Posts Tagged ‘News Coverage’

Will Paid Online Content Change Your Media Sources?

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Flickr Image: RonAlmog

Flickr Image: RonAlmog

by Carol Holden*
Like most people, I start my business day by checking the BurrellesLuce morning news briefing to see what’s up with the competition and the industry as a whole.

Recently, I found two bright spots regarding the health of the traditional media industry.

As reported in Editor & Publisher, in a study recently released by Scarborough Research, data analysis indicates that newspapers are still read in print or online by a critical mass of adults in the U.S. on a daily and weekly basis. “While our data does show that print newspaper readership is slowly declining, it also illustrates that reports about the pending death of the newspaper industry are not supported by audience data,” said Gary Meo, Scarborough Research’s senior vice president of print and digital media services. “Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well and this is refreshing news.”

This is certainly refreshing to me as the person directing the BurrellesLuce Media Measurement service as well as being a former employee of a small town newspaper.

The report went on to list the following statistics:

In an average week –

  • 79 percent of adults employed in white collar positions read a newspaper in print or online
  • 82 percent of adults with household incomes of $100,000 or more read a printed newspaper in print or online
  • 84 percent of adults who are college graduates or who have advanced degrees read a printed newspaper in print or online

 Secondly, as reported in Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog, a new survey from the Boston Consulting Group asserts that the average news consumer would likely be willing to pay for news online, but respondents insist on unique news stories worthy of buying. “The good news is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, consumers are willing to pay for meaningful content,” said John Rose, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group who leads the firm’s global media sector. “The bad news is that they are not willing to pay much. But cumulatively, these payments could help offset one to three years of anticipated declines in advertising revenue.”

This change carries a lot of implications. Top of my mind is the impact on how Google will search for news and, depending on the sources and the charges, it will likely influence my own RSS options. How will you advise your clients to navigate the new terrain? How will paid content change your online sources for news?

*Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Comparison: What’s Missing from Your Web Content?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Flickr Image: Laura Burlton

Flickr Image: Laura Burlton

by Stephen Lawrence*
In previous postings, I’ve discussed the disparity between newspapers and their web equivalents.  We’ve learned that one-to-one equivalency rarely occurs and that loss of valuable content accompanies such instances when the digital doesn’t equal the print.  This posting covers some of those examples where printed photos don’t make it to the web.

First, I must note, that while we are supplying the URLs to the online articles, we are unable to reproduce the original printed pages for comparison and posting to Fresh Ideas due to copyright restrictions. (For a more in-depth discussion on copyright, check out this BurrellesLuce white paper.)

If you manage public relations for authors, restaurants or fashion clients I promise you’ll find these examples very interesting:

Book Reviews
One of my guilty pleasures, back in the days when I was a reader (that’s a “fancy” term for someone on our production team who searches for articles relevant to a clients reading instructions), was perusing the book review sections of various newspaper as I read them for our clients.  Shots of the book’s cover running alongside the printed article were always handy in capturing my attention and helped make finding the relevant material all the easier. 

When conducting some quality assurance recently, I was reminded of this and found a few examples where the print and online editions of book review images don’t match up: (more…)

From Newsstand to Newsreader: The Continuing Quest for Content

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

by Stephen Lawrence*
I’ve now seen more New Jersey newspapers and news sites than most have probably seen in their lifetime.  I’m quite sure of it – not that that’s a bad thing.

My latest project has consisted of compiling, cataloging, and comparing the Garden State’s newspapers to their respective websites.  Not in terms of content, though, only for presence.  (A discussion of the big “C” – content – will come later.)

In terms of circulation, here’s a fun fact that struck me regarding the N.J. 200. (Note:  These numbers are based primarily on the 2008 Audit

Flickr Image: erjkprunczyk

Flickr Image: erjkprunczyk

Bureau of Circulations figures.)

  • 95 percent are less than 50,000
  • 77 percent are less than 25,000
  • 46 percent are less than 10,000

Almost half of the N.J. 200 have a circulation of around 10,000 or less.  Yes, while many of these are local editions, they’re still individually published even in these dark days for the newspaper industry.

Not so simple was the cataloging. The first lesson I learned from this project is not to trust the website address that many papers publish as part of their masthead.  Re-directs and dead links are common. Thanks to the New Jersey Press Association (, I was able to fill in the blanks.

Another interesting discovery: very few papers have stand-alone sites.  In fact, the vast majority are relegated to local content pages on larger sites maintained by their publishing group.  For example, the site hosts the content of a dozen New Jersey papers whose combined print circulation exceeds 1,000,000.,, and gather together major elements of content from their associated papers.  Then there are numerous smaller papers which are distributed out of the My Town Navigator Network (, which is closer to a community, than a newspaper homepage. Only five percent of the NJ 200 had no locatable web presence.   

How does the print to web content ratio suffer in aggregate sites such as these?   There are some very lean sites out there; most only present the ‘above the fold’ stories. My guess is that local newspapers, such as the N.J. 200, aren’t the only ones holding back some of their content from the web.

In my next post, I will discuss the next “C” – comparison – and talk about what content is missing from newspaper sites.

*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

Internet and Life in 2029

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Steve Shannon

Media is ChangingThe Internet turned 40 years old, last week, on September 2nd.  As an armchair futurist, here’s what I see lying ahead for us in the years to come.

When the Internet turns 60 in 2029:

1. The landline telephone goes the way of the dodo. All phone calls are routed via the Internet. Everybody gets one phone number, for life, for all purposes. It replaces your social security number as the main means of identification.

2. Mobile phones truly become mobile computers. You make your all your business and personal calls, both voice and video, from this one device. You consume most of your media from it as well. The device links to all your files and applications. When you are in a fixed location, such as office, home, or hotel room, you dock your phone – much like you do today with a laptop –  permitting use of a larger screen, headset, and handset. (Keyboards are mostly irrelevant as speech to text technology types documents as fast as you can speak.)

3. Almost everybody consumes their news via video. Television and the web merge, eliminating the line between broadcast and web video.  

4. Cable companies become exactly that, just a delivery channel for the Internet. The same holds true for cellular phone providers as they shift to providing wireless Internet access.

5. All quality entertainment and sports media is purchased directly from the producers of that media. Media cartels form along the lines of ABC-Disney-ESPN, as one example, to serve a single consumer across a spectrum of programming and content (news-entertainment-sports). News and journalism exists within these entities but it is soft. Media relations still continues to thrive in this realm, providing reporters and editors with story ideas and content.

6. Hard journalism exists, but its audience is small and devoted. Funding for this is very much along the lines of how PBS currently operates, including the use of taxpayer dollars and augmented by advertising. Topics are limited to government and social issues as the media cartels cover everything else. (See previous bullet.)

7. Citizen journalism exists a la Wikipedia, but has narrow audiences, restricted by geography or topic. Public relations has a role here too, with companies being participants in these types of online communities.

8. All media programming and content is on-demand. You can pay for how many commercials you don’t or do want to see, trading money and/or highly detailed information about yourself for programming and commercials. The ads you do see are targeted specifically to you.

9. There’s plenty of free media available as well, a lot of it provided by consumer goods companies who have something to sell. The soap opera of the 1950s are truly reborn a century later. Companies with common audiences link together to form free media cartels, similar to those created by entertainment and sports media.

10. Last, signage, and vibrant ever-changing electronic signage at that, takes over the physical landscape as an inescapable way to deliver mass advertising and branding.

Does this all sound a little too far fetched?  If you find yourself saying that, do some research and see what day-to-day life was like in 1969, and all the advances in personal technology that have occurred since then. Still doubtful?  Then go back another 40 years to 1929, or another 40 to 1889.  One thing is for sure, the only constant is change.

How do you see media, the Internet, and technology changing in 2049? Share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Lunar Landing Anniversary = Great PR Opportunity

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

2768719983_962780aa36_m.jpgLike most people under 50, the first lunar landing is something I read about in history books or watched clips of on TV. At first glance, this week’s celebration of the 40th anniversary seemed to be an overkill of media coverage. But as I watched TV stories and YouTube videos, perused the special section in the Washington Post, and read tweets, I realized NASA may have created an award-winning PR campaign.

NASA is trying to reach younger people, who feel space travel is blasé. They also need funding and support for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. I was surprised how many stories relayed NASA’s key message: space missions are important to the advancement of science.

A. Pawlowski made this point in a article looking at the debate over space travel. A very fun sidebar in the print edition of the Washington Post highlighted many of the products developed because of the space program. Even Google Earth got into the act.

Peter Shankman of HARO was asked at a presentation at the National Institutes of Health which government agency is utilizing social media well? Not surprisingly, his answer was NASA.

I really cannot wait until all the coverage is reviewed and analyzed. I believe the communications teams at NASA pulled-off a great event, which advanced their purpose.

Have you used an anniversary to successfully drive home your key messages to new audiences? Myself (and the rest of us here at BurrellesLuce) would like to hear about your success stories.