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RSS Feeds and Online PR

Posted on Jan 19th, 2006
Written by Lee Odden
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    Online PR is new territory for most marketers, even traditional public relations practitioners.

    I recently had a Q/A with an offline PR agency specialist that I thought would be interesting to post here.

    What are the most popular news feeds to subscribe to?

    The beauty of RSS is that there are so many niche, quality sources. However, the most popular feeds overall may not be the best for any one individual. In other words, it depends on the interests of the user.

    If a journalist is using an aggregator, which news feeds does it draw from?

    Whichever feeds they’ve subscribed to. For perspective, your question is sort of like saying: “If a person is using an email program, who will they get emails from?” Most feed aggregators offer pre-selected feeds, but you can also add feeds.

    When you visit a blog, there are often subscription buttons for the various feed readers and aggregators. Clicking on one will subscribe you to that feed.

    How can we submit news to RSS feeds?

    When an entry is made to a blog, it automatically places that information to a web page and also as a post to a corresponding RSS feed. It’s also possible to create a feed manually using software if a blog is not desired.

    Other opportunities to get your news out include making sure your blog software is configured so that each time a post is made, a “ping” is sent out the the major blog and RSS search engines to notify them you’ve made an update.

    You can also submit your blog with news items (posts) to the major blog directories.

    Is there any way to find out which news feeds journalists are using (without asking them)?

    Sort of. You can gain some insight by visiting journalists blogs and seeing who is listed in their blogroll – which is a list of links to other blogs that they like.

    Also, you can see if they have a account. is a popular social bookmarking service. Imagine if you could see the sites a journalist has bookmarked – you may gain some insight into what’s interesting to them. That’s what viewing their account could do – if they have one.

    Here is a screen cast by prominent tech journalist, John Udell explaining how he uses to track memes and find information for stories. Very insightful.

    Another thing you can do is monitor search results as an RSS feed based on a keyword query. If you want to monitor a certain Journalist, publication or topic you can perform query at a Yahoo, Yahoo News, Google News, Google Blog Search, BlogPulse and many others and subscribe to the search results in your Feed Reader.

    BlogPulse and PubSub are excellent blog tracking tools. Aaron Wall has an excellent post listing trending and tracking tools for the blogosphere and newsosphere.