Posts Tagged ‘AP’

BurrellesLuce Backs Media in AP Lawsuit

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The advent of digital technology has created some pretty interesting debates over the fair use of copyrighted content and how publishers can be paid for their news contributions and protect their copyrights.

By violating copyright – even inadvertently – PR professionals can expose their organization, clients, and constituents to a number of liabilities. That is why BurrellesLuce has worked directly with publishers and other content providers (for close to 30 years) to establish use agreements that pay publishers royalty fees and allow our customers worry-free access to copyrighted content.

We are staunch supporters of commercial use of content with the expectation that those providing a similar services to ours should also pay for the use of the content. We are also long-time members of the The Software and Industry Information Association (SIIA) and believe that people, including PR and communications practitioners, should pay for commercial use of content. We have had a turnkey copyright compliance program in place since 2008 and we work to educate our customers on copyright compliance and the proper use of licensed content.

The same cannot be said for other companies in the media monitoring and evaluation space. Some aggregators, posing as monitoring services or search engines – depending on what best serves their position of the day – are not curating content, but archiving and hosting a database of publisher’s content. This creates challenges for PR and marketing pros, and some media monitoring firms expose their clients to potential liability.

At BurrellesLuce we curate content on behalf of our clients and charge a royalty. Those royalties go back to the publishers. PR professionals are understanding, more and more, why these measures are necessary. They recognize the difference between a genuine media monitoring service and an aggregator. They realize they may be exposing their organization, as well as their clients, to substantial copyright liability by using the latter.

The difference is best outlined in an article by Neiman Journalism Labs, which discusses the difference between search engines and aggregators.  A search engine, like Google and its “free” business model, typically provides links to the original content and pays a licencing fee to the copyright owners, while aggregators repackage the publishers’ copyrighted material, send it to their customers, and charge their customers without paying a royalty to the publishers.  As a genuine full-service media monitor, BurrellesLuce uses a business model that ensures that the publishers get paid for the use of their copyrighted content, and gives our customers the peace of mind that comes with compliance with the law.

A Letter From a Press Release

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Dear PR Professional,

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. “I am not dead and I have an app to prove it.” Ok, maybe I don’t. But granted, I am more than 100 years old and am still holding up fairly well, if I must say so myself.

Our relationship has seen its ups and downs. You’ve shared me in many ways, including, but not limited to mail (long before it was called “snail mail”) and fax – I really burnt up some data lines in my time. Let us not forget email; you’ve emailed me so often and to so many erroneous contacts I sometimes get called “SPAM” or “junk” now – no respect for your elders. And this newfangled “tweeted.” (That’s right, I’m “hip” to it all.)

Now I spend most of my time in online press rooms as a reference link for reporters to “come and get me if they want me.”

A few tips I’ve heard over the years:

ARCHIVE: Even if you focus on social media ALWAYS have a place for traditional releases in your newsroom. This will allow journalists a resource for quotes if someone is not readily available. Your website should have an archive of news stories and I still prove to be a concise summary of events and/or activities important to your business.

IDENTIFY CORRECT RECIPIENTS: Never blindly email me. If you must do this, and I can’t think of a good reason why, at least make sure I’m relevant to the recipient. (I have a positive reputation to maintain after all.)

BE SENSITIVE TO MY SIZE: At least embed me in the email. People hate it when I’m “attached” and frankly just hanging out there is a little scary.

WRITE A GOOD SUBJECT LINE: If you MUST email me, even if the recipient is expecting me, please write a good subject line. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone unopened because nobody really knew what I was so they ignored me.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT: If someone says they don’t want a press release, but just the who, what, when, where and why, please give it to them. Also prepare that same information in my form or at a minimum a fact sheet for your archive. Remember once I’m on your website you can still maximize me for SEO purposes.

I still have some gas in the tank so don’t count me out just yet. I know some say our relationship is a bit dysfunctional at best. Sure, I’m traditional, you know – AP Style – but I still have a place in your plan and tactics if you use me wisely. And I really think we can make this work.

Press Release*


*Bio: Press Release is a 100+ year veteran of the PR and media relations industry, where it helps professionals connect and engage with relevant journalists and bloggers. In its spare time, Press Release enjoys finding innovative ways to stay curtain in the ever-changing media landscape and maximize its results. Web: BurrellesLuce Media Outreach; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce; Twitter: BurrellesLuce

Why Scale the Paywall?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Valerie Simon

This post is an excerpt of a guest post originally published on Spin Sucks 9.14.10. To read the full post, click here.

Valerie-Simon-photoThere’s been a lot of debate lately about free versus paid content online. All this talk leads to one simple question. What features will motivate readers to scale the paywall?

Back in college I found myself at the campus store with less than a dollar in change in my pocket. To the left of the cashier was the New York Times. To the right was an assortment of gum and candy. As much as I wanted a pack of gum, the decision was a no-brainer. I paid for my New York Times and headed back to my dorm, reading as I walked.

Fast forward to January 2011 when the New York Times will roll out a new metered model that charges users after they exceed a set number of articles per month. Faced with the prospect of losing Stuart Elliott David Carr, Cathy Horn, or other favorite columnists, what will I do? Will I reach back into my wallet? Will you?

Does anyone remember the episode of The Office where Dunder Mifflin employees agonized over whether to pay $1.99 to read a Wall Street Journal article containing information about the fate of their company? I certainly wouldn’t think twice about paying for that pack of gum, so why the reluctance over the New York Times or Wall Street Journal?

Dan Schaible, senior vice president, content management and my colleague at BurrellesLuce, shared some insights on the subject of paywalls with me. He noted that successful implementation of a paywall or subscription model is based on two things: Content and availability.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to erect a paywall in front of news everyone else has,” Dan explained. Publications that consist primarily of AP, Reuters, and other syndicated content will not fare well behind a firewall. Likewise, exclusives that will simply be read and reported/repeated elsewhere don’t belong behind a paywall.

So why WOULD someone pay for content? It’s simple really, if you consider the purpose of consumption and anticipated value… Read the full post at Spin Sucks. 

Google Alerts and AP Coverage in a Post-Licensing Agreement Environment

Friday, February 26th, 2010

by Stephen Lawrence*


In the wake of my last post, search engine giant Google and the Associated Press (AP) reached an agreement allowing Google to return to hosting AP content.  Did the floodgates then open to overwhelm my inbox with those “author:  Samantha Critchell” Google News Alerts which I had previously set? 

Not exactly. 

During the full calendar week of February 14th – 20th, I received 18 separate alerts containing a total of 27 links. This was a slight improvement over the reporting of 16 alerts and 20 links for the previous period of January 19th – February 2nd. When broken down by source the pattern remains the same:

  • ABC News led with 14 links linking back to AP material hosted on their parent site.
  • Newspaper sites accounted for 10 more.
  • While the remaining three were either foreign or with no hard-copy editions.

The print to web ratio for the prior period, as I found, was evenly matched this week. 

  • Five of the ten Google alerted newspaper articles had a corresponding print presence. 
  • The remaining articles were web exclusives.

One might have expected to see a greater surge of articles since this most recent “experiment” coincided with New York Fashion Week and Ms. Critchell is the AP’s fashion maven.  Her subjects ranged from Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Luca Luca to Naomi Campbell’s Fashion benefit for Haitian relief.  (During the previous period, topics ranged from the Golden Globes to Vera Wang’s designs at previous Winter Olympics.)

A similar Yahoo! News search supplies only six newspaper stories along with a smattering of local TV sites, a couple of which overlapped with the Google Alerts coverage.

To date, our BurrellesLuce readers have located over 80 articles published during that week attributed to Samantha Critchell (this includes the five mentioned earlier). And, these are only the ones relating purely to Fashion Week coverage.  There are an additional 100+ older articles which saw print in newspapers.

While there may well be a number of underlying factors at work here – ranging from other individual licensing agreements to spidering blocks – the raw totals are telling.

This week, we find an 8:1 disparity in Fashion Week coverage, or an 18:1 disparity in subject coverage for this print to web experiment. 

For my purposes, this was but a simple experiment. But would you be willing to subject your client to such uncertainties knowing these possible results?

*Bio: A native of Mesa, Arizona, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Near Eastern Studies. I began my career with BurrellesLuce in 1997 as a reader. As with most readers, I developed a special relationship with my assigned papers – those small town dailies and weeklies of the same flavor that my family had been employed in for two generations. Currently, I hold the position of quality assurance specialist, troubleshooting daily production issues. Outside interests include woodworking, and keeping my wife and dog happy. Twitter: BurrellesLuce; Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Google Nexus One – AP Case Study

Monday, January 25th, 2010

By: Stephen Lawrence*

Internet_NewsAs readers of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog are already well aware, search engine giant Google is no longer making the Associated Press’ content available through its search results.  And while there are a multitude of other news aggregators and distributors available on the Internet, no others can match the reach that the AP has in the traditional media.

Those in the PR industry who are relying simply on Google Alerts to track theirs and their client’s influence are at a distinct disadvantage, as access to hundreds of daily and weekly newspapers has effectively disappeared.  Some AP content is still appearing in fresh searches, but it seems to be limited to a couple of newspapers. And those may soon disappear if an updated licensing agreement is not reached between the two by month’s end.

Which returns us to the thesis of my previous postings “Can relying on other internet search engines, paid or unpaid, fulfill your monitoring needs?”  Just how much distributed content is even available on newspaper’s websites, much less through Google Alerts?

To address that question, I examined the availability of a recent AP article spotlighting (ironically) the introduction of Google’s Nexus One phone.  The article, authored by AP business writer Michael Liedtke, ran on January 6th and was published in dozens of daily newspapers throughout the U.S.  This information came from our own available archives of scanned hard copy publications.

Twenty-five publications, with an average circulation of 50,000, were sampled.  A simple string of “Google Phone” was used to mirror any likely Boolean spidering phrases and the websites searched.

  • Fifteen of the 25 newspaper websites did not return a result for the article.
  • Thus, 60 percent of the print coverage was lost for this small exercise

Separate queries were entered on the major search sites that constituted more involved filtering and human interaction.

  • Google Search: “Google Phone Liedtke” did result in a number of legitimate newspaper website articles, but none from the original sampling.
  • Bing Search: “Google Phone Liedtke” in the News tab resulted in two incorrect articles, while a general web search returned mostly local TV sites which contain AP material.  Very few newspapers were offered and those that were, duplicated the Google results.
  • Yahoo! News Search:  “Google Phone Liedtke” yielded more website coverage, but nothing mirroring the hard copy coverage.  None of the 15 sites which I located were represented in the search results.

This is only one example of how Google’s non-coverage of AP content could potentially affect public relations and marketing professionals who rely solely on “free” content. Expand that to other industry interests or areas relevant to you and your client – and how much are you willing to pay for free? How are you making adjustments given Google’s change in practice?

*Bio: A native of Mesa, Arizona, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Near Eastern Studies. I began my career with BurrellesLuce in 1997 as a reader. As with most readers, I developed a special relationship with my assigned papers – those small town dailies and weeklies of the same flavor that my family had been employed in for two generations. Currently, I hold the position of quality assurance specialist, troubleshooting daily production issues. Outside interests include woodworking, and keeping my wife and dog happy. Twitter: BurrellesLuce; Facebook: BurrellesLuce