Category Archives: Online Influence

Do Press Releases Help SEO?

seo factors 5 10

The debate over whether or not press releases distributed over a commercial newswire like PR Newswire have a positive effect on SEO has raged for years, resulting in confusion over whether or not using press releases to build visibility for a web site in search engines is an effective tactic.

Years ago, sending out press releases with embedded anchor text links rewarded the issuer of the press release with dozens – if not hundreds – of backlinks.  In many cases, the associated web site was catapulted to the top of the search engine results pages and voila, a popular tactic was born.

Since then, search engines have become more intelligent, and even more focused on their users.  Google’s updates (especially Panda and Penguin) have focused on winnowing out poor quality content.   Many of the press releases that are created link-building tactics don’t pass muster in the engines’ ongoing evaluation of content.

Google’s Matt Cutts is on record advising that links from press releases are no longer contributing to page rank.  However, a recent test by the SEO Consult blog offers evidence to the contrary.

So what’s the answer?  Do press releases matter when it comes to site SEO?  Yes, they do, but not in the way they used to.

The old days of using press releases as a link-building tool have not gone, the evidence shows it can still be beneficial, but the bar has been significantly raised.

On the other hand, content that is written for the audience and is subsequently valued by the audience fares well, whether or not it’s a press release, article or blog post.

“Our advice is that we should write for our audience first, and then work to make the press release findable,” notes Rod Nicolson, PR Newswire’s vice president of global reporting. “By sharing information that your audience needs, or providing them with something else they want you’ll be using best practice that is as old as press releases themselves.”

“Matt isn’t saying that press releases won’t help,” commented SEO Round Table reader Joshua Butler, in a comment on the post titled “Links in Press Releases Don’t Help Your SEO? This Experiment Proved They Do, where a lively discussion on this subject has ensued.   “What Matt is saying is that press releases that are posted to press release sites without getting picked up by real news sites won’t help. He’s saying:  links from press release sites won’t help your rankings.  So what do you do? Still do press releases, but make them newsworthy enough to get picked up by news sites. Getting links from industry news sites that have a long history (3 or more years old) are great links to get.”

Whether or not a press release (or, for that matter, any other content your organization syndicates or publishes) is effective in terms of building traction in search engines and ultimately becoming  a source of valuable and authoritative inbound link to your web site will depend on a few things, including:

  • The subject matter & content: Is your content germane to your audiences’ interests?  Is it written using language they use and will search for?
  • The competitiveness of the subject matter and associated keywords:  Competing for attention when using extremely popular search terms such as “Michelle Obama” or “Super Bowl 2013” is difficult, because of the sheer volume of information available about popular topics.   A more targeted key phrase will generally deliver better results.
  • Where the content appears:  Newsworthy, well-written content appearing on relevant, high-authority web sites will be noticed by search engines, and the net effect will be positive.   PR Newswire’s web site has been continuously online serving our customers and their audiences since 1995, and our content syndication network  includes some of the web’s largest news outlets, as well as thousands of well-respected, tightly-focused and subject-specific news sites.
  • Whether or not people actually read it (and share it):  Content that is published but not read achieves nothing – both in terms of human impressions and search engine traction, and it’s a waste of resource to boot.  When people read and share content, they generate signals indicating to search engines the value of a particular piece of content.  So generating strong readership has a dual benefit – in addition to spreading your message virally, your search engine visibility is boosted, too.

The take away here is that there is no cookie-cutter formula for using press releases to build web site rank.  However, emphasizing value to readers in all the content published by the organization will ultimately generate lasting visibility in search engines and increased credibility with your brand’s audiences.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

Improve the visibility of your content:

Need tips on improving the visibility of your press releases and other content you publish?  Here are some simple, straightforward and easy to use best practices that you can start using today.

Readers’ Choice: The Top Blog Posts from 2012

Picture-Quotes-For-New-Year2-600x450It’s always interesting to look back over the year and see which blog posts were most popular with our readers. For 2012, the most popular posts were a blend of commentary on emerging PR trends, tried and true PR tactics -served with a side helping of humor.

Without further ado, here are the top posts for 2012, in descending order:

1) Trends in Public Relations for 2012

Trends are a popular topic, which is no surprise in the fast-changing field of PR.  We do our best to stay on top of emerging technology innovations and changes in the media and information markets, in order to help PR and communications pros capture as much attention (and opportunity) as possible.  We’ve started identifying 2013 PR trends, too.  See our two PR trends for 2013 posts :  Outcomes & Tactics and Evolving Media & Social Business

2) 33 Signs That You Work in PR

Sometime, laughter is the best medicine.  Bookmark this hilarious post by guest author Beth Monaghan (@bamonaghan)  for when you’re having one of those days.  It’s guaranteed -  at the very least – to elicit a wry smile.

3)  Getting on Daytime TV Talk Shows

Written in 2011, this post has been popular since it was published, because it offers detailed advice on the devilishly difficult challenge of garnering a spot on daytime TV for your client or your brand.

4) 5 Emerging PR Trends & the New Public Relations Skill Set for 2012 (& Beyond)

This post, published mid-year, considered trends in terms of the skill sets required of PR pros now – and in the future.

Promoting a Blog

Another oldie from 2011, this post tells the somewhat ridiculous story of how we (okay, in truth, I) came late to using our own newswire service to promote this blog.  Needless to say, the tactic worked in spades, and we now regularly use the wire to promote not just the blog, but other content we publish.  Simply put, you can’t deny the necessity of distribution in any publishing model – including the publishing found in  content marketing and public relations.

Auld Lang Syne

As this year closes and we look forward to 2013, we’d like to thank you all for stopping by and reading our blog this year, and to wish you all a very happy and prosperous upcoming year.

Free eBook: “The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Influencer Engagement: A collaborative work of industry peers”

eBook_blogThe terms “social networks” and “social media” make it easy to forget that people – more than a billion of them worldwide – are the means by which conversations propagate and ideas spread.  Smart communicators factor the human element into the communications plans they develop and the content they create.

Every group of people, whether you’re talking about an informal cluster or people conversing via hashtags on Twitter, a private group on Facebook or a coffee klatch at a local café, has its own influencers.  Respected and quoted by many, influencers are the members of the community who sway opinions through a combination of personal expertise and social connectedness that put them at the center (and often at the start of) many conversations.  Influencers exist for every imaginable topic.  They might be hobbyists, academics, journalists, professionals, or simply the person next door.  Each brings a unique point of view to a conversation, and developing relationships with them is important for brands building a connected digital presence.

We invited you –the industry experts – to pen a chapter and share your thoughts, ideas and best practices on the topic of social media influence.  The result:  a comprehensive eBook called “The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Influencer Engagement, A collaborative work of industry peers,” which delves into the different kinds of influencers you’ll find, their role in shaping online conversation and how brands and organizations can build valuable relationships with key influencers within their markets and as well as become influential themselves.

Read “The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Influencer Engagement” and thank you to all of our contributing authors!

Learn more about PR Newswire’s other programs at the AGILITY@work website.

Media Moves & News for November

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125

MEDIAware, PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department newsletter, featuring media news and job changes in the last month, is now available. Here is a sampling of this month’s edition:

Newsweek (http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/newsweek.html)announced it will cease printing with its last issue on Dec. 31st. Newsweek will be an online publication only in 2013. Newsweek estimates that its been losing $40 million annually on the print edition. Layoffs are expected in the transition. The new online product will be called “Newsweek Global”. Some Newsweek articles will continue to be available on The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com) free website run by the same company. Newsweek began in 1933 and competed and battled with Time magazine to provide readers with the top weekly news stories in the newsweekly magazine business. The magazine peaked in 1991 with 3.3 million readers and was down to 1.5 million at the midway point this year. The lack of advertising dollars for a national weekly losing readers played a part in the demise as well.

It’s stormy weather for employees of The Weather Channel (http://www.weather.com) lately as approximately seven percent were laid off last month. The Atlanta-based company, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, had to lay off employees as part of a restructuring. The restructuring affected about 75-80 people. The last such layoff was in 2008 after NBCUniversal acquired a controlling share of the company. Meteorologists Jeff Morrow and Adam Berg were among those out.

The Seattle Times (http://seattletimes.com) reported on its own employees protest against the company, following the company’s controversial decision to purchase a full-page ad supporting the Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. More than 100 Seattle Times news staffers – including reporters, photographers, columnists, artists, editors and online news producers – signed a letter protesting the Times Co’s decision to sponsor newspaper ads supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate McKenna and a statewide referendum for legalized gay marriage. The employees cited threats to the paper’s credibility and neutrality as reasons for the protest.

Anderson Live (http://www.andersoncooper.com), Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, will not return for a third season. The program will run until Summer of 2013 completing its second season. You can still see Anderson Cooper on his CNN program “Anderson Cooper 360″ (http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/).

After Newsweek announced its move to digital earlier this month, popular Senior Correspondent Peter J. Boyer makes a major move. The former New Yorker and Vanity Fair Staff Writer has been named the new Editor-at-Large of Fox News. The new hire was named by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in a statement to his staff, describing Boyer as a “talented and insightful journalist.”

Former “CBS This Morning” Co-host Erica Hill has joined NBC’s “Weekend Today” as its new Co-host. Hill will host on Saturdays and Sundays beside Lester Holt. In addition to her new Co-hosting duties she will be a national correspondent for NBC News reporting on “Today” and “NBC Nightly News”.

Comedian Adam Carolla has joined Fox News Channel (http://www.foxnews.com) as a Contributor mainly on “The O’Reilly Factor” program (http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/index.html). Carolla is set to appear each Monday on the show to comment on political and social issues. In addition to appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” he will make appearances on other Fox News Shows. You can also see Carolla on his daily podcast show “The Adam Carolla Show” (http://adamcarolla.com).

As countless publications continue to take major hits due to the economic recession Condé Nast Corporation (http://www.condenast.com) announces several cutbacks. Eight editorial staffers and three business staffers were laid off at Self Magazine as part of Condé Nast’s 2013 budget cuts. According to New York Post, reports state that each title under the major publishing house must cutback by an estimated 5%. Although the cutbacks are said to continue within the coming months, large brands such as Vanity Fair and The New Yorker may escape staff reductions this time around. However, other powerful names were not so lucky, such as Susan Portnoy (Vice President Media Relations for Digital and Corporate Communications), most commonly known for her involvement in New York’s annual Fashion’s Night Out.

LANG (http://www.langnews.com) which include the Los Angeles Daily News, the Torrance Daily Breeze and seven other papers has taken the obvious next step into becoming a regional news operation with an emphasis more on digital and less on geographical. Carolina Garcia will take over as Managing Editor of digital news for all LANG papers.

The Chicago Sun-Times (http://www.suntimes.com) has announced the hiring of Actress and Author Jenny McCarthy as Columnist. Ask Jenny will appear in the newspaper’s Splash section, and her blog will run Monday through Friday at splash.suntimes.com. The column will focus on and answer questions about love, sex, parenting, friendship, fitness and duties of a single mother.

Wired (http://www.wired.com) is bringing advertisers and the blogging community together by running ad-sponsored blogs. http://www.adweek.com/news/press/wired-bringing-advertisers-and-its-blogs-closer-together-136211

The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com) circulation figures are showing an increase due to paid digital subscriptions: http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2012/10/digital_helps_lat_ga.php

Meteorologists Dick Albert of WCVB-TV (http://www.wcvb.com) in Needham, MA and Steve Cascione of WLNE-TV (http://www.abc6.com) in Providence, RI are teaming up to create a weather-focused online forum called SkyWatchers (http://skywatchers.me) which is set to launch by the end of this year. SkyWatchers will be a platform for weather lovers to connect with and share information about all things weather. They are tweeting: https://twitter.com/skywchrs

The Press of Atlantic City (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com) powered on through Hurricane Sandy and printed 24-page editions on Tuesday Oct. 30 &  Wednesday Oct.31st.

You can view the whole October issue of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/mediaware/

And all of the Regional Updates here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/mediaware/November2012AgilityUpdatesByRegion.html

You can also follow all of the latest media moves and news from PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/PRNmedia

Blog Notes: Random Edition

As you might imagine, I read a lot of blogs. It’s literally my job to find and promote the best blogs out there. And while most of the blogs I profile fit nicely into one category or another, often times there is an overflow of quality sites that don’t necessarily fit into one bundle. That”s not to say they’re not worth reading! They are worth it. But, for whatever reason, they haven’t been profiled here… yet. So with that in mind, I’d like to take a brief tour through some random and also awesome blogs.

August, Interrupted is the story of one brave woman’s fight with cancer. It has all the resolve, courage and inspiration you might expect from such a blog. But, what you might be surprised to find on this blog is humor. But, you’ll certainly find a lot of it. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories on oncology and living with cancer. I’d also be prepared to be moved to tears. I was. Check out the full review here.

Bike Gang! is the online home for stories relevant to biking, reviews of products, cool pictures and just about everything else two-wheeled. They also review ‘real people’s bikes’ as well as promote information on best practices for road safety. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything bike related. I understand they’re friendly to product reviews, too. Check out the full review here.

The Daily is the first “newspapers” for the digital age. It came about with the advent of the tablet reader and it “delivers” once a day. But, unlike most print publications, it updates constantly. But, like most newspapers, it covers just about everything you’d want to know about. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories on any topic. They seem to cover it all. Check out the full review here.

ONA Issues is a blog dedicated to the growing cadre of digital journalists. Not surprisingly, this is a growing concern. The world is going digital and so, too, is the news. But, that doesn’t mean that the rigorous ethics of journalism should go the way of the printed paper. This blog is here to keep those standards alive. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything to do with social media and journalism. Check out the full review here.

Four Pins is a fashion blog with a  great sense of humor. But, don’t get it twisted. They also have a very good sense of fashion. In fact, I might be checking this site before I go fall clothes shopping. But, this is a blog I’d follow even if I didn’t have clothes to buy. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories not just about fashion, but about where fashion intersects with other parts of life. Check out the full review here.

That’s all for now. In the meantime, if there’s a blog I should be reviewing, drop me a line or a note in the comments, and I’ll take a look. Until next time…

Author Tom Hynes is PR Newswire’s manager of blogger relations. And as you may have guessed, he has a twitter account.

Nonprofit Blogs: Good Work Done Well

This week my focus is on nonprofit blogs.  I enjoy charity and giving. (I actually run my own nonprofit.) And it’s not surprising that these things should be enjoyable. For as Portia says to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, the “quality of mercy… is twice blessed, it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” In other words, it feels good to give. We should do it more often. Still, it should be done wisely. It’s great to give of ourselves. But, it’s even better to do it well. So with that in mind, let’s gather up some canned food, write this off as tax deductible as we enjoy this brief tour through some of the best nonprofit blogs I’ve seen lately.

Passionate Giving is a blog born out of Veritus Group. Or better yet, the Veritus Group is their job. Passionate Giving is, you guessed it, their passion. They believe in nonprofits. But, they also believe in having fun. This blog is about where those two worlds meet. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d loom for stories about major gifts. Things concerning nonprofit consulting might also work. Check out the full review here.

Points of Light is a blog about nonprofits. But, really, it’s about the individual. It’s about the people who make changes in their worlds. It is through this lens that they examine the world of charity and giving. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories about how individuals can affect change in their communities. Stories of successful nonprofit launches might also work.  Check out the full review here.

Stanford Social Innovation Review examines how the worlds of academia, business, nonprofits and government offer solutions to the pressing problems of the world.  If I were to pitch this blog, I’d run whatever I was about to say through spell check first. This is a Stanford publication, after all. Check out the full review here.

Future Fundraising Now is concerned with making fundraising as effective as possible. And, in their opinion, the donors are the most important thing on which to focus. After all, how else to effectively raise funds than to focus on those who give and why. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories about fundraising, specifically ones about how it can be done better. Check out the full review here.

OneOC is a nonprofit blog specifically geared towards Orange County, California. Still, the methods, best practices and case studies outlined in this blog could more than likely be applied to just about anywhere else in the world. It might also be beneficial to mimic the passion and energy portrayed here, too. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories about charitable giving in Southern California. Check out the full review here.

That’s all for now. In the meantime, if there’s a blog I should be reviewing, drop me a line or a note in the comments, and I’ll take a look. Until next time…

Author Tom Hynes is PR Newswire’s manager of blogger relations. And as you may have guessed, he has a twitter account.

The Power of Reputation

Every other Tuesday, ProfNet hosts #ConnectChat, a Twitter-based interview that covers topics of interest to media and communications professionals.  Recently, Chris Komisarjevsky, former worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller and author of “The Power of Reputation: Strengthen the Asset That Will Make or Break Your Career,” discussed why reputation is among our most powerful assets.

How do you define reputation?

Reputation is, in part, the way you are seen by others, and it is a critical part of your personal brand.

Is reputation equivalent to social credibility?

Yes, it is in many ways equivalent because reputation has a critical bearing on how you are viewed.

How does one build a good reputation?

There are three critical factors underlying a good reputation: character, communication and trust.

How do they work together?

Character is your values and how you live them, communication is how you relate to others, and trust is the underlying goal.

How can one display these three factors online?

Online or not, how you speak with others and share their concerns says much about character and values.

Is character something that can be learned?

Character can be learned if you think about what is important in the long run and watch how people react to your behavior.

Is it also that people tend to think of short-term gain instead of long-term reputation — especially in social media?

The key is to focus on the long-term. Think about short-term judgments and whether they endure. Take the author Jonah Lehrer, for example. His books were pulled off the shelves last night because he lied and exaggerated quotes from Bob Dylan. Short-term gain, long-term loss. He resigned from his reporter job at The New Yorker. What now for him? James Frey redux.

Isn’t social media a long-term investment? We can’t really expect any immediate gain from using social media.

Yes, it is, sort of the like the early days of radio. At first, who is really listening? It takes time. Speaking of social media and reputation, if you are criticized on social media, you have 12 hours to reply or else you are dead meat.

Why is such a quick response important?

Today’s news cycle is short. There is no luxury of a traditional 24-hour cycle. This is not broadcast rip-and-read, but immediate. And 12 hours is the outside chance for having a fair hearing. After that, your point of view or answer to what has been said is lost. It’s almost impossible to regain control of the message.

Plus, if you respond quickly, there’s also the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

Absolutely. Think about those who have failed to act quickly. Remember, the cover-up is worse than the crime. Look at the global banking business today: HSBC, Barclays, Peregrine. Short-term thinking, long-term reputation scandals. The humiliation — followed by resignations, apologies — hits hard. Reputation is both personal and institutional.

What about the importance of communication?

We are really talking about engagement. Engagement is the new mandate — an open dialog where ideas are shared, showing respect for other views.

Can these institutions ever recover their reputations?

Yes, but it will take a long time — and it means a change in corporate culture. Anything less will also be short-lived. Read Henry David Thoreau’s 1849 essay, “Civil Disobedience.” “Conscientious men” do make a “conscientious corporation.”

Is there a difference between personal and professional reputation, or are the two linked?

They’re one and the same. You can’t be two different people or you will not be seen as “authentic.” That’s an act.

And being authentic leads to trust, which you mentioned as the third factor in reputation…

People look for authenticity — you know how they will act and can trust their behavior.

The personal brand of employees is becoming more and more important, right?

Great question. When people look at companies they are looking to see the values of the employees. If the values of the employees and the corporation don’t mirror one another, credibility is lost. Those values at work and at play must be the same. In today’s social media world, everyone sees everything, and customers/clients will notice.

This clearly points out the importance of a company’s C-level presence on social media.

Social media is unfamiliar ground to many CEOs. They aren’t sure what to say or how to say it. Interestingly enough, Rupert Murdoch seems to have tweeted more regularly after facing criticism before Parliament. He seems to have seen social media as a way of providing a more human face in the midst of criticism.

In your book, you say that people and corporations are judged in a similar way. What do you mean?

People judge businesses using human terms. They look at the business and judge if the business will deliver as promised — just like you would shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye to see what they are made of. We look at businesses in much the same way. Based on our reaction, we trust or don’t trust. We buy or go elsewhere. We invest or walk away.

One of the things I often struggle with is guilt over work-life balance, but you say having balance can actually strengthen your reputation. How?

Giving employees an opportunity to have work-life balance is extraordinarily motivating. They prove themselves in a different way and, as the boss, you demonstrate that you understand the balance needed between home and work. In my experience, they become more productive, more loyal, and grow in ways you could not have anticipated. With that, the organization grows too.

You also mention that starting at the bottom and doing menial tasks can show you how important those roles are to the company’s success.

Starting at the bottom gives you a picture of the building blocks needed to make any organization thrive. One of my mentors started in the mailroom and retired as the No. 2 in a global insurance company. I pumped gas, drove a dump truck. These early jobs give you a picture that can’t be taught in a classroom or in your MBA class. They make you aware like nothing else.

Do you recommend that all executives take the time to learn about, or even spend time in, all the different departments in their company?

I was trained in the Army, where you learn from the bottom up. I tell a story in the book about peeling potatoes in basic training and the importance of doing a job well, regardless of how menial. In the PR business, if you don’t understand how social media and a newsroom works, it’s tough to be the best.

Can you share some more real-life examples of reputations that were tarnished, and what they did wrong?

Sadly enough, the banking business this summer has been full of debacles and scandal: MF Global, Nomura, JPMorgan Chase. Then there was News International, followed closely by the Secret Service and the GSA. The media are still talking about them. The result has been CEOs called on the carpet to testify before Congress in the U.S. and Parliament. Not fun — and hard to recover from.

Why do you think it keeps happening? Is it just that they don’t think they will get caught?

In some cases, greed and avarice took over, and those involved didn’t think they would get caught. But what we in the public relations and reputation business know is, it’s never if you will be caught but when. Eventually, the truth comes out. There’s an old Italian proverb that, loosely translated, goes like this: “Deceit has short legs.”

This is also a culture question. There needs to be some serious work to understand how to balance the driving financial goals with employee values. After all, without valued employees — working with valued clients — there is no business.

And then there is, of course, the Paterno/Penn State/NCAA case…

I wrote an op-ed about Paterno. Tragic and sad. If he were alive, I would hope that he would apologize. Looking the other way is unforgiveable. I would hope that his family would apologize. Removing the statue was the right decision. I think the NCAA missed the boat by not imposing the death penalty for one year. Like a time-out, it would have forced Penn State to sit back and think. The money was a drop in the bucket — one year’s revenue… But leadership was afraid and abdicated its responsibility to those children. That is tragic and unforgivable.

Author Maria Perez is director of news operations for ProfNet, a service that helps connect journalists with expert sources. To read more from Maria, visit her blog on ProfNet Connect at http://www.profnetconnect.com/profnetmaria/blog/

Book Blogs You’re Bound to Enjoy!

This week my focus is on book blogs. I’m happy to say that I’ve been reading a lot more books lately. I’m still on the old paper and print regime. Admittedly, that’s a little old school. But, you know, no offense to tablet readers, but books don’t run out of batteries. They are simply there waiting to be read, to be picked up, to be enjoyed. They are at once teachers and passports. They can even be friends. So with that in mind, let’s find a comfortable spot, mark our page and enjoy this brief tour through some of the best book blogs I’ve read lately.

Book Riot is a blog that attacks the subject of publishing form all sides. It’s at times frenetic.  It’s probably friendlier than an actual riot. But, as far as blogs go, it’s probably just as energetic. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything having to do with books. This could extend beyond the world of publishing to the world of furniture and/or design when you think of things like bookcases, etc. Check out the full review here. It was written by our very own Rachel Manwill. (Thanks, Rachel!)

Books are my Boyfriends is a blog that treats books like relationships. Each book is treated like a date, like a boyfriend. And, truthfully, I’ve read a whole bunch of books that were way better than the vast majority of my former relationships. Books can be just as fulfilling as a relationship is what I’m trying to say.  If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything to do with books. Despite the title, this isn’t really a relationship blog. Check out the full review here.

Brews and Books is a blog dedicated to two of the best things in life: books and beers. Honestly, if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for a blog like this.  And it doesn’t disappoint. It also makes me realize that a good beer and a good book both take time, patience and skill. What’s more, when done right, they’re both worthy of appreciation. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything to do with beers or books. It stands to reason that a book about beer would probably be ideal. Check out the full review here.

The Book Smugglers are actually smugglers. Or they were. No they’re more bloggers. Still, they remain about as addicted to books as one can be. They love the books they’ve already read and are excited about the ones yet to come out. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything to do with new books.  If you were hawking a line of humongous handbags, this might not be a bad blog to pitch. Check out the full review here.

Omnivoracaious is the book blog that accompanies Amazon. It’s what the people who work for the largest bookseller in the universe think about books. It’s sort of a must read for those who love books and the surrounding industry. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d keep in mind that these people all work at Amazon and have probably already heard of every book ever made. Check out the full review here.

That’s all for now. In the meantime, if there’s a blog I should be reviewing, drop me a line or a note in the comments, and I’ll take a look. Until next time…

Author Tom Hynes is PR Newswire’s manager of blogger relations. And as you may have guessed, he has a twitter account.

Which Newswire Service Do Journalists Prefer?

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1oqEK)

Of the journalists surveyed by Vitis PR, 54% found that PR Newswire was the most valuable newswire followed by PA** (38%), SourceWire (37%) and Businesswire (34%).

Technology PR and search agency Vitis PR has announced the results of its recent survey of UK journalists, which reveals which newswires/press release distribution* services journalists actually read and to what extent they find these services useful in their work.

Vitis PR surveyed 80 UK journalists from its own contact lists across a variety of industries. The survey targets included consumer and business technology, marketing, cleantech, ecommerce/retail and the automotive sectors. The agency believes that these results are also applicable across other vertical sectors.

Journalists, from daily newspapers to well respected websites and freelancers took the time to help the PR agency to understand:

  • How often do journalists use newswires?
  • Which newswires are the most valuable?
  • What newswires are used for?
  • How newswires should interact with journalists?
  • How often do journalists use newswires?

Many journalists make newswires a regular part of their news gathering and research routines.

Respondents were asked to indicate which services they found most valuable in their work.Of the journalists surveyed, 54% found that PR Newswire was the most valuable newswire followed by PA** (38%), SourceWire (37%) and Businesswire (34%).

Newswires specific to particular verticals were also mentioned by individual journalists, including:

  •  NewsPress (automotive)
  • Headline Auto (automotive)
  • Gamespress
  • Technology4Media

Based upon the comments Vitis PR received, journalists indicated (perhaps unsurprisingly) that industry-specific services tend to be more valuable.

What are newswires used for?

78% of respondents said they use newswires for news stories, while 56% use wires for article or feature ideas and 56% for monitoring industry trends.  Many also cited newswires’ role in factchecking.

“Writing news for a monthly print publication I simply use newswires as an easy way to find/verify information, “one respondent noted. “They are often faster/easier than navigating corporate websites and press rooms. Links in wire releases to images and more information are particularly useful.”
Jas Sahota, Director, Vitis PR commented: “We believe that the best way to target a journalist is to follow them, understand what they write about, pitch a story to them exclusively and provide them with good content. While wires offer the ability to provide additional information the feedback from our respondents is that (on the whole) newswires need to find a way to help cut through the volume of less valuable releases.”The full results of the survey, including more insights gleaned from the journalists who responded, are available on the Vitis PR web site: Which newswires do journalists actually read? 80 journalists surveyed.PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1oqEK)


Fitness Blogs: Let’s Get Physical!

 

This week my focus is on fitness blogs. And, truthfully, fitness should be everyone’s focus every week. As far as I know, these are the only bodies we get. Treating them well through exercise and care should be everyone’s priority. It stands to reason that other parts of our lives will probably see improvement as a result. Commuting can become easier. Anxiety can be decreased. Weights can even be lifted well into our golden years. So with that in mind, let’s tighten our laces, take a few deep breaths and enjoy this brief tour through some of the best fitness blogs I’ve seen lately.

Tight Laces in 50 Places is the story of one (possibly insane) man’s quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states.  He likes to jog. He wants to see every state in the Union. This is his blog. Call him crazy. (I did.) But, don’t say that it’s not an impressive effort. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for anything that sits at the intersection of jogging and travel. Check out the full review here.

Daily Cup of Yoga is the story of a man learning the daily practice of yoga. And just to be clear, he really began from nothing, having really never tried it only a few years back. Today, he’s not only practiced yoga relentlessly, he’s also read and collected just about everything written on the subject. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories surrounding yoga, as well as any products that come along with it. Check out the full review here.

Seacoast Fitness Daly is a blog dedicated to healthy living in coastal New Hampshire, specifically Portsmouth.  But, don’t get it wrong. This site extends way beyond the confines of this one town. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories that have to do with exercise. Anything to do with road races, triathlons or other sporting events in New England would probably also work. Check out the full review here.

High Heels & Two Wheels is not only the name of this blog, it’s also what this blogger can be seen sporting most days. That is to say, just because she’s traded in the four wheels of her car for the two wheels of her bicycle, does NOT mean that she’s making her wardrobe suffer. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories surrounding biking and fashion. Check out the full review here.

Stumptuous is not technically a women’s weightlifting blog. It’s technically gender neutral. And while I can safely say that a man can also find this blog helpful, it’s definitely geared toward the fairer gender. It’s also worth mentioning that this blog is hilarious. What’s more, it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to feel their best. If I were to pitch this blog, I’d look for stories on weightlifting. Check out the full review here.

That’s all for now. In the meantime, if there’s a blog I should be reviewing, drop me a line or a note in the comments, and I’ll take a look. Until next time…

Author Tom Hynes is PR Newswire’s manager of blogger relations. And as you may have guessed, he has a twitter account.