Web Site Makeovers
Editor, Scott Van Camp,
Managing Editor, Greer Jonas 212.621.4876 Mobile is booming. “IPads, won its share of Webby awards. From the research came a
Editorial Director, Steve Goldstein, Androids and iPhones Incorporating ideas from goal: Visitors should be able to
Contributing Editor, Jessica Clegg,
are forcing organizations both the agency and Sennep, find information in three clicks
212-621-4626, email@example.com to think about how they the new site certainly pushes or less. The new site divides up
Events & Special Projects Manager, Regina
D’Alesio, 212-621-4940, firstname.lastname@example.org
develop Web content,” says the creativity envelope both in members’ interests into four
Director of Circulation Marketing, Carol Brault Gee. “Before, our clients design and content, including distinct quadrants, with plenty
301-354-1763, email@example.com would make the Web site the features such as: of cross links, adds Thomas.
Director, Marketing Communications,
Amy Jefferies, firstname.lastname@example.org
No. 1 priority, with mobile The result? Lots of compli-
Art Director, Tracey Lilly second. Now they’re asking animation videos. ments and numbers that tell
VP/Group Publisher, Diane Schwartz themselves if their CEO will the story (see the table for pre-
Division President, Heather Farley
be viewing the site on his “sameness” of communica- and post-launch metrics).
President & CEO, Don Pazour iPad.” tions agencies. But when do you really
PR News ADVISORY BOARD Flash may be fading. “With - know when your brand’s digital
Paul A. Argenti - Tuck School of Business mobile growing, Flash is tive headshots revealing two face needs uplifting—or a
Ned Barnett - Barnett Marketing Communications
Neal Cohen - APCO taking a big hit. There’s a sides of the agency’s culture. transplant? Here are some tell-
Carol Cone - Edelman
Peter Debreceny - Gagen MacDonald
seismic shift in terms of way tale signs from Gee:
Chris Hammond - Wells Fargo we’ve thought about interac- “There’s really nothing
Mike Herman - Communication Sciences
Mike Paul - MGP & Associates PR tive and rich media content,” on the site that’s the same as
Deborah Radman - Senior PR Consultant
Brenda C. Siler - Best Communication Strategies
says Gee. before,” says Tannenbaum. or over, you’re in trouble.
Helene Solomon - Solomon McCown & Co. Social is sizzling. “More That’s because Sennep is used “There’s no value there,” says
Mark Weiner - PRIME Research
Mary Wong - Office Depot sites are integrating social to pushing boundaries, says Gee.
PR News BOARD OF CONTRIBUTORS media, with Facebook ‘Like’ Stuart Jackson, a partner at
Dave Armon - Context Optional buttons, for instance,” he Sennep. “Visitors to a Web navigation tool on your site.
Andy Gilman - CommCore Consulting
Bruce Jeffries-Fox - Jeffries-Fox Associates says. “Content like press site are inherently lazy—they
Angela Jeffrey - VMS
Richard Laermer - RLM Public Relations releases and corporate blogs don’t like to read much,” says offered in Flash. “It will be
Richard Levick - Levick Strategic Comms
Ian Lipner - Lewis PR/YoungPRpros
integrate one-click ‘chiclets’ Jackson. “We wanted to present invisible to search engines,
Katie Paine - KDPaine & Partners to share that content virally. content in easily digestible indexing and mobile plat-
Rodger Roeser - Justice & Young
Lou Thompson - Kalorama Partners This has caused a change in way to get flavor of company forms,” says Gee. PRN
Reid Walker - Lenovo
Tom Martin - College of Charleston
mind-set, as these tools take without making them read
the visitor away from the three graphs of text.” [Editor’s Note: Take the PR
Group Subscriptions - Carol Brault, Web site.” News/BurrellesLuce Social
301.354.1763; email@example.com Customization is king. NAVIGATION Media Management survey
Additional Copies & Article Reprints - “Sites now allow visitors to Making the content easy to at prnewsonline.com/studies/
Contact Dani Rose at 800-290-5460 x.139;
firstname.lastname@example.org customize content, so they find is another key goal, says survey/50/. For more articles
can dictate what they want Mark Thomas, managing on digital PR, visit the PR News
to see, and when,” says Gee. director of marketing com- Subscriber Resource Center at
munications at the National prnewsonline.com/subscriber_
Published weekly by Access Intelligence, LLC
4 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20850 But for organizations like Shooting Sports Foundation resources.html.]
Client Services: Cohn & Wolfe, a change was (NSSF). The Newtown, Conn.-
Phone: 888.707.5814 Fax: 301.309.3847
necessary, and a big change at based nonprofit did a stake-
New York Editorial Office: that. Creativity and innova- holder survey about the site, CONTACT:
110 William St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038 tion were the hallmarks of the and found that while visitors Jill Tannenbaum, jill.
Phone: 212.621.4875 Fax: 212.621.4879
redo. “For that, we didn’t go liked the content, they couldn’t email@example.com;
Subscription/Renewal Coupon to a big digital agency,” says easily find it. “You launch a Chris Gee, chris.gee@proofic.
I want to subscribe to PR News for $797/ Tannenbaum. Instead C&W site, and you notice that it com; Stuart Jackson, info@
year or $1,494/2 years, and receive weekly
issues plus unlimited access to the online turned to Sennep, a small starts to look like a house with sennep.com; Mark Thomas,
premium content and archives. London digital shop that has additions,” says Thomas. firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: __________________________________ National Shooting Sports Foundation Web Site Makeover—Before and After
City: ______________ State: ____ ZIP: __________
Year-To-Date Monthly YTD
Phone: ________________ Fax: _______________ Aug. 2010 Aug. 2009 YTD 2010 YTD 2009
Email: ____________________________________ Comparisons Difference % Difference
I want to renew my $797 or $1,494 subscrip- Total Visits 359,203 213,611 68.16% 2,934,483 1,833,528 60.05%
tion to PR News. My account number is:
_____________________________________ Total Pages Viewed 449,843 194,776 130.95% 3,220,327 1,734,517 85.66%
Charge my Card No.__________________________ Unique Visitors 215,630 114,720 87.96% 1,716,444 1,037,946 65.37%
Exp. _________ Signature: ___________________
Return Visitors 39,265 24,659 59.23% 321,037 208,158 54.23%
Check enclosed (Payable to Access Intelligence, LLC)
In MD add 5% tax. Postage and processing add/yr: Average Time On Site 0:08:47 0:12:43 -30.93% 0:11:03 0:11:49 -6.49%
$20 within U.S., $99 outside U.S. Fax to 301.309.3847
Single Page Visits 73,624 43,967 67.45% 491,721 349,198 40.81%
For subscribers only: full access to PR News
article archives at www.prnewsonline.com
2 prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10
CSR Important to Minority Consumers; Orgs Lag in
Measuring Productivity; CMO and Corp Comm Fissure
Do-Gooder Brands: A study firms. Other findings from the Bad Alignment: More
by VanguardComm finds and African-Americans, study include:
that one-third of Hispanic and respectively, agreed that very do not see full alignment
African-American consumers few brands and companies between marketing and cor-
almost always choose brands genuinely care about the state to reach full productivity porate communications, says
because they come from com- of their communities. a survey of CMOs released
panies with strong CSR and Source: VanguardComm of employees from high- by The CMO Club and Hill
cause-marketing programs performing firms said this & Knowlton. Other findings
they believe in—compared to Employee Measurement: include:
just one in five non-Hispanic According to a study of -
whites. Other findings include: high- and low-performing low-performing firms. munications plan helps:
organizations issued by the
The Institute for Corporate many companies don’t track in place report being “fully
and African-American Productivity time to full productivity. -
respondents, respectively, Only about six out of 10 panies that only communi-
agreed with the statement low-performing organizations organizations use this metric, cate on an ad hoc basis.
“companies that make sin- report that employees often and high performers are no
cere efforts to be part of the remain in positions after their more likely to use it than the metrics and rewards systems
Hispanic/African-American productivity has begun to wane. average company.
community deserve my loy- The same is true for only a fifth Source: i4cp Source: The CMO Club/Hill &
alty.” of those from high-performing Knowlton
PR News Pop Quiz: Time to Test Your Media Relations Mojo
Think you know everything there is to know about journalists, publications and media outreach tactics? PR News asked the team at New
York- and San Francisco-based Access Communications, which specializes in media relations, to seriously test your knowledge of all things
media relations. (Answers on page 5.)
True or False Multiple Choice 10. Which topic is not addressed under
the 2009 FTC guidelines concerning
1. The New York Times currently 7. How many outlets comprise the
blogger engagement and the use of
devotes a section of its online site AP Network, the Holy Grail of
endorsements and testimonials?
to NYC citizen journalism. syndication?
a. Definition of endorsement
2. The Financial Times has a standard b. False or unsubstantiated statements
editorial calendar copy deadline of b. 30,000
c. Disclosure of material connections
30 days. c. 5,000
d. Historical relationships
3. In 2009, more than 350 magazines
closed up shop. 11. Which of the following publications
8. Which of the following outlets no longer appears in hard copy?
4. It is not an accepted practice to currently accepts nonexclusive a. PC Magazine
send pitch material to more than embargoes?
one reporter at MarketWatch/Dow b. EE Times
a. TechCrunch c. The Economist
b. Wall Street Journal d. CRN
5. CNN correspondents have come c. VentureBeat
out publicly and said they prefer to 12. Which blog has the highest monthly
d. All of the above
be pitched via Facebook instead of readership?
Twitter. 9. Which of the following publications
did not undergo a major redesign in
6. Blogger Stowe Boyd is credited b. Huffington Post
with popularizing media pitching via c. GigaOM
Twitter. a. Newsweek
b. Bloomberg Businessweek d. Politics Daily
prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10 3
Case Study Branding Social Media Media Relations
Grasshopper’s ‘Multi-Sensory’ Campaign Grows by Leaps
And Bounds, Creating Big Buzz Around Rebranding
like an entrepreneur,” explains
Photo courtesy Grasshopper
Hauser. “It’s always jumping
Timeframe: May - August 2009 forward, and can jump many
Budget: $68,103 times the size of its body.” Plus,
adds Hauser, “grasshopper” is
Grasshopper provides 800 easy to spell and to remember.
and local phone numbers and Once the decision was
other services to entrepreneurs made, the company embarked
across North America. It didn’t on an initiative with three
always have such a catchy goals:
name, though; before May
as GotVMail. Founders Siamak name.
Taghaddos and David Hauser
had long considered that name new brand.
a liability. “It was hard to spell
and it was not a brand name, target audience.
just a product name that we
could never grow with,” says
Hauser. The founders talked launched what it calls a “multi- Bugging your audience: Recipients of Grasshopper’s direct mail piece
about the name since starting sensory” campaign, the major found a culinary surprise inside, along with a link to a video.
components being a unique
decided, this is it, we have to do direct mail piece sent to 5,000 “We had interns take every usually don’t open FedEx pack-
a rebrand,” says Hauser. of the most influential people big news outlet there is, and ages for their bosses—they just
in North America, with a link research people who made their put them on their desks. As for
BIG LEAP to a video about the power of front pages or covers,” says the contents, Butler knew it was
Brainstorming sessions in entrepreneurship. Butler. “We’d also target the a gamble. “Some people could
Whoa. Creating a contact person who wrote the article, be disgusted and offended,
Grasshopper. Why an insect? list of the most influential and who took that person’s but the opportunity to garner
“It was a name we could brand, people in America? Sounds photo.” Repeating this process buzz was too great not to do
no one had really used in the like a tall order. Jeremy Butler, led to a pretty big list. “We also it,” he says. The grasshoppers
past and the more we looked Grasshopper’s director of mar- sent them to every senator, the reinforced the brand and were
into it, a grasshopper was much keting, describes the process: president and tons of “celeb- controversial enough to spark
rity entrepreneurs,” including conversation, added Butler.
P Diddy and Oprah Winfrey. So, a supplier of grass-
Butler adds that they received hoppers was found, and
Don’t Cut Corners, and Other Key calls from national security Grasshopper the company
Online Video Strategies departments asking why they picked a particular type of
targeted every U.S. senator. green-colored chocolate to coat
While phone system designer Grasshopper delivered chocolate-
covered insects to get influencers’ attention during its rebranding COCO CRITTERS packages were sent to the list
effort, the more traditional video component was key, says Jonathan
But how would the team attract of influencers. Once opened,
Kay, the company’s ambassador of buzz. The video, featured on
both the Grasshopper site and YouTube drew on the history of
the attention of movers and targets found a glossy white
entrepreneurship, and suggested that entrepreneurs had the power shakers? A FedEx package bag with an attached hang tag.
to serve as innovators. At its peak, the video drew over 8,000 views would be delivered to each The hang tag had a URL that
per day. Here are some key video strategies from Kay: influencer. Inside the package directed recipients to a landing
Promote the video before the campaign hits. Kay personally
would be a smaller package page, where they could click on
reached out to bloggers a week before the packages were sent. that put the brand name front a video made to inspire entre-
and center—inside would be preneurs (see sidebar for more
Make sure your viewers are quickly drawn in. Grasshopper’s five chocolate-covered grass- on the video). The copy on the
video was not just visually appealing. Carly Comando, who has
hoppers. Yes, real ready-to-eat packaging appealed to the “risk-
written music for the NBA, wrote music specifically for the video.
taking” spirit of entrepreneurs,
Don’t skimp on the production. The video cost Grasshopper Butler and the team knew says Butler. It also urged them to
$18,708 to produce; the company considers it money well spent. that FedEx packages often side- take an unconventional risk and
step office gatekeepers, who try eating the grasshoppers.
4 prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10
BUZZ DOES IT just got a FedEx with chocolate
It was at this point in the cam- grasshoppers—should I eat Grasshopper’s Growing Buzz
Appendix B - YouTube Statistics
paign where communications them?” Entrepreneurial guru Exhibit
YouTube Views & Campaign Timeline
came to the forefront. Jonathan Guy Kawasaki and Internet INC. MAGAZINE TWEET
KEVIN ROSE TWEET JASON CALACANIS TWEET
Kay, Grasshopper’s ambassador legends Kevin Rose and Jason
of buzz, went to work reaching Calacanis commented on the VIDEO GOES PUBLIC
GUY KAWASAKI TWEET
out to the influencers, and grasshoppers to nearly a mil- 8K
FIRST BLOG POST
reacting to people who were lion of their followers.
already talking about the grass- Tweets and retweets
hoppers. abounded, as the chatter about
“Balancing my time Grasshopper increased. Once 4K GRASSHOPPERS
between the two was really a the company Grasshopper 2K
CONTINUES TO AVG
challenge,” says Kay. Yet finding was identified as the sender of 2K VIEWS PER DAY
that balance, he continues, is the packages, the team began
what allowed Grasshopper to receiving hundreds of unsolic- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
keep the conversation going for ited videos and images of people
months. eating the grasshoppers, says
A look at the number of YouTube views of Grasshopper’s video on
Kay. entrepreneurship shows the exponential growth of the company’s
MEDIA MUNCHERS viral campaign. As social media mentions kicked in—with tweets
Grasshoppers were sent to every WINNING STATS from key influencers Guy Kawasaki, Jason Calacanis, Kevin Rose
media outlet in the U.S. con- By any measure, the campaign’s and others—viewership skyrocketed. Even a month after launch, the
sidered to be influential. Not numbers were impressive, video was averaging 2,000 views per day.
surprisingly, says Kay, “some including:
ignored it while others really Source: Grasshopper
had fun with it.” Kay contacted
nearly every ABC, NBC, Fox was one strategic oversight: and our message,” says Butler.
and CBS local affiliate and “We didn’t keep our current “But I’m sure there were some
“egged them on to have their customers in the loop about people who, upon realizing we
news anchors eat them,” he says. the rebrand as much as we sent them grasshoppers, never
Kay says seven or eight news should have,” he says. “We were even noticed the video or our
anchors ended up eating grass- - so worried about keeping it a message.
hoppers live on the air. secret, that we did surprise and Hauser makes it clear
- upset a few of them—I think that the campaign met all
SOCIAL SPREAD we could have found a more of Grasshopper’s objectives.
But it was social media, says reasonable middle ground in “We wanted to clearly tell the
Kay, that was most responsible articles: 119 our outreach.” market and our customers that
for the campaign’s viral success. Kay also makes a point Grasshopper equals entrepre-
Upon receiving the package, “How it Works” on about brainstorming ideas for neurs or entrepreneurship,” he
recipients did not know who viral campaigns: “Think about says. “The messaging was very
sent it or why, which drove what is interesting to you, and clear in everything we did with
people to start asking questions LESSONS LEARNED what you might go home to the rebrand, and we’re con-
via Twitter and Facebook like While the numbers indicate the tell a friend or relative about,” tinuing with that messaging.”
“Did anyone else get chocolate- Grasshopper team scored well he says. And though it sounds Hauser adds that because
covered grasshoppers?” or “I in execution, Kay says there corny, having fun with an of the campaign, orders are
idea “is very contagious to the up, new products are being
people you’re trying to connect launched and the company has
ANSWERS TO THE PR NEWS POP QUIZ ON PAGE 3
with,” says Kay. greater visibility. PRN
1. True: The New York Times does 6. True: Unfamiliar to most, Boyd
have a NYC Citizen journalism is a business strategist and IT GIMMICK OR BRAND [Editor’s Note: For other “appe-
section. consultant. BUILDER? tizing” case studies, visit the
2. False. 7. d, 15,000 While the idea of sending PR News Subscriber Resource
grasshoppers to people may Center at prnewsonline.com/
3. True, unfortunately. 8. c, VentureBeat have been fun, what did that subscriber_resources.html.]
4. False: It’s OK to pitch to multiple 9. c, Money underwent a redesign tactic do to spread the busi-
reporters at MarketWatch/Dow in 2009. ness value of Grasshopper the
10. d, historical relationships company? Butler realizes it’s a CONTACT:
5. True: The lesson here is know fine line. David Hauser, @dh; Jeremy
11. a, PC Magazine “Without the risky piece to Butler, @jeremyrbutler;
12. b, Huffington Post it, people might not have ever Jonathan Kay, @
had any exposure to the video grasshopperbuzz.
Send your Pop Quiz ideas to: Scott Van Camp at email@example.com
prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10 5
Image Patrol Page 1
back or donate an equal PG&E not only apologized, immediately took to Twitter tions world, good guys can be
amount to a progressive but immediately set up a $100 to get the word out and bad, and bad guys can learn
candidate. It did neither, and million victim relief fund answer questions, following from others’ mistakes. PRN
this lack of any action has tar- after a 30-inch gas pipeline up its initial crisis mitigation
nished the company’s reputa- exploded in a suburb of San strategy (we’re here, we’re CONTACT:
tion permanently. Francisco, I was amazed. answering questions, we’re Katie Paine is founder
This corporate amnesia Back in the day, when I concerned and we’re investi- and CEO of KDPaine &
of successful crisis mitiga- was covering the utility for gating) with the bold action Partners, a communications
tion happens so often that the San Jose Mercury, the of proactively setting up a measurement agency. She
I’m actually surprised when company was notorious for “rebuild San Bruno” fund. can be reached at
a company actually does its “no comment” policy Just goes to show you that in kdpaineandpartners@gmail.
something right. So when with the media. This time it this topsy-turvy communica- com.
Criteria Grade Comments Advice
Extent of coverage D It could have been worse. While the There are no lines between traditional and social
national papers picked up on the story, media anymore, so assume that whatever is online
coverage was relatively short-lived. Most will appear in traditional media and vice versa,
of the viral boycott activity was online. although the intensity may vary by medium.
However, the fact that this was the first
case of a corporation taking advantage of
the Citizens United Supreme Court deci-
sion ensured that the crisis got more than
the usual level of coverage.
Effectiveness of D Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote an Apologies alone are no longer sufficient to assuage
spokespeople apology to employees that was both self- an angry flash mob. Consumers, employees and now
effacing and ultimately ineffectual. He investors expect more than just words when a CEO
needed to do more than just apologize and makes a mistake.
then leave the scene.
Communication of C This is the one area in which Target had The one silver lining in a cloud of controversy may be
key messages some success. Most of the coverage the length of time in which you have the attention of
included statements about Target’s long- the press. In this case, Target used it wisely to make
standing support of the LGBT community sure that reporters had a good understanding of the
and its long history of good works. company’s culture.
Management of F While the company’s explanation appeared Just because the CEO has issued an apology
negative messages in stories surrounding Steinhafel’s apology, doesn’t mean that the problem has gone away.
it was subsequently lost in coverage of Social media and search ensure that a crisis can lin-
angry consumers. As a result, all the nega- ger even after the national media has moved on.
tive messages about the boycott domi-
nated the most recent news.
Impact on F Three management firms that collectively Institutional investors are on Facebook, too, and
stakeholders hold $57.5 million of Target stock have they are just as easily spooked by a blog post or a
asked Target’s independent board members Facebook thread as they might be from an article in
to undertake a comprehensive review of the Minneapolis Post.
Target’s political contributions. The stock
price is only now recovering from the
Overall score D Target’s reputation will no doubt survive, If corporations act like citizens they can expect to be
but its brand will be dragged through the treated to all the same mudslinging and attacks that
mud until after the election unless they individual candidates suffer. If you make sizable con-
take action to counter the objections. tributions to candidates, expect sizable repercussions.
6 prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10
Criteria Grade Comments Advice
Extent of coverage F When one of your pipelines sends a plume of fire 1,000 When the news is front-page head-
feet into the air that is visible from one of the busiest lines around the world, there’s not
airports in America, it’s hard to keep a lid on the news. much you can do but keep on top of
What is most interesting is that many of the details were it, preferably monitoring your Twitter
on Twitter long before they made the local news, pre- search feed on a minute-by-minute
sumably provided by local residents with cell phones. basis.
Effectiveness of A PG&E spokespeople were out early and often doing The closer the link between words
spokespeople damage control and emanating care and concern for and deeds the better. The fact that
victims. The $100 million victims’ compensation fund it was just a matter of days between
backed up their words with solid action. the explosion and when the fund
was set up did a lot to enhance
PG&E’s credibility—unlike BP, which
appeared to drag its feet.
Communication of C While PG&E was on the scene and expressing concern, In today’s crises, the truth from
key messages after a few days the major message seemed to be that everyone’s perspective is just 140
the utility had old and failing gas lines that were badly in characters away. A corporation
need of replacing. can say whatever it wants, but if
residents can just as easily say, and
prove, the opposite, you end up with
mixed messages and a damaged
Management of C While it took a few days for the negative messages The shelf life of a negative mes-
negative messages about PG&E’s deferred maintenance to surface, they will sage is as long as anyone, not just
be repeated for months to come as investigations are the media, is following the story. So
launched, fingers are pointed and blame assigned. a resident of the area, a competi-
tor and anyone with an agenda can
keep the story going these days.
Prepare for a long haul in any case.
Impact on D Given the plunge in the stock price the day after the The best approach with stockholders
stakeholders explosion, shareholders are nervous. My guess is that is to keep them informed at all times.
the stock won’t recover until the blame is apportioned. Remember that they’re just as likely
to be on Twitter as your customers.
Overall score C Under the circumstances, PG&E is managing the crisis If nothing else, this particular crisis
as best as possible. But like BP, a great deal depends teaches us to use all and any media
on the outcome of investigations and the apportionment available to keep the public and all
of blame. stakeholders informed.
Introducing… Subscriber Resource Center
PR News subscribers: Check out your new Subscriber Resource Center where you can access case studies, research,
and the how-to’s of creating successful PR and marketing campaigns. This comprehensive resource also lets you browse
articles by topic or industry. Plus, you can download your current and past issues of PR News in PDF format.
Log on today by visiting http://www.prnewsonline.com/subscriber_resources.html
prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10 7
Tip Sheet Digital PR Branding BY STEVE FRIEDMAN
Moving Content Forward by Backing It Up
rent trends in content reveals analysts expect streaming specific audi-
to be a watershed for the evolu- the new essential role that news elements to become ences.
tion of editorial content. Until reporting plays in content a crucial part of traditional PR profes-
recently, the PR profession had development: news sources in the future. sionals need to engage in more
largely adopted a “content-is- 5. Marketers as reporters: reporting if they intend for
content” attitude. This dictated 1. Content farms: Sometimes Marketers are producing the content they produce to be
that we may need to write a considered a scourge because their own print publications, relevant in a world of citizen
little more compactly for the of the massive amounts of often containing informa- reporters. Become the media
Web or be sure to get keywords substandard articles they tion on trends in a particular and try the following:
in the title and the lead; but produce, content farms are industry or business segment.
at its foundation, the writing collections of writers who The process begins with basic Do not simply regurgitate
varied little. And it has been develop thousands of articles reporting and news gathering what clients or customers feed
writing that defines content. every day so that “informa- to create thought leadership. you. Engage with and chal-
Every journalist under- tion” Web sites can sell ads Video: Video segments are lenge them the way media
stands, however, that writing is around them. rapidly becoming as popular would to gain better insights.
the last stage of creating edito- Content curation: Curation as written content online, Take time to learn what
rial content. Many PR profes- involves people bringing for- not only because they are resonates with audiences, and
sionals have all but shunted ward the most valuable con- entertaining but because they you’ll form greater connec-
the most vital stage: reporting. tent that relates to sets of cri- provide “visual reporting” of tions. Interview customers,
Information gathered days, teria and subject matter. The today’s stories. analysts and other influ-
weeks or even months earlier TopRank online marketing 7. Smarter, more mindful encers to provide them with
is recycled into bylines, blogs, blog has this to say about readers: A revolt of sorts more functional information.
Web pages and e-newsletters, content curation: “Blending against hyper-consumerism Track digital and social
with little or no updating. a mix of new content with is underway. Shoppers want placements, and monitor
This content becomes the filtering and management more information about and respond to the resulting
“writing,” but it can no longer of other useful information products and services so they dialogue. Keep up with
really be viewed as “news.” streams is a productive … can make more purposeful what other citizen reporters
Often, it fails even to qualify solution for providing pro- decisions. They want simpler are saying, because they’re
as reflecting a trend. Search spective customers a steady content without the hype. keeping up with you.
engines and sites like Google, stream of high-quality … 8. Keyword search: Even the
Twitter and Yahoo publish content. process of search engine opti- By practicing good
trends in near real time and 3. Hyper-localization: Hyper- mization is one of exploring reporting, you will generate
they shift over news cycles. local newspapers may the habits of individuals better content—resulting in
Calling the “cloud,” “green print dozens or hundreds to find what target audi- more awareness for your client
technology” or “electronic of editions, relying on the ences are thinking—i.e., or organization. PRN
health records” trends is wholly reporting of citizen journal- reporting—to find the most
insufficient now. Trends build ists. To these publishers, popular (trending) keywords.
and erupt like sudden thunder- reporters on the scene trump CONTACT:
storms in the cloud. sophisticated writing skills. Excellent writing skills are a Steve Friedman is director of
Today’s rapidly changing Real-time news streams: On crucial talent for any PR prac- marketing communications
content demands an increased blogs, reporters are posting titioner, but good writing first at Airfoil Public Relations. He
emphasis on reporting. An updates on breaking news demands good information- can be reached at friedman@
examination of eight cur- stories in real time. Some gathering that is relevant to airfoilpr.com.
From leveraging social media, to building
relationships with online inﬂuencers, PR News’
Digital PR Next Practices Summit offers tactics
and lessons learned in optimizing the digital
platform to advance your PR efforts.
Sponsorship Opportunities - Contact Diane Schwartz
at 212-621-4964; firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 6, 2010 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. GRAND HYATT, NYC Questions? Contact Saun Sayamongkhun at
Register you and your team today at www.prnewsonline.com/summit!
8 prnewsonline.com | 9.20.10