Again, this is nothing scientific; I just go to the website in question, see if an RSS feed is clearly active, clearly visible and tick off a list.
(This is edition N°5 - I started keeping track in 2005.)
Why bother you might ask...
Well, I do think that if you're in the "content business", the "external communications business", the "conversation business" then you need to have an automated feed that syndicates your content - or the content of your clients - to the online world.
As Public Relations professional you need to understand the full potential of really simple syndication and apply it to your website.
This year I also listed if the agencies in question had a clearly linked blog of their own... In some cases I had to search a bit further than the home page but when this is the case it is also indicated in the list.
Now, here are the top level results:
- from the 29 Belgium based PR agencies listed only 8 had an active RSS feed on their website.
- from the same list, the same number of agencies - 8 - have a clearly linked blog.
Some remarkable agencies:
- Outsource, a former client, has completely switched from "classic website" to a full blogging platform.
- RCA Group has no RSS feed on their website but do have a blog with RSS.
- Porter Novelli, a former employer, has a new blog but it is not linked to their website.
Again this year, I am not impressed...
While some agencies really do their best to get with social media and apply it to their day to day work, most of them seem never to have heard of RSS or any other change in online communications recently.
Even when they use RSS, most agencies do not explain what it is or link their feed to an email newsletter.
In most cases you really have to look for a way to subscribe to their content... Which to me is a bit of a contradiction for a PR agency.
If you want to know how you could use RSS, feel free to search my blog for several articles or at least read this one.
You can download the full list here (opens a PDF) and if you're not on the list, or if I oversaw something, please let me know.
As I said, this is nothing scientific, not designed to be, but a simple check up once a year...