Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: All the News That’s Fit for PR Pros

Public relations professionals are frequently tasked with being watchdogs for their clients. With an ever-evolving media landscape, pros are constantly on the lookout across platforms for news affecting the industry, their agency, their clients and more. From AP Stylebook changes to social media milestones, news influencing the public relations field spreads across a variety of topics and subject matter. This week’s post aims to eliminate the search and serve as a one-stop shop for articles meant for PR pros.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five”– an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at PR news across a variety of topics. The major AP Stylebook change, eight “unforgettable” moments commemorating Twitter’s eighth birthday, a look at the value of expert content and why Digg is the new Reddit for PR pros are all covered in this week’s post. We also look at a study highlighting the growth of digital media.

Grammar Snobs Lost A Big Fight About The Distinction Between ‘Over’ And ‘More Than’ (Business Insider)

At the American Copy Editor Society’s annual conference, The Associated Press announced that “over” and “more than” can now be used interchangeably to compare quantities. Before the change “more than” was “was preferred with countable items, like salaries and years,” while “over” described “spatial relationships.” Many public relations pros and grammar sticklers are unhappy about the new AP rule and have taken to blogs, social media and more to share their disapproval about the change.

According to the article, the distaste for “over” began in 1877 when New York Evening Post editor William Cullen Bryant added the word to the Index Expurgatorius. William Safire of the New York Times also called attention to the “over” vs. “more than” debate during Bill Friday Five LogoClinton’s presidential debate. For more on the AP Stylebook change, the social media reactions and more, visit the article.

Eight unforgettable Twitter moments #TwitterTurns8 (PR Week)

Twitter celebrated its eighth birthday on Friday, March 21, and the article highlights eight major Twitter moments. Since the first tweet was sent a little more than eight years ago, Twitter has acquired “241 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets sent per day.” The social media network has had many memorable moments that have been shared with its millions of users, including tweets from space, royal announcements, political victories and more.

Topping the list is Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie from the Oscars that holds the record for most retweets. Other “unforgettable” tweets include President Obama’s “victory photo,” the introduction of Pope Francis from the official Vatican handle and live tweets from the Osama bin Laden raid by a Pakistani man “documenting the events heard outside his window.” Visit the article for the full list of memorable tweets.

STUDY: The Public Trusts ‘Expert’ Content More Than Any Other Kind (PR Newser)

A recent study done by Nielsen offers insight into “three major types of content and their effects on the purchasing process.” Expert content, branded content and user-generated content were compared in the study to understand which content in sought out and trusted in potential purchase situations. For example, 85 percent of the participants in the study shared that they use third-party information about products they’re interested in purchasing. A major finding from the study is that expert content has the highest impact across the purchase process.

In the categories of purchase consideration, affinity and familiarity, expert content proved to be the most effective. The article further drives the value of expert content: “If individual sales are the client’s ultimate goal, then editorial placement will in most cases prove more valuable than any paid promotion, no matter how well-written or seamlessly integrated it may be. In other words, this study once again proves the value of earned media.” More findings from the study can be read via the article.

Why Digg is a must-read for PR pros (PR Daily)

Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the internet for news, trends and user-submitted content, but for PR pros, there may be another outlet that surpasses Reddit as “the front page of the internet.” Digg is proving to be a reliable source for those in the public relations field due to its updated layout, variety in available content and speed in providing noteworthy content. Prior to 2012, Digg had a layout similar to Reddit, but the new version is a reader-friendly, “cautiously curated site.”

One of the major selling points that will interest PR pros is how easy it is to scan for news of interest. Because “PR pros don’t have a lot of wiggle room in their daily lives,” Digg’s homepage allows users to quickly scan for articles that “would be of interest to clients, referral sources, or colleagues.” According to the article, “the new Digg is kind of like the newspaper. It puts the important stuff up front.” For more details about Digg, visit the article or access the site here.

U.S. journalism benefiting from ‘game-changing’ investments -study (Reuters)

As public relations pros continue to increase interactions with journalists in digital media, this article highlights a study that shows their efforts are well warranted. According to the article, “A new wave of funding by technology-savvy investors into U.S. media companies is driving momentum in journalism, even as news organizations continue to face challenges.”  With good news coming from the digital media front, PR pros should continue to invest in relationships with online journalists and pursue coverage.

Across nearly 500 digital news outlets, about 5,000 full-time jobs have been added, and “several new media startups… have received millions of dollars in venture funding the past year.” While its growth provides ample opportunities for coverage, the digital media industry makes up only a small portion of the media industry as a whole. While digital grows, traditional media continues to struggle; the newspaper industry lost more than 15,000 jobs from 2002 to 2012 and currently “counts about 38,000 editorial jobs.” Visit the article for more about the growth of digital media and PR opportunities online.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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