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TODD SMITH'S Spin Cycle — All The News … Best Stories of 2013 in the New York Times

The New York Times has announced its list of most-visited stories of 2013. Call it the modern version of “All the News That’s Fit to Print!”

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Categories include the most popular articles and blog posts, multimedia and interactives, and videos throughout NYTimes.com, the news outlet’s mobile site and its iOS apps. The most visited of all content was the interactive “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” (December 21).

Other top stories include four breaking news pieces — one of which was a map — three health stories, a narrative about poverty in New York and two celebrity op-eds.

Perhaps the most compelling on the list is a news interactive by Josh Katz and Wilson Andrews that focused on our country’s varied and colorful dialects.

It’s a very interesting window into today’s journalism, and what inspires our readers and impacts our audiences. Since this news app only came out on Dec. 21, that means that in a matter of 11 days it was online in 2013, it generated more visits that any other piece the entire year! That goes to show you the power of today’s press — and how today’s reader is driving the news. It took less than two weeks for a news app to beat every other story the Times published in all of 2013. That’s amazing!

So let’s examine other facets of today’s journalism as experienced in one of the the largest newspapers in the land. The “How Y’all” piece was right there with “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout,” a straight health piece that was the paper’s sixth most-popular article. Other developers converted the article into an HTML or iOS app you can use on your smartphone. The Gray Lady should have capitalized on that pearl of journalism innovation!

Other highlights include:

1. Most visited video on NYTimes.com — “Syrian Rebels Execute 7 Soldiers” (Sept. 5)

2. Most Visited Article on the iPad App: “The 46 Places To Go In 2013” (Jan. 11)

3. The New York Times’ coverage of the Boston bombings, as well as Angelina Jolie‘s and Vladimir Putin‘s Op-Eds were highly visited amongst all platforms.

Here is the list of top stories of 2013 as ranked by the Times:

1. “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk”

2. “Blasts at Boston Marathon Kill 3 and Injure 100”

3. “2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston”

4. “My Medical Choice,” by Angelina Jolie

5. “Plea for Caution From Russia,” by Vladimir Putin

6. “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout”

7. “Site of the Explosions at the Boston Marathon”

8. “Invisible Child”

9. “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food”

10. “Cardinals Pick Bergoglio, Who Will Be Pope Francis”

Shifts In The Foundation — The Evolving News Release

One of the most important tools — and longstanding foundations of solid public relations — the news release, formerly know as the press release, has evolved into a dominant multimedia powerhouse for breaking news, compelling stories and advancing trends. Today, that tool has been rebranded to harness the power of the digital domain.

 Birth of the Multimedia ‘Smart Release’

In an increasingly digital world, the multimedia smart release has emerged as an industry-leading vehicle to deliver important news to newsrooms across the globe in a user friendly format that gives editors, reporters, anchors and producers everything they need for delivering the news — right at their fingertips. This one-stop shop packages a modern version of the news release, key messages and high-res graphic elements that bring a story to life: photos, videos, logos and more! The smart release tool showcases a company like never before in an enriched interactive setting where the audience can interact with your brand. Tap into this trend by tuning-in to our agency — Deane, Smith & Partner’s pioneering PR tool for the modern age.

News releases containing photos and/or videos and easy to find social sharing buttons, issued to the media is the best way to reach journalists, bloggers, analysts, online and offline media, social networks, customers and prospects. News releases are measured by quality of coverage, its impact on the company’s reputation and brand goals, action taken by readers and the amount of sharing across social networks.

The new tactics to support your news releases and measure impact include:

» Sharing social media messaging with brand fans and influencers, including a link back to your website, each tailored to the news’ target audience. Social actions taken related to your news are measured by overall shares, shares by influencers, link clicks and, most importantly, the quality of inbound traffic.

» Posting and directing journalists to blog posts that directly answer the questions you know journalists will ask. This increases the likelihood of company message adoption and decrease real or perceived anxiety by journalists and consumers about your message, brand or organization.

» Advertising on key industry media, highlighting the benefits of your product or brand is an excellent way to decrease the amount of time it takes a user to make a decision. Ad success is measured by desired action taken, clicks, impressions, downloads, etc.

» Utilizing online media syndication services like PR Newswire, Business Wire, GlobeNewswire, dlvr.it and Outbrain, which can help increase visibility of valuable coverage and is best measured by impressions, views and quality of inbound traffic.

» Creating social channel messages for colleagues, customers and partners to share across their own social channels. Use a unique URL to more easily track shares, inbound traffic and the quality of that traffic.

» Implement paid and non-paid influencer programs to decrease sales consideration time. This can have an impact on an increase in discussion, message adoption, social reach, quality of inbound traffic leads and amount of time before desired action taken.

These steps can dramatically increase the impact of your PR efforts, as well as provide the valuable insights needed to revise messaging for future initiatives. Which message resonated best with your various audiences? What asset or platform provided the best ROI?


Frosted Mic | Atlanta Meltdown During Major ‘Blizzard’

The Spin Cycle supposes it’s called “Hotlanta” for a reason! The southern metropolis just doesn’t dance well with a polar vortex. But the city — and its leadership — had a major traffic meltdown when a paltry three inches of snow hit the city in a recent mid-day snowstorm. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal did a serious two-step on the issue, trying to dodge the heated questions after miles of iced-over roads turned into virtual parking lots, trapping thousands of commuters, truck drivers and students in buses overnight. Reed especially mishandled the crisis — and the face of the city came across more peevish than powerful in interview after interview, mostly rejecting criticism instead of owning up to it and becoming a change agent. This storm response could pack an even stronger political wallop. For that, the capital of the Deep South and its leaders get a frosted mike to go on their disaster relief shelf.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising — and those who don’t. Stay tuned — and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.



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