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7th June 2011

Sharing: Social Media Currency

In a recent Pew Research report about how people get their news today, sharing was highlighted as one of the integral activities associated with news content online.

“If searching for news was the most important development of the last decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next.”

Share This just released the results of a study of sharing behaviors which shows that while sharing is still unexplored and untapped by many publishers and advertisers, it is shaping the way users interact with each other and with content online.

Here are some of  key findings:

  • Sharing generates almost half of the traffic for websites and brands that is created by search
  • Sharing also accounts for 31 percent of referral traffic
  • Shared links are, on average, clicked on 4.9 times each
  • Everyone who shares is an influencer on that specific topic
  • Sharing is a viable marketing solution for reaching audiences when they are most receptive to a particular category of content or information

So are US companies and marketers aware of this effective social media marketing tool?  Is it indeed an unexplored and untapped opportunity?

We studied the websites of companies both large and small in the US to see if they are connecting to their social content and offering share options on their websites and online newsrooms.

  • 34% of Fortune 100 companies have share buttons on their website
  • 13% have share buttons on their newsroom content
  • 22% of INC 500 companies have share options on their website
  • 6% of INC 500 have share buttons on their newsroom content

Last year the CMO Council talked about the “Engagment Gap.”  Now we have a “Sharing Gap.”

If you would like to tap into these behaviors,  ask us for a demo of the social media newsroom.



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27th May 2011

Does Your Online Newsroom Measure Up?

What Digital Journalists Need and Want

View more presentations from Sally Falkow.
Research data from a few recent surveys about the media and journalists’ use of social media tools should be a loud call to action for PR professionals.
  1. 90% of UK journalists polled say they use social media in reporting news stories
  2. Half of them feel that PR people are not keeping up  – they say we’re not using the right digital PR resources and tools that make it easy for journalists to find and use their news content
  3. 88% want images with news releases
  4. 35% want video
  5. Provide embed codes and single URLS for those assets so a journalist or blogger can easily and quickly use your material
  6. Include links to relevant information – background data, analyst info, bios of those quoted etc.

Take a hard look at your online newsroom.  Are you servicing the digital journalists?


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2nd May 2011

Online Video Use on Media Sites Jumps to 85%

As broadband capacity increases so does the demand for visual material and video.  And while funny videos of cats and babies might seem to be top of the list, the use of video content to cover news stories by online media websites has jumped by a third in the last year to 85 percent.  They are increasing the use of in-house and externally developed video content to support their online reporting – source: 2011 Web Influencers Survey (www.dssimon.com)

“It appears that almost all forms of media have transformed themselves into online television networks,” said Douglas Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon.

This trend looks set to continue since web media companies say they plan to increase their use of video footage:  Nearly four-fifths of respondents indicated they would use more or much more video in 2011 than they did in 2010.

Other key findings of this survey:

  • Nearly half (47 percent) of media websites now offer a mix of advertorial, product placement and paid content: The survey found that in addition to paid advertising, media site-owners are looking toward brand integration opportunities to raise additional revenues. Magazine sites were most aggressive in this area (68 percent), followed by radio (50 percent), web producers (47 percent), newspapers (45 percent), bloggers (40 percent) and TV (31 percent).
  • Earned media on a website generates more value than just the initial placement: Video content placed by companies and public relations agencies on a website has an increasing chance of being syndicated to other websites. The likelihood of content being shared last year was 43 percent; in 2010; 41 percent of responds indicated they were likely to share video content; and in 2009, just 35 percent indicated they were likely to do so. Newspapers, at 63 percent, were the most likely media website to share content with other sites.

“Searching online for news changed the news  industry in the last decade. Sharing the news will be what influences it most in this decade.”   Pew Research

A video blog summarizing some of the key findings of the survey is available at http://www.vlogviews.com/2011webinfluencerssurvey/.

Related research:

  • Forrester Research reports that video increases a web page’s likelihood for a front-page Google search result by 96 percent
  • ComScore found that product videos increase the likelihood of purchase by 64 percent
  • Internet Retailer discovered that videos increase time spent on a website by an average of 9 percent.

PR Takeaway:

Make all your news releases social media releases – add online video to all your news content. Remember those video news releases we used to make? Sharpen up those skills and learn how to translate it to the online digital world. Offer complete, short, interesting videos and B-roll with each news release.

Media sites prefer completed videos to other video content:

  1. Fully produced videos (57 percent)
  2. B-roll footage (49 percent)
  3. Sound bites last (47 percent
  4. TV sites almost universally prefer b-roll footage (98 percent) but newspapers  much preferred completed videos (71 percent).

Upgrade your online newsroom to a social media newsroom with a video gallery that has offers reporters and bloggers  the embed code for your video assets. That way  they can easily republish your content.


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25th April 2011

Integrate Social Media Into Your Newsroom

Many companies are considering integrating more social media features into their corporate website this year – the  online newsroom is a logical place to add social features.

This is the process Cisco adopted.  Via Dado van Peterghem on Slideshare

Here are some examples

BASF has a new online information service for journalists, bloggers and brand fans. Social Media Newsroom bundles all Web 2.0 information about the company on an easy-to-navigate central platform

VanderBilt University built their newsroom in WordPress.

Intel took the in-house custom built approach

Opel has a social media hub

Scania was one of the first to create a social newsroom

Building a social media newsroom in-house takes time, commitment and qualified resources who understand the features needed and how to build them.

If you’d like to upgrade your newsroom ask for a demo of the PRESSfeed social media newsroom.  We can have you up and running in just 14 days.


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8th March 2011

The Social News and Content Hub

There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of a social news and content hub at the moment.  And when there is social media buzz it’s reflected in the search engines -witness the BASF social media newsroom, which  garnered so much attention on Twitter and blogs in the past few days.  As a result it’s suddenly showing up on page one in Google for the phrase ‘social media newsroom’.

And while  tactical actions like content production and mentions are important, remember the advice of  SunTzu in The Art of War:

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

In 2011 we’re seeing content strategy take center stage.  A social media newsroom creates a hub of content that has many advantages:

  • concentrates your content in one easy access area
  • makes it easy for reporters/bloggers to find and use your content
  • provides one URL for people to share
  • builds press kits for specific content
  • posts releases in social media format
  • adds video and images with source code

Journalists and bloggers are first and foremost people, in a hectically fast world where they are expected to deliver good stories for faster and faster news cycles.  They don’t  have time to search through your archives and download pesky PDF’s. Providing access to everything in a high quality, easily navigable and shareable form makes your reach into the social web, the media and communities stronger, cleaner and most importantly trackable.

Find out more about the latest innovations, trends and best practices in online newsrooms at the PRSA Western District Conference in Las Vegas April 28th.


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28th February 2011

Public Relations and the Social Newsroom

65% of journalists are now using social media to find story ideas and it’s high time PR folk made their online newsrooms a place that makes it easy to find, use and share corporate news content, said Lisa Buyer in the session on PR, Search and Social at SES London this past week.

Social Media Newsroom Checklist

According to Buyer your online newsroom needs to be:

  • Updated at least once a week
  • A hub for all social media content and networks
  • A place to display and share video and images
  • Syndicating your content with RSS feeds by category
  • Sharing the content with the ‘like’ button on each press release
  • A place to tweet your content directly

According to our recent survey the #1 item PR people want in an  online newsroom is the ability to connect to all their social content.

#2 is the ability to add news in the social media release format, with images and video embedded.

At another conference held in London recently, Social Media in a Corporate Context, companies spoke about why they had moved to a social media newsroom, and listed some of the benefits they found:

  • projecting good news, and news to interest consumers, not just professional journalists
  • supporting a brand refresh, with new brand values including ‘openness’ requiring that this be demonstrated on the corporate site
  • significant increase in the number of visits per week – from 5 per week to over 2,000
  • decrease in time-to-publish, so they were able to respond faster, which was of particular benefit in managing crises
  • the ability to provide embeddable, sharable content for visitors to reuse, reaching their target influencers and spreading the brand message

For more information on social media, PR and online  newsrooms follow us on Twitter

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27th February 2011

Create a Social News Hub for Content

Even as the experts exhort us to become media companies and produce more and more content, Google’s algorithm change this week reminded marketers to pay attention to the quality of their content. Being a media company, in addition to whatever business you are in, requires a new way of thinking and a platform that can house your content.

“Being a modern, relevant media company involves a pivot of your communications strategy to put an owned channel at the center. You don’t see popular media brands yielding their online presence  100% to the stream.”  Adam Singer

WordCast offers these tips for producing good quality content

  • Write original content
  • If you use material from another site put it in bold and quotes with a link to that site
  • When you reference something add your own original comments with the link
  • Add original thoughts and perspective to links, videos, and photographs
  • Spend at least 2 hours writing a blog post rather than just blog ‘off the top of your head’
  • Create good “quick takes” that you can put in a Tweet

Creating excellent content is one part of this equation.  Where you house the content is the other.

You do need to feed your content into the social web.

But it is just as important to also have that owned channel at the center of  your content and communication strategy.  Youcan build one with platforms like Drupal and Worpress, but it takes time adn expertise. (and that takes $$$)

Or you can use an online newsroom with social content features, as DoubleTree Hotels has done.

They chose to use PRESSfeed to do the heavy lifting and their owned channel was up and running in a few weeks.

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18th January 2011

Travel Reservations a Key Online Activity for All Age Groups

According to the Pew Generations 2010 study, making travel reservations online is one of the top activities people do online.  And it is true for all age groups.

Another activity that has increased again this past year is watching video online.

If you are a travel venue with  an interest in attracting  people 45 and older,  your strategy for 2011 should include

  • increasing your online presence and visibility
  • learning how the new Google ranking system now includes social media mentions
  • connecting all your social and corporate content
  • making helpful videos  and placing them on social sites, as well as your own website

A social media newsroom is a useful tool to help you house the content you need and make it easily visible and available.  Take a look at what Doubletree Hotels has done with this Destinations website.

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21st December 2010

Travel Social Media Trends for 2011

EyeforTravel just published their 2011 Trends and their number one pick is the increasing need to integrate social content and activity on your corporate website.

As budget freezes start to thaw, it’s time for them (companies) to consider how to integrate social media functionality, for example, incorporating the power of Facebook comment boxes on site to provide a feedback loop for consumers. onto their main site. Sites will become a hub to aggregate and explain activity on social networks, and add long-form value.

I totally agree that this is an important travel social media trend for 2011 and here’s why:

  • 93 percent of people active in social media say they expect companies to have a presence in social media and networking sites and 85 percent of them want the companies to communicate and interact with them on those sites.
  • The rate of content sharing on Facebook has increased 500 percent in the last six months. The average Facebook users now shares 12 pieces of content a week.
  • Shared news content links in Facebook send three times more traffic to news websites than Google News does.
  • The UMass Social Media adoption surveys presented at the SNCR Symposium at Stanford University in November showed that while the adoption of social media by companies and organizations in many sectors (including the travel industry) is rising fast, there is still a large disparity between those active in social media and the number that connect that content and activity to their corporate websites (less than 30%).
  • In June 2010 the Washington Post interviewed thought leaders in the social media and marketing space and asked for the 10 mistakes companies make in social media. We know how important it is to get your content out into the social web, but not many have seen the value of aggregating the content and social conversations on their own site.In this article Debbie Weil, author of the Corporate Blogging Book, warns that companies that rely solely on external networks to reach their audiences relinquish a certain degree of autonomy. She recommends that organizations and companies using social media have a hub on their primary Web site where users can find links or feeds to blogs, photo galleries and other third-party Web sites. This also gives customers or constituents a single go-to URL. (There is that word hub again.)

How do you integrate social content, conversation and activity on your site? Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group published this roadmap that lays out the steps you need to follow

By my own observation of the corporate websites of the Fortune 100, top 100 hotels, Inc 500 and Entrepreneur 100, of the 70-odd percent that have not yet integrated their social content and activity most are still at step one, or at best, step two.

The PR version of this dilemma is the corporate newsroom. Most travel companies have one, but they are definitely at the bottom of this ladder.

And there really is no need to languish down there – social media news hub services like PRESSfeed can catapult your site to number five on this ladder in a few weeks. (Disclosure: I am a partner and helped to develop this social news hub)

Doubletree Hotels are using this system for their new Destinations website.


The CVB of Winston-Salem in North Carolina is seeing excellent results in increased traffic and news coverage from their social news hub.

You can of course work with your IT department to develop a social news hub, like Intel did. It’s likely to take a lot longer than a few weeks, but the tools are readily available.

Step 6 and 7 on this ladder are where this trend is heading: Users stay on your site using a social log-in like Facebook Connect and that log-in triggers sharing of the content onyour site. Content shared in this manner ends up in their social news stream, is seen by others and usually gets shared again by 5 of their friends or followers. According to Facebook’s Developer Network Director, Ethan Beard, more than 100 million users started logging into Facebook Connect on third-party sites in the last 12 months. And it is spreading – it’s already been integrated with YouTube.

A social registration and log-in helps your visitors – they save time and keeps them connected to their friends .

It helps you because you become part of the their social graph.

Which step are you on now? Do you have plans to upgrade to a social hub in 2011?

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2nd December 2010

SES Upgrades Online Newsroom to a Social Media Hub

Search Engine Strategies (SES) the premier search conference, launched their new social media newsroom for reporters and bloggers in August at SES San Francisco.

social media newsroom

There have been many indications from social media thought leaders that while it is necessary to publish content and spread it far and wide across the social  web, it is just as important to provide a social content hub on your own website or online newsroom.  Visitors, bloggers and the news media should be able to easily find and republish your content.

Google’s Caffeine algorithm that went live in August  incorporates social links, mentions and reviews.  After a recent story in the New York Times about how negative reviews were in fact helping unscrupulous merchants get higher ranking, Google has tweaked that algorithm so that these reviews will act as a negative vote.

Bruce Clay, a very authoritative voice in the SEO world, predicts that within a year ‘likes’ will have have as much, if not more, weight than links.  And this means you will have up the quality of your game: people only ‘like’  good content, great products and excellent service.

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