News@Cisco combines the use of both more traditional and newer ditigal technologies to communicate with an increasingly fragmented, increasingly connected world.
Cisco still produces press releases for wire and press distribution, still makes b-roll available to broadcast stations via the Internet or Federal Express, but about a year and a half ago Cisco introduced RSS syndication. RSS is a specification which describes how to display syndicated content (known as a feed) in news aggregator software. Publishers (such as Cisco) make their content available by providing a RSS feeds on specific subjects, and users buy or install news aggregators which collect RSS feeds in which they are interested.
Then when someone writes about your company or products, your competitors or anything else of interest to you, an update is either sent to your email or aggregator account. RSS syndication has often been called the "Tivo for the Internet" and it has been predicted that it will change the way content consumed. (See PR Week for a good description of the technology as it relates to PR.)
Today, Cisco provides some 350 RSS feeds on as many categories. Journalists (and anyone else) can use Cisco RSS feeds to stay on top of breaking news for
their specific beat without having to surf the company's website. Cisco departments or partners can use RSS feeds to post breaking news of interest to their group or site automatically -- instead of the labor intensive, manual method of grabbing headlines and coding them in. RSS extends the use of Cisco content within the company and throughout the World Wide Web.
The company also uses the RSS feeds to provide security alerts. While RSS syndication is passive (customers must sign up for your feed), it is a robust technology, highly granular and customizable.
Moreover, the company gets triple the value from its content: First, when the material is released as news. Second, when it is archived as part of a rich resource of searchable information, and the third, in the form of links to the site which help drive search engine rankings.
The Internet has dramatically expanded the opportunities for PR and communications. In the past Cisco's emphasis was to try and influence for mass impact. Today the Internet provides direct contact between the company and the reader, finely-tuned to each person's specific interests.