Publish Your News by Webfeed (Online Media Outreach, Part 8)

If you think you’re succumbing to e-mail overload, imagine how a journalist feels!

Journalists routinely get bombarded with solicited and unsolicited press announcements and news by e-mail. Also, conversations I’ve had with journalists indicate that many of them don’t have the best spam filters. The result: journalists get overloaded with e-mail and STILL manage to miss a lot of news they’d like to follow.

Webfeeds (whether RSS or Atom format) are a better solution. They present the latest information, sorted by source, in a single and fairly organized interface (the feed reader). Admittedly, journalists generally lag on adopting new technology or media – so most of them aren’t using webfeeds yet. However, they’re starting to catch on – which represents a unique opportunity for public relations professionals and others who wish to reach out to journalists online. If you start publishing your news by webfeed now, you’ll probably gain a significant early-mover advantage…

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Joe Davis on Secrecy and the Memory Hole

I asked my friend and colleague Joe Davis – editor of the SEJ Tipsheet, which I write for, and respected expert on information access and the media – to comment on my previous article.

Joe was at the FOIA breakfast workshop I mentioned. He was not the reporter with whom I discussed The Memory Hole, but he had some interesting points to make when reviewing my article. I share his views here with his permission…

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No PDF Press Releases, Please! (Online Media Outreach, Part 7)

Perhaps the most common gaffe I see in online press rooms is when organizations post press releases only in pdf format.

I understand why this usually happens: In some organizations, it’s easier and faster to take the release you created for print or fax distribution in a word processor and simply save it as a pdf file. That’s great from the publisher’s perspective, lousy from the journalist’s perspective. Here’s why…

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Yes, I\’ve Been Busy…

I haven’t posted to CONTENTIOUS is more than a week, so I should let you know what’s up. I’m buried in a major editorial project that is consuming most of my mental energy at the moment. I should be past the big hump shortly, then I’ll finish my series on online press rooms and catch up on the rest of my blogging backlog.

In other news…

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Free Beer for a Good Open Office Word Count!

Over the last several months I’ve been ridding myself of Microsoft products as much as possible. Therefore, on my new Linux desktop computer I’m running the free Open Office open-source suite of applications. It’s a more-than-adequate replacement for everything I used to use in Microsoft Office.

EXCEPT: The word processor included in Open Office has one glaring omission. Currently it only allows you to do a word count for a complete document, not for a paragraph…

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