This post was first published by James Gerber on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Google Algorithm Panda Press Release Image via Creative Commons/Google Headquarters by Shawn Collins (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Recently, Reuters discovered that Google quietly changed its algorithm to increase the prevalence of press releases in Google News search results, which presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations to more widely raise awareness for their news.

Less than a year ago, Google’s Panda 4.0 update devalued press releases as a SEO tactic, in response to far too many companies distributing press releases with zero news value to boost search rankings. As a consequence of rooting out spammy content, legitimate announcements were unfairly penalized, and the traffic to most of the major wire services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, etc., dropped almost overnight.

However, despite numerous bad apples trying to game their site’s SEO, businesses have continued to utilize press releases for their original purpose, to publicly share important information that their target audiences, stakeholders and industry influencers will care about. Read more

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Associated Press RobotsNotice anything peculiar about this CNBC story? Or this one on NBC News? Or here on Fox Business? Yes, they are all culled from the Associated Press and are all covering financial reports, but, what you may not have noticed is that they don’t have a byline. Instead, they all have a little disclaimer at the bottom that reads, This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.”

That’s right. These articles – and scores more – were written with no human involvement whatsoever. We are officially welcoming the era of robot reporters. Read more

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Serial could usher in a new wave of podcasts and audio content.

Today marks the conclusion of Serial, the podcast that is making waves around the world as it combs through evidence surrounding the 1999 case of Adnan Syed and his potentially wrongful murder conviction. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here!)

For listeners, like me, who have been following along for all 12 episodes, it’ll come as no surprise just how popular the podcast is… Apple reports Serial as the fastest podcast ever to reach five million downloads, averaging 1.26 million downloads per episode, according to the Wall Street Journal. But, beyond its sheer popularity, is Serial transforming journalism as we know it? Will PR pros soon be pitching a series of contributed audio spots instead of multi-part written bylines or guest blog posts? Read more

This post was first published by James Gerber on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Far too often, companies believe that they are entitled to media coverage. Even when no message seems to be resonating, executives often try to find undeniable reasons why they should be receiving regular pieces of coverage in the highest tier outlets – places like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV or even new school outlets like Mashable.

Maybe your company makes a supremely cool product. After all, if your product is innovative and has features that the market hasn’t seen before, the media will surely be interested, right? Maybe you regularly speak in front of audiences in the hundreds or perhaps even thousands. That would seem to be worthy of being covered in the press. Your products or business could have won prestigious awards. You may have had a great piece of press coverage early on or you have $X million (or billion) in revenues. So why is it so hard now? Read more

This post was first published by Juliana Allen on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Open source journalism gathers information from around the world.The “Power of Many” is a business concept that has translated well to other industries, and with good results. By using the power of the public, police have been able to gather valuable tips and evidence about suspected rioters, while parents have sourced creative names for their new-borns.

Crowdsourcing is proof that “more is better.” And given that information is gold to journalists, it shouldn’t be a surprise that so called “open source journalism” has been on the rise. Citizen journalists all over the world are just one-tweeted-picture-of-a-car-accident away from contributing to the lead story on the evening news.

Just as crowdfunding solicits money from a range of supporters to get a startup off the ground, open source journalism is all about anyone other than professional journalists contributing to the news and it usually sourced in a community-like online forum. Read more

This post was first published by Duncan McKean on the CCgroup blog.

Regulation being what it is, Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has made a number of statements in the recent past about how she would like to shake up the European mobile telecoms market. Championing consumer rights and calling on industry participants to be more altruistic, her arguments use a lot of data and statistics to make her points. Read more

This post was first published by Sarah Hurley on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

In the world of tech PR, the summer months bring a small respite between the tradeshow-crazed spring and fall. This gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the positives and negatives of the many briefings we facilitated either on-site or by phone between our clients and the journalists and analysts who interview them.

In taking a look back and chatting internally with colleagues, one thing is clear: there’s a strong distinction in poise and delivery between those executives who have received specialized media training and those who haven’t. And with good reason: like public speaking, media briefings put spokespeople at the center of attention, which isn’t exactly a natural state of being.

Read more

This post was first published by Megan Grobert on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Last Monday, my colleague, Marcus LaRobardiere, and I attended the Pub Club’s Technology PR panel discussion, hosted by PAN Communications.

The panelists discussed trends that influence coverage, what classifies as actually newsworthy, what reporters want and need, and the best way to approach and pitch a reporter.

Read more

This post was first published by Martin Jones on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

This week’s fake news release announcing Google’s supposed $400 million acquisition of ICOA, a little Rhode Island-based wireless company, has seen an awful lot of blather in the media and social sphere about how this could come to pass and who is at fault.

Read more

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

According to Gartner, worldwide social media revenue is forecast to reach $14.9 billion this year and practically double to reach $29.1 billion by the year 2015. With this level of growth, will print newspapers ultimately cease to exist? Will social media replace our most trusted and beloved news anchors like NBC’s Brian Williams or PBS’ Jim Lehrer? While certain research suggests this will soon be the case, there are also clear and unique advantages of traditional journalism and news outlets that social media cannot supersede. Read more