Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will Google real-time search help you monitor embargoes?

If you're issuing embargoed news, you'll have to pay attention to possible embargo breaks--the task no one wants to anticipate but everyone has to handle at some point. Until recently, the process (if you can call it that) was a bit like playing "telephone" with two tin cans and a piece of string: Someone, usually a competing reporter, would hear or see an early report and call the issuing institution to check out whether everyone could go with the story.  The backtracking and checking then commenced to eat up what was left of your day, typically.

But now that Google has rolled out real-time search, will monitoring embargo breaks get more efficient?  Ivan Oransky takes a thorough look at just that on the Embargo Watch blog, and concludes that, while Google real-time has potential, you'll still need to double-check Google News and other sources.  To figure out the process, he looks at a high-tech blogger's analysis of whether Google real-time could have helped identify an embargo break about Google's priority inbox, then turns to examine recent science and health embargo breaks.  (Plenty of those going around, apparently.)  The research highlights the importance of tweets in populating real-time search today, although I agree with Oransky that we'll see a mashup of real-time and news search before long.  In the meantime, he and his readers suggest adding real-time to your existing Google alerts.
This is a must-read post, if only because it shares how Oransky does his own checks for embargo breaks--if you communicators aren't at least taking those steps, well, don't say we didn't warn you. 

I offer communications and social media strategy consultation; content development; and training in public speaking, social media and related skills, like media relations--and I welcome your referrals, at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.  I'm afraid I know more about embargoes than I would like.

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