Posts Tagged ‘search engines’

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.

Crisis Communications: A Case Study in the Making

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

Flickr Image: kbaird; Original Image: Charlie Riedel / AP

Flickr Image: kbaird; Original Image: Charlie Riedel / AP

British Petroleum has been making front page news since April 22nd as approximately 800,000 gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico each day. BP was once an organization thought to be a “friendly brand in the oil business” – despite its previous disasters. But as the oil continues to spill into the summer months, and according to government officials into the fall, BP is being scrutinized now more than ever.

One might assume that companies that specialize in goods/services, particularly those that could potentially wreak havoc on the safety of the world’s inhabitants, would have a well prepared protocol for crisis situations. Furthermore, if the company had a predecessor that experienced a similar crisis (i.e., Exxon Valdez, 1989) they would sculpt this protocol by learning from the mistakes previously made. It’s highly doubtful that BP did not have a crisis communication procedure in place, but was and is it a good one?

According to Chris Lehane, Newsweek’s master of disaster, “One of the rules of thumb of crisis management is that you can never put the genie back in the bottle in terms of what the underlying issue is. People evaluate you in terms of how you handle things going forward. And obviously doing everything to be open, transparent, accessible is the type of thing that the public does look for from a corporate entity in this type of situation.”

 As the situation in the Gulf continues to unfold, BP has promised one solution after another with no success – in other words, they over promised and under delivered, a cardinal “no-no” in business or any crisis resolution. Lehane states, “If you tell people what you are going to do, and you suggest it’s going to be successful, you need to be successful. Because once you create those expectations and you don’t fulfill them, when you already have a significant credibility problem, it further degrades your credibility.”

BP’s inability to implement a successful solution to fix the spill isn’t the only thing affecting its credibility. BP came under fire during the U.S. Congressional hearings when executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton took turns blaming each other for the incident coined “the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” And BP’s executives continue to make one public relations faux-pas after another: (more…)

Google Alert Users: Are You Getting What Google’s Not Paying For?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Twitter was so abuzz with discussion about Google and fair use of AP content that I couldn’t resist riffing off yesterday’s post by BurrellesLuce Executive Vice President Steve Shannon regarding AP copyright discussions.

The graphic below shows tweet results for the terms “Google,” “AP,” “Copyright,” “NAA” (Newspaper Association of America) and “ACAP” (Automated Content Access Protocol). If one were to review quantitative share of conversation yielded by this graph you would think Google “owns” the conversation; however a qualitative look into these conversations shows if Google were to engage in a “pay-per-click” micro-payment system for copyrighted content, the search giant risks being abandoned by some searchers.


If public relations teaches us anything it’s that huge fires can be started by a small spark. This graphic also demonstrates that the metrics produced the fastest and easiest often tell only part of the story.

Google has already found it’s difficult to monetize social media (e.g. purchase of YouTube) and may experience some bumps in their upward trajectory if micro-payment of copyrighted content takes hold. This situation will continue to evolve and Internet users will be watching closely to protect the free search.

I’m left thinking this is one more reason to protect the free press and investigative journalism that could provide in-depth reporting on this very important issue. Is this the tipping point showing the importance of getting the estimated 15K-20K trained reporters back to work? While micro-blogging grows increasingly popular, my guess is micro-payments won’t be embraced with quite the same fervor. I want a good investigative journalist to take the reins on this and let us know the real ramifications and the likely future of copyrighted material.

Questions specifically for public relation pros:
Will micro-payments change how some of you currently use the free alert system?
How will you be affected if Google alerts are forced to change its source list?
Are you prepared to modify your benchmarks to accommodate this change?