Fantastic Fun at the Financial Follies: An Evening of Sparkle, Celebration and Singing at One of Journalism’s Premier Events
Founded in 1938, the New York Financial Writers’ Association (NYFWA) is the nation’s oldest organization for financial and business reporters. The association hosts networking opportunities, provides scholarships for students, curates a job bank, coordinates professional development activities and hosts an annual gala known as the Financial Follies. The “Follies” (as they are known to those in the know) have brought together the journalism and public relations communities for 80 years and were only skipped during World War II.
This year’s Follies were held on a mild Friday evening in May at the Hotel Edison Ballroom on West 46th Street, one block away from Times Square. Attendees wore their finest suits, dapper tuxes, bold evening gowns and sparkly sequins – a far cry from pandemic yoga pants and slouchy casual duds – which according to the chatter of guests was a welcome change. Oh, to be out again mingling with people on a Friday night at an industry gathering!
A group of media relations specialists from The Bliss Group attended the black-tie fundraising dinner with journalists from top national and global newspapers, magazines, broadcast networks, wire services and new media – including Bloomberg, CNBC, MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal and many others –to network and build relationships, help support the business and financial journalism industry, celebrate NYFWA scholarship recipients and enjoy recorded performances of the infamous, hilarious song parodies (more on that later).
Winners of the 2023 NYFWA Scholarships announced during the dinner were:
- Gina Heeb, CUNY, winner of the George Auerbach Scholarship
- Lucy Papachristou, CUNY, winner of the Clare Reckert Scholarship
- Dayun (Yun) Park, NYU, winner of the Irene Weissman Scholarship
- William Bennett, NYU, winner of the Claudia Deutsch Scholarship
Congratulations to this year’s recipients!
Along with the festive camaraderie and scholarship awards, the feature event of the annual dinner party is an entertaining show. Video submissions of song parodies, while no longer performed live on stage, have taken on a whole new level of hilarity and relevance. For example, a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” called out the…a-hem…eccentricities of Elon Musk with a crowd of synchronized financial writers donning paper masks with Elon’s face. Then there was an absurdist version of The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” which commented on how society is grappling with ChatGPT with a chorus of “Chat G-P-T…Chat G-P-T…” instead of “Let it be….let it be…” Year after year some of the world’s most gifted financial and business journalists demonstrate both their singing and dancing capabilities (or lack thereof).
The Bliss Group is honored to support the journalism community and reporters dedicated to the business and financial services industries – and to partner with the NYFWA on its important mission. We are already looking forward to continuing the tradition at next year’s Financial Follies!
By Marisha Chinsky