Apple, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and many other high tech companies use RSS feeds to keep customers, communication and PR professionals, industry and financial analysts, investor relations professionals, industry and trade press, and the mainstream media informed as to the latest news regarding their companies. RSS feeds have actually begun to replace newsletters for many of the analyst and PR relations departments in many of these companies since the immediacy and relevance of the information is communicated so much more quickly. The use of RSS feeds, especially in the area of industry and financial analyst relations, connotes that a company is forward-thinking and interested in keeping these vital constituents informed of their latest progress while also being succinct in brief in the updates.
Successful Strategies That Rely on RSS Feeds
The ability of any company to stay relevant over the long-term is directly related to their providing insightful and useful information to prospects, customers, communications and PR professionals regarding new product developments, customer successes, and insightful information these audiences will find useful. From the context of staying relevant, RSS feeds provide a convenient and succinct approach to continually staying connected with these audiences, providing information of interest. SAP for example has moved away form doing larger, more expensive newsletters and initiated RSS feeds throughout the industry and financial analyst and investor relations websites. The same holds true for Cisco and other companies. The concept of providing only the most succinct information in a format that is quickly scanabale and useable by the audiences is the need that RSS feeds provide. The essence of the value of RSS feeds is in staying relevant to all interested audiences by providing timely, interesting and valuable content to them. From this foundation of solid content, many companies begin pursuing the following strategies. First, the use of RSS feeds to drive traffic back to websites caries with it the need to ensure the website delivers more than just a series of static HTML pages and a drab, mediocre experience. The website will need to have just as many opportunities for the visitor, drawn there from RSS feeds, to learn more about the company, potentially set up their own personalization of the site (especially if the company is B2C focused) and also create greater interest in the company. The second strategy that companies are using RSS feeds for is to provide customized channels by specific areas of their websites as well. SAP does this in their areas of financial and industry analyst relations, as they also do in their developer relations websites. Microsoft has also done this throughout much of their site. The earliest adopters in these companies of RSS feeds were the developer relations departments, as software developers began asking for this feature as long as five years ago. RSS feeds are also being used as a customized channel by Disney, Nickelodeon, and many other entertainment companies as well. Nearly every major university uses RSS feeds to create their own customized channel. Third, the use of RSS feeds is rapidly replacing newsletters and gradually overtaking e-mail blasts as the information is immediate and easily scanned and used through an RSS Reader.
It is critical for companies to approach the communication with consumers, communications and PR professionals and prospects from the vantage point of how these people want to be communicated with. RSS feeds have grown rapidly due to their timeliness of information and the succinct approach used for sharing content. RSS feeds and technology is an essential part of any communications mix and strategy in the 21st century.
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