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30th March 2015

2015 Media Trends and Online Newsroom Infographic

The 2015 Media Trends and State of Online Newsrooms report is now available.

Download the PDF of the infographic here 

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The full results of the study were discussed on the March PRESSfeed webinar hosted by Sally Flakow, APR – President of PRESSfeed.  Sally designed and conducted the research and prepared the report and the infographic. Her guests on the webinar were Wendy Marx, President of Marx Communication and Rebekah Iliff,  Chief Strategy Officer for AirPR.

“Most corporate newsrooms today exist in a time warp — failing to keep pace with technology and the needs of time-strapped journalists,” said Wendy Marx, president of B2B PR and marketing agency Marx Communications.  “In fact, the term newsroom misrepresents what most of them do. Relics of a quaint past when time wasn’t an issue, they lack the excitement and urgency of news. I urge all companies to jettison their so-called newsrooms and start providing robust, useful, engaging content.”

“We need to be thinking of Newsrooms in terms of ‘News Hubs’ that act as a repository of sources, information, and industry trends. With journalists often under the gun and pressed for time, let’s make their jobs easier; which in turn makes the chances of us getting ink that much greater.”

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20th February 2013

Online Newsrooms are a Key Part of Content Strategy


Lisa Buyer’s recent article in CommPro.biz makes an excellent case for the corporate online newsroom to become a real resource for the media, blogggers, investors and the public.

“Newsrooms – if done right – can be an excellent source for new content. However, in this renewed age of content marketing, it can’t just be the press releases. Whatever content gets put up has to be compelling enough for people to want to share. It should not simply report facts, but should have some sort of human element explaining what this news means to the target audience.”
– Quote from Thom Craver https://twitter.com/thomcraver

To help drive traffic, marketers are now shifting their priorities to inbound marketing efforts like creating effective content such as such as blogs, webinars, white papers and press releases according to MarketingSherpa’s eighth annual benchmark report. All this content can be housed effectively in a social online newsroom so that it can be easily found, used or shared.

Take a look at how the city of Newport Beach, CA is doing it.


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12th September 2012

Content Marketing World – Lessons learned

This year’s Content Marketing World conference was held last week in Columbus, OH and many of the socialmedia stars were there.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

From Jason Miller of Marketo:
Only 36% of businesses believe their content marketing is effective. Back in the day advertisers used to lament that they knew only 50% of their advertising was working, they just didn’t know which 50%.   So while marketers are hot for content marketing, two thirds of them are flying blind.

I’d be prepared to bet that the 36% who are effective base their content on research and have a solid content strategy

CMI founder Joe Pulizzi went over the CMIs report highlights:

  • 54% of businesses plan to increase spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. (Let’s hope they get a content strategy in place first, so that they have a plan in place before they spend the $$$)
  • Businesses are still struggling to find a process that works and to gain C-level buy in. (If they can show the ROI there will be no problem getting C-level buy-in.  The C-suite wants to see’ beans for beans’)
  • The biggest challenge content marketers face is producing enough content, followed closely by producing the kind of content that engages. (Producing enough content can be resolved by finding an excellent and affordable resource to help you produce content.   A sound content strategy based on listening to the right conversations will tell you what content will spark engagement)

It is surprising to me that no-one spoke about delivery and distribution of the content as a key takeaway. Looking at write ups about the speakers, I don’t see anything about delivery and distribution of the content there either.  Producing content is obviously the first step.  Then you have to deliver it.  You can post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. But putting all your content on a content hub on your own website is something that is being overlooked. The Washington Post listed not having a content hub as one of the top 10 mistakes companies make in social media.

Turn your online newsroom into a true content hub.





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12th April 2011

Online Video Sharing Doubles in Less Than a Year

Online video sharing has doubled in the last nine months, says Unruly Media, a firm that tracks video viewing and sharing behavior online.

And according to their report 40% of all YouTube views happen on Facebook.



Forbes and Google’s “Video in the C-Suite” report shows that video is becoming a critical information source for C-suite executives and can drive them to action.

  • More than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.
  • More than 75% of C-Suite Executives watch work-related corporate video online on a business-related website at least weekly.
  • 65% of C-suite Executives report visiting a vendor’s website after watching their online video
  • The social element of online video is also strong in the executive suite: More than half of senior executives share videos with colleagues at least weekly, and receive work-related videos as often.

What kind of videos should companies and organizations be considering to cash in on this online video bonanza?

Chris Lake has some great suggestions in a blog post at Econsultancy

These are my favorites:

  1. Branded videos – creates awareness and builds interest
  2. Product videos – a great way to build trust
  3. User videos – get your customers to tell your story
  4. Sponsored videos – tapping into talent and great content
  5. Clickable/hotspot videos – increases conversions

Online videos give companies the chance to get really creative and connect with their audience in a new way.

How can PR tap into this trend?

Story telling and video have been an integral part of PR for many years. Now that the barriers to video production are fast disappearing,  make this skill a priority in 2011.

  • Take a class on digital video production
  • Learn to use your smart phone to make and upload a video right to the web (Note:  The Flip video is going away)
  • Get basic editing skills so you can clean up the video and add intro and outro screens
  • Learn how to optimize your videos for search
  • Find a creative online video specialist that can assist you with projects that are beyond your capabilities

Online video is an opportunity the PR industry should seize with both hands.

Creating a Video Gallery in Your Newsroom

Having videos that appeal to your audiences on site in the social web is a great strategy, but you also have to house them in a central hub of content -and what better place than your newsroom?  Create a video gallery that showcases all your videos and make it easy for journalists, bloggers and interested visitors to your website to find and share your content.

Offer them all the possible sharing options you can.  And make very sure you have a way for them to share your videos on Facebook!


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Image credit:  Flickr – Lars K. Jensen






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13th January 2010

World’s Best Hotel Brands Not Engaging their Audiences

Social media is tipped to be the marketing trend of 2010 – and not just in the hospitality industry.  Coke and Unilever are shiftng their budgets to social media this year.

Nick Rich, Intercontinental Hotels director of consumer insights for Europe, the Middle East and Africa says that with consumer technology continuing to evolve at a rate of knots and the average person carrying £850 of gadgets every day, keeping in touch is key for travelers.

“As a business, we understand the power of social media,” says Rich. “In 2010, there won’t be a hotelier anywhere in the world who doesn’t appreciate the influence and power of TripAdvisor. We monitor review sites like TripAdvisor to understand what we’re doing right and where we can improve. We know that an unhappy guest can become a loyal guest if we address their issues properly, even if it’s after their stay.  Twitter offers hotels an opportunity to reach more guests. A number of our hotels tweet special offers at their restaurants and spas for the first people to respond to tweets.”

Yet our study of the top 50 hotel brands reveals some interesting results:

  • 26% have news feeds available
  • 21% are on Twitter
  • 43% are on Facebook
  • 45% are on LinkedIn
  • 98% have videos about their hotels on YouTube
  • 36% have their own YouTube channel
  • Only 16% are actively engaging with their community – the rest are using social media as a broadcast medium (New media – same old marketing techniques)

We are way past the stage of wondering whether or not you need a social media presence.  If you are not on these major platforms it should be high on your list of priorities for 2010.

Get the social media “starter package” up and running:

  • A blog that has interesting and valuable information about your venue and destination.  Encourage comments and start a conversation
  • Monitoring software to keep track of all mentions of the brand
  • A news feed for your press releases and articles
  • A Facebook Page
  • A custom designed and branded Twitter feed
  • A branded YouTube channel where you host short, interesting video clips about the venue and the destination
  • A Social Media Newsroom to house your social content and post social media news releases

And make sure you are actually participating in the conversations, not just sending out more corporate messaging.

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1st November 2009

RSS Feeds Get Google’s Attention


If you’re interested in better Google ranking put your content into RSS feeds.

We’ve long suspected that Google pays attention to RSS Feeds and a recent post on  their Webmaster Central blog confirms they have a feature that uses feeds for the discovery of new webpages.

“Using feeds for discovery allows us to get these new pages into our index more quickly than traditional crawling methods. We may use many potential sources to access updates from feeds including Reader, notification services, or direct crawls of feeds.”

If you do not yet have your news content in RSS Feeds it should be top of your list of action items for 2010.  In fact, get them set up now and be ready for the new year.  

The blog post also has advice on how the feeds and the site are programmed: In order for us to use your RSS/Atom feeds for discovery, it’s important that crawling these files is not disallowed by your robots.txt. To find out if Googlebot can crawl your feeds and find your pages as fast as possible, test your feed URLs with the robots.txt tester in Google Webmaster Tools.

We’ve seen many a feed incorrectly programmed, so make sure your webmaster or IT department is up to speed on the latest RSS technology.  Not only should the feed be crawlable it should also be immediately visible to search engines and your site visitors.  If they don’t see the feed on your site it can’t be used to get you faster indexing.

All feed content should be optimized for search and the feed should automatically notify the major feed aggregators when new content is entered. (Notification services is one way Google finds your feeds.)

If you have audio and video content, the feed has to have specific tags added so that your multimedia content gets indexed not only by search engines, but also by sites like iTunes.

Need help with your feeds?  Give Ryan a call on 626 793 4911.



Image Credit:  Derek Kwa/Flickr

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23rd October 2009

Social Media Newsroom – nonsense or necessity?



Online newsrooms first made their debut about 5 or 6 years ago.  Only the very early adopters had one back then, but over the years we’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of journalists who say a newsroom on a company website is absolutely essential.

Three years ago the idea of a social media press release was first discussed at the inaugural meeting of Social Media Club in Palo Alto.  The handful of us who attended that meeting,  including Tom Foremski who wrote the blog post Die! Press Release Die! debated the need for a new format.

Soon after that meeting Todd Defren of Shift Communications created the first Social Media Release Template, which got tons of downloads.  And he got lots of calls asking how to use the template – How can I fill this in?  Most PR peple are not geeks – we don’t know how to code.

Smart wire services started to offer the format as an alternative. But there still remained the problem of how to get a social media press release onto your own website.  Unless you had programming skills this was not possible.

If you have programming skills, or your IT department has the time and the inclination, you can customize a blog platform like WordPress and make a nice social media newsroom.  But it can take several months, sometimes even more than a year,  to get it  done.

Or you can use one of the media room platforms on the market and get one up in a few weeks.

Many of them are now adding social media elements. The one feature that tops the wish-list is the ability to easily make a social media press release with multimedia elements that a journalist can take and use. 

Journalists are increasingly expected to supply multimedia elements with a story.  Bloggers always want images and video.

If your social media newsroom offers them content in this format, with images andvideo that have embed code that journalists and bloggers can just cut and paste, your chance of getting coverage is that much better. And it’s one thing to have it on the wire, but you need it on your website too.

Nine out of ten reporters use the Internet to search for information when they write a story.  And they say they find the information they need less than 75 percent of the time. 

Make your newsroom more user and search friendly – get your press releases out of those PDFs.  Google does not like them and neither do journalists and bloggers.

In a recent survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR),70% of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting, compared to 41% in last year’s survey.

69 percent of respondents go to company websites to assist in their reporting, while 66 percent use blogs, 51 percent use Wikipedia, 48 percent go to online videos, and 47 percent use Twitter and other microblogging services.

A big part of this jump is the result of newsroom cuts. Journalists have to wera more hats, they have less help to do their jobs, and they’re required to produce more content across various formats in near real-time. Journalists have no choice but to use these tools to find information fast.

Why not offer them everything they could possibly need and want in one place on your own website. It may seem like nonsense to many died-in-the-wool PR people.  But a social media newsroom has become a necessity in this new world of real-time access to information and news and changing communication models.

And as the media landscape changes, the practice of PR has to change too.


 Image Credit: Rabbie Radio

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8th September 2009

The Importance of a Social Media Newsroom


Many businesses budget tens of thousands of dollars a month, or more, for public relations programs, but ignore the most effective PR resource in a company’s arsenal: its own web site, says EcontentMag.com

As the news cycle gets shorter and shorter, journalists, editors and bloggers are often looking for information about a company when the PR contact is not available.   A very high percentage of news writers today visit online news rooms in search of data.

Why not make it easy for them to find all your social media content in one place?

What you need in a good social media newsroom:

  1. Ease of use – if they can’t find you, you won’t be getting coverage.  Make it really easy to cut and paste the data.  Offer embed codes.
  2. It’s a fast news cycle – with micro blogging we’re near real-time.  Put your latest news upfront and syndicate it.
  3. Give them support  data –  add profiles, bios, fact sheets
  4. Link to all social media content – make it easy to find your Twitter feed, Facebook page and any other relevant sites where you have content.
  5. Add news feeds (RSS) to all your corporate news releases.
  6. Feature your media coverage
  7. Feature blog coverage
  8. Add other interesting content – your blog, articles, tips, recipes.  Listen to your customers onlilne and find out what kind of content would be of interest to them.

Online PR has been in the spotlight recently and many companies are scrambling to get their PR campaigns integrated with social media.  Remember to  also upgrade your own website and put all that good content in a social media  newsroom.



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14th December 2008

What is RSS? Getting Google Searches

Google’s Year-End Zeitgeist list shows us what  our collective minds have been on in 2008.

“Zeitgeist means ‘the spirit of the times,’ and we strive to capture this spirit through exploring the year’s new and exciting search terms,” a Google spokesperson explained to Thomas Claburn of Information Week.

Many of the search terms were phrased as a question – what is….?

What is RSS? is on that list at #5!  Nice to know that more and more people want to know what RSS is and what it can do.

If you are one of the folk who needs help with understanding feeds, read the RSS tutorial or What is RSS on the PRESSfeed site.

What is RSS

Image by: Photopia

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22nd November 2008

RSS as a BtoB Marketing Tool

Seventy percent of BtoB technology marketers are not using RSS Feeds. A recent study of 300 websites showed that only 3 out of 10 have feeds and of those a mere 10 percent offer more than one feed so that their visitors can choose targeted information updates.

According to Marketing Sherpa and Knowledge Storm 71% of technology buyers assign value to their RSS use.

“RSS offers B2B technology marketing and PR professionals a golden opportunity to establish ongoing relationships with their target audiences and become a trusted source of valuable information on topics buyers care about most,” stated Kim Cornwall Malseed, Principal, MarCom Ink. “Our survey revealed that although 30% of companies are providing RSS, only 10% have multiple targeted feeds enabling visitors to choose from a variety of topics to subscribe to, so almost all of the companies surveyed could benefit from developing an effective RSS strategy.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I come across many feeds on BtoC and BtoB sites that obviously have no strategy behind them.

In this economy every marketing action has to be goal oriented and show results.  A content strategy based on feeds and syndication is very effective – if it’s done right.

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