Sunday, October 12, 2008

RSS in a PR world

This class is really my first time learning about the world of RSS (or Really Simple Syndication). Sure, I have heard of it before, but I've never really tried it out. When thinking about how I could use RSS in a public relations career, I can see that the positive aspects would far outweigh the negative ones.

Today we live in a world where spam filters and junk e-mail blockers have made it increasingly difficult for a public relations person to get messages such as newsletters and announcements to their target audience. One of the biggest benefits of RSS is that the consumer has the power to choose what they want. A public relations person no longer has to worry about CAN-SPAM and e-mail laws because the consumer is willingly signing up for their RSS feeds. The feeds are targeted so you are able to get the right information to the right people.

In the event of a crisis, I believe that RSS feeds would become even more useful to an organization. By using RSS feeds in a crisis, the public would be able to continuously follow the information as it becomes available. If you have a situation where people are missing, their names could be continuously added to a site and then sent immediately through RSS feeds, letting family members know their status. Loved ones far away could be able to track the progress on the crisis and the relief efforts.

The only real negative I can see is the inability to track readers. However, I think this is the case with anything. When an organization sends out a mailer or e-mails a newsletter, you never really know if the person read the material or not. The only real way to tell is if a conversion happens (i.e. a person reads the material and calls to order something). No matter which channel of communication one uses (snail mail, e-mail, RSS feeds) we will not be able to tell if the audience really paid attention. Therefore, why not give RSS fees a try? It's much cheaper than sending out an expensive mailer to hundreds of potential clients!


Susan333 said...


Excellent blog! Your use of social media is amazing!


Margaret Orlando said...

What a releif to not have all that spam shooting your way, isn't it? i just set up a google account for the firs ttime and am now reading what i want to read about -- not having to filter through an ocean of "fluff" ( I can think of a dirtier word for it, though...) ^_^ I agree with many things you said in your post. And, since this is my first time to your blog, I must say I *love* the pic you chose for your header!

See you in class, Margaret

Natalie said...

I love your overall blog! The idea of RSS helping during disasters is great! That up to date info. is essential during certain times. I also agree that the positives outweigh the negatives. PR professionals should absolutely try using RSS!

See you tomorrow!