Posts Tagged ‘outlets’


Barcodes and The Media

Monday, February 28th, 2011
Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Barcodes have been used in the retail, logistics, inventory/warehousing and governmental environments since the 1970’s. There are numerous types of 2D barcodes, but for this post, I’ll be referring primarily to Quick Response (QR) codes – which didn’t come into existence until 1994. QR codes have been popular in Japan for quite some time and even have been used in some European countries but have struggled to gain acceptance here in North America.

About a year ago, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Lauren Shapiro, wrote about the world being a giant barcode and how this might affect the public relations and marketing realm. In September 2010, I attended a PRSA professional development day (hosted by SWMO PRSA) where Ben Smith, Social: IRL agency, talked about PR and media uses for QR codes – that’s when it started to “click” for me. Then, a few months ago, another colleague, Denise Giacin, wrote about a book by a New York Times reporter and his perceptions of the changing media landscape – each chapter beginning with a QR code. 

So, if this is not new, why am I just now writing about this? Because it seems to me that it’s no longer just speculation by the thought leaders, but it’s actually catching on. (I’m a wait and see kinda gal, after all Missouri is the “Show Me State.”) With the popularity of smart phones, QR codes are now more practical than in the past and are probably destined to become even more so in the future. Google Places began using QR codes, issuing window decals, in December 2009 as a quick way to see reviews and coupons for local businesses. There’s a myriad of uses in the communications field and I’ll talk more about that in my next post. 

A number of print media outlets are now using barcodes to connect the reader’s print and online experiences. Mobile barcodes offer publishers an easy way to bridge the gap between traditional print mediums and digital media. The barcodes allow them to offer a more personalized and interactive experience – like linking from an advertisement to a coupon or recipe. But it’s going beyond advertising now.

The Washington Post recently began including QR codes to offer “digital jumps” to additional content. Lucky Magazine uses QR codes to link to hair and makeup instructional videos. South Florida Sun Sentinel uses QR codes to link to digital content. USA Today announced last week that they are making a commitment to use at least one Microsoft Tag (a proprietary 2D barcode) in each daily section that will provide mobile access to photos, videos and other online content.  Even some college papers, Cal State Fullerton for one, have begun using these barcodes in the print edition.

The naysayers are convinced of the demise of print media; however, new technologies like QR codes offer the ability to make their content more interrelated. It provides readers with a more interactive and productive experience. 

Is this just what print media needs or is this a stop-gap measure on the downhill slide? I look forward to you sharing your thoughts with our readers.

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Local News Gets ‘Hyper’ As Media Landscape Evolves

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Local News Gets Hyper as Media Landscape EvolvesThe durability of news outlets that are tightly linked to their neighborhoods provides opportunity for PR practitioners willing to understand and invest in what these hyperlocal outlets and hyperlocal communities value.

The number of these so-called “hyperlocal” sites is growing, as traditional media and leading search engines partner with existing hyperlocal operations and non-media entities, such as universities, to create hyperlocal news products.

“Hyperlocal is difficult, expensive and not for the faint of heart,” says Barb Palser, director of digital media for McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Co., in this American Journalism Review article. Nonetheless, she notes, “news organizations and startups across the country are betting heavily that hyperlocal news sites will solve the needs of both consumers and advertisers.”

How, then, as communications practitioners looking for more-targeted ways to reach our audiences, can we better guarantee the success of our hyperlocal initiatives? Read more of this newsletter in the BurrellesLuce Resource Center.

Media Outlets Leverage Mobile Apps

Monday, November 29th, 2010

by Carol Holden*

Surpurised young woman holding a mobile and shopping bagsFor me, it’s official – the world has gone totally mobile. The other night a commercial, on a kids’ cable channel my daughter watches, featured a Grandmother giving her little grandson (he looked about six to me) a tablet-reader for Christmas. I’ve been forewarned and won’t be shocked if my eight year old asks for one.

No wonder the rush continues for traditional media to expand to mobile devices, with some innovative apps already rolled out and others on the way:

  • The Economist just launched an enhanced version of its publication for the iPad and iPhone. Readers can tweak the layout and graphs so they can receive all the robust content of the magazine, but in a format that makes sense for a small screen. “You’re trying to recreate your print magazine but redesign it to make the most of the medium,” said Oscar Grut, managing director of digital editions for The Economist.
  • Oprah’s O, The Oprah Magazine has just released its iPad app to much fanfare. As described in the Marketwire release, “’I love the written word, and I love the iPad — to me, it’s another way to experience the intimacy of this magazine and its part of the future of the business,’ said Oprah Winfrey. ‘It’s a new way to connect with our readers, who are on a path of becoming their best selves.’”
  • New Corps’ Rupert Murdoch and Apple’s Steve Jobs recently announced they would be teaming up to create a new iNewspaper. “The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world’s first ‘newspaper’ designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple’s iPad, with a launch planned for early next year,” writes Edward Helmore in this Guardian UK article. “According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition.’”

In fact, there are already enough publications with apps (over 700) available to audiences and readers on the iPad that strategic research company McPheters and Company was able to put together a ten best list. “McPheters ranked the print-to-iPad products based on design, functionality and use of rich content.” The list presents an interesting mix of both newspapers and magazines covering the gamut of lifestyle, culture, politics, news, sports, food, fashion, etc. The number one spot went to The New Yorker app, with apps for newspaper circulation heavy-weights USA Today and The Wall Street Journal making the list at number eight and ten respectively. Fashion entrant Net-A-Porter made the list at number five.

Mobile applications are becoming such an integral part of the media landscape that other industry organizations are taking notice. The American Society of Magazine Editors announced that among the changes to the National Magazine Awards 2011, they will include a new award for mobile editions.

In this age of PR 3.0, how are you using mobile apps to connect with your audiences? If you use a mobile device to read newspapers and magazines, what outlets would top your list of best media apps? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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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

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: 10 Tips for Successful Sound Bites

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Successful Sound BitesSound bites, those little nuggets of public relations goodness meant to whet the appetites of news outlets and their audiences, are vital to communications clarity. Yet, they can be difficult to master. Sure, there are lots of printed and digital quotations floating around (think 140 characters as the ultimate sound bite). But how many of them are juicy morsels with media appeal and potential staying power?

To assist you in the selection process, we have compiled a list of 10 tips aimed at ensuring that your spokesperson’s sound bites stand out from the rest (for all the right reasons) and leave the media and viewers wanting more.

Read more of this month’s newsletter in the BurellesLuce Resource Center to learn 10 ways to help your sound bites make a positive impression.