PR to get smarter as CNW aquires dna13

Canadian Press Stylebook

The days of newsroom fax machines and journalists’ email in-boxes being randomly blasted with press releases may be ending, as the CNW Group today announced that they were acquiring new media technology company dna13.  CNW, which was founded in 1960 as Canada NewsWire, is trumpeting the purchase as a bold new direction in newsroom relations:

For the first time, the communications challenges of targeting, distributing, monitoring and measuring have been integrated into a single service that redefines the “distribution only” business model traditionally followed by commercial newswires.

The new service comes as a result of CNW’s acquisition of dna13, a leading edge, Ottawa-based high tech company whose unique software allows public relations practitioners to manage, monitor and measure the success of their communications campaigns.

Back in December of 2008 dna13 was named by IDC Canada as one of the 10 New Media Companies To Watch and had been working closely with CNW on the company’s MediaVantagewhich is a news-wire service that “distributes client-generated news release content simultaneously into newsrooms across the country and around the world.”

The deal marks a move towards more managed and targeted press relations industry, one that’s evolved from simply distributingpress releases for its clients to dealing with a multimedia host of different client requirements.  With dna13’s software CNW promises also to be able to get better metrics on how successful a campaign is. 

Having worked in a newsroom, granted a tiny student press newsroom, I’ve seen how the sheer volume of press releases can blunt their effectiveness.  Being able to make a release more revelant to journalists will make CNW’s campaigns more effective and help them avoid getting too many of these letters from Merlin Mann.