AS ALMOST 1,500 members of the IR profession were headed home from the NIRI Annual Conference yesterday, the re-energized and almost-giddy folks at newly re-branded Marketwire were taking one last spin in the PR machine with what is hands-down the oddest release of the week.
Thom Brodeur, the newswire company’s almost-new senior vice president of global strategy and development, said his firm was “going right to the source” to survey the “investor relations professionals who actively use blogs in their day-to-day communication or who seek to use blogs.”
At this point I laughed so hard I spilt coffee all over my Blackberry. (This didn’t really happen, but you’ll soon learn why I’m claiming it did. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)
Marketwire’s survey of IR professionals who are using blogs is going to be one slim survey. If you watch IR practices as closely as us, you know that almost no IR departments are actively using blogs in their day-to-day communication. And while some might be monitoring the blogosphere for mentions of their company, few are paying the chatter much attention.
I’m not saying anything about whether IR departments should or shouldn’t be using or paying attention to blogs. You know where I am on that. I’m just stating facts. The IR community as a whole is blog averse.
So Marketwire is going to be surveying almost no none. And here’s the kicker: one of those invisible people is going to win “a new BlackBerry® mobile device enabled with Dashboard Mobile Financial(TM)” for participating and giving Marketwire their contact details.
Given the pool of qualified participants, odds are good you could win.
This was Marketwire’s fourth news release linked to the NIRI Annual Conference this week. It started on Monday with an announcement that the company had a new logo. Marketwire is forged by a union between CCNMatthews of Canada and Market Wire in the U.S. Since last December, it has been majority owned by OMERS Capital Partners, the private equity arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds.
Also on Monday, the company issued a release about becoming the exclusive newswire feed on Dashboard Mobile Financial which distributes financial content to Blackberry devices.
Then on Tuesday, Marketwire and Ilios Partners announced a partnership that will see Marketwire services bundled with Ilios’ IR Navigator targetting, CRM and emailing application. That was probably the best the company had to announce all week, except that it “will be available “in the US “this summer” and in the UK and Canada “shortly thereafter.” So it also doesn’t exist just yet.
I can’t help feeling that Marketwire is just a tad aggressive in its use of its own product — news releases. But this may not be all bad because we need more spunk and enterprising spirit like Marketwire’s in the IR industry — even if it is polling people who don’t exist.