackerie, your company line, can come to your company site. But, of course, you’ll still want those who don’t want your stuff to see it and you’ll want writers to read it. But the days when one organization could charge for having a conduit to newsrooms is likely short-lived as is the value of getting just to newsrooms.

  • Like you, I find the valuation staggering. However, I assume PR Newswire plays a role in financial and regulatory marketplaces that goes beyond mere flackery. By posting a release to PR Newswire, a publicly-traded company can establish a time-specific point at which public disclosure is made on something that may have an effect on the company’s share price. Until the Justice Department and SEC recognize blog-posts and RSS feeds as universal disclosure, I think there will probably be a significant value in controlling the press release distribution channel of record.

  • Rex wrote:

    “Until the Justice Department and SEC recognize blog-posts and RSS feeds as universal disclosure, I think there will probably be a significant value in controlling the press release distribution channel of record.”

    That day may be coming sooner than you think. Apparently the SEC is looking into it.

    – Amy Gahran

  • adslfan

    if the info is real useful then people use it and get paid big bucks.

    ah your just cranky cause you didn’t make PR newswire first .

  • Similarly, it’s been only nine months since Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway acquired Business Wire, though I’m not sure what the price was. I’m not in investor relations, which in the public-company world creates an automatic revenue stream for corporate newswire companies, but I’ve overseen PR (among many things, including product, strategy, data analysis) at the many market research startups I’ve worked. The press used to eat up sound, good content we’d disseminate over the corporate newswires, both profitable news organizations as well as struggling, downsized newspaper departments. In many cases, they still do. Newswires definitely are not dead yet. But these days, I find the value diminishing drastically thanks to internet publishing, search, aggregation and affinity-community hubs, as you underscore. I believe there is an opportunity for newswires in search optmization — the pull model, versus the push model to newsrooms, which is inefficient and often annoying and cumbersone to the receivers. Sidenote: my wife is an editor at a major national women’s magazine and she doesn’t even know what a corporate newswire is. You should see the look on the newswire sales reps’ faces when I ask them why.

  • As of 11/29 at 5:43pm CDT, it looks like paidcontent might’ve pulled the story. Clicking on the link only returns a duplicate of the homepage. I did a search for it, got the headline citation, clicked on the link… same result.

    Here’s Reuters.

    The notion nevertheless reminded me… When Berkshire Hathaway bought BizWire for somewhere in the mid-six-figure range in January, I remember telling a friend “Warren Buffett is a billionaire. We live in apartments in Los Angeles. Get the feeling he knows something that we don’t?”

    The thing is, the “press release” ceased to be about “press” and the “news release” ceased to be about “news”… Or newsrooms, for that matter. Credit the relationships that these wires have with the major portals. The reason why so many press releases stink is because people use them as an SEO tactic.

    A $1B price tag for PRNewswire seems pretty steep, sure. Then again, their business isn’t just about press releases — I remember they had a media database of some note. Still… A billion? Again… I’m sure (hoping) there are folks there who know something I don’t.

  • Nice discussion. I find it relevant and enlightening. Only a person with an independent mind will raise questions at set systems.

    I also know that newswires have a role to play. InfoMailers.com is also a premier Indian Corporate Newswire that distributes corporate and business news items to more than 8000 journalists in India, across Print, Electronic & Internet media, posts the news items on more than 500 global news websites and newswires, sends out news alerts to more than 1500,000 Indian net users.

    A news item once added to InfoMailers.com system remains there for ever and is never taken off.

    As an insider I know the kind of research we keep on doing adding value to client releases, I feel that no marketing company can afford to dedicate resources to identify and post news items on such a large scale.

    Why does a company hire a PR consultancy instead of leaving the job to its own Communications person ?

    Or, why does a company outsource certain processes and functions ?

    If you have an answer, it will also apply to InfoMailers.com or to any other Newswire for that matter.