Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’


How Do I Monitor Content Behind the Paywall?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
flickr user Horia Varlan under CC BY license

flickr user Horia Varlan under CC BY license

With the financial struggles of news organizations and the proliferation of free online content, paywalls are becoming commonplace. But how are you going to see all your coverage once all publications go paywall? As publishers have found new ways of monetizing their content, if you can’t get behind the paywall, it’s trickier to fully monitor your media mentions. As a monitoring service with licensing agreements, we are comprehensive and don’t face the legal woes and challenges of some aggregations services.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has even devised a new initiative to ensure companies are properly accessing content, and in case anyone thought the industry wasn’t taking this seriously, they’re even offering anonymous rewards of up to $1 million to those who report illegal use of content.

But how are public relations practitioners supposed to get a comprehensive picture of their media coverage if they can’t see what’s behind the paywall?

Enlist a media monitoring service that has licensing agreements with publishers.

Services like BurrellesLuce that have a turnkey copyright compliance program ensure users see the full picture of their coverage by providing content from behind the paywall that other services can’t access. To name just one example, our agreement with The New York Times means that our users are the only ones seeing all channels of their content. We have long supported publishers by ensuring fair use, via royalty fees, of their content within the public relations community.

Why is it so important that PR pros choose a service with licensing agreements? Because you want service you can count on, both in knowing that the provider can alert you to all content about your organization and that you don’t have unnecessary liability exposure. You also don’t want to leave yourself or your organization vulnerable to legal action for distributing content without proper licenses (review our post about what you need to know about copyright compliance for more on how).

It’s also important to choose a service with licensing agreements because public relations relies heavily on the media to help get out messages, reach an audience, and tell a story. For all of our talk of community, each time we copy and use an article without consideration for the author or fair use, are we being true to our cause, or are we being pirates?

How has your organization dealt with licensing and compliance, and what further steps are being taken to ensure compliance?

How to Personalize a Brand Experience Without Being Creepy

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

How to Personalize a Brand Experience Without Being Creepy Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasBrand personalization has never been more vital to providing a unique brand experience and capturing and maintaining customer loyalty. But with so much data available, it’s also easier to annoy or unnerve customers with over-personalized suggestions or communications. Here’s how to use your available data to provide a personalized user experience without seeming like Big Brother.

Be transparent

Inform your users as to what info you’re capturing, how you will use it, and who can see it.  Unnerving customers with specific, personal information on recommendations or personalized experiences will likely cause them to shy away from a brand instead of embrace it. So be transparent: ask for permission to use their data, and provide an opt-out.

Use data provided directly to your brand

It’s one thing to personalize experience based on data a customer has already provided to your brand, whether it’s a previously stated preference for a room on the lowest floor of your hotel or a purchase history that shows they buy the same product at regular intervals. But it’s another thing to use information they didn’t provide to your organization.

Social media posts that mention your brand directly also generally fall into the realm of usable for personalization, but tread carefully. At Qantas Airlines airport lounges, iPads alert staff members when a lounge guest posts content tagged from that location, even if the user doesn’t mention Qantas by name. Staff can then share certain posts with their own followers.

While those posts are public information, some users found that social listening off-putting, especially since, in the case of Qantas, they weren’t directly interacting with the brand on social media and Qantas does not alert their lounge members that such monitoring is in progress. (See: Be transparent)

Tread carefully with third-party data

Using third-party data from social media sites can quickly veer into “creepy” territory. If your brand wants to access, say, Facebook like information, it’s wise to consider clearly asking for permission. General rule: Unless a client clicks the “like” or “follow” button on your brand’s page, be very clear about your third-party data processes and consider using other personalization means.

Personalize better

In a national loyalty study, Maritz Loyalty Marketing found that while 94 percent of loyalty program members want to receive communications from the programs in which they participate, only 53 percent of those members found those communications personalized and relevant. Allow customers to help with that by providing the opportunity for them to customize their interactions with you, either by creating personalized interaction defaults or how they set up and manage a loyalty account. On The New York Times online, users can view recommendations for articles based on recently-viewed articles, and the site provides data on the sections and they view most, an excellent way for members to not only track their own usage, but also feel that The New York Times is pointing the way toward tailored content.

Be selective with the data you use

Big data has huge personalization potential, but brands must use it responsibly; just because you have access to certain data points about a user doesn’t mean that data should be used. Take for example the OfficeMax mailer addressed to “Mike Seay/Daughter Killed in Car Crash/Or Current Business.” Just as it’s important to know what big data metrics are most applicable to your company, it’s also vital to know which of those data points should be used in personalization.

How do you personalize your brand experience? Where do you think the line is between highly personalized and creepy?

Best Practices for Ethical Native Advertising

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Best Practices Ethical Native Advertising Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasNative advertising has been enjoying considerable resurgence the past year, due in no small part to its potential to be mutually beneficial to advertisers and publications. Traditional sources like The New York Times are embracing native advertising as part of their strategy, with “high hopes” for its payoff. They follow online sites like Buzzfeed, Mashable, and The Huffington Post, all of which have already been using their editorial and production departments to generate sponsored content.

Native advertising is becoming more main stream, but that’s not the end of the conversation. Native advertising occupies such a gray area that the Federal Trade Commission titled a conference about native advertising after Robin Thicke’s popular but unfortunately misogynistic song “Blurred Lines.” Advertorial-wise, these out-of-focus lines arise when paid content resembles editorial content.

Why does this matter to PR pros? One of the appeals of native advertising is the chance to catch the attention of and appeal to a certain audience segment and receive instant feedback to reader reactions. In its worst cases, native advertising is a bait-and-switch routine; in its best, it’s an informative, useful item that also happens to be paid for.  Enter the FTC, which hopes that not only will there be a clear demarcation between editorial content and native advertising, but that the advertisers and marketers will self-regulate.

There’s nothing unethical about native advertising, as long as it’s clear to the reader that it’s sponsored. Of course, defining “clear” is a murky process, but we’re not here to define any guidelines; we’re here to look at ethics and best practices that PR pros can employ for native advertising. And many marketing or advertising pros aren’t so keen on labeling their advertisement, fearing that it undermines the purpose of the advertorial in the first place. But this fear may be misplaced, as some preliminary research shows that a third of consumers don’t care if content is an advertisement or editorial, and that many would be more likely to select an item if they knew it was an ad.

Being an ethical PR practitioner means that you don’t want to compromise a journalist’s ethics, either. And since one of the tenets of ethical journalism, according to the Society of Professional Journalists (SJP), is to “Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two,” the best way to start is with transparency instead of worrying about labeling the ad. This includes not only a label stating that it’s sponsored, but also physical demarcation such as borders and a different font. The FTC stressed, however, working towards such transparency should be a joint responsibility of publication and marketer.

During the FTC workshop, advertising widgets such as Outbrain or Tabula were a popular topic, however FTC staff pointed them out as specific examples of native advertising which were difficult to distinguish form editorial content.

The lack of hard and fast rules means that communication between PR/marketing/advertising and the publication is absolutely necessary. One way to do this is to work with outlets like Buzzfeed, which creates branded content in tandem with sponsors. It’s up to the outlet to ensure that in creating both editorial and advertorial content that journalism ethics are upheld.

An excellent resource to help ensure native advertising meets existing regulations is the FTC’s .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, and make sure to check it for periodic updates.

How do you work with ethical issues in native advertising? Will the FTC’s findings impact content marketing pieces picked up by another outlet, and what implications would there be?

How to Engage Journalists and Influencers on Social Media

Friday, December 13th, 2013

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

by Alfred Cox*

Yesterday I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C., at which BurrellesLuce was also a sponsor. Some of the most persistent questions in media relations center on reaching out to journalists in the most efficient and effective manner.  I attended the session “Find and Engage With the Right Journalists and Influencers on Social Media,” which addressed these issues and more.

The sessions guest speakers were Kathy Grannis, senior director of media relations at National Retail Federation; David Ringer, director of media relations at National Audubon Society; and David Wescott, director of digital strategy at APCO Worldwide.

Grannis started out with her suggestions, and emphasized the importance of building relationships with journalists and influencers; she recommended keeping in touch through Twitter, to reach out and congratulate a journalist when they move organizations and positions. Such communication not only sustains a relationship but helps you stay on top-of-mind. Of course, communicating is key, but Grannis stressed that learning how to communicate correctly requires full-time dedication.

When it comes to relevant conversations on social platforms, Grannis recommends contributing transparently, positioning your brand as an expert on the subject matter. But Twitter is also about more than your message; Grannis point out you should be using Twitter to keep up with your competitors and what they’re tweeting, as well as what they’re publishing on other social media sites.

Finally, she advocated blogging. Content marketing has become integral to marketing, PR, and media relations strategies, but Grannis also pointed out that blogs are a tremendous source for getting your statement out there, and even stated getting your message out in your blog is just as important as getting your statement in The New York Times.

Ringer offered his insights next, and pointed out that too much email is boring. He said that Twitter is the best tool to interact with journalists, and that it’s important to find and engage with the right journalists and influencers on social media platforms. He strongly suggested following new journalists right away, and thinking of Twitter not as your personal account, but as your new Rolodex. The list-making function is a great organizational tool to make that happen.

Ringer suggested that once you’ve selected those key journalists and influencers, you should care about what they care about, even their more personal tweets, and interacting with those more personal tweets, and retweeting their tweets, helps build a relationship. But he also pointed out that everyone likes a name check on Twitter, so be sure to credit people for their work by @ing them.  And don’t limit yourself to interacting with well-known, established media figures; befriend those bright new media stars, too.

Wescott followed with his observations, saying that Twitter is the best tool for PR people, and that they must have a presence. Something else that enhances your presence is having Twitter public conversations as well as private conversations, which also helps build relationships that will get new business.

Wescott advised that Twitter and blogging are excellent tools for presenting yourself as a thought leader and a bridge builder between PR pros. He also advocated for citing sources with @s, as well as using hashtags for context and engagement. Wescott recommended finding journalists not just on Twitter, but also on sites like LinkedIn and Muck Rack.

What other social media strategies do you have for engaging journalists and influencers?

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Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox

Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns – Tips from PRSA-NY

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Alfred Cox*

Last week, on October 27, 2011, I had the opportunity to connect with industry professionals at the PRSA-NY panel, Successfully Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns.

The event featured presentations from Joe D’Amico, PopTent; Jake Finkelstein, Method Savvy; Jonah Minton, Ustream; Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul; Eric Wright, DS Simon; Jim Sulley, newscast US; and Larry Thomas, Latergy.

It was followed by a roundtable Q&A moderated by Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader at Hunter Public Relations.

Why Digital Video
Fifty-nine percent of Americans get their news every day from online and a mix of broadcast, radio and print sources. In fact, it is predicted that “by 2015, the demand for online video is expected to grow by 81 percent.”

Eric Wright, senior VP of marketing and business development, DS Simon Productions, Inc., offered additional insight on why digital video matters to the media.

  • AOL Newsroom is now bigger than the New York Times.
  • Journalist are using online video on their website.
  • 79 percent will use more online video in their messages.

Interestingly enough, over 50 percent of journalists say that video is vital to their jobs and that HD is the most important format.

For these reasons, among others, it is imperative that public relations professionals use video to engage and build relationships with stakeholders, the media, and the community. However, PR folks have lots of homework before integrating online video in their campaigns. (more…)