|In this week's issue:
Will NewsBasis Change How We Work with Reporters?
On Monday, NewsBasis launched a site that matches businesses and PR agencies as sources for journalists working on topical articles. NewsBasis offers a “sources” search engine brands can leverage, so journalists can search their profiles and points of views as potential sources for stories they’re working on. It also features “tools for sources” to footnote online articles with their perspective.
Why? It’s about connecting PR to journalists more effectively. Brands want to get their message out, but to successfully do this; they must effectively align with the interests of the media they’re pitching. As we move forward in the digital age, PR must adapt and be more than just email pitches and voicemails.
How does it work?
On NewsBasis.com: Reporters can post questions in the “Opportunities” tab, and set a deadline for receiving information from sources. Comms professionals can either search manually in the “Opportunities” tab to see if any of the posted requests are relevant, or opt in to receive notification by email whenever posts match your specific keyword parameters. Reporters can also search for sources with a particular expertise or point of view. In order for you to be searchable and be able to respond to questions asked by journalists, you must create a profile, including your bio, expertise and keywords. This is currently available in the beta of NewsBasis.
Across the Web: Sources can add footnotes to online articles, called "embedded point of views,” using the NewsBasis extension in Firefox or Chrome. This way when reporters are doing research online, a tab will appear indicating that a NewsBasis source has offered a different point of view or corrected a fact. This feature will be rolled out at a later date.
According to the NYT NewsBasis plans to roll out a searchable database of questions and answers along with a system to rank sources based on how helpful they’ve been.
How-to videos can be viewed in this Read Write Web article.
What’s the impact? In theory, NewsBasis sounds great. It serves as another way for PR pros to connect with reporters and put forward brands as sources. That said, the value will be determined based on how many reporters actually use the service. If media adoption and use is high, it may be worth the time and cost spent (currently NewsBasis is free, but it will become a paid service for brands and PR agencies). We’ll keep an eye on how this takes off and report back.
Twitter Suggests Who You Should Follow
Earlier this week, Twitter rolled-out Suggestions For You, a tab on the ‘Find People’ page of Twitter.com that helps users sift through the platform’s 100 million+ accounts to find relevant people to follow. Much like Google Reader’s blog recommendations or LinkedIn’s “People you may know” feature, the customized offering uses an algorithm that examines the users you follow, and, based on several factors, suggests folks that might interest you. If you like a given suggestion of Twitter’s, you can choose to follow them; if not, you can click hide and the list will be replenished with new recommendations.
At this point, there’s no indication that brands can influence the suggestions directly. For established Twitter feeds, “Suggestions For You,” may generate users that you intentionally have not followed or un-followed. However, we still advise that you check your “Suggestions For You” once in a while to screen for new users. More importantly, look at “Suggestions For You” to help employees that are new to Twitter get their accounts up and running quickly and to help expand current users’ networks. For instance, this will come in handy for executives getting started with Twitter. “Suggestions For You” is a step in the right direction to making Twitter a more comprehensive and user-friendly tools for personal and business use.
Vendors at a Glance: Social Media Releases
Hopefully most of you have heeded our advice
and taken the plunge, at least once, and issued a Social Media Release (SMR) to announce a new product, service, event, or campaign. For those still on the fence, SMR’s provide a flexible platform to keep bloggers and traditional media up to date with multi-media content supporting your announcement and add to the viral nature of media consumption today.
Here are some great examples of well done SMR’s:
The Gulf Coast Benefit team leveraged PitchEngine to issue a SMR replete with photos and video to keep bloggers and media up to date on the nationwide concerts. Although the link officially expired, a version can be found on Technorati here.
Xerox issued an SMR issued on the Businesswire platform to announce their partnership with the Blue Planet Water Conservation Campaign. The release includes great use of pulled quotes, video and images. Release available for viewing on Business Wire.
MTV and ZYNC from American Express tapped PR Newswire’s Multi-Vu service to announce the first 18 finalists in this summer’s search for the first-ever MTV TJ, including a sizzle reel video to introduce the candidates. Release can be found here.
West Coast fast-food taquería, Del Taco, issued a release on Marketwire’s Social Media 2.0 platform to announce its “blowing up” the definition of value with a limited time price reduction on its 59-cent regular taco. Release, found online here, includes links to Facebook fan page, video and photos.
What follows below is a helpful overview of the popular traditional and social media release vendors on the market, including reach, pricing and pros and cons evaluated by Text 100 consultants.