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3rd August 2017

13 Ways Your Online Newsroom Can Earn Media Coverage

Media. Text NEWS on screen of laptop, tablet, pv and phone. 3d

Every business – large or small – can benefit from media coverage.  Imagine having your company or expert quoted on the news or featured in top tier publications like Forbes and Fast Company.

The good news is that the media is looking for good content and the Internet has made the demand for fresh content greater than ever.  The bad news is that the pool of journalists is shrinking fast.  Every year we read about more layoffs in major media newsrooms. There are fewer than half the journalists working in media newsrooms today than there were twenty years ago.

Yes, there are new digital media outlets now, and many of those laid-off journalists are freelancing for big news sites and magazines, but the job of pitching reporters and assignment editors is getting tougher.

How Digital Innovation has Changed News Habits

Social media, messaging apps, texts and email provide us with a constant stream of news.  We see items posted by close friends and family and stories from people we follow. Most often we see this news on a screen.  Twenty years ago only 12 percent of American got their news online.  Today that number is 81 percent. 62 percent get news from social media – that number goes up to 84 percent for 18 – 29 year-olds. 72 percent get their news on a mobile device. (Source: Pew Research Center)

Why is this important?  Reporters and editors know that there is this constant demand for news and they too are looking online to find sources ad interesting stories to report.  Your news content has to be available online and easy to use and share.

How Journalists Research a Story

The first thing a journalist does when starting a story is look for sources to interview or quote.  How do they do this? The old rolodex of trusted sources has been replaced by Google search, a Twitter bio search, LinkedIn and services like HARO.  The social media most valuable to journalists is Twitter.  (Source: MuckRack 2017 survey)

83 percent of journalists surveyed say they visit the online newsrooms of both large and small companies on a regular basis when researching a story.  They expect all companies to have a content hub that houses news, financial information, images and video.

What are journalists expecting to find in a company newsroom?  Everything they need. They want

  • Press releases
  • Blogposts
  • Social media content
  • Company and product fact sheets
  • Story ideas
  • History of the organization
  • An expert data base (with video interviews)
  • An image gallery
  • A video gallery
  • Financial information.
  • PR contact details

They want all content categorized and an RSS feed for each category.

Journalists today are under pressure.  The days of a 24-hour news cycle are long gone.  Every minute of every day is now a deadline. Many of the news outlets no longer have specialized beat reporters, so the people who are there have to cover more than one topic.  And in many cases, they’re expected to supply images and video with their story too.

10 Ways Your Newsroom Can Increase Media Coverage

The vast majority of brand newsrooms look like the one on thetop – text only and no visual assets.

Grey newsroom

 

PF newsroom new layout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one on the bottom has all the features a journalist looks for:

1.  Search Engine Optimization:

Most journalists start researching a story with a Google search.  If your newsroom has all the content required, and that content is optimized for the keywords and topics you have experts in, you have a much better chance of being found when they start their research.

If you are in the business of retirement planning you’d want to stock your newsroom with press releases, educational articles, blog posts and videos on that subject. Make sure that each piece of written content has an original image with it. Google rewards original images with higher ranking.

2.  Site Search

Reporters and bloggers might not see what they’re looking for right away.  You must have a custom site search on your newsroom so that they can look for the content they want.

3.  Expert Database:

List all your experts in a searchable database.  Journalists are looking for experts, yet only 13% of the Fortune 200 – 500 have an expert database in their newsroom.

Add a bio and a short video of the expert talking about the area of interest and expertise. A large concern may have many experts, but a smaller business may only have one or two. Even so, you need to have them listed in your newsroom.  (Add their LinkedIn Profile link to their page and work with each expert to fill out their LinkedIn Profiles and Twitter bios so they can found in a direct social media search too.)

4.  Image Gallery:

Media outlets know that visuals attract more viewers and keep people on a story longer.  These are vital statistics for any media outlet. Yet they are short of resources to produce good original images.

95 percent of journalists surveyed in 2017 said images are important and 61 percent regard them as very important.  Only 22% of the Fortune 200 – 500 have an image gallery in the newsroom.

This is a huge opportunity to increase your media coverage. Provide great images that extend and enhance the story.  Just adding a stock photo so that you have an image with your story won’t do the trick.

Learn to tell stories visually. Become visually literate. Take a class in photography. Read The Art of iPhone Photography. Take great shots and make interesting images using Photoshop or easy-to-use apps like Canva. Always add the download URL or embed code for the image, so that a journalist or blogger can use it immediately.

5. Video Gallery:

Now that it’s possible to take and edit videos on your mobile device, everyone can make interesting videos.  Again, make the video tell the story, don’t just do “talking heads.”  Take a look at the Intercontinental Hotels concierge videos. Watch how the news does a segment.  Start with the visual story concept, script your video, create a story board, shoot and edit. 21% of the Fortune 200 – 500 companies in the US have a video gallery in their newsroom.

6. Press Releases:

Don’t wait for a momentous occasion to write a release.  Find the stories in your organization.  Write regular releases, optimize them for search and post them in your newsroom.  Make sure that every release has your media contact’s name and telephone number on it.

7. Industry articles by Experts

Follow the industry news and have your experts write articles about current events and commentary on issues.  Optimize these articles for search.

8. Story Ideas:

No-one knows your business like you do.  Create a section of your newsroom with story ideas that might pique the interest of the media. Link to the assets and information they can use to write each story.

9. Featured Content:

Have one major story and/or video at the top of your newsroom.  If there is a trending news tie-in, put that in the featured section and make sure that it has all the visual assets needed.

10. Social Media:

There are two parts to this – one is to make it easy to find your brand’s social accounts and the other is to put social sharing buttons on every page and story.  Make it dead simple for a visitor to share the content with their friends and followers. Tips:  Make the links to your social accounts open in a new window.  Make sure that every expert’s Linkedin profile and Twitter bio is optimized for search.

11. Tags:

Add the ability to tag each item of content with keywords. It helps for search visibility and it helps journalists to find the content they’re looking for in your newsroom.

12. Categorized Content:

It’s so much easier for a journalist to see categories of release, articles and images than have to wade through everything to find what they’re interested in

13. RSS feeds:

The general public may no longer be using RSS feeds, but journalists still rely on feeds to get content and find and organize their research.  Add a feed to every category of content. It pays dividends.

 How to Use the Newsroom

A good online newsroom that acts as a content hub is a valuable resource for the media.

As soon as you have the newsroom live and populated with good content, send a short email invitation to all the journalists and influencers on your media wish-list to let them know it’s there. Tell them you have multimedia galleries and RSS feeds on categorized content.

Put all the material related to a story you plan to pitch in the newsroom and send a short, relevant pitch to the reporters with a link to the supporting material in your newsroom.

That way you meet their preference for a short email and still offer them access to all the assets that could be used for the story.  They can visit the newsroom and browse the material while researching.

These 13 tips can take your online newsroom from a useless “press release graveyard” to a vibrant online resource that earns you valuable media coverage.

posted in Digital PR News, RSS Search Visibility, Uncategorized | 0 Comments

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

posted in RSS Search Visibility, RSS Submission | 0 Comments

17th June 2009

Bing Travel Offers New Search Tools

Microsoft’s new search tool Bing has a travel section (http://www.bing.com/travel) that makes it less complicated to navigate through booking a vacation or business trip.  They offer flight bookings, hotel selections and comparative searches.

Since Bing calls itself a decision engine they strive to offer the searcher as many pieces of information as possible to help the person searching find all they need to make that decision.

If you are a travel website you’ll want to make sure that you have these kinds of content available to Bing so they can display it to their searchers.

Companies looking for better travel PR should look into their online footprint.

Add new content about your destination with images and video. Encourage comments and reviews on your site.  Syndicate this content a feed. That way more people see the content, they can add it to social sites and search engines like Bing can easily find and index your content.

posted in enterprise RSS, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

1st May 2009

Travel Searchers Using Longer Phrases

The long tail has come to travel. If your search strategy is focused on one or two word keywords, you’re probably missing the target right now.

“Google recently stated that most of the recent growth in travel query volume has come from the tail. In fact, the average number of terms in a travel-related search phrase has increased from 2.5 to 4+. Conversely, the head’s query volume has dropped sharply. Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated searchers, and it is important for search marketers to embrace this opportunity to provide more relevant ads for long tail keywords.” Kayak.com’s manager, search marketing, Shehzad Daredia in an interview with EyeforTravel,

Most marketers are looking at how to use this information to adjust their SEM/paid search strategies

However, the best way to reach long tail searchers is with content marketing – write good articles about your resort, cruise or destination.  Add images and video.  Syndicate the content with RSS feeds, so it gets seen by search engines, news aggregators, bloggers, journalists and new audiences.

The feeds help to raise your organic search visibility on many longer phrases. And it occurs naturally.  Just keep writing and syndicating with feeds and the long tail phrases start to show up in search.

The very best part of this online travel PR strategy is that is that it is easy and affordable to implement, and it gets excellent ROI.

posted in content syndication, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

14th March 2009

Travel Marketing Tips – Business Travel Trends for 2009

business traveler

Image by Ed Kohler

There was a lot of discussion about how to survive the current economic downturn at the Social Media for Travel conference in San Francisco this week.

Keynote speaker Duncan Wardle of Disney showed the attendees how they are using social media – from recruiting employees and engaging customers to harnessing the power of their brand ambassadors.  His closing statement was that brands that do not use social meida and engage with current and potential customers will soon be nostalgia.

In bad times businesses tend to focus on their ‘best’ customer and for many in the travel industry that is the business traveler.  However, all is not so rosy in this segment either. 

David Grossman writing for USAToday.com calls attention to 10 trends affecting business travel. 

  1.  Airline tickets are on sale. U.S. airlines have initiated 25 fare sales since the beginning of the year and prices are back to pre-2007 levels in some markets.
  2. Flights are being cut. Most airlines have eliminated 10% to 20% of domestic flights.  The Air Transport Association projects the seven largest U.S. airlines will cut another 3% to 10% this year.
  3. Extra fees – what we can’t charge you for upfront we’ll catch you for on the back end.  United Airlines expects to earn $1.2 billion in ancillary fees in 2009.  Some hotels are cutting perks too.
  4. Travel budgets are under scrutiny. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives found over 70% of corporations trimming their travel budgets by 10% to 20% this year.
  5. Focus on business travelers – many airlines and hotels are offering perks to attract more business travelers.
  6. International bargains are available. A combination of factors have led to deeply dicounted international fares.
  7. Empty hotel rooms and unrented cars.  Forty percent of hotel stays are tied to flights, according to a recent report produced by Promedia Travel.   Less flights mean more empty rooms.
  8. Meetings and conferences are being cut.  Meeting Planners International and American Express indicated 7% of 2009 meetings had already been canceled, and meeting attendance is expected to be down by 5%.
  9. Downsizing to regional jets.  Some airlines have replaced larger planes with the small regional jets on short flights – such as Washington to New York.
  10. Internet bargains are available. There are bargains are available on sites like Hotwire and Priceline. While brands are loathe to disocunt in good times, the current climate has led to an increase in Internet offers.

How can you  benefit from these trends?

  1. Be proactive and innovative. Do everything possible to win customer loyalty
  2. Encourage business travelers to come back. Offer facilities that they value – like a comfortable work space, free Internet connection, good information about the surrounding area
  3. Get  very visible online. More people are searching online for travel deals than ever before. 
  4. Create excellent content that shows your venue and your perks – in text, images and video
  5. Optimize all your content for your keywords so it will show up in search
  6. Syndicate the content with news feeds (RSS) so it can be seen in many more places than just your website
  7. People are also using social media sites to talk to each other and find out about deals and opportunities  Use social media tools to find business travelers.  You can check sites like Upcoming and LInkedIn events.  Also monitor blogs and Twitter for info on meetings coming up in your city

There are still people traveling. You have to be found where and when they do their research.  Don’t restrict your online marketing efforts to search only – there’s a potenial goldmine in the social media sites.

posted in RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

7th March 2009

Disney on Social Media Strategies for Travel

Duncan Wardle, VP Global PR Integration & Walt Disney World Public Relations, Disney Parks and Resorts. is a keynote speaker at the Social Media for Travel conference next week in San Francisco. The successful brands of the future will be those that allow their employees and customers to engage in rich, meaningful dialogue around the topics that both are most passionate about, says Wardle.

Asked for his take on the fact that people are screening out brands they find irrelevant, Wardle said:

“Most people today are already self selecting which brands they choose to engage with without really even trying. The DVR has provided the consumer control over which brands reach them through TV. RSS feeds have allowed the consumer to screen the multitude of brands and information available on the internet. The ipod and satellite radio have provided a brand screener for music and iphone apps have further allowed consumers to choose exactly which brands they choose to engage with.
So, it is imperative that brands engage their brand advocates, allowing them to spread the message on their behalf.”

Syndicating travel content in an RSS Feed and adding social bookmarking links makes it easy for people to find, save and share your information. And once it gets into the social sites it can become a part of the conversation.

It also gives your search visibility a boost. The IAB reports that search numbers increased by an average of 20 percent per month in 2008. And we we know that online searches for travel deals is on the rise. Being found when these prospective travelers search is vital.

I will be at the Social Media for Travel event next week. Watch for updates frorm the sessions and video interviews with speakers.

posted in content syndication, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

26th February 2009

Online Presence Vital in this Climate

 

Even though business and leisure travel is down, 70% of those who do book travel do so online.  And eMarketer predicts that online travel bookings in 2009 will grow by 10.5% to reach $116.1 billion, primarily as a result of a dramatic shift from the offline to online channel.

So it is even more important than ever to have a great online presence. 

When people who are looking for travel deals do a search, if your hotel or inn does not show up, that coveted booking will go to your web savvy competitors. So invest in online media relations and travel PR – upgrade your website and make it the very best it can be.  All the content needs to be search optimized, interesting and relevant. Use lots of images and video.  Find relevant websites that could republish your content and link back to you.

One of the eaiest and most cost effective tools you can use to boost your online visibility is an RSS feed.  Add travel articles about your destination, include images and videos, and then syndicate the content with feeds. With the right RSS tool your content will find its way into the social media sites like digg, StumbleUpon and Twitter.  

Good travel PR online reaches new audiences searching for travel information, and as a result they will find your site. 

 

 

 

 

posted in content syndication, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

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

posted in enterprise RSS, RSS Search Visibility, RSS Submission | 0 Comments

2nd December 2008

Travel Tops Online Sales on Cyber Monday

Cyber Mondays, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, are known to be high sales days for online shopping

This year ROI Research and Performics surveyed 7,043 consumers on the role of search engines in their purchasing behaviors across seven consumer segments and ten product categories.

“Consumers turn to search for different reasons,” said Michael Kahn, VP, account management and marketing for Performics. “Online strategies from one marketer to the next can look like night and day depending on the verticals and target segments each needs to navigate. In some cases, consumers use search to buy; in others, it’s a research tool, often used to find offline retail locations.”

Travel reigned as the top online product category, with 70% of respondents reporting making their last travel purchase online.

Another study released in the UK this week states that companies that do not engage their customers in conversation or provide the information, advice and reviews online searchers are looking for, will be hardest hit by the recession.

Based on this data social media would seem to be the strategy for travel sites in 2009.  RSS is one easy way to get started.  RSS and SEO make the perfect strategy for travel and tourism sites.

posted in content syndication, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments

23rd November 2008

Travel Strategy for 2009 – best ROI is online

Image by Overig

According to a recent study from Jupiter Research 94 percent of travel advertisers see strong return on investment in online advertising, versus TV and radio (3 percent) and print (3 percent).

“Almost a third of the money from travel marketers spending will be online for 2008,” said Emily Riley, senior analyst at JupiterResearch.

With companies in all sectors cutting budgets for 2009, where are the travel dollars likely to go?

“Travel spending is going to increase from the marketer’s side significantly,” said Riley, adding that the total spend online for travel will be close to $2 billion in 2008 and will reach $4 billion by 2013. “[Advertisers] see where the ROI is, where the consumer goes, and the money that follows.”

What ROI are travel marketres looking for?

  • generate sales (87 percent)
  • generate leads (37 percent)
  • increase purchase intent (37 percent)
  • build brand awareness (27 percent)
  • build customer loyalty (17 percent)

One of the best ways to increase leads and sales is to improve your search visibility.  A poll conducted by HeBS showed that consistently over 50% of visitors to a hotel website originate from the search engines.

So how do you improve your search visibility?  Search engines thrive on new content.

Web 2.0 sites, that have constantly updated content and peer reviews,  have increased their share in the travel planning process. But travel planning is still predominantly done using traditional travel sites  – and more than 50% of the time the most relevant site is found by oding a search.

In Google’s new SEO starter guide they once again state that unique, exclusive content is a very important part of your search visibility.

Creating great content about your destination and syndicating it in an RSS feed can boost your search ranking remarkably.  If you’re looking for a cost effective travel marketing strategy for 2009, search optimized articles in an RSS Feeds is a sure bet.

posted in content syndication, RSS Search Visibility, travel | 0 Comments