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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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4th March 2011

Digital PR Tools and Technology

It seems as though every time we turn around a new piece of technology or tool pops up that can be used to make our Digital PR and social media activity easier and more effective.

Tablets are changing the way people do business and the front runner by leaps and bounds is the iPad.  It’s become commonplace to see tablets in meetings and they certianly are a boon for Digital PR/social media practitioners.

Steve Jobs surprised everyone by showing up to announce the launch of his newest marvel – a sliver thin, lightning fast iPad that can practically put you to bed and sing you a lullaby.  The audience showed their delight with a standing ovation.

For Digital PR people like us, who spend practically every waking moment online, a tablet like the iPad makes perfect sense. The problem with a SmartPhone is it is too small to really utilize the apps you need to execute your Digital PR and online business activities. If you struggle with ‘predict text’ and the tiny touch screen qwerty keyboard, try a tablet – those problems magically disappear. Try tweeting from a conference on a smart phone and then do it on an iPad -no contest.

You can instantly connect online and tap into what is going on – in real time.  Running several apps at once allows you to stay in touch with your customers and your community on a variety of social networks while you check your news and monitor blog posts.  The iPad now has a camera on the front and the back, so capturing and sharing images is simple and quick.  Video facetime and virtual meetings are around the corner.  Now you can carry just one device instead of three or four.

The benefit of the blazing fast download speed and the added benefit of being able to create your own hotspot for other devices to use is going to change the way mobile digital PR is done. PR has always been a fastpaced environment, but for the first time it really IS a 24/7 gig. You NEVER know when someone is going to tweet something about a client or when a  newsworthy hook may present itself. So as the scoutmaster used to say : Be prepared; and today that means having a device like the iPad with you at all times.

If you are familiar with the old style of PR, you know that deadlines were a different animal, and relationships with media were built very differently. You only had a window into a journalist’s life through a column or perhaps a meeting.  Now you have the opportunity to actually communicate with influencers in every community you can imagine.

Old style PR relied on relationships too, but with social sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even HARO, you can made a deeper connection and discover what they’re working on and what info they’re looking for.  It is possible to get a real understanding of that person’s life and, by extension, offer more value in your pitches. Using the mobility of the iPad and tapping into the apps available make the Digital PR job easier as your research is right there in front of you.  We are witnessing the dawn of a new age for communication and business.

At PRESSfeed we’ve found the iPad to be  a very useful tool – we take one to all meetings and conferences and use it to demo the social media newsroom.  It’s super light and its ease of use and touch screen zoom make it the perfect tool for us.

And the new iPad has a HDMi link so you can link to a giant flatscreen too!   So thanks to Steve Jobs for another step along the path to better Digital PR practice.

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Image credit: Anthony Quintano Flickr

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