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Wire service to connect UW-Madison to business

MADISON – The University of Wisconsin-Madison has launched a new service to help the Wisconsin business community keep abreast of university happenings.

UW’s Office of Corporate Relations and University Communications developed “UW Business News Wire,” a free service, which includes news stories, upcoming events and links to publications. It is available online or as an e-mail newsletter.

“We wanted to collect in one place ... all the sorts of information that would be of interest to the business community and business media,” said Charles Hoslet, managing director of the Office of Corporate Relations.

He said the office had reached out to departments across campus that might want to use the site as a vehicle to reach businesses. UW Business News Wire will join seven existing communications services at the university, including University Communications itself.

Since launching, the site has not been an empty slate, either – it is already filled with its first crop of stories and information. The news content shows a slight overlap with University Communications’ existing News@UW service, but contains a bevy of original articles as well.
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Hoslet expects site and newsletter readership to grow primarily through media coverage and forwarded newsletters. A similar project he worked on, the State Relations Update, which tracked state government news of interest to university staff, started with about 10 subscribers and ended up with hundreds as readers forwarded the e-mails to people they knew.

And Hoslet expects the initial demand for this service to be high. “It was one of the recommendations of a task force that reported to the chancellor ... businesses in the state didn’t feel like they knew what was going on [at the university],” he said.

An initial mailing about the business news wire reached about 500 people, he said, and pre-launch testing showed a strong positive response.

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Jason Stitt is a staff writer for the Wisconsin Technology Network and can be reached at jason@wistechnology.com.

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