Posting media clippings online

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Here’s a question I recently received from a peer:

Do you have information on rules and regulations for posting media clippings on a client’s web site?

This is a common question among public relations practitioners. Here is a somewhat logical response that might help.

Quotes and paraphrasing are often the ideal workaround. It allows you to illustrate breadth and quality of coverage while communicating key messages via your Web site.

Print copyright rules do apply to Web content. Content cannot be republished without propser permissions. Some organizations do link to articles on media sites but many sites now archive content and make it only available to subscribers. Common etiquette is to request permission to link to an article or Web page. A linking tactic without permission often results in blocked or broken links that frustrate the average Web site visitor.

When a Web site links to a specific article or page within a site it is referred to as “deep linking”. This practice has sparked controversy in the past. A ruling was made in 2000 stating that simple hyperlinks do not violate copyright.

We recommend pulling key quotes, excerpts or paraphrasing published articles with a link to the main publihser’s site. In some instances, you will still require permission to publish excerpts.

You can also encourage Web site visitors to contact your organization for more information on the article (i.e. a copy of the article). In some instances, a PR or communications rep will record an interview with a journalist’s permission and post audio excerpts to the Internet. These can be produced as a podcast or posted as a simple digital audio file (e.g. MP3).