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Using RSS to Capture News vs. Distribute News

I was sharing lunch with a few colleagues at Maggiano’s in Buckhead today when the subject of my ongoing effort to create virtual newsrooms for clients came up again. After much explanation the question was raised, “How much content do you need to be creating before you can add an RSS feed to your site? Is it reasonable to create an RSS if we’re only posting news releases once a month?”

 Fair question, I thought. While I’ve been focusing more on how to distribute she really wanted to know why and when. What I see people getting caught up in lately is using aggregating content from places like Google and the New York Times that publish data daily or more. In her mind, if we weren’t creating content that often, why would we need an RSS feed?

I tried to help her understand how once we captured the interest of a prospect , they might want to continue to monitor our efforts. By placing an RSS feed on our website or,  better yet, in our virtual newsroom, we could alert them to changes in our products and organization. Even if those notifications were distributed as press releases as infrequently as every 4-6 weeks, this would still be helpful information for that prospect who would most likely be seeing our feed in their aggregator along with dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of other feeds that they monitor.

I think we’re still on a slow learning curve here so I went in search of an answer to her “how much is enough?” question. I haven’t found any research to support my thoughts on this yet but I did uncover a fabulous and fun explanation of RSS that I think I’ll start sharing with clients.

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