Google to stop supporting old news sitemap format

They announced that there are two weeks left to transition in case you missed the first announcement six months ago. More info here.


Using News to drive SEO & traffic

Stumbled onto a great webinar I wanted to share:

It has some great tips about items that should be in your online newsroom.

Grants Available for Online Citizen Media Project

In case anyone is interested….

Anyone with an idea for an online citizen media project in a
marginalized community anywhere in the world is welcome to apply for a grant of up to $5000 from Rising Voices, a project of Global Voices Online. The application process is short and sweet. Deadline on January 18! See link for more info…

ClickPress: Send your press release as an RSS feed for free

Just stumbled onto a free press release distribution service that also submits your news to RSS/XML feed distributors and I had to share. Check out Click Press.

How Reporters Use the Web to Learn about You

I wanted to spread the word about a new study conducted by Bulldog Reporter and TEKgroup International, Inc. about how reporters are using the Internet when researching stories. The findings were released at the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Conference this year.

Summary of Findings:

  • Nearly half of all journalists report visiting a corporate website or online newsroom at least once a week, while more than 85% visit at least once a month
  • More than a quarter of the journalists studied reported regularly reading five or more blogs to research desired topics, and nearly 70% followed at least one blog regularly
  • More than a quarter (28%) of journalists visit a social media or networking site, such as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace, at least once a week, while more than 44% visit at least once a month
  • Some 64% report that they use Google or Yahoo! online news services

What Does this Mean for Non-profits?

A couple of things:

1. Make sure your nonprofit website has a newsroom page on your site. The newsroom should include (at a minimum) a press contact, background flyer about your organization, recent press releases, ability to download your organization’s logo, and links to YouTube or Flickr (if you’re posting on those sites).

2. Considering reporters are reading blogs, your outreach strategy should be to include bloggers into your press contacts. Find bloggers that cover your nonprofit’s subject area, and send them information about current news and events. They won’t respond well to a formal press release, but a personalized email should do the trick.

3. Add your nonprofit to Facebook. Feel free to read my older post about how to create a profile.

4. Make sure to send out your news using or so that your news is picked up by Google and/or Yahoo’s News, and if it’s really newsworthy, create a profile and post on

Times are a changing folks! Reporters are your best friend because they can promote your non-profit’s mission to the public FOR FREE. But this will only happen if you make their job easy for them.