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The Top Youth and Education Stories of the Decade

Techniques That Can Help You To Earn More Media Coverage

By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)

The media is hyper focused on responding to the Coronavirus outbreak by helping the public with important information to keep people safe and make the best of time spent at home, away from their usual daily routines.  One rallying cry for thousands of editors nationwide has increasingly been “Give us more stories about advising parents what to do about their kids now that they are home from school due to the COVID 19 emergency response.”  They need stories about pointers on how to keep kids safe, healthy, productive and entertained. Those are in short supply and are in high demand.  Now is the time to give advice to the public on how they can help their families survive and thrive at this unprecedented time. 

To help our clients choose formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide.  We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected. 

The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information.  The stories targeted people across various demographic groups and related to safe, enjoyable and prosperous experiences, protecting the health, and assets, of the readers, their friends and family members. 

We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives. 

To name a few, here are examples of the …   More

Communicate Your Crisis Response Message

Now is the time for all good crisis communicators to come to the aid of their country.  During the unprecedented times Americans face, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, helping the public is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.  Tell your stakeholders what they want to hear:

1- Reaffirm your mission statement and your company values.

2- Explain the challenges you face and what you plan to do to help.

3- Let people know how they will benefit from what you are doing.

Most importantly, explain what is in it for the reader if they take your advice, let people know how to get through this and that they may possibly be stronger as a result of the steps taken to address the crisis. 

One of the best crisis communications teams is at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a governmental organization that communicates early and often about disaster preparedness so that people will be ready to act in their best interest of their families and friends when the unexpected happens.  They not only tell what they are doing, what people can do to help themselves, but they also dispel common myths, due to the spreading of rumors, by telling the public the truth about the issues. 

FEMA went above and beyond just posting a message to their website and blasting it out to major media outlets.  They extended their reach to millions of additional readers nationwide by sending out NAPS Featurettes to cover thousands of community news outlets.  Their message was simple: “Don’t Wait. Communicate.  Make Your Family Emergency Plan Today.”  The article created an awareness of a new, free FEMA app and encouraged readers, to ensure that their friends and family members should have everyone in their households download that, to be prepared to respond resiliently. 

FEMA restated their mission, explained their values to indicate how they would face the challenges to …   More

National Coronavirus Aggregated Headline Service

North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) and 1up! have partnered to provide you an editorial package of aggregated coronavirus headlines from national and international online media outlets.

The package is inexpensive, simple to install using industry-standard code and, once placed in your website, will update at least twice each day with between 10-30 headlines (the displayed list is currently about 80 headlines). Headlines link to stories that will assist, inform and entertain...no heavy, partisan political topics.

 

As the trusted local media outlet in your market, your site visitors are looking to you for the best coverage, and with this hands-free package you can provide a broader view of what is going on with the coronavirus in the United States.

 

The code snippet is lightweight, responsive and provides tips for design tweaks that you can use affect to its appearance, making the package fit into the design of your web site.

 

Here are a few example websites to review:

 

https://mcrecordonline.com/national-coronavirus-headlines 

 

https://howeypolitics.com/national-coronavirus-headlines 

 

To get started all you need to do is provide the following information to your NAPS representative or go to www.going1up.com/headlines: 

 

Your web site address:

        Publication name:

        Street Address, City, State, ZIP:

        Telephone number:

        Contact person’s name & email address:

      Website Provider’s URL, contact person, email address & telephone number:

 

The cost is $20/mo, with nothing more than a month-to-month commitment.

 

And then once the 1up! technical staff has your URL, your headlines will begin appearing on your site in  1-2 business …   More

Site Launch

North American Precis Syndicate Offers New Resources to Help Provide Media With Free Feature News Content In A Variety of Digital Formats

 

Audience Boosting Multimedia Content Has Helped Thousands of Publishers and Broadcasters to Attract and Engage Visitors, Helping Advertisers to Achieve Greater ROI

 

After more than 60 years of dominance in the field of feature news content distribution, NAPS is making the world a better place, with helpful and informative features, providing added value to publishers and clients, with unprecedented results, that are better than ever.  With the launch of the new site, www.mynewstouse.com, there are several new features designed to delight the media, clients and the general public:

 

New blogs for media and clients offering advice on best practices for maximizing returns

A resource page packed with tips, case studies, white papers and more

Better search tools to help publishers find relevant and timely content that is ready to use, including new digital options such as customizable widgets or even full pages of targeted content for sites that feature videos, text, photos, audio and other visuals

Google Translator, including Spanish and several other languages, for all stories

Sign up for alerts, custom content for websites or blogs

Regional content by state

Multicultural content for Latino and African American audiences

32 news categories to choose from

Social Media content

Marketers will have the ability to login to secure portals to see dashboard reports or to work on editing their content to prepare for publishing

PDF archive with over 30k formatted articles

Partnership opportunities

Career Opportunities

 

The launch of the new site is just the beginning, as NAPS continues to build on and expand the web site and distribution network.  Users have been pleased to report that they have enjoyed coming back for more content, more ideas and …   More

Top 10 Awesome Video Types

Video content has helped thousands of news sites to attract new visitors, boost traffic to existing adjacent content and drive click through rates for advertisers.  Choosing the best video content for your site depends primarily on images and topics.  Here are the top 10 categories of video content that will help score major viewership:

 

1- Food videos, such as celebrity chefs preparing a quick and easy recipe.

2- Health videos, such as advice from experts on how to be healthier and prevent illness.

3- Financial advice videos with tips from experts on how to grow and protect their assets.

4- Home improvement advice for DIY projects, decorating or enhancing property value.

5- Technological advancements that can help people solve problems and be more productive.

6- Auto safety tips for car maintenance and driving advice.

7- Charitable acts of kindness that show how people are giving back to communities.

8- Entertainment options for families and friends, especially around holiday times.

9- Environmental protection advice for practical solutions to save energy and money. 

10- Pet care for keeping those healthy and happy. 

 

Video content not only makes sites beautiful with a lot of heart warming images, it makes good business sense.  Google ranks sites with a lot of good video content a lot more highly, driving lots more traffic from search results.  There is an abundance of good video content freely available from content providers. 

 

For more information, ask the experts at North American Precis Syndicate, the leading video feature release provider, for decades.    More

Grow Audiences With Widgets

Compelling content, available by seamlessly adding freely available widgets to a website or blog, has helped many publishers attract more readers and drive audience engagement for adjacent relevant ads.   Readers can usually find the content in a sidebar on a site.  A stand-alone application, called a “widget”, can be embedded into third party sites on a webpage, blog, or profile on a social media site by copying a line of code. 

 

Widgets can add functionality to a site and come in many forms, such as clocks, translators, video players, contact forms, slide shows, search bars, news feeds, etc. 

 

Content widgets can be fully customizable, offering a wide variety of sizes, topics, layouts and high quality images.  A news website can be automatically updated with widgets that are being refreshed with new content frequently. 

 

Content can be curated from a variety of sources that will complement sites and create an enhanced look and feel.  Widgets have driven site traffic, impressions, click-through rates and shares to much higher levels as readers are able to find interesting content that captivates their attention and keeps their eyes focussed on the page so that the discoverability of ads becomes much more likely. 

 

Many busy editors, who have been doing the work of two or three talented people, have increasingly relied on widgets to fill news holes.  They have found extensive content creation is often too time consuming to accomplish on their own and widgets are a cost effective solution for meeting deadlines. 

 

Some widget sites host dozens of pre-made widgets in a variety of categories, which is a lot more convenient to use as filler that trying to create content from scratch.  

 

Online tutorials and easy to follow instructions have made widgets a highly user friendly experience.  Thousands of news sites have …   More

Top 10 Digital News Companies

In the fast paced transformational age of digital media, there are emerging markets for tech companies that can help newspapers transition to capture audiences online.  Here are the top 10 companies that are creating growth opportunities for traditional media:

 

1- AdCellerant specializes in executing programmatic display, mobile, tablet, video, native, email and search marketing campaigns.  The company is a Google Premier Partner and has received accolades for its proprietary software.

 

2- ASA Computers, a Stromayer Partner, helps with cross-platform virtualization solutions and extends the life cycle of business and mission-critical Systems.

 

3- BN tech is a paywall service provider that offers an innovative way of tracking users by IP address and providing publishers with tools, including a robust reporting suite, to help grow digital subscribers. 

 

4- Boostability, now on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America for four straight years, offers a unique approach to great, SEO services, with partner relationships.

 

5- Chartbeat is an analytics partner for more than 50,000 leading media sites around the globe, helping to strengthen the connection between article and audience, to deepen reader engagement. 

 

6- innocode provides innovative digital media products that enable newspapers to reassert themselves in community hubs and develop new sources of revenue by leveraging social media at the hyperlocal level. 

 

7- Interactive News is reinvigorating newspaper revenues while delighting readers by harnessing augmented reality technology to bring printed news to life.  After downloading a free app, readers simply hold their mobile phones over photos or blocks of text to launch the interactive experience. 

 

8- Maps.com provides online, interactive and mobile advertising solutions, with their revenue generating Locator …   More

Meeting and Exceeding Expectations for Decades

The secret to the success and longevity of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS), now in existence for nearly 60 years, is providing excellent service and fulfilling an unmet need. Our clients include some of the most demanding and market-savvy minds in the world, at top agencies including Edelman and Weber Shandwick; major corporations such as General Motors, Transamerica, Paramount, Verizon and Pepsico; charitable organizations such as Red Cross and March of Dimes; and many U.S. federal government agencies.

NAPS has evolved from being a “mat service,” an old technology no longer in use, into a service that distributes feature news in a variety of formats to thousands of media outlets nationwide. Our primary focus and most frequent usage is in community news outlets in the wealthy suburbs of America and we also have regular usage from major media outlets. We reach 10,000+ newspapers that publish in print and online, 6,500+ radio stations and over 1,000 TV stations.

What separates us from other distribution services is the method of distribution and the segment of the media that is not being reached by others. We deliver results at a far more cost-effective rate than companies or agencies can get on their own, because of the economies of scale that we can achieve by spreading the cost of what we do over many clients. We have relationships with the media, built up over many years. They know us and trust us to deliver quality content that is interesting and true, reviewed by our experts, and we send to them in the formats that they require.

While other services skimp on costs by eliminating hard copies and CD’s or tapes from their distribution, NAPS goes the extra mile to satisfy the request of grateful editors nationwide. Our relationship with editors allows us to provide superior tracking capabilities, including usage from thousands of publications that others may miss.

Expected results are 100 to 400 placements in print and 1,000+ …   More

Harness the Power of Weekly Community Newspapers

Have you ever asked yourself “What more can I do so that more people will know about the message that management cares about most?”? After covering all the usual bases, both traditional and new media, you can reach millions of additional readers at very little extra cost to your program by tapping into thousands of additional media outlets in the wealthy suburbs of America. There are three main advantages to covering weekly community newspapers:

1. Increased visibility: If you have a product or service to sell, you will be a lot more successful if you have a presence in the publications, supported by local advertising, that are delivered to the homes of affluent communities and stay there for a whole week. Those are much more likely to get read cover to cover than major daily newspapers in print, which have more than double the number of pages. Most people don’t read every page of their major daily newspaper or even every day.

2. Credibility: Feature news articles are a lot more credible if in the publication that people turn to as a trusted source of news about local politics, local school boards, local sports and other news that is not available in major daily newspapers. If you are fortunate enough to get a mention in a major daily newspaper and you get a double hit by getting one more mention in the local hometown newspaper of a reader, that person will tend to more readily trust the information.

3. Millions more readers: There are thousands of publications across the U.S. that most people may never have heard of but that serve a very upscale, highly educated group of consumers in bedroom communities of major metropolitan areas. For ex- ample, there are 20.1 million people living in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tristate area, of which 8.4 million are in New York City and the rest are in the surrounding areas. The New York Times reaches about 2.1 million in circulation, the New York Post reaches another 477k in circulation and the New …   More

Shout Out About It but don't make it NOISE!

Have you ever wondered why, after distributing your feature news story and using a service that includes a database of 300k+ journalists, your phone didn’t ring off the hook, the needle barely moved on your dashboard and sales were relatively flat afterward? There could be several reasons for this problem, as follows:

Your message was not compelling enough because you didn’t tell the reader what’s in it for him or why he should read on, so he probably didn’t.

Your message included several product mentions, or was too commercial and self-serving, so that people perceived it as an ad, not as helpful information from experts.

Your information was so time sensitive that journalists didn’t have enough lead time to get it in their publications.

Your message was so long and rambling, with too many topics covered, that readers with a short attention span couldn’t stay focused.

You didn’t really reach the 300k+ journalists, or even a large portion of those, who had readers who could have benefited from your message. Many editors won’t give out their contact information to the general public because they don’t want to be spammed by everybody on Earth who has a story to tell. Community news outlets that are low on staff don’t have the resources to sift through thousands of e-mails a day. They may block e-mails from an unfamiliar source or one that sends too much “NOISE.”

Fortunately, there is a solution that will help you to succeed. You can get advice from the experts at NAPS at no cost or obligation. Our experts work for top PR firms, many large corporations, associations and government agencies, and will help you transform your feature article into one that will get the attention of millions of additional readers in community news outlets nationwide.

NAPS has developed a relationship with editors over the 50+ years we have been in business. They know us and trust us to send …   More

10 AP Style Suggestions

1. Ages are always represented in numerals ("The girl was 2 years old"; "He will be 57 this November").

2. Percentages are always represented thus: 2 percent; 99 percent. We do NOT use the percentage sign (%).

3. We also do not use the serial comma (the final comma in the expression "apples, oranges, and bananas") EXCEPT where its deletion might cause confusion, misreading or misunderstanding.

4. Subheads should be centered in the column, not flush with the paragraph indent.

5. "-like" words are always one word, with no hyphen (spalike, morphinelike, etc. ), EXCEPT when the "like" follows a proper noun or a word ending in a double L, in which case it is hyphenated ("Christ- like," "bell-like").

6. There is an extensive list of pre- and post- words in Webster's that should be one word; if the word does not appear in Webster's, then the AP calls for it to be hyphenated.

7. "Non" and "ultra" words are also one word, as in "nonnegotiable" and "ultrafine." 8. We do not use double spaces after the ends of sentences.

9. Titles of books, films and articles should be put in quotation marks. Names of magazines and news- papers, for some weird reason, are NOT. As a rule, we never use italics for these.

10. "E-mail" is hyphenated; "website" is lowercase and one word; "Web" (when referring to the Internet) is initial capped; "Internet" is initial capped.

In addition NAPS Style has it:

1. In the summary, there should appear spaces around the ///; in other words, a space after the summary and a space after the /// before the headline. That headline should replicate the first six or seven words, at least, of the headline in the story.

2. All headlines should be initial capped.   More

Multimedia Success Tying Results to the Bottom Line

Have you ever wondered why you looked at a report for the distribution of your feature news story that showed more impressions than there are people in this country and yet sales were relatively flat, the needle barely moved on your dashboard and your phone wasn’t ringing off the hook?There could be several reasons for this problem, as follows:

1. Your message didn’t resonate with readers, listeners and viewers.

2. Your story was on a site of thousands of pages; one that contains widgets with thousands of stories being uploaded there

daily, making it difficult for readers to find your story.

3. The metrics on the report are inflated or misleading.

After millions of people allegedly read your story, if it was persuasively written, you should have seen some signs that your business was improving as a result. If you didn’t see much progress, either not enough people actually read it or you didn’t reach your target audience.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. You can get free advice from the experts at NAPS, which serves top PR firms, many large corporations, associations and government agencies. NAPS will help you to transform your feature story into a format that will help you influence millions of additional readers in your target audience. Our writers are the experts at achieving multimedia success in thousands of community news outlets nationwide. For a proposal, contact info@napsnet.com.

Our media relations team has developed relationships over more than 50 years of being in this business, which allow us to provide you with usage from thousands of publications that other services don’t. Editors know us and trust us to send quality material, wonderfully written, that is checked by our experts and given to them in the formats they require.

The publications that we reach are primarily print publications, weekly community newspapers of under 30k in circulation and fewer than 50 pages. Those are much …   More

Fifteen Tips For SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an effective way to bring more eyeballs to your message. Here are 15 ways to optimize your results:

Write lively, intriguing headlines and try to include a number. Research suggests people are psychologically attracted to that.

Have long stories to provide more scope for the search engine.

Use short paragraphs, which are easier on the eye.

Use the active voice to retain reader interest.

Use subheads.

Use boldface type.

Use lists.

Cross-post to a variety of social media.

Use photos, illustrations, cartoons and infographics.

Make it clear to the reader that the article is about him or her.

 Update frequently.

Include links to further information on what’s in the article.

Offer answers. People frequently turn to search engines when they have questions. The story should tell how, when and why things happen and what to do about it.

Use lots of synonyms to maximize the number of possible key words.

Make the use of key words sound as natural as possible.

 

We offer copy and layout suggestions, from our experts, at no cost or obligation. For more information contact info@napsnet.com. Learn More.   More

Media Opportunities Reaching Millennials in a “New” Medium

With all the technology and methods of communication available today that millennials have grown up with, have you ever wondered why college newspapers still exist in print and why they are read more in print than online? Savvy marketers recognize the opportunity to reach more people in their target audience, including millennials, in newspapers. Large corporations that target millennials routinely, including Disney, Verizon and Pepsico, have recognized the importance of including traditional media with a NAPS feature news article distribution, as part of the overall strategy. If you haven’t tried it, you may want to try reaching out to millennials buy adding a “new” medium to your mix: community newspapers.

Just as kids turn to college newspapers to find news that is not often available in their major daily news outlets such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, so too do they turn to the community news outlets to read about local sports, local politics, local schools and other information that they are not likely to find elsewhere. Community news outlets have remained strong, in the face of competition from bloggers and other online news sources, because they contain hyperlocal content that is unique to those publications.

Weekly community newspapers, which usually have fewer than 50 pages, increasing the visibility of your feature news article, are more likely to get read cover to cover than online publications that may have hundreds or thousands of new pages uploaded each day. Recognizing the challenge presented in competing for space — which is becoming increasingly scarce as newspapers cut down to fewer pages — some services have arranged to have widgets included on the sites of major news sites such as The Boston Globe, where readers can click on a special section that has thousands of pages that look like those are part of the site but are actually on the server of the content provider.

Large daily …   More