How Are You Managing Your Online Newsroom? Please take Survey, We’ll Share Results

September 12, 2011

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services

Ibrey WoodallIn several years of creating online newsrooms, many of my most enjoyable experiences have been working directly with, and learning from corporate communicators in the field. I’ve met some great people, and I’ve been fortunate to be involved with online newsrooms for educational institutions to Fortune 500 corporations.

The stories I’ve heard are endless and entertaining. To me, public relations professionals are the soldiers on the front line. They maintain the reputation of their organization and deal with a barrage of questions – especially when things go wrong. I began surveying journalists in 2004 to see what they wanted from an online newsroom. That’s all pretty common knowledge now.

My goal today is to continue accumulating more real-world knowledge from PR warriors, and relay that to other communicators. Business Wire has teamed up with Bulldog Reporter to gather responses, and share them with all communicators.

If you have an online newsroom, please participate in the Communicators Online Newsroom Survey. Let us know how you manage your online newsroom. There are only 29 questions, so it won’t take long. You have until Sunday, September 18 to help your industry peers, and maybe even win an Apple iPad2TM.

Communicators Online Newsroom Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OnlineNewsrooms

I look forward to learning more.


PR Peeps Poll on Mobile Manners: 36% say Bad Cell Phone Manners Win Rudeness Contest

August 2, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media   

We know it’s a brave, rude world out there, but even us new media hounds were surprised that cell phones were named as the #1 offender when it comes to minding your mobile manners.   We figured “all of the above” would pull the most votes in our PR Peeps Poll asking, “What’s your biggest digital pet peeve?”

Socially unrefined cell phone behaviour jumped a noteworthy 12% since last year’s poll  posed the same set of questions.

Cell phones didn’t win by much.  Of 174 polled, 36% cited “inappropriate cellphone use” as their biggest digital pet peeve, followed by “all of the above” with 35%.  Next most offensive was loud talking Bluetooth users with 12%.   “Profanity and crassness in new media settings” came in fourth with 11% and  “Texting while I’m presenting” finished last with 6%.

Etiquette expert and author Anna Post remarked in our recent webinar on the topic that we  should try harder to control our cell phone antics.  “Any time cell phone use will bother others, turn it off.”  Agreed!

PR Peeps Poll July 2011 What's Your Biggest Digital Pet Peeve?Even poll comments singled out cell phones as the most annoying source of bad manners. Among the complaints:  “texting instead of calling when it’s obviously more appropriate to call,” “taking phone calls in the gym”  and the possibly life-threatening act of “texting/facebooking while crossing the street–in front of traffic!” 

Details below.

63, or 36%         Inappropriate cellphone use
21, or 12%          Bluetooth user who makes me think he’s talking to me
19, or 11%          Profanity and crassness in new media settings
11, or 6%            Texting while I’m presenting
60, or 35%       All of the above

To those who participated, thank you for voting.  Now, will you be able to help us out with our next PR Peeps Poll on the effectiveness of Twitter–now vs. a year ago?  WE hope so.  It’s only three questions. 

 174 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted June 10 – July 25, 2011.

PR Peeps Poll: Most PR Pros Practice Good Headline Habits

April 7, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

Congratulations, PR Peeps!  The vast majority of you practice good headline habits.

The March PR Peeps Poll with 191 participants, shows 143 (76%) utilize keywords in headlines while 119 of you (62%) take the extra minute or two to customize headers for email, social networks and Twitter.

PR Peeps Poll:   Headline Habits

Conventional wisdom assumes that 80% of readers don’t jump past the headline, so focusing on keywords and concepts and taking that extra time to customize for context is extremely important.   With so much competition for our attention, you may not have a chance beyond the headline to get your message across.

While 33 out of 191 (17%) said they do not emphasize keywords in headlines, 13 (about 7%) of you don’t know what keywords are.   Several  chimed in with comments such as, ” Headlines need to cause an editor to say ‘people will click to read this!’ ” and  “Non PR savvy executives push for headlines that are always too long.”  Yes.  We feel your pain.

How's your Headline Habits?

How’s your Headline Habits?

Do you emphasize keywords in the headlines of your press releases?

                                                  Yes–143,  or 76%

                                                  No–33, or 17%

                                                 What are keywords?–13, or 7%

 Do you rewrite/customize press release headlines for email, social networks and/or Twitter? 

                                                  Yes–119, or 62%

                                                   No–72, or 38%

To all those who participated, thank you very much!  Out next PR Peeps Poll asks, How do press releases fit into your branding efforts?

191 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  conducted February – March 2011.


PR Peeps Poll: Twitter the Favored Social Media Tool, Facebook Not Far Behind

January 5, 2011
by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media
PR Peeps let us know their favorite social media tool in December.  The winner?   Twitter.
A full third of 277 PR Peeps polled chose Twitter as their social media tool of choice in 2010, followed closely by Facebook, with 29% of the vote.   The results amplify a similar poll we conducted in November of 2009, in which more than 41% said they tweet but don’t blog.

No doubt the commitment required from running a company blog has many PR folks turning to link sharing of existing content on social networking sites.  Even hardcore investor relations officers we’ve consulted say they prefer Twitter over a company blog because they don’t have to commit to churning out time-consuming blog posts.

The poll was conducted in November and December  through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

33, or 11%–Company blog

81, or 29%–Facebook

91, or 33%–Twitter

22, or 8%–LinkedIn

13, or 5%   — Other

39, or 14% — We do none of the above

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   Our January poll needs your input.  What’s most important in measuring press release success?

Thanks for the help.

277 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  November 3 – December 31, 2010.


PR Peeps Poll: 43 Percent Cite Driving Traffic as Primary Objective in Optimizing Press Releases

November 3, 2010

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

When it comes to optimizing press releases for search engines, most PR Peeps do it to drive traffic to their websites, the October PR Peeps Poll found.  Of 240 polled, 103–that is, 43%–cited driving traffic as their primary goal in applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to their press releases.

Standard SEO techniques for press releases include working keywords into the headline and lead, providing deep links to your web site, adding multimedia such as logos, photos, or video, and keeping the headline under 70 characters so it is most likely to be indexed by Google news.

The poll results are not surprising given that the objective of most press releases is to tell the story of the issuer.  One of the best ways to do that is to lure people to your website so they can hear your organization’s story in your organization’s words–full text, unedited, unfiltered by journalists, bloggers or others.

The second most common reason cited for optimizing press release for search engines was to “influence Google search engine results” with 69 votes, or 29%.   Shortly behind was “manage reputation” with 36 votes, or 15%, followed by 25 respondents who don’t optimize their press releases for search engines (10%) and 7 respondents pegging “generate link clicks” as their main objective in applying SEO tactics to press releases.

The poll was conducted throughout the month of October through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your primary objective in optimizing your press release for search engines?

103, or 43%–Drive traffic to our website

69, or 29%–Influence Google search engine results

36, or 15%–Manage our brand and reputation

25, or 10%–I don’t optimize my press releases for search engines

7, or 3%   —  Generate link clicks

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   How about helping us with the next one?  The November poll launches today.   What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

Thanks for the help.

240 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  October 1 – 31, 2010.


PR Peeps Poll: What’s Your Biggest Digital Pet Peeve? Almost 40% said “All of the Above”

July 8, 2010

 

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President, New Media 

When it comes to online manners,  we’re an increasingly rowdy bunch.   That’s the takeaway from this month’s PR Peeps Poll, which asked professional communicators to weigh in on their biggest digital pet peeve.  

Top vote-getter?  Almost 40% said  “all of the above.”  Details, below.

 

PR Peeps Poll  What’s your biggest digital pet peeve?

57, or 24%–Inappropriate cellphone use

40, or 17%–Blue Tooth user who makes us think he’s talking to us

14, or 6%–Profanity and crassness in new media settings

32, or 14%–Texting while I’m presenting

91, or 39%–All of the above.

Six PR Peeps couldn’t resist adding their own digital don’ts–from bad grammar in emails and loud talkers to ALL CAPS MESSAGES (are you annoyed yet?) and the “complete lack of civility as we knew it.”

The poll coincided with our “Etiquette in the Digital Age” webinar presented by the ever proper Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute.    Apparently PR people are right in line with mass America, as Anna cited a survey that states 69% of Americans feel we are more rude  today than we were several decades ago.  Check out the video recap if you’re interested.   Please.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:  When’s the best time to send a press release?  Please let us know. 

234 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted June 1 – July 5, 2010


PR Peeps Poll: 85% say they put hyperlinks in press releases

June 2, 2010

But internal audits of the Business Wire file suggest only about 13.5% use hyperlinks in their press releases.

This month’s PR Peeps Poll suggests that the vast majority–85% of  those who send out press releases–insert hyperlinks into them. Only 15% of the 268 polled said they don’t.

Interestingly, internal research of the Business Wire file of approximately 1,000 press releases each work day, suggests otherwise.  By our reckoning, only 13.5% of press release issuers use hyperlinks to drive traffic or amplify their messages in the context of their press releases.

What’s going on? Perhaps those on Twitter and who attend our webinars–where the poll was administered–are a bit more savvy to new media tactics than the rest of our clients.    Hard to say.   But it’s an interesting disconnect in the numbers.

Our friends like Tom Foremski, the publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher who is well-known for bemoaning  the lack of hyperlinks in press releases, will be surprised by the findings of this PR Peeps Poll.   “Forget the ‘social media release’ and the work we did on trying to create microformats for news releases…At the end of the day all I want is some links in the copy!”  wrote Formski in a recent blogpost . “Help me do my job so I don’t have to search around for this stuff,” he added.

The advantages of including relevant, timely hyperlinks in your press releases are well documented.  Links can amplify your message, help increase your search engine optimization, and drive traffic to your website or other relevant sites.  We agree with Foremski:  Why not include them?

Apparently the reasons are various–from  I just “didn’t think about it” to “I don’t know what a hyperlink is.”  Check out complete details, below.

PR Peeps Poll: Do you insert hyperlinks into your press releases?

  • 229, or 85% said YES
  • 39, or 15% said NO

Of those who said NO, and asked “Why not?” here are their reasons:

  • 13 – Just didn’t think about it.
  • 12 - I don’t know how.
  • 12 - I don’t see the point.
  • 2 - I don’t know what a hyperlink is.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll: What is your biggest digital pet peeve? Someone texting while you’re presenting?  Or maybe that Bluetooth Guy who makes you think he’s talking to you?  Please let us know.

268 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted April 9 – May 31, 2010


PR Peeps Poll: 32% say 2009 Social Media Efforts “Good not Great”

January 20, 2010

The December 2009 PR Peeps poll results are in–better late than never, folks–and 32% of respondents rated their social media efforts for 2009 “good, not great.”

Regarding the question, “How would you rate the success of your social media efforts in 2009?” 174 answered as follows:

  • Fantastic–22, or 13%
  • Good, not great–56, or 32%
  • Fair–41,  or 24%
  • Still debating if  it’s worth the time–40, or 23%
  • Terrible–15, or 8%

We’ll leave the commentary on this poll to the social media evangelists.

To those who participated, thank you–and hey, how about helping with the January 2010 PR Peeps Poll?    Do you monitor news and press releases on your mobile device? Please let us know.

Happy New Year!


Business Wire PR Peeps Poll: News Release or Press Release?

July 1, 2009

News release or press release?  Results are in for this month’s Business Wire PR Peeps Poll:  56% of 370 polled preferred “press release” while 44% chose “news release.”

Discussion has surfaced lately regarding the preferred usage of these two seemingly interchangeable phrases.  “Press” release has history on its side, with its tenure as one of the most basic public relations tools on the planet–not to mention being written into the constitution as freedom of the “press.”    Also, don’t forget that the press release celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, with nostalgic tributes to Ivy Lee, PT Barnum and others.

As for “news release,” an implied superiority abounds for its usage–as if “the press” in the age of user generated content is an institution to be dismissed.

Junepollchart

Funny that we at Business Wire for years adamantly touted ourselves as a “news release wire service” but when we started to do search engine marketing noted that “press release” is searched ten times more frequently, on average, than the the phrase “news release.”  Now we are as likely to use press release as news release in marketing, presentations and elsewhere.

Old habits die hard, I suppose. Even those who propose to “reinvent” the already interactive press release of today as the “social media press release” seem to prefer “press” to “news.”  Would love to hear what psychologists, linguists and behavioral marketers think about what all this means.

Here’s the details from our 370 respondents, culled from Twitter and our weekly webinar polls.

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll for June 2009: News Release or Press Release, which do you choose?

  • 163 preferred news release-44.05%
  • 207 preferred press release-55.95%

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  How about helping with the Business Wire PR Peeps July poll? Advertising Equivalencies — do you or have you used them to justify PR efforts?

370 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted  June 1 – 30, 2009.


Business Wire PR Peeps Poll: More Than a Third Optimize Press Releases for Search Engines

May 7, 2009

Do you optimize your press releases for search engines? 

That was Business Wire’s 1-question poll for April, and we’re pleased to announce promising results:   34% of PR peeps polled say they optimize their press releases for search engines. 

Bravo!  That’s more than we expected.

Right behind the enlightened third, an almost equal 33% say they do NOT optimize press releases for search.  Twenty percent said they optimize “sometimes” and 12% “don’t know what it means” to optimize a press release for search engines.

Those of us catering to the public relations industry find these results heartening.  Press Release Optimization is a new concept and our educational webinars  suggest that the level of understanding is often shockingly remedial.  

As we said in a previous post, our clients tell us  they “don’t have time” to optimize their press releases for search engines.  That’s a shame.  One of the biggest pay-offs for doing so is better online traction through increased search engine results and sharing.

If you need help optimizing your press releases, check out the archived webinar on exactly that topic by Business Wire search pros Maria Van Wambeke and Michael Toner.  Watch for another Press Release Optimization webinar by our dynamic duo this summer.

aprilchart

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  And how about helping with the next one?  What do you value more when measuring press release traction?

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll for April 2009:

Do you optimize your press release for search engines? 
 
                     207  Yes 34%
                     202   No 33%
                     123    Sometimes 20%
                       75      I don’t know what optimize your press release for search engines means 12%
607 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted April 1 – May 5, 2009.

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