Category Archives: Digital Content

Social Curation for Writers

Twice a month, ProfNet hosts #ConnectChat, a Twitter-based interview that covers topics of interest to media and communications professionals. The latest chat featured writer Linda Bernstein, who discussed social curation for writers.

With all of the information and data available online, it’s more important than ever for writers to filter through the noise. In this chat, Bernstein discussed why writers should use social curation, including some of the available tools that help work manage the social clutter.

ImageBernstein teaches social media in the continuing education program at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She has more than 35 years of experience in all corners of journalism and publishing, including as editor of Sesame Street Parents, Scholastic Parent and Child and Modern Bride Connection magazines. She is currently a contributor to PBS’ Next Avenue. In addition, she is a speaker, social media consultant and conference organizer. Her own blog, GenerationBSquared, is an active voice for the baby boomer generation.

Following is a recap of the chat:

Linda, thanks so much for joining us. Let’s get right to it. What is social curation?

Social curation is selecting and organizing material you pick up on social media. With curation, we make sure our audience has best possible information.

What’s the difference between curation and aggregation?

Aggregation is simply bringing together a bunch of stuff in a “pile,” so to speak. Curation involves thought, judgment, and selection.

So aggregation is getting all the info, and curation is sorting through it?

Yes, aggregation is collecting; curating is choosing and selecting and making sense. Journalists need to focus on information and filter away all the noise of social.

What is good definition of noise, and how do you avoid it?

Noise, I would say, is all the information that floats about on social that may be inaccurate or not useful. We avoid noise by becoming good curators — which is what we’re talking about!

In what ways are people already curating on social media?

We are all already using Twitter lists, and “friend” settings on Facebook. We also have been, in our heads at least, selecting trusted sources. We also curate the experts we get from ProfNet. If someone is great, we follow her and use again.

Why is curation important for journalists/writers? Why do they need to be doing it?

There is so much happening on social that, without it, we would go nuts — or not see the story. Curating also means we have better, accurate sources we trust. Curation isn’t something that happens overnight. You work on it over time.

Can you give an example of how a writer would use curation for, say, breaking news?

For Twitter, you would search hashtags. You can use http://search.twitter.com or Twitterfall.com. Also, don’t forget to look at trending topics. You might find the most used hashtags there. Also, see who is tweeting in the hashtag. Use search! Hashtags are so rich with possibility. Find journalists and experts you trust and follow them. It helps to do your homework way beforehand. Choose major cities; find news sources there you trust.

How do you make sure you’re not plagiarizing when you’re curating?

Be smart. Give credit. Follow fair use laws. Find out what is copyrighted and cannot be shared. Here’s a link to U.S. fair use/copyright laws: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html 

Do you have a favorite tool for curating?

My favorite tool: my brain. Also:

  • For curating people, I love oneQube. While following my home stream, I can click on buttons to find out about people. Here is my oneQube for today’s chat report: http://qub.me/EfPIbo.
  • HootSuite enables you to filter tweets so you get rid of noise: Get Started with Twitter and HootSuite.
  • For putting together a story, nothing beats Storify. It pulls in videos and tweets from the Web. Here are some great directions for putting together a Storify: Tips for Using Storify in Your Reporting and Digital Storytelling.
  • Archive.ly, a people research platform in now in closed beta. Their CEO, Perri Blake Gorman, is on Twitter: @bethebutterfly.
  • OverBlog, a blogging platform that enables you to highlight your curated social, including Facebook and Google +.
  • SeeSaw is amazing. You type in a hashtag, and it shows you tiles. Pictures from links are displayed. With SeeSaw, you can take the tiles you see and like and save them to a board.
  • Rebel Mouse: collects your social stream – you can embed it into your site. Widely used by news orgs.
  • Prismatic lets you connect to a newsfeed based on your interests.
  • With Scoop.it, you decide on a topic, name the stream, and handpick sources. Also offers some suggested content.
  • For journalists, Storyful verifies information. It’s not a free tool, but most news organizations subscribe.
  • Pocket (formerly Read It Later) is my favorite way to save things to read later. You can organize what you save with tags.

Pocket sounds really interesting, especially for those of us with terrible memories.

I have a button on my browser. It makes life easy! In fact, most of these tools have browser buttons. Here is a list, though some of the tools aren’t around anymore: The Best Content Curation Tools for Journalists.

With so many tools, how do we decide which one to use?

I always say: Be an early tester. Be a thoughtful adopter. Try them all. Use what you like. There are so many wonderful tools, but, ultimately, they will impede us unless we settle on a few helpful ones. You should curate your tools as well as all the information.

ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, connects PR professionals with journalists and writers in need of subject-matter experts.  Each month, ProfNet users are quoted in hundreds of media outlets, ranging from major newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to trade magazines like Risk Management and QSR magazine.  Users receive queries about potential story opportunities daily, and can manage the type and volume of queries received.  Want to know more? Get a quote or request a free trial at: http://www.prnewswire.com/profnet/profnet-experts/

Content We Love: Social Media Makes this Release Pop

“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts 'Gone Nutty!' Toaster Pastries, Now Available in Two Peanut Butter Flavor Varieties.  (PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company)

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts ‘Gone Nutty!’ Toaster Pastries, Now Available in Two Peanut Butter Flavor Varieties. (PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company)

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but when it comes to a modern press release, social media is reigning champion.

My eyes popped upon seeing Kellogg’s recent release announcing the new Pop-Tarts® lineup. The release jumped from a “traditional release” (just text) to a supercharged social media delight!

Social media can be daunting but is important when it comes to releasing news. Why, you ask? Search engines are showing social content higher and higher (as of May 16th,Yahoo! is showing tweets in the news feed itself), a whole untapped audience is awaiting on these social channels (more and more are joining daily), AND it expands the life of a release.

Imagine dropping colored dye into a glass of water. The moment the dye hits the water, the entire glass changes color. Impact. If you can drop more dye into more glasses of water, the dye goes even further and affects even more.

Sharing your story on social media is adding glasses of water!

Kellogg accomplished this by way of Click-To-Tweet.

Click to Tweet: Pop-Tarts have Gone Nutty! @poptarts411 brings fans the most requested flavor #CrazyGoodPB! Check it out http://on.fb.me/kdgHx

A) Clicktotweet.com is a website for custom tweet creation. Want others to tweet something specific? Create a click-to-tweet!  The release is so much more shareable because quite literally, it is a push of a button.

B) The tweet is solid – the handle (@poptarts411 is called a ‘handle’ as it is how to find the company/person/group on twitter) is within the tweet instead of at the beginning. This is important because tweets that start with a handle look like replies or a conversation in progress. While the hope is for replies and conversations, many simply skip over tweets that start with a handle. Optimum visibility is not starting with the @.

C) #Hashtags are the way to search via social media. It shares a thought/trend/news that connects others. The #Discover feature at the top of twitter finds the news you’re looking for. Whether it is a #workout or sharing your Pop-Tarts® #CrazyGoodPB experience, you can find conversations around the #.

The press release did not just stop there. Also included a link enabling readers to connect on Facebook, providing seamless connections on multiple platforms.

Having social-media friendly releases are not difficult to have but imperative in our social-savvy world. Start the conversations by putting your content on social media platforms. Share your news and let your story be heard everywhere it can.

Big thanks to the Kellogg Company for the release we’re nuts over!

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mornings-have-gone-nutty-with-new-pop-tarts-peanut-butter-flavors-207165211.html

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Is a Paid Placement Right for Your Campaign?

There’s been a lot of buzz in the communications industry around the idea of using paid placements (also referred to as “strategic placements),  yet misconceptions persist about what this term actually means and when they are appropriate to use.  In a nutshell, a strategic placement is a 30 or 60 second stand- alone video in a newsbreak format that is used to provide news content during breaks in scheduled programming for TV or radio.  Video produced from B-roll and Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) as well as Radio Media Tours (RMTs) can also be repurposed into scripted packages for strategic placement on national or local TV and radio. 

When to use a paid placement? 

To increase the audience for a broadcast campaign: Impressions are often king in the broadcast world, but in some cases, satellite or radio media tours (“SMTs” and “RMTs” respectively) may not  garner the number of impressions that clients often like to see.  To increase the return on the investment in broadcast production, we always advise employing a multi-faceted approach so that content can be seen and heard on a variety of mediums.   Paid placements can often help get air time on cable and network affiliates that are often unattainable otherwise, and can be a great way to increase your audience ‘footprint.’  For example, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Headline News, and The Daily Buzz are just a handful of typically coveted networks where content can be easily placed with the paid approach. 

To Target Local Markets or Demographics: Some initiatives have a local focus, with coverage wanted regionally, for example a bank that has only east coast branches. By utilizing paid placement, content can be placed in specific cities, states and/or on major national networks – adding a niche targeting approach.  Add a statewide radio distribution and impressions skyrocket.

Targeting a specific demographic? A cluster of cable outlets can be selected to further refine goals.  For example, content geared toward women can be placed on ABC Family and Lifetime, video devoted to entertainment can be placed on Comedy Central and Discovery, and Lifestyle related content can be placed on networks such as Food Network and HGTV.

THE BOTTOM  LINE?

Broadcast paid placements can be a great addition to add to any multi-tiered broadcast approach. In addition to helping to boost impressions,  paid placements can be used to target specific cities, states and regions and deliver  the message to the right demographic.

Want to explore new ways to tell your brand’s story and to reach new audiences?  We’d be happy to chat with you about creating a video or a designing multimedia distribution strategy that will increase discovery of your brand’s messages.  We’d love to hear your ideas, and help turn them into reality. Contact us for more information.

Author Risa Chuang is Director of Media Relations for MultiVu, a PR Newswire company.

Content We Love: 2013 January-March in Review

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

News. Content. Engagement.

The many reasons for sending press releases mirror the many types of releases we see here at PR Newswire. From January through March, we have seen a variety of compelling messages that captured our attention.

Social media campaigns, captivating headlines, riveting infographics, and compelling videos took center stage throughout the beginning of the year and the world took notice. These are some of the releases from January, February, and March of 2013 that we absolutely love.

 01. Pop Culture Pets: Veterinary Pet Insurance released the top names for our furry friends and the tale (or tail) leads to Twilight for inspiration.

 02. Riveting Headline: American DG Energy Inc. passed “go” in our books with this captivating headline. The energy agreement started its 15-year sentence at a county jail and served a conversation on social media channels to discuss it.

 03. Big Nominations: Kino Lorber’s release wins an award in our book for showcasing a video and pictures to accompany the big news of an Oscar nomination. From a beautiful film to a beautiful release, we applaud you!

04. Digital Love: Social media reigns supreme in recent survey from Match.com highlighting the technological advances to dating past and present. Will #tweetups and a digital date be next?

05. DIY Wedding: Michaels Stores released a budding romance for 2013 with the top DIY wedding ideas. While we were fawning over the ideas (and pinning the pictures), the video perfectly complimented the message. DIY puts the merry in merriment.

06. #GoAndSmellTheRoses: Around the world in minutes, Travelocity’s roaming gnome urges all to take the vacation of a lifetime. The new campaign features great visuals and an official hashtag. Inspired for travel, we all want to #GoAndSmellTheRoses

07. Free Food Madness: Shooting hoops isn’t the only thing on the menu for Outback Steakhouse. To celebrate March Madness, their bracket-tournament was for a free juicy appetizer.

Kudos — and thanks — to the organizations listed  for the pleasure of reading your phenomenal releases and allowing us to spotlight your stories.

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Social Influence on Business Strategy: Empathy is the Secret Sauce

This post originally appeared on the Business4Better Blog.

Ed note: Today is the second day of Business4Better, a new event produced by PR Newswire’s parent company, UBM plc., designed to foster partnerships between non-profits and corporations. As I was scanning the blog posts recapping the first day, I spotted the post below and decided to share it with you.  It’s an interesting illustration of the degree to which social influences have permeated business decision making and strategy, and the importance of empathy to an organization’s success.  - SSReconciling a balance sheet or analyzing data for the next great product is not the only metric that drives the success of great companies. Rather, the secret sauce has to do with empathy for the world around you.

It is not just business for better, it is better for business, says Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates and author of Wired to Care who opened up the Business4Better show here in Anaheim.

He implored businesses to reconnect with their humanity and gave examples of companies that are doing this today. “When we are fact-based and living our lives with PowerPoint data, we are only bringing in a part of our brains every day to work, says Patnaik. “You have to have that connection and get out beyond your walls and spend the time in the real world.”

Harley Davidson is a company that embraces these ideals. “The minute you walk into Harley Davidson headquarters, the parking lot is overflowing with Harleys, the building smells like leather and the company keeps the connection to the world around them. There is an authenticity. We are them and they are us,” said Patnaik.

Patnaik also compared the culture of Nike and Reebok. Nike is a culture of athletes and Reebok is a culture of MBAs that sell shoes. Great companies have a gut sense to know what is right, the passion to leap on something new and the courage to stick with something shaky; he added.

Some view empathy is a lovey-dovey word but Nike and Harley Davidson are hard charging places, he said. “When you care about people more than yourself, you will innovate and grow. You will have a sense of mission and reason to come into work every day.”

Kelley DamoreAuthor  is Chief Community Officer at UBM Tech. 

A New Way to Crowdsource a Campaign

The Social Media Club of New York City (SMCNYC) hosted an event last month  showcasing Ford Motor Co. on the floor of the New York International Auto show to reveal Ford’s fun, new marketing campaign for its fuel-efficient vehicle C-MAX.

Team Detroit, Ford’s agency, came up with print, TV and digital banners using the Italian “La Linea” character, but they needed social too. This is when the social group at Team Detroit stepped in to create a concept.

C-MAX Live Social Campaign

The group describes C-MAX Live by saying: “Imagine yourself in a live crowdsourced Instagram animation.” The concept they came up with integrates traditional, media, and social media in a way that hasn’t been done before by creating a live, crowdsourced animation, which is done through Instagram.

The Process Behind the Concept

Team Detroit needed to bring the “La Linea” character to life, so they decided to literally bring people into this character’s world. The group wanted to create an animation that would incorporate real people interacting with the character, but first they needed to create a story.

Team Detroit started storyboarding it out and seeing how many frames it would take to have people interacting and doing certain scenarios with the “La Linea” character. Shilo studios joined the project by doing the math that was necessary to figure out frame rates and make sure everything worked in size and scale. They had the line drawing put together into a storyboard. From that storyboard they pulled 68 individual frames that had people interacting with them. Those 68 frames were then used for traditional out-of-home buys, such as postings in malls, movie theaters, and events all over the country in their top C-MAX markets.

How People Can Interact With the C-MAX Live Boards

What they are asking people to do is to literally line their bodies up with the dotted line on the boards (see images below). Once you line yourself up with the “La Linea” character in the background, you take your picture through Instagram and apply the hashtag “C-MAX,” and through object recognition they are able to pull that animation and stitch it back together in real-time live.

You then go to a landing page and you opt-in through Instagram, and you can see yourself in the animation with people from all over the country in real-time. The animation is always dynamic and changing, so you will always see yourself but everyone else will change because it is pulling in those people from all over the country who are interacting with the boards. In addition, if you have an Instagram friend participating in a different city and at a completely different board, then you will see them in your animation.

This campaign launches on May 1 in various cities. Here is a list of the cities, along with a link to the animation: social.ford.com/cmaxlive

Whether you’re a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email — all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

Written 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.

Social Media Club NYC Recap: Social Media Measurement

Last Thursday, Social Media Club NYC met to discuss the topic of social media measurement.  Doh Young Jung, data scientist at Brandwatch, was one of the speakers at the event. The second speaker was Martin Murtland, vice president of platform management at PR Newswire. The moderator for the evening was Howard Greenstein, president and organizer of SMCNYC.

Q: What is your role in your company?

Murtland: I am responsible for developing the roadmap for a lot of the products. Some interesting research is that 56 percent of brands and agencies are equating the value of their social media activities to their business outcomes. So we need to know how to show businesses the value of what they are doing with their social media activities. I am a firm believer that the key to this is for practitioners to talk the language of business, which isn’t necessarily talking about all the metrics you can have but more about trying to understand how you can link to those metrics with what you are trying to achieve from a business perspective.

Jung: I am part of the analytics team. We do a lot of consulting services with clients, and we try to help them understand social media as well as how to use our tools better. In addition, I do a great deal of reporting for clients when they have specific social media questions.

Q: What are we talking about when we say social media measurement?

Murtland: It goes back to what you are trying to achieve from a business perspective. You can look at it like a marketing funnel which you flip over, and then you have to push your leads through the different areas. And you have to work very hard to get them through. Try to think about what you are doing with your campaigns; what metrics are appropriate in each of those general areas, as well as what you are trying to do inside the marketing funnel. For me, it is important to look at where the industry is going and what companies are doing to create these tools to enable users.

Jung: Our goal is to always deliver relevant content in a timely manner. When we talk about relevance it is about understanding our client’s objectives in terms of the data that they want and knowing when they need that data. We always want to make sure that our tool is easy for the practitioner to use and the reporting is easy to understand. Many of our clients come from PR and marketing agencies, and then we also support their clients. In addition, we have some larger financial clients that use social media monitoring for their product offerings.

Q: Why is social media measurement more difficult than just turning on these tools that you offer and letting them do the work?

Murtland: The software providers know part of the puzzle but it also takes work on behalf of the user to understand what issue they are trying to solve. It is important to know what you want to achieve consistently over time. One of the key things from a measurement perspective is to benchmark yourself. Don’t worry so much about what metric you use in the beginning, but try to benchmark what are you doing — otherwise you will not know what’s having an impact and improving. If you are able to do it well then include in your benchmark some of your competitors. You want to try to create reference points to see how well you are doing. From there you can think about what kind of metrics you can cover and what metrics you should be covering from a business perspective. Then look for an overlap between these two groups of metrics, and that should be the metrics you use.

Q: You (Jung) are a data scientist, so what is the science of what you are doing?

Jung: We deal a lot with numbers. We do want to show the different trends going on with social media data. As companies start to collect this type of data and look into it, the more accurate of a vision they can have of relating it back to their business purposes, such as the their marketing or financial results.

Q: Do you consult with companies about the purpose of the stats they are collecting?

Murtland: We do have a team for that. The first question to ask is: What are you trying to achieve from a business perspective? No metric or tool will resolve your business problem, you have to start by identifying the problem and then let everything else drive it.

Jung: Our starting point for every discussion is helping clients ask the right question. For example, if there is a case where a company is starting with zero awareness about whatever they are releasing then we have to do competitive research. So if they are releasing something on the market that already has competitors, we go into competitive data sets and see how they are doing in the market and then we tell the client what the competitor is doing successfully or wrong. This gives them some type of strategy.

Q: Now that we have established a baseline and know what business goal we are trying to achieve with our social, what’s next?

Murtland: The next step is to understand some kind of cause and effect. It is important to log and record the type of activities you have been doing. You want to show that what you are doing is actually driving the change.

Q: Can you have a tool where you are can both send out your social and measure it?

Murtland: We have a product that is an engagement console where you are able to track some of your activities. Likewise we have different tools for more earned media. You are able to log your activities in there.

Jung: We started out as a monitoring tool, so that is our core focus. We have seen more requests for engagement, and this is an area we want to venture into.

Q: Not all the networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.) make their metrics available, so how do you bring all this stuff together into one global picture that you can start to understand as a marketer?

Murtland: Work out what metrics you can measure and what metrics you should be measuring. The other thing to try to validate is where that data is coming from and what it means. I think there is a lot of jargon and ways to express different things, so try to understand it.

Q: How do you view a single metric vs. combo metrics, because the combo metrics seem more accessible?

Jung: It depends on your business goals. Also different types of clients have different things they are more interested in, so there is no one easy formula. PR agencies are more interested in influencer identification, which is trying to identify whether a tweet from a personal account is different than a tweet from a more influential account. They want to find those Twitter handles that have more influence and impact on social media.

Q: How do you determine what is influential for that particular brand?

Murtland:  What is important to me is the contextual influence, so what is the person’s domain and whether they are influencers around that. You can also check if they are an influencer by seeing if their followers are active; look for retweets.

Jung: Our tool can collect historical data as far back as two-and-a-half years. We begin by identifying Twitter handles or any sort of users that mention a relevant brand or marketing campaign topic. We then delve into what they are posting about and look for the topic in their conversation.

Q: How much semantic or sentiment analysis are you doing, and how do you decide if it makes any sense?

Jung: We do have built-in universal sentiment engines and they are based on things like swear words. We are able to customize syntax and understand the language better of certain conversations that have been surrounding positive or negative topics. We can manually change the rules, tweak it, and make sentiment more reliable.

Murtland: There are a couple things you want from a sentiment tool. They are: 1) automated sentiment, looking and analyzing large volumes of content and identifying trends inside it; 2) manually being able to override the scores.

Q: What do we need to do next to tie what we are doing (getting inquiries, selling products, etc.) to some sort of a business metric?

Murtland: You need to start by looking at the peaks and troughs, and try to see if there is a correlation between them. You can try to see the causes and effects that are happening and the correlations, then you can begin understanding and seeing what’s working and not working. Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not working. Repeat and then see the effect.

Jung: As a company becomes increasingly savvy about social data, one thing they can do is set a target to reach. For a lot of PR agencies, the target is often key message penetration. They want to see that a message they crafted is actually being delivered through social media to the audience that they want to reach. An increase in key message penetration has resulted in positive/negative business performance.

Q: How do you keep out confounding data? An example of this was when the “Old Spice Guy” first came out and there was a huge spike in sales, but then someone noted that P&G had a major couponing campaign going on.

Jung:  Our entire app is based on Boolean, so if we see a peak we are able to delve into it. We can cut it out and see what the marketing volume was about as well as the coupon conversation. Then we look at the relationship there, and if we see both things increasing then that can mean both have worked.

You can watch a video of the event here:

(If you’re unable to view the video on this page, please go to: youtu.be/TXGg6rXLMcs)

Whether you’re a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email — all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

Written 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.

Content We Love: Elmer’s Glue Sticks to Visibility

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

Visibility and Press Releases.

In a world driven by SEO and multimedia, crafting a story to stand out can seem daunting.  In music, many songs rely on a “hook.” This is what captivates the audience in a reasonable and simple way to maintain attention.

When I saw Elmer’s release introducing a new glue made from natural ingredients, I found the hook. It was pure music to my eyes.

Between the crafty headline and the multiple images, this release provided multiple elements we’re positively stuck on.

elmers

Elmer’s® Introduces First School Glue Made from Natural Ingredients

Headline: With many search engines indexing only the first 65 characters and other sites displaying the headline alone, it is imperative to stick up for your story and stand out.

Not only is the headline within the guidelines, it fulfills the three-prong search rule.

Three-prong search rule?

  • Have three key words/phrases to summarize the entire release. This will make it searchable and thus increase your visibility.
  • These key words/phrases will appear throughout the release and in the headline.

(*fun hunt: perform a search on your own releases by finding the words you think are most important to tell/summarize your story. Can you find your news?)

Images: We live in a world of images. Visuals aid in sharing the news and giving a tangible context to the words.

Including images on your release not only make the story “pop” but also showcase the story through a different platform. Our visual world demands visuals and with Elmer’s introduction of a new product, the imagery sticks with you.

How does adding images increase your visibility?

Our eyes are glued to pictures.

The target audience will automatically check out the images if images are available. PR Newswire’s analytics found that adding just one image increases the visibility 1.8X.

Press releases take your news on an adventure. It travels across search engines, consumers, the media, and more. Remember to add a headline with a hook and imagery to captivate attention.

Thanks to Elmer’s(R) Products, Inc. for providing a release we’re glued to.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/elmers-introduces-first-school-glue-made-from-natural-ingredients-200905731.html

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Social Media Club NYC Recap: A NXNE Roundup of SXSW

The Social Media Club NYC event began with a quick discussion of any new tools or websites in the social media industry, as per usual.

  • Vine, the mobile app by Twitter, is an amazing tool and you can do a lot of things in a six-second video. Even Tribeca Film Festival is holding a Vine competition.
  • Shutterstock introduced Spectrum, which is a tool that categorizes and catalogs all of their images by color.
  • TaskRabbit is a helpful tool for making reservations and completing errands.
  • Google Reader is shutting down. However, Listly has a crowdsourced list of RSS readers instead of Google Reader. And so far, Feedly has been the most popular option and has received the most attention.
  • There is a new app called Mailbox that is replacing Apple Mail. This app doesn’t help if you like to put your stuff into labels and organize your email, but it is useful if you just want to get rid of mail. Warning: There is a very long list of people waiting to download the app.
  • Another email app called BirdsEye was built specifically for tablet use, and is based on your Gmail.
  • Tempo app connects with your accounts and shows information about your schedule for the day in either a calendar or list view. It is a very useful tool if you have a meeting, because it will provide you with all the information for that meeting on one screen.

Past SXSW Experience

  • It was interesting to see how SXSW had a dedicated health track. It was especially interesting how everyone was embracing Quantified Self-Improvement. Quantified Self-Improvement is self-tracking by using data for a specific purpose, i.e., tracking your sleep pattern, steps taken, foods eaten.
  • Great show for everyone to get together and learn about the different trends.

This Year’s SXSW Experience

  • A lot of the show is about meeting up with people on the fly. It is difficult to plan prior to the event and the sessions are very booked. You need to make sure to get to the sessions 30-60 minutes before each one.
  • You meet many great people at the show, especially in places that are a little quieter and less crowded.
  • There is something for everyone at the show, and you can make it what you want it to be.
  • Here is a post on how to prepare for SXSW by Tim McDonald, community manager at HuffPost live: bit.ly/15L11fj
  • If you look at SXSW as a festival vs. conference and go for the people, then it is a great place to go. McDonald said, “It is the utopia of networking.”

What Trends Were Present at SXSW

  • MakerBot: Many people talked about MakerBot, which is a 3D printing device that lets your print 3D shapes in plastic. MakerBot comes with many pre-made shapes and things that you can utilize as well as easy 3D tools.
  • Google Glass: People talked about Google Glasses, but nobody saw any pairs at the show. About Google Glass: Google’s Glasses allow for an unobtrusive interactive experience. The glasses make it possible to be engaged in the moment while experiencing the digital aspect of it. Mark Hurst wrote a post about the dangers of Google Glasses, which discusses another side to these glasses. Watch this video to learn more about Google Glass:bit.ly/X6tgXy
  • Multimedia Screens: There were unique things going on with multimedia screens and view prompting based on various social actions. For example, the Twitter party had screens up on a wall and you could make a rocketship fly by if you tweeted a specific hashtag.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC): There was a lot of NFC at the show. Samsung was really promoting NFC, and they set it up so you could use it to get into VIP and some of the lounge parties.
  • Car Service Apps: Uber and SideCar are services you can use to “virtual hail” to get a car to pick you up, and they were big at the show. The HAIL A CAB™ app was another great service which enabled you to find a nearby taxi.
  • Quantified Self: An example of Quantified Self is Fitbit. The added social aspect of these apps and devices help reinforce the tracking of your heath, which can be a good type of social pressure that helps you stay on track. Social is a big part of medical adherence, so tracking of health can really help enable people digitally.
  • Memes: The Grumpy Cat hashtag trended more than anything else that was tech-based. The obsession with memes may come from people automatically connecting because they all recognize the meme. Also, memes are something anyone can do and start.
  • People were often looking for places to charge their devices at the show. There were lounges at the show where you could charge up. In addition, one solution for this issue are the Duracell portable power packs.

Trends Not Seen at SXSW

  • There were no Windows tablets seen at the show.
  • The Leap Motion Controller is a company that creates a gesture-based interface for computers, and the product wasn’t really seen at SXSW.
  • There wasn’t anything different mentioned at the show regarding Social TV. Social should be an integral part for reality TV shows, but it really isn’t.

Other Interesting Discussions from the SMCNYC Event

  • Warby Parker allows you to buy glasses and you are also buying glasses for someone in the developing world. The glasses, which are typically plastic, come to you in the mail and you can chose a pair you like from the 3-5 options. You send the other ones back. They even have a Web interface where you take a picture of yourself and you can see how you look in the different frames before you even order.
  • Pebble is a watch that connects to your Android or iPhone, and one of things it does is show you who is calling when a call comes through and lets you answer on your watch. You basically don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket because you have the watch on your wrist. It pairs with your phone and uses its data. It is another alternate display.
  • There is a privacy issue where people don’t read any “terms and conditions,” and then this causes a real fear in users over their lack of privacy. For example, loyalty cards can track what you bought and where you bought your items, but at the same it is purposeful for marketing. If you want to see who is tracking you in real-time you can download a Firefox add-on called Collusion. This add-on will tell you everywhere and to who you’re information is being reported after visiting a site. You can also use Private Internet Access, which will make the VPN appear in nine different countries and zones in the U.S. It tunnels your IP address to another place in the world and comes out the other side. The Onion Router (TOR) is another service that makes it difficult to track your information.

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images courtesy of Stephanie Grayson

Written 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.

Blog Notes: TV, Personal Finance, Style & Home Remedies

roundup9Blog Notes is a weekly helping of blogs recently reviewed on PR Newswire for Bloggers. Would you like your blog reviewed? Tweet PR Newswire media relations manager Christine Cube at @PRN4Bloggers.

TV Fanatic is a big source for TV news, reviews, spoilers, photos, and information. “Our team of writers and programmers work around the clock to bring readers the latest stories, pics and quotes from the most popular shows on the air,” says the blog. TV Fanatic covers spoilers, exclusives, clips, casting news, and caption contests. Content is overseen by editor-in-chief Matt Richenthal, whose favorite shows include Lost, Modern Family, Friday Night Lights, and Dexter. TV Fanatic is owned and operated by Mediavine Inc., an Internet marketing company that specializes in entertainment-themed sites. It also has 866K likes on Facebook. Read the full review on PR Newswire for Bloggers here.

The word “oblivious” in the name of the financial blog Oblivious Investor might sound like a bad thing. This might imply a lack of knowledge or awareness. But in this blog, being oblivious is not a bad thing at all. The author’s goal is to direct readers’ attention away from day-to-day obsessions of the market. Be oblivious to that, and you’ll be ok. Additionally, if you diversify your portfolio and minimize costs, you’ll be even better off. The Oblivious Investor is written by Mike Piper. He’s married and lives in St. Louis. Read the full review here.

Stylonylon is the whimsical personal style, fashion and lifestyle blog of London freelancer Julia Rebaudo. Rebaudo has written for different media outlets, including Time Out, Elle and The Guardian. She says her blog is a “mixture of beautiful things that have caught my eye, interviews, occasional fashion news (new collections, trend & outfit collages, various edits), outfit posts, photography chat and Instagram pics” with an east London focus. It’s a fairly young blog, started last spring 2012. Already, Stylonylon has built quite a following with roughly 10,000 pageviews monthly, up from 1,000 pageviews just last October. Read the full review here.

fiveRemedies.com is dedicated to helping folks heal naturally with simple home remedies. It’s an interesting site, and it covers a lot of territory. In addition to remedies, other content includes organic living, herbal remedies, alternative medicines, homeopathy, naturopathy, and other forms of alternative and complementary medication. FiveRemedies.com is an online media firm owned by GoodWebDomains. There are no bylines or names attached to the extensive write ups on health issues. But it’s pretty cool what the site has to say about various ailments. Here’s one that I found interesting: Natural remedies for muscle strain and sprain. Read the full review here.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her at @cpcube or see what’s happening over at @PRN4Bloggers.