Archive for the ‘PressRoom’ Category

Publishing News Through Social Media

Gone are the days where people had to wait until the broadsheets hit the newsstands to find out the latest news. With the development of the Internet the way people discovered their news moved to online but it was still controlled by the major publications. Now with social media the consumer is able to find out about news as it happens and share/discuss it with their peers easily. Publications have discovered that the reach of their news no longer relies on the number of  newspapers they sell and should be more focused on allowing it to be discovered with the minimal amount of effort.

The most logical social media channel for news if Twitter, because it provides users with real time information and anyone who chooses to listen is able to get involved in the conversation. This recently happened with the protests in Egypt and people getting involved by adding the hashtag #Jan25 to their tweets.

So far Twitter has been the go-to platform for broadcasting news stories and link back to the original article on the publications website but over the past year Facebook has become an alternate destination for content to be hosted rather than just a channel to share the news.

Facebook’s rise in popularity with journalist has seen smaller publications shift away from websites to host the entirety of their news on their Facebook company page. The first to do this is the Rockville Central, who started off as a community newspaper for the Rockville Washington DC area before it moved online, due to costs and now is focusing on making the Rockville Central Facebook page the only place to go to for community news and journalism.

Although a potentially risky move due to Facebook’s poor search capabilities it’s a brave move into a media with a potential 500+ million readership and further displays how Facebook can be used by those who don’t have the resource or knowledge of running a fully fledge news website. With the way people read and access their news this move by Rockville Central could be extremely benificial for them.

Although moving the whole of your news to a Facebook page is not recommended it is vital that you consider Facebook to be a place where at least a copy of your news is published. Tying it in with a Twitter account your making your news easily accessible to those who might want to read about it and more importantly share and discuss it.

March 9th, 2011 by Daniel Ashcroft |

New Standard Template for PressRoom

With PressRoom you can design your own attractive online press rooms or have one of our skilled designers create a bespoke template for you. If you chose not to have a bespoke press room then fear not because the standard template has received a brand new design available to everyone.

The launch of PressRoom version 3.0 brought a load of new features and improvements it the already powerful social media release tool. Now the front end of PressRoom has been given a face-lift to help make your news releases more attractive. PressRoom can be fully designed to suit each individual but as part of the launch of PressRoom v3.0 we have redesigned the standard template to make your news releases look even better.

Although the standard social media news release template has been updated, fully customized template are also available for those who want their PressRoom to tie in with their brand ethos. Examples of companies that have customized PressRooms are KMP Digitata and Christy Towels, who have had their press room designed so that it fits in perfectly with their existing company websites.

For more information on PressRoom and the new standard template or getting your own customized PressRoom then please contact Steve Kitt on 0161 4291497 or steve.kitt@ackura.com

March 7th, 2011 by Daniel Ashcroft |

PressRoom version 3.0 is here

We are always looking at ways to improve our products and by listening to our PressRoom clients we have been able to make big improvements and bring in new features to PressRoom that will further increase the effectiveness of writing and publishing your social media press releases.

Social Media is a constantly evolving medium that provides us with amazing opportunities to reach existing and new audiences, but we must remain at the forefront of these new developments to get the most out of what Social Media can provide. PressRoom 3.0 is the latest update that further improves upon existing features while also adding in some new and exciting ones.

New Features

A new feature to PressRoom include the addition of the “Notes To The Editor” section where the author can input information that he or she believe could be of interest to the editor that might not be of relevance to the article. This could be company information such as history or previous projects. A new way to add video to your social media releases has been added to make creating you release easier. If you know the YouTube ID of the video you want to use then you can attach it through the ID rather than the search function.

Improved Features

By listening to our client’s feedback on PressRoom in addition to keeping up to date with the latest social media developments we have made improvements to the following features:

  1. Improved YouTube Search. PressRoom Youtube integration now allows you to search by either Tag or Category for the videos you want to include in your news releases. This improves the searches you perform and will help you find the videos you want quicker.
  2. Improved Flickr integration. The integration of Flickr into PressRoom has been overhauled to improve the overall experience. Actions done with Flickr will now reflect in your press release, so if you chose to remove an image from the Flickr account the image will also no longer appear as a broken image link in your press release.
  3. Quote and Key Fact order. Time stamps have been applied to both Key Facts and Quotes so that they are arranged in the order that you chose to input them.
  4. New Authorising for Twitter and Delicious. Both Twitter and Delicious changed their login details and PressRoom v3.0 has been updated so that these new login methods are now taken into account.
  5. New Style Login Page. The Ackura website got redesigned in the summer and now the login pages have been updated to match the new Ackura design.

PressRoom continues to be a powerful tool for creating Press Releases that are perfectly suited for sharing over social media and with these latest updates it is further improved.

For a demonstration or sign up to PressRoom and see how it can help you then contact Steve Kitt at .

November 25th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

Creating a Social Media Release

We discussed what a Social Media Release in an article in our resources section of PressRoom but as a brief explanation, Brian Solis describes Social Media Releases as:

Social media releases are designed to get the conversation going, providing readers with the ability to disseminate information and multimedia, bookmark and share the content, and in turn, spark threads. They also serve a purpose of providing new media influencers with the information they need, in one package, in order to write a full story, their way – without having to carve out the BS of a traditional release or pitch.

The whole idea of a Social Media Release is to give the reader more than just plain text and create a better experience resulting in increased engagement.

The Headline

Whether it is a old media press release or a social media release the headline is still the most important factor of any press release because it is the first thing the audience will see and it will have to grab their attention. By writing a press release then emailing it to your chosen editors all you need to do write write the release with one target audience in mind. That audience is the Editor you’re sending it to because that editor will then re-work the article so that it is tailored to their publication’s audience. With a social media release the middle process of the editor editing your words no longer exists and your article can find itself in front of the general public as you wrote it. For this reason you need to keep 3 audiences in mind when writing a social media release; traditional media, online media bloggers/digital influencers, and the general public. Beyond these 3 audiences you must also consider the 3 types of reader of your article; Humans, Search Engines and Social Media Sites.

When we talk about “Readers” being different from the “Audience” it’s because of the way the general public discover your news on Google and  how an update posted on a social network may appear.

By writing a social media release with the search engines in mind, it will improve the reach of the release because by applying simple Keyword tactics it will improve the ranking of the release and be published higher up the search engine results list for the topic. It is vital to have your main keywords in the headline of your article and within the <h1> tag.

Use Subheadings

Just like with newspapers it is beneficial to break up the body of your social media release with subheadings for two reasons. The first is the same as the traditional media, in that a large piece of writing can seem intimidating to the audience and discourage them from reading the article. The second is that it is also good to have subtitles in the <h2> tag because the search engines also rank these highly along with the Headline.

Body Copy

It goes without saying that you should make your news as interesting as possible. The audience is always try to consume the news as quickly as possible and with a social media releases the audience will generally view the additional media before reading the text (after they have been initially hooked by the headline) in the hope that everything the release is mentioning will be within it. Never the less, even if the audience view the media first it is vital to keep your body text to a minimum and get the main points of the news story out early while the reader’s attention is still high. Its important to cater for scan readers by breaking up the body text with subheadings, as mentioned above, and also highlight key points in bold or italic to draw attention the those. Links that are blue, bold and underlined also draws attention, so include links where possible.

Additional Media

This is where a social media release holds most of it’s advantages over a traditional media release. Videos, photos and links all strengthen the impact of your news release and with many publications having an online version of all the articles they publish and by having this extra content strengthens your article.

When articles are shared over various social network sites, the posts that are created generally pull through an image to add extra depth to the to audience’s update. This is done automatically and the image used is normally the first image found on the article. As mentioned before, “readers” of the article include social networking site, so its important to know that the first image used should be  the best image you have that portrays the article’s subject.

Quick Social Media Sharing


Making your article easier to share over various social networks will increase the amount of time people share it with their peers. If someone wants to share your article with their friends don’t make them jump through hoops to do so!
Thanks to simple Social Media bookmarking widgets it’s easy to let people share your news by providing the reader with all their social media options in one place.

Summary

  • reach 3 audiences: traditional media, online media bloggers/digital influencers, and the general public.
  • be understandable to 3 kinds of readers: humans, search engines, and social networking sites.
  • The Headline is the most important factor to catch the audience’s attention.
  • Keep body copy short and to the point.
  • Break up large amounts of text with subheadings

For more information and a demostration how PressRoom can help you reach a larger audience with your news please feel free to .

November 17th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

PressRoom: Social Media Accounts Authentication

Twitter and Delicious have both announced new authentication methods recently, so last week we made some enhancements and changes to the social media services which PressRoom connects to.

As a result of these changes please check that your social media services are still authenticated: Login into PressRoom, go to the ‘Service Accounts’ tab on the main menu and check your services are authenticated by following the ‘Authentication Success / Required’ prompts:

You’ll notice that we’ve added ‘Add This’ social bookmarking support which you read about and sign up to on their site: http://www.addthis.com/

And behind the Twitter service, we are now using the bit.ly url shortening service, so you can now create a http://bit.ly account to Manage and Analyse PressRoom links using their reporting tools.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further information on using these social media services.

August 20th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

A shout out for our social media news and press release service

In discussing PressRoom with PR, Communications Managers and Press Officers what often gets missed is that PressRoom is setup to achieve a different objective to the mainstream online news services, which very effectively puts news and press releases in front of journalists.

What PressRoom is designed to do is optimise the same news and press releases but for distribution to the social web: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t run both services side by side.

In designing PressRoom, we’ve paid particular attention to ensuring that news is optimised for the social web:

  • News releases are optimised for Google News & Yahoo News and distributed to a host of blogging and news aggregation services.
  • News is distributed through Twitter by automatically generating tweets which include the title of each press release with shortened url to the full article.
  • Embedding YouTube videos and Flickr images brings in rich media content.
  • Press releases are automatically added to Delicious social media bookmarking account.
  • Google Analytics reporting compliments the comprehensive dashboard tracking from Technorati Cosmos, Yahoo Site Explorer & Delicious.

Which is great news for those who are looking to effectively integrate social media marketing into their online press & news service and engage a wider audience.

July 2nd, 2010 by Steve Kitt |

Five Top Tips To A Better Online Newsroom

  1. Ensure your pressroom is easy to find: Do you have a NEWS, MEDIA or PRESS menu on your primary menu? Or include your Newsroom in a separate industry facing website.
  2. Make sure your news items are syndicated to the online news channels including Yahoo News, Technorati & Topix.
  3. And that your news articles are social media “ready”; identify SEO keywords, include social bookmarking and format to be social networks friendly.
  4. Ensure your media contacts are accessible with their names, phone numbers & email addresses clearly displayed.
  5. Get your multimedia image & video gallery organised by downloadable hi & low res images and include videos from your preferred channels (YouTube, Vimeo etc).

May 18th, 2010 by Steve Kitt |

Improved Analytics for News Releases

This week we have added an update to the Release Tracking screen. We have integrated web analytics data from Google Analytics and added it to the data which we were already capturing.

The Tracking page for each release now contains a tabbed area allowing you to view two charts; one which shows the cumulative engagement level for the release over the past 30 days and one which displays the daily activity for that release over 30 days.

Engagement Level

Engagement Level chart

Engagement Activity

Engagement Activity

This is only a small step in our efforts to provide tools that help you to monitor the effectiveness of your social media news releases. There is plenty more to come.

January 12th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

Ackura PressRoom adds YouTube integration and demo sandbox

As promised a few days ago, the YouTube integration for PressRoom has now been deployed to the live server. You can see an example of a news release with video included on the Demo PressRoom site.

Another exciting development is the addition of a sandbox mode. This gives complete access to the administration area of our demo PressRoom site. You can try out the majority of the application functionality without the need to request and schedule a demonstration. Just click on the button on the PressRoom login page.

This link will log you in as a demo user

This link will log you in as a demo user

The Demo PressRoom account has some restrictions, we have blocked search engines from indexing the Demo area and have also disabled the RSS syndication and remote publishing to services such as Flickr and Delicious.

October 2nd, 2009 by Daniel Ashcroft |

YouTube integration coming soon

Today we pushed our latest update onto the staging server for testing. This latest update adds a simple method for adding YouTube videos to the news releases created with PressRoom.

A new tab has been added to the release editor tabstrip for videos

A new tab has been added to the release editor tabstrip for videos

Clicking on the “Add Video button on the videos page, opens the new YouTube browser/search dialog.

YouTube Browse/Search Dialog

The dialog defaults to listing the current most popular videos on YouTube.

Read the rest of this entry »

September 28th, 2009 by Daniel Ashcroft |