Five insights about the future of news technology

Jun 19, 2017
Experts discuss news and social trends on IR Magazine Webinar

John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News and former editor-in-chief of The Economist, has said the news industry changed more in the last five or six years than it has in the previous 100 years.

Technology has been the driving force behind that change, undoubtedly, shaking up the news industry in a variety of ways. Today we have ever-more pieces of content being distributed via an increasingly large number of channels.

This topic was discussed in a recent IR Magazine Webinar, held in partnership with Bloomberg, entitled ‘The future of news technology & what it means for you as an IRO’. Below, we’ve gathered five insights from the webinar: 

1. News automation is growing…
News publishers from newspapers to wire services are upping their use of computer-generated reporting as a way to add speed and volume to their activities, explained Ellen Braitman, news market specialist at Bloomberg. Braitman said her firm ‘increasingly’ uses automation for areas like analyst ratings changes, big moves in securities and exchange-traded fund flows where the information can quickly and easily be extracted and put into context.

2. …and IROs need to keep an eye on it
Nate Pollack, who works in investor relations at cyber-security firm Symantec, noted that robots don’t always make the right assumptions and you need to keep an eye on how your figures are being processed. ‘There’s that human element of understanding companies’ earnings that’s sometimes challenging,’ he said, adding that when IROs write releases today they should bear in mind that robots as well as humans will absorb the information. 

3. When monitoring news, think globally and across languages
‘If you’re going to do proper analysis and interpretation of news if you’re a team in New York, you need to know how you’re being discussed in Germany and Japan,’ commented James Rubec, product marketing manager at Cision Global Insights & PR Newswire. Braitman noted that the United Airlines ‘passenger dragging’ incident hit Weibo, the Chinese social media site, in a big way. ‘It was a good indication for the company that the problem was not contained and had spread as far as China,’ she said.

4. Social velocity = stock volatility
Rubec highlighted that stocks with high numbers of mentions on social media tend to be more volatile. ‘A really effective study came out of Oxford late last year and what it was looking at was how stock volatility aligned with social media publishing,’ he explained. ‘They found that brands that had the highest order of social mentions had increased volatility of as high as 30 percent. The model looked pretty sound – and if a team at Oxford is doing it, investors are certainly [doing it] as well.’

5. Don’t panic over fake news
Braitman discussed how, while incorrect information online can be alarming, once corrected the situation often calms down quickly. The market will react to a fake story, such as a phony news release, but once it is corrected ‘the prices tend to come back and quickly normalize,’ she said. This situation shows the value of looking at multiple sources, as fake news will be contradicted by other reports, she concluded.

To listen to the full webinar, please follow this link.

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