Monday, January 22, 2007

Using RSS in PR

If you are participating in our Learn About Social Media from Your Desk project, you by now have been become familiar with RSS feeds. But the question may remain: Why is RSS important for public relations?

A key advantage of RSS for PR is the same as it is for other folk. It puts you in control. You decide what news you receive. You decide which conversations to monitor. You don’t have to remember to check dozens of web sites regularly to see what’s changed. And you are dealing online rather than with managing your e-mail inbox.

For public relations this means you can monitor news, trends and conversations that affect your clients or organization.

Let me give you an example. A couple of months ago, I set up some search terms in Technorati and subscribed to them. Those terms include the name of my organization and our executive director’s name. Whenever something new shows up in a blog that uses one of those terms, it shows up in my Google home page. Last week, there was a mention in a blog that I hadn't seen before. It happens to be authored by a reporter who has interviewed our director several times over the years. We have a good relationship, but I hadn’t noticed that he has a blog now. I went to his blog post that mentions us and left a comment praising his blog and mentioned that we have a podcast now. He blogged about the podcast the next day. If I hadn’t been using RSS feeds to monitor blog posts, this wouldn’t have happened.

Josh Hallett of the Hyku Blog offers this brief A Guide To Media Monitoring With RSS.

Extra Credit
Subscribe to specific search terms through Technorati. To find out how, listen to Bryan Person’s podcast, Ego-surfing with RSS. It’s very easy and won’t take long.

Next time, we’ll talk about how you can use RSS to distribute news.

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