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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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12th May 2011

Want More Media Coverage? Embrace Digital PR.

The PwR survey polls 200 journalists from newspapers, magazines and the Internet each year.

The 2011 study key findings show that journalists are embracing the online world:

  • 77% contribute content to a website or a blog in addition to their usual duties
  • 87% prefer to receive press releases via email
  • 91% want “easy access” via a link in the email to relevant background, bios and supporting information
  • 87% want access to high res images
  • 76% want verbiage they can cut and paste easily
  • 79% are more likely to pick up a story with an image

For the first time journalists are asking for digital assets with embed codes:

  • 44% want access to low res images
  • 32% want embed codes so they can easily grab and reuse the images on websites or blogs
  • 22%  want an image player they can transfer to their site with a few clicks

The use of video is also gaining ground:

  • 85% of online media sites are using video with their news stories
  • 30% of journalists are now looking for web quality video
  • 23% say that embed codes for easy transfer of your video to other sites and blogs are very important

Journalists are relying on the digital world for information:

  • 96% start with a search
  • 84% like electronic media kits emailed to them
  • 87% use online newsrooms
  • 85% tap social media (Facebook, Twitter)
  • 82% read blogs
  • 32% get information via RSS feeds

Re-examine your Media Relations Strategy:

There are 30% fewer journalists and the way they are expected to do their job is rapidly changing. If you want to get coverage for your news stories, you have to change too.

  1. Create a rich news environment on your website where journalists can find all the data they need
  2. Post your news in the social media release format. (It’s like an electronic media kit)
  3. Add images and videos
  4. Add slide decks and graphics with players that can easily be transferred to a website or blog
  5. Provide embed codes for all visual material
  6. Include bios and relevant background/supporting  material
  7. Add media contacts
  8. Send an email to the journalist with  links to this content
  9. Make it possible to subscribe to your news in a feed or by email
  10. Make it easy for any visitor to share the news content

When you give journalists the news in the format they prefer it pays dividends.

“We are delighted with the results of our move to a social media newsroom.  We’ve gained media coverage that has not only transferred into positive exposure for our destination, but has helped increase visitation to our industry partners as well.” Casey Hough, Marketing and Media Manager VisitWinstonSalem.com

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Image Credit: Lisa Padilla Flickr





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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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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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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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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

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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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