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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

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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15th September 2010

Social Media Newsroom – Intel Ahead of the Pack

Intel debuted their social media newsroom last month after eight months of development. It has all the features one would expect in a social news hub:

  • commenting
  • rating
  • discussion areas
  • special access areas
  • Web video
  • blogs
  • Facebook and Twitter plug-ins
  • SMR (social media releases)
  • SEO friendly attributes

“The development project took roughly 8 months—but in actuality it was more of a culmination of several years of experimentation using the previous Intel Press Room website as a sandbox for much of what went into the new site,” said Patrick Darling, online media relations manager for Intel in an interview with Bulldog Reporter.

“One of the biggest and most unexpected changes was the one that took place in my own perspective about the purpose of a news website itself,” says Darling.

What does he mean by that?  He explained that instead of focusing only on the front end of a news portal, today you have to be aware of what’s needed behind the scenes to make it easy for people, bloggers journalists and search engines  to find, use and share your news content.

Darling shared these tips in the interview:

  • Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. I don’t believe in failure, so go, do, learn, adjust, succeed… and have fun!
  • Always keep the primary purpose in mind. It’s still about getting compelling content to your intended audience. Widgets, gadgets and gizmos are great, but don’t lose sight of the purpose behind it all.
  • Learn to use web analytics. Block off time in your calendar and dig in, have fun with them—you’ll learn to find some great nuggets in unexpected places!
  • Portability—using RSS and other means to make all content mobile from a point of origin out to many online destinations (subscribers, readers, aggregators, etc.).
  • Shareability—making content easy for your audience to quickly grab and share on Twitter, Facebook, etc. by using share widgets, offering short pre-made tweet samples w/short URLs, etc.
  • SEO—making sure content is optimized in every possible way to rank at the top of search engines is increasingly going to be a critical piece of any online PR strategy

Excellent advice, and if you need help with some of these points here are a few tools you might find useful:

  1. The PRESSfeed news optimization toolbar. This free toolbar has full instructions on how to optimize a news release for search.(SEO)  It also has many of the tools you need to do the steps in the instructions
  2. Google Analytics in 10 minutes – an excellent book to get you started
  3. RSS tutorial – Feeds are the bloodlines of the social web.  If you are not quite sure what an RSS Feed is and what it does, this is a great place to start
  4. How feeds filter your news content into the social web.  A short video that explains why a feed on news content is essential

At PRESSfeed we spent two years learning what various audiences want from a newshub on a company website today.  And we are constantly learning and adapting.  Patric Darling is quite right – it is a case of experiment, experiment, experiment.  Social media ia a moving target. Just when you think you have it all buttoned down a new idea or widget surfaces.

If you do not have the time, resources and patience to spend a year or so developing your social online newsroom, take a look at PRESSfeed – you could be up and running in 2 weeks!

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