PRSA-LA Pasadena 4/14 Event: Online News Media

It’s late but I’m posting it now. Here are my notes from the PRSA-LA event  “Navigate the Online Newsroom to Get Your Message and Organizations Noticed.” This was held at the Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena – who knew?!

Panelists:

Steven Rosenberg, Online Editor,  Los Angeles Daily News
Christine Miceli, Executive producer/online editor of KTLA.com
James Macpherson, Editor, PasadenaNow.com
Alysia Gray Painter, Editor, NBCLosAngeles.com

Main points:

  • Send multimedia!!!! (Reiterated by all panelists) They are looking for photos and videos to post along with the story.
    • Send 1-2 high-res photos with your pitch/email
    • Use Youtube and send the link with the pitch
    • Attach the video or link of the embedded video from the client site
    • Raw video is ok. If they are interested, they will come out and shoot their own (union rules)
  • Know the demographic the online publication serves
  • Know the publication
  • Send your pitch about 2-3 weeks in advance
    • Send a reminder email a week prior
    • Send a reminder email the day before
  • If this is an event, spell it out “This will sell out”
    • They will most likely know this already but this is a good reminder for them to flag
  • Prewritten blog posts/articles are ok as long as it is an original piece
  • Emails
    • Format your emails so that they are easy to follow (bolds, headers, et al)
    • Attachments are fine
    • NO PDFs
  • Experts
    • Make your client available to them as an expert
    • When they’re up against a deadline, they will always go to the one expert
  • Social Media
    • They all have social media accounts, you should too.
    • They use RSS readers and Google alerts to find news to break

RSS feed readers

While some of my non-techie friends have been using Bloglines for a few years, I couldn’t get quite grasp the point. Why log in to another site and read my bookmarked news sites. Wouldn’t I miss the nice layouts of TWOP or the whole experience from Feministing?

Cut to last weekend when I spent my Sunday with Jenn and basically geeked out and shared social media experiences. Jenn showed me her Google Reader and explained how it made reading all of her bookmarked sites so much easier. For me, being able to see something “in action” is how I understand a concept. (Why do you think I wish I had a giant whiteboard as a wall in my apt?) I logged into Google Reader and started adding my bookmarked sites. And voila! It made my news-reading so much more efficient. It cut down the time that I once needed to click on each site from my bookmarks toolbar and menu. Some images don’t pop up within the news article but that’s ok. There is a link to the article which opens a new tab (Firefox) if I decide I want to visit the website. So far, I’m a fan.

This afternoon, I was IM-ing Joanne, and she mentioned that she visited websites by typing them by memory! Yikes. I explained the benefits of an RSS reader, just as pal Jenn did for me, and voila, I think we’ve got another convert!

Here’s a screenshot of what my Google Reader looks like:

Google Reader snapshot

Google Reader snapshot

If you click on All Subscriptions, you’ll see on the right-hand frame all the articles. All you have to do is scroll down.

Or if you’d like, you can click on each Category or specific website on the left-hand frame.

Have fun! One of these RSS readers will fit your preference.