The Long Click – An Important Measure for Communicators

long click

Long clicks are powerful indicators of quality content.

An indicator of content quality, the “long click” reveals whether or not audiences are truly engaging with your content. lil tweet bird

Digital communications are incredibly measurable.  Marketers know which websites refer the highest quality traffic their own sites and they know which pages on their websites do better job of converting visitors into customers. Many details about the behavior of visitor behavior before, during and after a website visit can be captured.  But the marketing team isn’t the only group keeping an eye on how audiences interact with a website.  Search engine spiders are paying attention, too

Keeping the measurability of digital content in mind, let’s think about the new PR reality – the public relations team as publisher and story crafters, not simply spin doctors called upon to manage crises or crank out releases.

Developing a stream of quality, useful content that your audience uses is one of the most effective ways to build search rank for a web site, improve audience engagement and fill the organization’s pipeline with prospects.

Within all of these considerations is a golden opportunity for PR to produce a measurable and meaningful business impact from the content the organization is already publishing.

The “long click” – a golden opportunity for PR
Generally speaking, two things happen when a person visits a webpage: they either take a quick look and then immediately leave, or they stay for a good long time consuming the content on the page and possibly even clicking on some of the links on the page and further interacting with the website.

In web parlance, the former is a bounce, and it’s bad.  What’s the use in attracting visitors to your content, only to have them immediately leave? In reality, this kind of traffic can be damaging to a website’s overall rankings, because search engines consider bounces as a strong indicator of the presence of poor quality content on the site.

The opposite scenario is called a “long click.” If the content you publish is attracting people to your website stay on the page and read the press releases and watch the videos and click on the links, that’s good for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, people who are spending that much time on your website are obviously consuming your messaging.  They are more likely to actually turn into customers, and along the way, they may take additional steps such as bookmarking or sharing content on your website or interacting with the brand successful media presences, developing further traction.

All of these behaviors are also positive signals that search engines notice indicating that the website is serving up high quality content that site visitors value.

Outcomes PR can measure 

Web analytics programs such as Site Catalyst and Google Analytics measure the time visitors spend on a page.  Additionally, it’s entirely possible to measure the traffic coming for specific sources (such as press releases, your online media room, etc.) and make some assumptions about the quality of those visitors by looking at their time on page data.  If it’s going up, generally, that’s a pretty good sign.

Digital PR teams that are publishing distributed content can embed short URLs within press releases, blog posts, articles and other content to measure traffic back to the destination page on your company website, providing a good measure of the traffic referred directly from the PR message. However, you can take it a step further by then asking the web team to analyze the time on page data for visitors to that page. In some cases, your analytics team may be able to even isolate visitors driven to the page by specific pieces of your content, and compare the time the PR-referred visitors spend on the page, compared to that spent by visitors from other sources.

This enables the PR team to establish a benchmark that they can use to measure this success in future campaigns, and also for setting overall objectives for the department.  Moving the needle on long clicks is actually reasonable PR outcome but more organizations should be adopting and measure.

Want more ideas for new ways to measure the business impact of your public relations campaigns?   This on-demand webinar archive offers first-hand examples on connecting  (and measuring!) PR to business outcomes.  Here’s the link: http://prn.to/1o4qblS 

sarah avatarAuthor Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of strategic communications, and is the author of  the ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Grammar Hammer: Elicit vs. Illicit

the Grammar Hammer
Elicit v IllicitElicit and illicit might sound similar, but technically they are not homophones and their meanings are vastly different.  The words are occasionally confused due to their similar pronunciation and spelling , which is why they are the focus of today’s Grammar Hammer.

“Elicit” is a verb that means “to obtain.” It can also mean “to draw out, to extract, or to evoke.” For example, “The community advocate elicited hundreds of signatures to prevent the destruction of neighborhood landmarks.”

“Illicit” is an adjective that means “disapproved for moral reasons.” For example, “The IT department scanned all computers for illicit activity.”

To help you remember – use “illicit” if you are describing something that is typically against the rules. Use “elicit” when you are (or aren’t) receiving something (a response, etc.).

Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: Fortune, The Huffington Post, Politico and More…

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

Fortune (New York, NY): Alan Murray (@alansmurray) is set to become Editor @FortuneMagazine. He most recently held the role of Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal before joining Fortune and succeeding Andy Serwer.

The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com): Katie Nelson (@katienelson) is set to join @HuffingtonPost on August 6th as National Editor.

POLITICO (Arlington, VA): Former Washingtonian Editor-in-Chief Garrett Graff is now a Senior Staff Writer @politico.

The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Laura Bird (@LauraBird03) is now Deputy Editor of the Personal Journal section @WSJ.

Glamour (New York, NY): Latoya Valmont is now the Managing Editor @glamourmag. Valmont served as Production Director before she was tapped to fill the void left by Nancy Gillen who moved to Marie Claire (@marieclaire).

Advertising Age (New York, NY): Natalie Zmuda (@nzmuda) was promoted from Marketing Editor to Deputy Managing Editor @adage.

Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK): The Anchorage Daily News has changed its name to Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom).

COMSTOCK’S (Sacramento, CA): Managing Editor Christine Calvin has been promoted to Editor here. She replaces Doug Curley, who had been at the publication for a decade.

GQ (New York, NY): Jon Tietz joins the staff @GQMagazine as Fashion Editor.

Brides (New York, NY): Shane Mancenido-Clark joins @Brides as Senior Fashion and Accessories Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Janet Mock joins the team @marieclaire as a Contributing Editor.

Hollywood Life (Los Angeles, CA): Carolyn Davis is the new Managing Editor for @hollywoodlife.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Chris Gardner joins @thr as a Staff Writer from MSN.

CNN – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott has been named Global Affairs Correspondent @CNN.

South Magazine (Savannah, GA): This magazine (@south_mag) about Southern flair has hired Corrie Dyke as Managing Editor. She previously worked at The Georgetowner and The Downtowner.

The Jersey Journal (Secaucus, NJ): Managing Editor Margaret Schmidt will become the new Editor @jerseyjournal on August 1st.

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at agility.prnewswire.com.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/MEDIAwareJuly282014.html

Content We Love: A Dynamic Press Release with Global Appeal

ContentWeLove

Click to view the complete multimedia news release

Click to view the complete multimedia news release

Hot on the heels of the World Cup games, this announcement by Dynamic Architecture titled “The Dynamic Football Experience: World’s First Football Entertainment Centre to be Rotating Building” became the most viewed multimedia news release on PRNewswire.com. It’s no surprise that the news earned so much attention; a spinning, soccer-ball shaped building to be constructed in the middle of Rio de Janeiro sounds like a story beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But this press release does a great job at anticipating the questions a journalist or potential visitor might ask and includes eye-catching visuals, an intriguing story angle, and fifteen translations of the text release to entice soccer enthusiasts around the globe.

Employing visual storytelling gives readers a look into the future of what this over-the-top structure might look like once fully executed. After viewing the videos, you’ll realize how impossible it would be to imagine such an extraordinary concept without accompanying visuals, which is proof of their value to readers and media covering the story.

A tweetable headline with a newsworthy hook immediately supplies journalists with an attention-grabbing story angle as well as a shareable one for readers engaging on social media.

An integrated language toggle converts the English-language text into Portuguese with just the click of a button and fourteen other translations of the text release are provided as PDF documents to tailor the news to interested readers around the world. This is a major advantage for earning worldwide media coverage, as journalists everywhere are strapped for time and will not bother to try to translate a story if they can’t understand it. It also makes this news more searchable for international readers who are looking for information in their native language.

Bold sub-heads highlight important information and break up the text into a more easily consumable format.

Leveraging a timely, highly-social event also helped earn additional visibility for this message by appealing to heightened emotional states of soccer fanatics everywhere.

This multimedia news release is an example of high-quality content that employs a number of press release tactics to attract the greatest amount of attention possible. Kudos to Dynamic Architecture on a stunning release!

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator. 

The Q&A Team: The Benefits of Event Sponsorships for Businesses and Non-Profits

Events are a primary method for nonprofits to raise money for the causes that mean the most to their organizations while forming strong personal bonds with their donor base. However, event space, refreshments, tables, and equipment are pricey, so having a corporate sponsor helps nonprofits reduce their costs while allocating the maximum amount of funds raised towards their cause.

For businesses, event sponsorships are an opportunity to personally engage with customers and establish a long-lasting, positive brand impression. Therefore, non-profits and businesses can form mutually beneficial relationships by combining their respective strengths and hosting events.To help connect non-profits and businesses in search of event sponsorships with each other, Lemuel White and Mickey Lukens created an easy-to-use and resource-efficient platform called SponsorMatch. The pair loaned their expertise to the ProfNet Q&A team and offered sound advice on how businesses and non-profits can launch successful sponsored events.

How can a business decide what event sponsorship will work best for them?

Marketing managers must ask themselves if the prospective event aligns with their overall business goals. Think about whether it reinforces the right experience for their target customer and if it will produce the greatest return on investment.

Is there a limit to the number of events a business should sponsor?

Not at all! However, as with any advertising effort, businesses should assess if the long-term return on investment, such as new customer gains, is greater than the cost of sponsorship.

What channels should you use to promote an event sponsorship?

One of the most successful and cost-effective methods of promoting an event is through a well-planned social media strategy. But depending on the business, event being sponsored, and customer being reached, promotion through a diverse combination of mediums and digital platforms is best.

How should a business handle an event sponsorship that ends up being a conflict of interest?

A thorough investigation of the proposed sponsorship and background of the organization can prevent a conflict of interest before it occurs. However, if an issue arises that could not be mitigated, businesses should collaborate with the organization to minimize any aspect of the event associated with the conflict that might negatively impact the customer. In extreme cases, company leadership should be as transparent with customers as possible by acknowledging the issue and responding accordingly to keep from alienating trust.

What are the typical processes and challenges for nonprofit organizations in search of sponsorships for their event?

One of the greatest challenges for nonprofits is effectively communicating the right information to businesses that will lead to a partnership. With the exception of very large nonprofits, most small to medium nonprofits spend hours cold calling businesses in hopes of forming a partnership. The entire process is very informal and problematic for event organizers who must locate marketing decision makers, pitch their event and levels of sponsorship, and convince the business that their investment would benefit their target consumer. When reaching out to potential partners, nonprofits must come prepared with detailed information on who their members are such as where they are from, where they live, how much income they make, and other relevant demographics.

How can using SponsorMatch connect businesses with nonprofits?

SponsorMatch works by matching the needs of nonprofit events to the goals of businesses. Similar to online dating sites, nonprofits and businesses will be able to see exactly what each side is looking for and only reach out when those needs match. Nonprofits will be able to easily divide their event into levels of sponsorship. Businesses will be able to see all the details of any given event and select what level they are willing to support, at what cost, and what exposure they will receive. The platform will even notify both nonprofits and businesses automatically if it believes there’s a possible match. Overall, SponsorMatch saves valuable time and resources for both the nonprofit and business by holdng all of their partnership assets, communication, and details in one place

How do you see event sponsorships changing for nonprofits and businesses in the future?

Technology has created more channels for individuals to learn about the businesses they purchase from, and customers are placing a high value on the social contributions of those businesses. In the future, businesses will continue to incorporate more socially responsible partnerships to help their communities while elevating their own brands. Technology will also allow nonprofits to change not only the way sponsorships are conducted, but also how members are found, donors are retained, and visions are fulfilled on a worldwide scale.

polina opelbaumWritten by Polina Opelbaum, editor of ProfNet, a service that helps journalists connect with expert sources. To read more from Polina, check out her blog on ProfNet Connect.

Grammar Hammer: Justice is Served for Common “Word Crimes”

the Grammar Hammer

I would be remiss if I didn’t spotlight Weird Al Yankovic’s latest hit, “Word Crimes” as the star of this week’s Grammar Hammer. Off his newest album, “Mandatory Fun,” the viral sensation tackles the most egregious grammar errors of all time and proves once and for all that you can be a stunningly creative songwriter and still employ the rules of grammar to get your point across.

To my delight, I counted ten grammar topics mentioned in “Word Crimes” that I have also covered via Grammar Hammer:

  • Verb tense
  • Nouns and prepositions
  • Less vs. Fewer
  • I could care less
  • Oxford comma
  • Homophones
  • Who/Whom
  • Quotation Marks
  • Good vs. Well
  • Literally vs. Figuratively

I also gained a few more great suggestions for future posts, which shows that we have a lot of work left to do when it comes to fighting bad grammar. At PR Newswire, the Customer Content Services Team thoroughly reads each press release that crosses our wire and catches around 4,000 errors per month. It’s slightly embarrassing (but more delightful) to think about how often I engage in conversations about grammar with my team.

Tweet your favorite #wordcrimes to me @cathyspicer or drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

You might also want to check out Grammarly’s exclusive interview with Yankovic about the song and the challenges of proper grammar in songwriting.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: The Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC News, CNN and More…

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA): Deputy Managing Editor of Features Sandra Clark (@SandraClarkInq) was promoted to Managing Editor/Features/Operations/Digital. Deputy Managing Editor/News Gabriel Escobar (@escobarinquirer) becomes Managing Editor/News & Digital @PhillyInquirer.

Energy Xtra (Washington, DC): This new blog (http://blogs.rollcall.com/energy-xtra/) produced by CQ/Roll Call covers the energy sector. Energy & Environment Reporter Randy Leonard (@RandyLeonard) is the main blogger.

NBC News – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former KCRA-TV Correspondent Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) signs on @NBCNews as a Washington Correspondent.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Abby Ohlheiser (@abbyohlheiser) joins the team as a General Assignment Reporter. Also, former Star-Ledger Reporter Amy Ellis Nutt will join the staff @washingtonpost on Sept 15th.

CNN – New York Bureau (New York, NY): Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota (@AlisynCamerota) has joined @CNN as Anchor.

Maxim (New York, NY): Kevin Martinez is named Publisher @MaximMag.

Travel + Leisure (New York, NY): After 21 years, Nancy Novogrod (@TLNancy) is retiring from @TravlandLeisure.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Former @WSJ Reporter Alexandra Alter (@xanalter) is now @nytimes as a Publishing Industry Reporter. Also, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger is made Senior Editor of Strategy at the publication.

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA): Angela Salazar departs from InStyle to join @sfchronicle as Deputy Style Editor.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Jon Frosch (@jon_frosch) is the new Reviews Editor @thr. Frosch was most recently the Film Critic/Editor for France24.

Los Angeles Business Journal (Los Angeles, CA): Cale Ottens (@CaleOttens) will be joining @LABJNews as a Business Reporter in August.

Billboard (New York, NY): Joe Lynch (@branniganlynch) comes aboard @billboard as a Staff Writer.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO): Samantha Liss (@samanthann) has joined the paper (@stltoday) as a Reporter, covering the healthcare industry. She was previously with the St. Louis Business Journal.

WeatherNation (Denver, CO): Rhonda Lee is joining the network (@WeatherNation) as a Meteorologist. She was previously at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, LA.

Coastal Living (Birmingham, AL): Lindsay Lambert (@LLBeanTown) has been hired by @CoastalLiving as its new Managing Editor.

Texas Monthly (Austin, TX): Senior Executive Editor @TexasMonthly Brian Sweany (@Brian_Sweany) has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief of the magazine.

Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY): Mallory Schlau (@malschlau) has been promoted to Senior Market Editor @harpersbazaarus.

Glamour (New York, NY): Jessica Sailer was named Fashion Market Director @glamourmag.

The Daily Meal (@TheDailyMeal): Kate Kolenda (@TheConversant) is joining the outlet as the new Restaurant and City Guide Editor.

Gawker (@Gawker): News and gossip site @Gawker welcomes Leah Finnegan (@LeahFinnegan) as its new Senior Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Nancy Gillen joins @MarieClaire as Managing Editor.

Teen Vogue (New York, NY): Marina Larroude (@marinalarroude) has been added as Fashion Director @TeenVogue.

Center for Investigative Reporting (Berkeley, CA): Robert Salladay (@bobsalladay) has been promoted from Managing Editor to Editorial Director for @CIROnline.

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME): Sarah Walker Caron (@SarahWCaron) is the new Features Editor @bangordailynews.

MedCity News (Cleveland, OH): Dan Verel (@DanVerel) has joined the trade outlet (@medcitynews) as a Reporter covering healthcare technology. Verel most recently served at North Bay Business Journal (@NBBJ) as a Reporter.

The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA): Matt Pentz (@TDNMattPentz) is a new Sports Reporter on the team covering soccer.

The Washington Times (Washington, DC): Tacoma News Tribune Sports Reporter Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) is the new Sports Enterprise Reporter @WashTimes.

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at agility.prnewswire.com.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/public-relations/