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PR Newswire Microlists & RSS

I sent a set of questions to Sarah Skerik, vice president of distribution services, PR Newswire, just before the blogging survey was released I am just getting around to publishing the interview, thanks Sarah!

1)    What are the differences between each of the microlists?  Maybe you can details the percentage of overlap between each of the lists.

Microlists are specific industry and subject media lists that we have created as a supplement to wire distribution.  Microlists offer another layer of targeting reaching media covering niche beats or working on short-term projects.   For example, we have Microlists targeting media interested in Agriculture, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Environment, Finance, Food & Beverage, Government & Policy and many, many more.

The process by which the microlists are created is exhaustive.  We identify reporters who cover specific topics, and then query them about receiving related news.  If they DO want to receive the news, we then ask what method they prefer.  They usually provide us with an email address (which we don't divulge.)

While one will notice a lot of publication or research firm overlap between the lists, chances are that we're not reaching the same person at that particular outlet.  Or, if we are, it's because that reporter indicated that he/she is interested in the subjects addressed by both lists.

The lists are constantly updated and we monitor all jobs sent to the list, using bounced email addresses as an opportunity to update our records.

Simply put, the microlists offer a one-to-one delivery to journalist who are seeking specific types of information.

2)    Why would I want to use the microlists rather than the general distribution service?

Actually, you wouldn't.  Microlists are designed to work in conjunction with, not independent of, the wire.  Using them independently would result in incomplete distribution, and would leave out key media outlets.  For organizations that wish to build their own media lists, we offer the MEDIAtlas database, an online media database with more than 460,000 global contacts.

3)    Does your release service also have an RSS link?

We currently offers RSS in two feeds.  One on our public website, www.prnewswire.com and one on our media-only website, PR Newswire for Journalists, www.prnewswire.com/media.  RSS is just one of many ways in which PR Newswire distributes our members' news and information.   Our traditional distribution consist of wire distribution directly into newsroom servers, distribution to PR Newswire for Journalists where more than 80,000 journalists have registered to receive news from our members, email and fax distribution directly to journalists and newsrooms, distribution to websites and online networks where the general public and investors can access this content, and wireless distribution.

An interesting statistic to note is that in May alone there were 1,080,507 news releases viewed on by media on PR Newswire for Journalists.  87,627 news releases were viewed on the web site, 646,025 in full text real-time email, 304,166 in full text email according to a schedule, 35,156 news releases through links in email lists, and 7,533 news releases through our pull service.

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