Best Digital Newsroom

Food-focused digital newsroom cooks up a recipe for success

Just A Pinch creates a vibrant online social network that connects cooks with content, prizes, and the media. PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards were presented by Synaptic Digital. Learn more about Synaptic Digital here (pdf).

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Digital newsrooms often are repositories of meaningless press releases trumpeting nothing news.

But Just A Pinch Recipe Club offers a different approach. It creates content—and gets it in local media. Its unique approach wins top honors in the Best Digital Newsroom category of PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards.

The food-focused social network allows users to find and share recipes, win blue ribbons, and connect with like-minded cooks. And while they’re at it, they can get ink in local papers hungry for food-page content.

Through a proprietary press release publishing tool and syndicated pipeline of recipe content, Just A Pinch created a nationwide newsfeed to deliver blue ribbon recipe award news directly to local media, including the hometown papers of its award-winning cooks.

While it’s an online community, Just A Pinch connects people with tangible prizes. Just A Pinch awards and mails blue ribbons (real, not virtual) to its top cooks. 

The site leverages these into media coverage in local markets, using automated press releases to generate buzz and relevant awareness about the site, creating news media outlets around the country.

It also creates content: Prepackaged food columns about the blue ribbon-winning recipes offer seamless integration into food or lifestyle pages. Two columns are emailed to editors weekly in a variety of size options for download from the media site. 

The press releases are emailed by a PR team so that the information comes from a real person who can answer questions and arrange interviews. A newspaper relations team manages the syndicated media site content, which is offered in multiple column sizes and as text with images for editors to build their own columns.

Fourteen percent of the more than 1,000 press releases sent about blue ribbon winners have resulted in stories that were shared with the PR team by the home cook or were spotted via a Google alert, Just A Pinch reports.

Just A Pinch promotes the blue ribbon content in a daily e-newsletter (400,000 subscribers) and blog (50,000 page views monthly), and it features the recipes weekly on the home page (1.4 million monthly visitors to date).

It took more than a pinch of savvy to pull all that off.

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