Posts Tagged ‘articles’


Newspaper Apps Changing the Way Audiences Consume News

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Lauren Shapiro* 

Rumors of iNewspaper, the new iPad application, have begun taking center stage with Internet chatterboxes. With its new app, Apple would create digital versions of publications by selling subscriptions on behalf of the publishers (and taking a cut of the profit, for sure!). However, the iPad friendly newspaper is not a new idea by any means.

Flickr Image Source: Byrion (Byrion Smith)

Flickr Image Source: Byrion (Byrion Smith)

The biggest names in publishing have already established themselves on the iPad including the New York Times, BBC News, Wall Street Journal and AP News. Some downloads, such as the Wall Street Journal, are even free; however for access to exclusive content, a subscription purchase is required. According to PCWorld.com, WSJ users can even create a custom “watch list” of their stocks and funds.  For BBC iPad readers, you can view articles in several languages including Spanish, Russian and Arabic. But, the real niche of online news subscriptions is the customization options. BBC News allows users to personalize the content they view based on interest. While offline, the application will search and locate stories for the next time you turn your iPad on.

Will the iPad subscription based model help drive revenue to electronic publications? The answer is, probably, yes – especially as free views of online articles become more limited by publishers. But the momentum and accessibility of online publications will likely urge readers away from the classic hard copy publication (e.g., commuters who rely on a good paper to read while taking a bus or train to work).

The trend toward an iNewspaper product is a sign of the times as the world becomes more reliant on the Internet than ever. Apple seems to have found itself at the forefront of this technology and has placed itself comfortably in the middle (as publishers learn how to better monetize their content) likely allowing Apple to earn quite a few pretty pennies in the meantime.

As a communications professional, do you think that e-publications will ever take the strength away from hard copy publications? How do you think this will impact your public relations, marketing, and advertising efforts? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Dog-Days of Summer: Perfect Time for PR Reviewing and Planning

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

August in Washington, D.C., where I work, exemplifies the “dog-days” of summer. Congress recesses and it seems everyone else does, too. The slightly slower pace allows us time to reflect on the first half of the year, and make plans for the last two quarters.

Third and Fourth Quarters Will Define PR Recovery” headlined a recent PR Week article. Debbie Friez's Dog Gus - BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Dog Days of SummerTo summarize: Just because there was an upswing in the first two quarters of the year, does not mean the industry has truly emerged from the downturn.

So how can you help your organization emerge successfully? 

1. Efficiency is a term thrown-around a lot, but it is still an important concept to PR that few have mastered. One friend, who works at a Fortune 500 company, said she wrote down everything she did for a few days. She was shocked to see she was not as good at multi-tasking as she thought. Her advice was to try to focus on completing a project before you look at the next email or tweet. This mirrors a similar idea expressed in a recent BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post by my colleague Colleen Flood, who attended the PRSA Counselors Academy back in May and learned that people can only do one thing at a time, as our brains haven’t yet involved to truly multi-task.

2. Mary Fletcher-Jones, Fletcher Prince, said via LinkedIn, that she plans to review clients who came on, clients who left, and what they purchased. I plan to do some of this same reflection and I think it is good for public relations, sales, and client service professionals to incorporate this practice on a regular basis.

Here are some other ideas for your August refection time:

  • Review budgets for the rest of 2010 and start on the 2011 budget.
  • Look at your PR/marketing plan, and decide if you need to make some mid-year changes.
  • Take time to read industry blogs and articles. What new tactics can you learn and put to use?
  • If you find you don’t have time for good refection, you might need to review your staffing needs. Do you need to hire someone to help with new projects/campaigns?
  • Set some new personal goals for the rest of the year. A life coach once suggested posting your main personal goals where you see them often, like on a Post-it note on your desk.

Do you have other suggestions for a mid-year review? Please share some of your insights. How are you working to help your organization emerge from the recession?

News Organizations Sometimes Bend the Rules of Engagement to Keep Up with Today’s Frenetic Pace of News Cycles.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The 24 hour news cycle is nothing new. It started in 1980 with the launch of CNN, the very first 24 hour news channel. Prior to cable news we relied on the newspaper, radio, or the evening news broadcast to find out what was happening in the world. And if a big story broke during the day or after the news broadcast chances were we would be informed by having our favorite TV show interrupted with a special report from the affiliate’s newsroom.

Over the last few years, however, the rate at which we receive the news has been accelerating and, believe it or not, promises to become even more immediate. Some news organizations are applying extreme and sometimes controversial business practices to keep up with this increasing pace and to survive in the highly competitive online news space.

With more pressure to deliver content to their followers, organizations like Politico and Gawker are helping to ratchet up the intensity to an even higher level when it comes to reporting the news. Pre-dawn start times at agencies tortoise_Hare1along with bonuses tied to the number of pageviews a reporter’s story garners are adding to the sense of urgency in which a story is posted online. Tracking how many people view articles online is becoming a higher priority not only at new media, but old media as well – creating an environment to see who can post the most exclusive stories the fastest.

As a result, when a major national story is in the midst of breaking news, the rules of engagement sometimes become a bit blurred, with more outlets favoring “cut and paste reporting” over actual journalism. Last month Rolling Stone magazine was about to post the General McChrystal story in which he and his aids were critical of the White House – first sending an advanced copy of the story to the Associated Press (customary for magazines trying to promote a story) with some restrictions. But before Rolling Stone had a chance to publish the story on their website, on their scheduled date, two major websites (Politico and Times.com) decided to post a PDF of the entire story to their respective sites.  

Although it was seen by some as a breach of copyright and professional best practices, both companies explained that they posted the story as it was unfolding. Since Rolling Stone didn’t immediately post the article itself they decided to move forward on their own.  Eric Bates, executive editor of Rolling Stone, didn’t see it that way. Voicing his concern not only from his magazine’s perspective but from an industry perspective, he called it a “transitional moment,” adding, “What these two media organizations did was off the charts. They took something that was in pre-published form, sent to other media organizations with specific restrictions, and just put it up.”

However, the exhausting pace of online news isn’t just taking its toll on the media organizations themselves. It is also coming at a price to the individuals supplying the content. The longer hours and added pressure to constantly come up with exclusive stories has contributed to an increased turnover of staff at online news organizations with more journalists facing burnout at a younger age. A dozen reporters recently left Politico in the first half of this year and it’s very common for an editor to leave Gawker after just one year.

While some may debate the future of the media, one thing is certain: The online media race is on.  I’m just not sure if slow and steady wins this one.

Do you think that the media and their audiences, are biting off more news than they can chew?  As a public relations professional, what do you think about news organizations bending the rules of engagement to keep up with today’s frenetic pace of news and how does this impact the way you conduct media relations? If you’re a journalist or blogger, how are you handling the added pressure of constantly having to deliver? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.