Category Archives: Public Relations

Copy Quality: New Imperatives for Communicators

New copy quality guidelines from PR Newswire to help improve press release content quality.

New copy quality guidelines from PR Newswire to help improve press release content quality.

How does one determine whether or not a piece of content is low quality?

Since we added copy quality to the guidelines against which we assess press releases and other content prior to distribution, we’ve counseled a number of clients on steps they can take to improve thevalue of their content for their audiences.

Understanding how to build/create quality content is a mandate for all communicators creating digital content.  Google started raising the bar on web content quality in early 2011, when the first Panda algorithm update was deployed.  Taking aim at link farms and websites created to propagate links and manipulate search rank but which offer little to no real use to human beings, the goal of the Panda update is to improve the relevance of the search results Google returned to internet searchers.

The new rules of content quality

Google has kept the pedal to the metal, rolling out changes and updates to its algorithms in an ongoing effort to improve the utility of its search engine by returning better and better results to users, and it’s safe to assume that this won’t change in the future.  Communicators of all stripes publishing digital content and seeking visibility in search engines will have to play by the rules.

So let’s look at those rules.  In a blog post on their Webmaster Central blog, Google offered insights into how, when building the Panda algorithm, they determined whether or not content was quality.

“Below are some questions that one could use to assess the “quality” of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.  

Would you trust the information presented in this article?

Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?

Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?

Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?

Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?

 Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?

How much quality control is done on content?

Does the article describe both sides of a story?

Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?

Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?

Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?

Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?

Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?

 Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?

Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?

Would users complain when they see pages from this site?”

- Google Webmaster Central, More guidance on building high-quality sites

Evaluating the content your brand produces through the lens of these questions will reveal with stark clarity whether or not the content makes the cut in Google’s eyes.   And even if the press releases you submit to PR Newswire adhere to the copy quality guidelines we’ve published, you can tighten the screws on your content by keeping this larger set of quality indicators from Google firmly in mind.

Messages that are useful and interesting to audiences generate results beyond search engine visibility.  They garner mentions, earn media and inspire social sharing – activities which drive brand messaging into new audiences and powering improved campaign results.    Some organizations will be challenged by this new reality but ultimately, overall marketing and communications objectives are well served by more engaging content.

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.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: National Journal, The Atlantic, AP 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.

National Journal (Washington, DC): Washington Post Political Reporter Ben Pershing signs on as the new Washington Editor. And former American Prospect Executive Editor Bob Moser  joins @nationaljournal as a Senior Editor. Roll Call Reporter Daniel Newhauser (@dnewhauser) is now covering Congress here too.

The Atlantic (Washington, DC): Senior Editor Alexis Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) was promoted to Deputy Editor. And Katie Gilsinan (@kgilsinan) comes aboard as an Associate Editor. And Associate Health Editor Julie Beck (@julieebeck) was promoted to Health Editor.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN): The paper (@StarTribune) has announced that 19 of its journalists are taking a buyout and leaving after the sale of the paper recently. Among those that are departing include: Metro Reporter Jim Adams; Columnist/Tech Reporter Steve Alexander; Regional Reporter Laurie Blake; Reporter/Travel Blogger Curt Brown; Capitol Reporter Pat Doyle; Weather Reporter Bill McAuliffe; and News Editor Stan Schmidt.

Elle Magazine (New York, NY): Evan Campisi (@evancampisi) was named the Design Director @ELLEMagazine. He begins at the magazine on July 23rd.

Associated Press (New York, NY): Shelley Acoca (@ShelleyA) joins @AP as East Coast Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor.

Glamour (New York, NY): Abbe Wright (AbbeWright) joins @glamourmag as a Contributing Editor.

The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Elizabeth Holmes (@EHolmesWSJ) was promoted to Senior Style Writer @WSJ.

Seventeen Magazine (New York, NY): Aeyung Kim (@Aeyung) moves from Fashion Assistant to Fashion Editor. In addition, Accessories Editor Jasmine Snow (@jassnow) has been promoted to Senior Fashion Editor. Ms. Snow has been @seventeenmag since 2007.

Rolling Stone (New York, NY): Associate Publisher Michael Provus has been promoted to Publisher. Mr. Provus has been @RollingStone since 2010 and will succeed Chris McLoughlin.

Good Morning America (New York, NY): Veteran Producer Chris Vlasto (@vlasto)  has been promoted to Executive Producer. He will oversee the 7:00a hour focusing on breaking news and the morning’s top stories.

CNNMoney.com (New York, NY): Cullen Daly (@CullenDaly) is the new Senior Producer here @cnnmoney. He had been at Bloomberg News.

The View (New York, NY): ABC has confirmed that Rosie O’Donnell (@Rosie) is returning to the show as a Co-Host.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Former @WSJ Features Reporter Katie Rosman (@katierosman) joins the paper as a Sunday Styles Columnist and Editor. Ms. Rosman will begin late summer.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Former Digiday Senior Editor Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) has joined the @washingtonpost as a Digital Content Strategist.

Healthopolis (Washington, DC): This new blog produced by CQ/Roll Call covers healthcare policy. Paul Jenks (@PHJenks) is the head Blogger and Joe Warminsky (@jwarminsky) is the Editor.

NPR (Washington, DC): Former Marketplace Managing Editor Sarah Gilbert joins Weekend Edition (@NPRWeekend) as a Senior Editor.

THR.com (Los Angeles, CA) : Bryan Bishop has departed from Verge (@verge) to join THR.com (@thr) as News Director.

Buzzfeed (@Buzzfeed) (info@buzzfeed.com): Johana Bhuiyan (@JMBooyah) will soon be joining @Buzzfeed as a Technology Reporter.

Consumer Reports (@ConsumerReports): George Kennedy (@GKenns101) is joining @ConsumerReports as a Senior Associate Editor.

Yahoo! (@Yahoo)(media@yahoo-inc.com): Joanna Douglas (@JoannaDouglas) is now a Senior Beauty Editor for @YahooBeauty.

National Enquirer (New York, NY): Dylan Howard has been hired as the new Editor-in-Chief at National Enquirer (@NatEnquirer).

Los Angeles Daily News (Woodland Hills, CA): Sports Columnist Tom Hoffarth (@tomhoffarth) has stepped away from writing full-time in order to concentrate on a non-profit venture.

Winona Daily News (Winona, MN): Sports Reporter John Casper Jr. (@johncasperjr) has been promoted to Sports Editor.

The Salem News (Salem, MA): Longtime Sports Reporter Bill Kipouris has passed away at the age of 72. He worked @salemnews for 36 years.

Auburn Journal (Auburn, CA): Penne Usher (ajournal@goldcountrymedia.com) has returned to the Auburn Journal as the publications Managing Editor. Eyragon Eidam is the new City Hall Reporter.

The Ventura County Star (Camarillo, CA): Shanna Cannon takes the reins as the Regional Publisher @VCStar. Cannon succeeds Margie Cochrane.

The Moulton Advertiser (Moulton, AL): J.R. Tidwell has been named Sports Writer @MoultonAdv.

Commercial Dispatch (Columbus, MS): Brandon Walker (@BWonStateBeat) will soon be joining @CDispatch as the Mississippi State Sports Writer.

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/

Content We Love: Serving Audiences & Search Engines Equally Well

ContentWeLove

Click here to view the complete branded microsite

Click here to view the complete branded micro-site

The development of search engine algorithms continues to closely mirror the human process of researching information, making it more difficult than ever for individuals to manipulate results in their favor. For communicators who rely on search as a primary mechanism for reaching audiences, this may sound like heartbreaking news. In reality, it is an opportunity for brands to be more innovative in their content creation and messaging strategy. Brands that can organically surface to the top of page rankings will be deemed more credible and authoritative by consumers searching for related information, and that means creating content that search engines deem to be of high quality.

One of the most challenging aspects of Google’s latest algorithm for communicators is finding a way to target similar messages across multiple markets without violating duplicate content standards. The pressure to create even more original content might feel like impending doom for PR pros who are already strapped for time, but the communications team at Honda has found a brilliant workaround. Using a branded campaign micro-site titled, Honda Stage Launches at REVOLT Studios Delivering Performances and Artists Interviews Across Television, Web and Mobile Platforms for Music Fans,” they’ve delivered an umbrella message that caters to a broad spectrum of markets at once, and is visually stunning. Highlights from this fully-loaded micro-site include:

  • Hi-res photos and videos that bring this story to life, and are ready for sharing on social channels and re-purposing in earned media stories
  • A press release with highlighted bullet points and executive quotes presents different story angles for journalists to cover
  • Related news regarding tour dates and featured artists is available in both English and Spanish, which targets this content to local geographies, dedicated fan bases, and caters to multicultural audiences
  • A share button spurs engagement on social media
  • Related links drive traffic directly back to Honda’s owned properties

Keep in mind that it’s not just on Google that visibility is becoming harder to grasp, it’s happening almost everywhere information is consumed. The media continues to juggle between delivering hard news versus salacious stories that will drive traffic or ratings. Social networks are now favoring sponsored content in their newsfeeds, making it even less of a guarantee that your single tweet will be seen by the mass audience you are hoping to reach unless they happen click directly onto your page. But does this mean you should give up on the media, social networking, or tried and true PR tactics? Of course not!  It just means that PR needs to work harder to deliver messages that are of higher quality, and that story development and distribution tactics need to evolve, as we see in this forward thinking example from the folks at Honda.

ShannonShannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: Conde Nast Traveler, Fortune, Investment News 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 Magazine (New York, NY): Business Journalist Carol Loomis is retiring after more than 60 years @FortuneMagazine. She was most recently Editor-at-Large. Also, Clifton Leaf (@CliftonLeaf) is the new Deputy Managing Editor.

Conde Nast Traveler (New York, NY): Jennifer Hicks joins @CNTraveler as Associate Publisher.

Investment News (New York, NY): Matt Ackermann (@acketyack) was promoted to Director of Digital Content at @newsfromIN. He was formerly a Digital Editor.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Patricia Cohen (@patcohennyt), who previously covered the Arts since 2007 is moving to the Business Day section @nytimes. She will now report on Economic Policy. In addition, Melena Ryzik (@melenar) has changed beats and is now reporting for the Culture section.

Time (New York, NY): Justin Worland (@Justin Worland) joins @TIME as a Breaking News Reporter.

The Oregonian (Portland, OR): Mark Katches (@markkatches) has joined (@Oregonian) as Editor and Vice President from Center for Investigative Reporting where he served as Editorial Director. Mark officially begins his new role on July 21st.

Smithsonian Magazine (Washington, DC): Former Wired Technology Contributor Clive Thompson (@pomeranian99) will become the Tech Columnist @SmithsonianMag.

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA): Lorraine Ali (@LorraineAli) switches from Music Editor to Senior Pop Culture Writer for @LATimes.

Fashionista (@Fashionista_com): Steff Yotka (@Steff_Leopard) is now the Market Editor and will be covering fashion markets.

The View (New York, NY): Hosts Jenny McCarthy (@JennyMcCarthy) and Sherri Shepherd (@SherriEShepherd) have left @theviewtv. Ms. Shepherd spent seven years on the set and Ms. McCarthy joined in the fall of 2013.

The Verge (@Verge) (tips@theverge.com): Colin Lecher (@ColinLecher) is now a News Editor.

Women’s Wear Daily (New York, NY): Jayme Cyk (@Cykic) is the new Mass Market Beauty Editor at the outlet.

Rolling Stone (New York, NY): Gus Wenner has been promoted to Head of Digital at @RollingStone.

Fast Company (New York, NY): Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) joins @FastCompany as a Technology Editor.

Chicago Magazine (Chicago, IL): Publisher and General Manager Rich Gamble is set to leave @ChicagoMag at the end of this month to become Senior Vice President of Operations at the Chicago Zoological Society.

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH): Eighteen-year veteran P-D Sports Reporter Mary Schmitt Boyer is retiring from (@ThePlainDealer).

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Former Cincinnati Enquirer Sports Editor Angel Rodriguez (@ajrod) is the new Mobile Editor @washingtonpost.

Artnews (New York, NY): Izabela Depczyk is the new Publisher @ARTnewsmag.

WTXF-TV (Philadelphia, PA): Lauren Johnson (@laurendawn) moves from WOFL-TV in Orlando to Philly to be a Morning News Host @FOX29philly.

Nerdist (http://www.nerdist.com): Matt Grosinger (@MattGrosinger) is the new Music Editor @NerdistDotCom.
Bridal Guide (New York, NY): Katie Hoppenjans joins the staff @bridalguidemag as Assistant Fashion and Beauty Editor.

The Alexander City Outlook (Alexander City, AL): Mitch Sneed has joined the @alexcityoutlook as Editor.

The Advocate – New Orleans Bureau (New Orleans, LA): Nick Underhill (@Nick_Underhill) joins the sports team to cover the football beat and the New Orleans Saints @theadvocateno .

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, TX): Daniel Paulling (@DanielPaulling) joins the Sports team to cover Texas Tech football @lubbockonline.

Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, MO): Former Kentucky New Era Assistant Sports Editor Trent Singer (@KNEtrentsinger) is now a new Sports Reporter @semissourian.

Kennebec Journal (Waterville, ME): Sports Editor/Reporter Gary Hawkins (@GaryHawkinsKJ) is putting down the keyboard after 38 years of Sports Reporting and retiring.

Ionia Sentinel-Standard (Ionia, MI): Chris Zadorozny (@ZadsISS) is the new Sports Editor @IoniaSentStand.

Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, MO): Sports Reporter Eric Ingles (@Eric_Ingles) was promoted to Sports Editor @SedaliaDemocrat.

Daily Chronicle (Dekalb, IL): Former Yuma Sun Sports Editor Eddie Carifio takes the reins as Sports Editor @Daily_Chronicle.

The Times-Leader (McLeansboro, IL): Jeremy Hall is the new Editor.

Yuma Sun (Yuma, AZ): Sports Reporter Jesse Severson (@YSJesseSeverson) was named the new Sports Editor @yumasun.

Waxahachie Daily Light (Waxahachie, TX): Geoff Gorman (@GeoffNDallas) is the new Sports Editor.

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/MEDIAwareJuly72014.html

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: Variety, USA Today, Los Angeles Times 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.

Variety (Los Angeles, CA): Debra Birnbaum (@debrabirnbaum) is the new TV Executive Editor and Mark David is a new Reporter covering celebrity real estate for @variety.

USA Today (McLean, VA): White House Correspondent Aamer Madhani (@AamerISmad) has moved to the Chicago Bureau to be a National Correspondent @USATODAY.

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ): Beginning mid-July, Editor John Berry (@Withhisown38) will join @Trentonian. Currently, he is the Editor at @Middletownpress and @RegisterCitizen, sister papers of The Trentonian all of which are owned by Digital First Media.

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA): Julie Westfall (@juliewestfall) is the new RealTime News Editor for @latimes.

Orange County Business Journal (Irvine, CA): Paul Hughes joins @OCBizJournal as a Reporter and Web Editor.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA): Former News Journal Assistant Sports Editor Tyler Batiste (@TyBatiste) is the new Digital News Editor @PittsburghPG.

Nylon Magazine (New York, NY): This week Michelle Lee (@MichelleLeeMag) joins @NylonMag and @NYLONGuysMag as Editor-in-Chief.

People StyleWatch (New York, NY): The team @StyleWatchMag welcomes Gena Kaufman (@GenaKaufman) as Social Media Editor.

New York Magazine (New York, NY): Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) is returning as a Features Writer and Contributor to @vulture. He was most recently the Culture Editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Chicago Sun-Times.com (Chicago, IL): Zach Finken (@zfinken) has joined Tribune Content Agency as Associate Editor from Executive News Editor @suntimes.

Popular Mechanics (New York, NY): Jacqueline Detwiler (@jacquidetwiler) joins the team @PopMech as Senior Editor.

Financial Times (New York, NY): General Assignment Reporter Shannon Bond (@shannonpareil) has been promoted to US Media and Marketing Correspondent. Ms. Bond has been @FT since 2008 covering consumer goods.

Good Housekeeping (New York, NY): April Franzino rejoins @goodhousemag as Beauty Director. She had previously served as Assistant Beauty Editor there.

SELF (New York, NY): Melissa Ventosa Martin joins @selfmagazine as Fashion Director.

Time (New York, NY): Web Reporter Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) has been promoted to Writer @TIME. Also moving up the ranks, Daniel Hirschhorn (@DanH_TIME) will now serve as Senior News Editor.

Bethesda Magazine (Bethesda, MD): Former Washingtonian Reporter Cindy Rich joins @Bethesda_Mag as a Senior Editor covering the health scene.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA): College Football Reporter Evan Woodbery has left The Knoxville News Sentinel to go pro and become a Football Reporter @NOLAnews. He will be covering the New Orleans Saints.

Tallahassee Democrat (Tallahassee, FL): Assistant Sports Editor Jim Henry (@JimHenryTALLY) has been promoted to Sports Editor @TDOnline.

The Daily Herald (Everett, WA): High School Sports Reporter Aaron Swaney (@swaney_aaron79) is the new Features Editor @EverettHerald.

Stevens Point Journal (Stevens Point, WI): Sari Lesk (@Sari_Lesk) joins @StevensPointJrl as a Reporter covering local government issues.

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.

The key to press release success: multiple visual elements [Study + infographic]

Press releases with multiple visual assets generate more views, a study by PR Newswire found.

Press releases with multiple visual assets generate more views, a study by PR Newswire found.

How can you get better results with your press releases?  The data is in, and the answer is clear.  Visual illustration of your message is a key driver of success.

PR Newswire’s analytics team recently updated – and significantly expanded – our analysis of press release types, and the results each produces in terms of online views.  For the most recent iteration of this ongoing analysis, we looked at every press release viewed on PRNewswire.com last year, regardless of when it was issued.  Well over one million press releases were measured. 

For the analysis, we broke the release types into the following buckets:

  • Text Only
  • Text + one visual asset, such as a single image or video
  • Text + multiple visuals
  • Fully loaded multimedia press releases and campaign microsites

The results are clear – visuals drive more content views, and adding multiple media assets to your content (press releases, and anything else you publish online, for that matter) generates even better results.

Why visuals improve results:  

One visual is good, more are better.   There are a few reasons why this is the case.

  • Each visual is distributed in its own right, and has its own potential for garnering attention.  In addition to the distribution of visual content the brand either pays for or executes on its own, each visual also has the potential to trigger social sharing, further expanding the audience for the message.
  • Visuals surface story elements that may be overlooked by readers, giving your messages second (and third) chances at connecting with readers.  It’s easy to overlook a theme that’s presented in the middle of the fourth paragraph. However, calling attention to that theme with a visual – a video snippet or image – can help connect that message with readers who care, and who might have glanced over the message initially.
  • Journalists and bloggers are also hunting for visuals to illustrate the digital media they create. While they may not use the visuals your brand provides in their original form,  they will often edit video to fit their stories or derive new works from infographics.  Additionally, including visuals communicates that the story is one that can (and should be) illustrated visually, which will increase the story’s appeal for many digital content creators.

Many communicators note they don’t have ready access to related images when asked why they don’t use more multimedia in their press releases.  Our new Media Studio tool – free for clients using the Online Member Center to upload content for distribution, enables you to store, organize, size, caption and tag images for use in digital content.

If you’d like to speak to someone on our team about adding visuals to your press releases, please contact us here: http://promotions.prnewswire.com/standout2014.html

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.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: CBS News, International Business Times, Roll Call 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.

CBS News – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former Bloomberg Reporter Julianna Goldman (@juliannagoldman) joins @CBSNews as a Washington Correspondent.

International Business Times (New York, NY): Michael Learmonth (@learmonth) begins @IBTimes as Global Technology Editor.

Roll Call (Washington, DC): Tom Curry (@TCurry_Himself) takes over the Transportation Policy duties with a new blog – “The Container”.

The News Journal (Wilmington, DE): Health Reporter Kelly Bothum (@KellyBothum) has left to join the private sector and Business Editor Suzanne Herel (@SuzanneHerel) takes over the Health Reporting news @delawareonline.

New York Magazine (New York, NY): Former New York Times Economic Policy Reporter Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey) joins @NYMag as a Contributing Editor and Online Columnist.

FedScoop (Washington, DC): Dan Verton (@DanielVerton) is the new Editorial Director and Greg Otto (@gregotto) is the new Technology Reporter @fedscoop.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Former Buzzfeed-er Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) tackles the Local and State Government beat @washingtonpost.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) changes lanes and joins the Style Section @nytimes as a Columnist. He most recently wrote for the Bits technology blog. Bilton will apply his technology background and pen a column every Thursday based on tech and its impact on lifestyle and society.

MedCity News (Cleveland, OH): Former San Diego Business Journal Medical Reporter Meghana Keshavan (@meghanakeshavan) becomes the Life Sciences Reporter @medcitynews.

The Washington Times (Washington, DC): Fox News Commentator Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) signs on as the Online Opinion Editor @WashTimes.

Bloomberg News – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former Hill Reporter Erik Wasson (@elwasson) is the new man on the Congressional beat @BloombergNews.

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA): Josh Rottenberg (@joshrottenberg) joins @LATimes as a Senior Film Reporter.

Philly.com (Philadelphia, PA): Michael Topel (@mtopel) is the new Interim Executive Editor @phillydotcom.

Playboy Magazine (Beverly Hills, CA): Alyson Sheppard (@amshep) departs from Popular Mechanics magazine to join @playboy as a Contributing Editor.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Lynne Segall has been named Executive Vice President and Group Publisher of @THR and @billboard.

TV Guide (New York, NY): Doug Brod (@DougBrod) has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief @TVGuide. Brod has been with the magazine since 2012 and most recently served as Executive Editor. Also being promoted is Michael Schneider (@franklinavenue). He will take over as Executive Editor.

Time Out New York (New York, NY): Rheanna O’Neil Bellomo (@RheannaBellomo) joins @TimeOutNewYork as Assistant Editor of Food, Drinks and Events.

Sheridan Road Magazine (Chicago, IL): Dustin O’Regan has been named Editor-at-Large @SheridanRdMag. Ann Marie Scheidler has been promoted to Managing Editor of the JWC magazines, which include The Polo Book, Sheridan Road, Forest & Bluff and Hinsdale Living.

Spin.com (New York, NY): Craig Marks (@craigmarks) is back @SPINmagazine after nearly 15 years. He returns as Editor-in-Chief in an effort to increase their digital audience. They became all digital in 2012.

She Knows (@SheKnows): Amy Boshnack (@ABoshnack) is the new Editor-in-Chief.

Vox (@VoxDotCom): Lauren Williams (@LaurenWilliams) is now the Lead Editor.

Tasting Table (@TastingTable): Jim Meehan has joined @TastingTable as its first Drinks Editor.

Parade Magazine (@ParadeMagazine): Cecily McAndrews (@MonPetitFour) will be the Food Editor.

Parents Magazine (New York, NY): Leslie Corona joins @parentsmagazine as a Freelance Assistant Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Alyssa Mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) is brought on @marieclaire as a Contributing Editor.

NJTV (Montclair, NJ): Beginning July 1st, Anchor Mary Alice Williams will join @NJTVonline to host the evening news. She will replace Anchor & Managing Editor Mike Schneider (@SchneiderNJTV) who will change roles at the station.

Yakima Herald-Republic (Yakima, WA): Rob Blethen has been named General Manager at the paper (@Yakima_Herald), starting in August. He is currently the Publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

Charleston City Paper (Charleston, SC): Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Barna has left the Paper (@chascitypaper) after 17 years. Chris Haire is now Editor.

Newton Daily News (Newton, IA): Abigail Pelzer (@AbigailPelzer) has been named Editor at (@NewtonDNews). Pelzer is set to begin in her new role on July 21.

The West Yellowstone News (West Yellowstone, MT): Jeremy Weber is now the new Managing Editor @WYellowstoneMT.

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.

Press Releases, PR Newswire and Panda

New copy quality guidelines from PR Newswire to help improve press release content quality.

New copy quality guidelines from PR Newswire are designed to help improve press release content quality.

In late May, Google rolled out an update to its Panda algorithm that targeted low quality content, affecting a variety of content distributors and press release websites, including PR Newswire.   By “low quality content,” we’re referring specifically to press releases that were used in efforts to manipulate search rankings.   These releases were of little-to-no redeeming value for readers.

In an ensuing audit of the content of our site, we identified the spam press  releases which had had been generating inordinately high inbound links and traffic due to the black hat SEO tactics their issuers employed.  Those releases have since been deleted, and we’ll be monitoring our site content for unusual levels of inbound links, traffic and other red flags on an ongoing basis.

Distribution is about more than just one web site

While we’re proud of the fact that our web site attracts millions of unique visitors each month, it’s important to remember that PR Newswire has also spent years building a comprehensive distribution network that reaches a vast global audience, including:

  • Thousands upon thousands of media outlets, via direct news feeds;
  • More than 30,000 credentialed journalists and bloggers, via PR Newswire for Journalists;
  • Information databases like Factiva and LexisNexis;
  • More than 10,000 websites worldwide, who display feeds of relevant news releases designed for their audiences;
  • The social web, via dozens of carefully curated, industry- and topic-specific presences on Twitter and Pinterest.

PR Newswire has cultivated an engaged and high-quality audience for press release content.

Our media relations and content syndication teams work one-on-one with media outlets, individual journalists and bloggers and website operators to create and deliver feeds of press releases germane to their areas of coverage, interest or beats.

New guidelines governing press release copy quality

To improve the content quality we distribute, we’ve started reviewing all press release submitted for distribution over the wire for content quality. As they review releases, our team will be looking at a variety of different message elements, including:

  • Inclusion of insightful analysis, original content (e.g. research, reporting or other interesting and useful information,)
  • The format of the releases, guarding against the repeated use of templated copy (except boilerplate,)
  • The length of the releases,  flagging very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links
  • Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message.

These new guidelines are additions to our already robust press release acceptance guidelines, which include verification of sources, authentication of the sender’s identity and attribution to the source, among other requirements that all messages must meet before distribution by PR Newswire.

Most PR Newswire customers, who write and distribute press releases with the primary intent of building awareness of key messages and earning media, will be unaffected by our new guidelines.

Press releases are about earned media, building awareness and acquiring audience

It has long been our stated position that press releases are chiefly about building awareness, and we don’t promote press releases as link building devices.   (See: Generate Awareness, Not Links, With Press Releases.)

We believe that the distribution of press releases plays a very useful role in driving content discovery, introducing new audiences to brand messages, seeding and encouraging social interaction, and, of course, earning media pick up.

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.

3 Reasons Why Law Firms Should Be Active on Social Media

Research conducted by Good2BSocial finds that a majority of law firms understand importance of social media but are reluctant to engage clients with it. On the other hands, top law firms in the US and UK found direct correlations between social media use and client success. As search and social become the go-to methods of finding and sharing information, law firms are slowly recognizing the business advantages of creating content to locate and engage prospects. At Business Development Institute’s recent “Social Media Marketing Summit for Law Firms,” legal experts and content marketing thought leaders discussed the importance of social media as a tool for law firms to get discovered, build credibility, and ultimately generate business.

“It should be the job of every lawyer to be active and engaging on social media,” says Guy Alvarez, chief engagement officer at Good2BSocial. The nature of the industry is changing and large, well-established law firms are facing serious competition from the smaller firms who are using technology to generate greater awareness for their brands and gain more clients. Additionally, law firms that are active on channels that law students frequently access such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have a competitive advantage in recruiting top-tier talent. As discussed at the summit, here are three reasons why law firms should be active on social media:

Social media is a discovery tool  

According to Leslie Prizant, general counsel for CarePoint Health, “Content is key but searchability and how easy it is to navigate a website is more important.” In today’s digital environment a strong web presence gives brands an air of credibility, a crucial component to the legal industry which is founded on principles of trust. But searchability is contingent upon several factors, including the quality of content a brand creates and how it is disseminated.  Solely relying on owned channels such as the company website, blog, and social media pages to spread awareness limits the reach of messages to existing followers and does not continuously acquire new audiences and influencers. This is where the importance of multi-channel distribution comes in to build credibility and generate greater brand awareness.

“The currency of a law firm is intellectual capital” says Andrew Meranus, regional vice president at PR Newswire, in reference to the importance of content creation and distribution for law firms. Distributing content through a mix of owned, earned, and paid media channels establishes legal expertise and affords brands the opportunity to be heard among new audiences and get noticed by influencers looking for expert sources. Major firms including White & Case and Fenwick West are utilizing wire distribution to promote branded content and drive traffic back to their company websites. Amplification of messages, which must be highly relevant, compelling, timely, and consistent, is what seeds social interactions and drives discoverability for the brand.

Social media is a credibility tool

“We need to be human on social media,” asserts Alvarez, “people hire lawyers not law firms.” Social tools and practices are becoming an important part of criteria that potential clients use when choosing a firm to do business with. Social intelligence tools can help monitor topics of interest and business pain points that are relevant clients and prospects, which helps firms provide the solutions that stay ahead of trends and build their credibility.

Social media is a business acquisition tool 

Hans Haglund chief business development and marketing officer at Blank Rome LLP explains that the connection between your firm’s social media strategy and business development strategy is critical. A business development analysis by Blank Rome LLP shows that efficient use of social media increases lead generation and profitability for law firms, with a lead to conversion rate of around 10 percent. It is important to note that conversions are heavily dependent upon good content that is formatted for consumption on social, is shareable, and drives traffic to company website.

Some best practices for law firms who want to create content and engage on social media include:

  1. Legal messages need to be specifically targeted to relevant audiences. Email blasts and folders with collateral are antiquated marketing methods in the digital age, but powerful content with proper context is effective.
  2. Get rid of legal jargon. Most readers are business people and they need to be able to understand the information you are providing.
  3. Make it easy for your clients and targets to share your content by including social share buttons on blog posts, your web site, and client memos.
  4. Use multimedia and share relevant content. “Visual is an emerging and very important type of content that should be used whenever possible” Alvarez recommends. Instead of a text-heavy blog post, you can create a visual representation of legal processes through infographics. Additionally, Alvarez emphasizes the value of producing videos even if they aren’t of high production quality. For example, videos taken of legal reps speaking at conferences will still be effective because audiences are more interested in the substance of that content rather than the production value.
  5. Breaker larger pieces of content into smaller pieces. There is a use for longer format but it should not be focus on social media.
  6. Include a call to action with each piece of content. Longer form pieces should be a value added piece for lead generation, with full-length PDFs and blog posts available for download in exchange for contact information.
  7. Use keywords people are searching for. If the content is out there, make sure it is available to the people who are actively seeking this information.
  8. Distribute content across multiple channels. Your digital footprint is a major factor in establishing credibility, expertise, and growing your audience.

For more insight on PR and marketing for law firms, click to view the latest blog post “Legal PR and Marketing: A Behind the Scenes Look” on Profnet Connect. 

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on twitter @sramloch.

 

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: The New Republic, The Atlantic, NBC News 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 New Republic (Washington, DC): Managing Editor Amanda Silverman (@apsilverman) has been promoted to Deputy Editor @tnr. And Reporter Linda Kinstler (@lindakinstler) was promoted to Managing Editor. Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) has joined the team as a Political Reporter.

The Atlantic (Washington, DC): Former Politico Senior Editor Denise Kersten Wills (@denisewills) takes the Senior Editor role @TheAtlantic. Sophie Gilbert (@sophieGG) also joins the team as a Senior Editor.

The New York Times Magazine (New York, NY): Bill Wasik (@billwasik) joins @NYTmag as Deputy Editor.

ESPN The Magazine (Bristol, CT): Boston Magazine’s Jason Schwartz (@jasonSchwartz) is set to join @ESPNMag as a Senior Editor on June 30th.

Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost)(scoop@huffingtonpost.com): Igor Bobic (@IgorBobic) is now an Associate Politics Editor. He is based in Washington D.C.

Boston Business Journal (Boston, MA): Gale Murray (@galemurray) is the new Publisher of the journal.

NBC News (New York, NY): John Mancini (@GetMancini) is set to become the Director of Digital Newsgathering @NBCNews. He spent the last three years with the Associated Press as the Global News Manager.

Tampa Bay Times (Tampa, FL): Jennier Orsi (@JenOrsi) has been named the new Managing Editor @TB_Times.

Popular Mechanics (New York, NY): Ezra Dyer (@EzraDyer) joins the team @PopMech as Automotive Editor.

Redbook (New York, NY): Interim Editor-in-Chief @RedbookMag Meredith Rollins  will now take over the role permanently. Rollins, who was previously Executive Editor, replaces former EIC Jill Herzig who is now the Editor-in-Chief of Dr. Oz’s The Good Life Magazine.

Domino Magazine (New York, NY): Creative Director Robert Leleux (@robertleleux) has been promoted to Editorial Director.

Washingtonian (Washington, DC): Former New Republic Editorial Director Michael Schaffer (@michaelschaffer) is the new Editor @washingtonian.

Quartz (New York, NY): Former Time D.C. Correspondent Bobby Ghosh (@ghoshworld) takes the Managing Editor reins @qz.

The State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL): Angie Muhs (@amuhs) is ready to move into her new position as Executive Editor/Vice President of Editorial @SJRbreaking). Muhs comes from the Portland Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, where she most recently served as Director of Audience Engagement and Executive Online Editor.

Global Voices (http://globalvoicesonline.org): Deputy Editor Sahar Habib Ghazi (@SaharHGhazi) was promoted to Managing Editor @globalvoices.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Alexandra Alter (@xanalter) joins @nytimes as Publishing Industry Reporter.  She begins in July.

The New York Times – San Francisco Bureau (San Francisco, CA): Conor Dougherty (@ConorDougherty) signs onto the tech team as a Reporter.

DuJour (New York, NY): Eden Univer (@edenuniver) joins @DuJourMedia as Web Editor.

Refinery29 (@Refinery29): Joyce Kong (@JoyceIKong) is now the Korean Beauty Correspondent for @Refinery29.

Epicurious.com (@Epicurious): The new Food Editor is Rhoda Boone.

Rumbo de Houston (Houston, TX) ImpreMedia’s (@impreMedia) weekly publication Rumbo (@RUMBOnet) is now only an online publication.

Eater (@Eater) (tips@eater.com): Daniela Galarza (@SuperDaniela) is joining the outlet as the National Editor.

Courier & Press (Evansville, IN): Preps Sports Reporter Pat Hickey (@patmhickey) has joined the daily (@courierpress) from The Messenger (@MessengerOnline) in Madisonville Kentucky.

Ledger Independent (Maysville, KY): Courtney Smith has joined the @LedgerNewsroom as a Sports Writer. He previously served at the Daily Helmsman, fansided.com and rivals.com.

The Courier-Times (New Castle, IN): Editor Bob Hansen has been named Publisher @TheCourierTimes.

WSIL-TV (Carterville, Illinois): Amy Fox (@AmyFox_KMOT_TV) is set to join @WSILNews as Reporter for the morning newscast from Reporter/Anchor @KMOT_TV in Minot, North Dakota.

Chicago Magazine (Chicago, IL): Chicago Tribune Editor Gerry Kern (@GerryKern) will also be overseeing editorial operations @ChicagoMag. Editor Beth Fenner (@BethFenner) will now report directly to Kern.

Ann Arbor News/MLive (Detroit, MI): Michael Niziolek (@michaelniziolek) now covers sports for Ann Arbor News (@AnnArborNews) (@MLive) and MLive.

Hillsdale Daily News (Hillsdale, MI): David Vantress (@DVantressHDN) has been named Sports Editor at the Hillsdale Daily News (@HillsdaleDaily).

Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS): Riley Blevins (@Riley_Blevins) will soon be joining @clarionledger as a Recruiting Reporter.

Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL): Mike DeFabo (@MikeDeFaboTWV) is the new Sports Reporter @nwherald.
The Spectrum (St. George, UT): Timothy R.Olsen (@TheRealTO) has accepted his new role a Sports Editor at (@SpectrumNews).

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.