magnifies your Internet visibility
When you search for the word sources
you get 640,000,000 hits.
Thats 640 million.
Out of that huge number of hits, which is Number One?
The very first site listed at the very top of the very first page?
Not to keep you in suspense its Sources®
Thats just one indication of Sources high profile.
Of course, Google isnt the only search engine; its
just the most well-known one. Other search engines use different
technologies thats why professional researchers, such
as journalists, dont rely on just one tool.
Take Yahoo® the most popular site
on the Internet. Search for the word sources
and you get about 400 million hits. That top page looks rather familiar,
though: once again www.sources.com is #1: the top result
on the first page.
Or search for sources
(the #2 site on the Interest). Yes, www.sources.com is #1
Do you prefer the AltaVista
search engine? If you search for sources
on AltaVista, you get 411 million hits. And no surprise!
www.sources.com is once again #1.
Sources has a great profile on the Internet. Coming
up #1 when people search for your specialty is something everyone
aims for. Weve achieved it, in spades.
But the point of achieving the #1 spot it is not to boost our egos
(though we are proud of it!), but to enhance our ability to help
our customers to raise their profile.
Sometimes we still encounter people who tell us they dont
need Sources because we have our own Web site
or because everybody knows us.
The people who say this are almost invariably people whose expertise
lies somewhere other than in public relations or marketing.
The professionals know better. You dont hear successful businesses
saying we dont need to promote ourselves people
who want to buy something from us can always track us down if they
really want to.
Everybody has heard of Coca Cola, but Coca Cola doesnt
stop advertising because everybody knows us, let alone
because we have a Web site. Coca Cola has been actively
promoting itself, every single day, for decades, in hundreds of
different ways (including by listing
in Sources), because their objective is not to be
known in a general way, but to have people think
of them at the crucial moment, i.e., when they are thirsty and
ready to buy a drink.
The object of a sophisticated media relations or public relations
strategy is similar. The point is not to be known in
a vague and general way, but to get journalists to call you
when they are doing a story on your issues.
Giving reporters what they
This is the job Sources excels at. Reporters
and broadcasters need knowledgeable sources to interview and quote
when they write stories or line up guests. The Sources
directory is commonly the first place journalists turn to when they
need to find experts and spokespersons, because Sources
gives them what they most need in their day-to-day work: a wealth
of human contacts offering a wide range of views and expertise,
ready and willing to speak to the media.
When you are in Sources, your media profile, including
your expertise and your contact information, is there working for
you whenever a reporter turns to Sources, as they
do thousands of times every week. More than one thousand journalists
a day use the Sources Web site to find the spokespersons
they need. Every time they do, each one looks at an average of five
or six listings to find the most appropriate contacts to call. In
addition, more than 10,000 copies of the print edition of Sources
are in use on journalists desks at this very moment. Every
time they use Sources, in print or online, your media
profile is right there, telling them about you.
The main problem that journalists face every day is finding sources.
They need to find experts and spokespersons who have expertise about
the topic and who are willing to speak to the media
about it and who can be reached quickly and easily.
And thats exactly why Sources was created.
Sources helps journalists find the sources they need
quickly and easily. And by doing so, we help the organizations
listed in Sources get media coverage by leading
journalists right to you.
The pros use Sources
-- and they list themselves in Sources
The media relations experts know this. Thats why they use
Sources, thats why they recommend
Sources, and thats why they list themselves
And in fact one of the strongest testimonials
to how well Sources works is that the media experts
themselves pay to be included in Sources.
Organizations like the Canadian
Marketing Association, the Canadian
Public Relations Society, the Canadian
Association of Journalists, the Professional
Writers Association of Canada, the Canadian
Media Guild, the Canadian
Newspaper Association, Magazines
Matthews, and the Canadian
Business Press association, as well as the top
business colleges like Queen's
School of Business, Schulich
School of Business, and the Joseph
L. Rotman School of Management. Not to mention
hundreds of media-savvy businesses and organizations ranging from
Bank to Greenpeace
who list themselves in Sources not as a substitute
for their other PR efforts, but as a valuable enhancement.
Harnessing the power of
the Internet with Sources
Our high Internet profile is so important because it increases
The Internet ranking service Alexa (www.alexa.com)
tracks the usage and reach of millions of Web sites how many
people visit each Web site, how often they visit them, and how many
pages they look at when they visit them.
The Alexa rankings show that Sources is in the top
2.5% of all ranked Web sites worldwide. Out of the roughly
seven million Web sites that are important enough to be included
in the ranking system, more than 97% are ranked lower than www.sources.com,
and only about 2.5% are ranked higher.
This is a phenomenal achievement, especially when you consider
that Sources is a site for professional users, meaning
it has an inherently limited potential group of visitors (journalists
and researchers), whereas many other sites are for the general public.
Bear in mind, too, that Sources is a Canadian site,
being measured against sites not only in Canada but the U.S., Europe,
But the most important point about this is what it means for organizations
listed in Sources.
It means that having a Sources listing especially
when your listing is further enhanced by your free news release
postings on the Sources Web site and your free Sources
Calendar entries greatly increases your odds of
being found by journalists working on stories related to
A typical example
Recently, in the midst of a controversy about the safety of organic
produce, the Canadian
Organic Growers (COG), a Sources
listee, took advantage of the privileges of their membership to
post a news
release about this topic on the Sources
Web site. They also posted the same news release on their own Web
So what happens when you do a Google
search, the kind a journalist might do, for the words
organic products regulation
First of all, note that you get approximately 4,420,000 hits. Obviously
no journalist is going to wade through page after page of results
to find a contact. Theyre going to look at what appears on
the first page or, if nothing useful appears there, they
might check the second page of results.
On that first page of results, the first few are for government
Web sites: not surprisingly, since the government is introducing
the new regulations. Most likely, though, the journalist is looking
for someone from industry or from consumer groups to comment
on the new government regulations.
And what he or she will find on that crucial top page of Google
results is the COG news release the version of the release
posted on the Sources Web site. The COGs identical
version of the release on their own Web site appears nowhere on
either the first or second page of the Google search results. (It
does appear halfway down Page 3, but the vast majority of Google
users never look further than the first page of results.)
Why does this happen? Why does a Google search put the Sources
result so near the top, and the COG result, with exactly the
same text, so much further down as to render it almost invisible?
It comes out this way because Sources is a very highly
ranked site, and Google sorts results according to the ranking
of the originating site. Sources has a Google
Ranking® that is only slightly below that
of major Canadian sites like the Toronto Star, the Globe
and Mail, CTV, the Weather Channel, Canada 411,
and the National Library of Canada.
Another important measure, similar to ranking, is reach.
Sources has a reach that is about 14
times as great as the COG site. As a result, when a search engine
encounters the same information on the COG site and the Sources
site, it automatically puts the Sources result near
the top, and the COG result much further down.
Is this a problem for Canadian Organic Growers? Not at all: because
they have a Sources listing. Their Sources
listing with the accompanying benefits, including the free
news release postings multiplies their own
reach. It leads reporters to them who otherwise would never know
they exist. By being in Sources and posting their
release on www.sources.com they accomplish their goal. Their
news release makes it onto the top page of Google. Journalists see
on it, and read it on the Sources
site. The release states their position on the issue, and it contains
the name and phone number of their contact person plus a
link to their Sources listing, and a link to their
own Web site. They get calls. Their position gets media coverage.
This is Sources working exactly as it is supposed
to work and benefiting a listee exactly as it should.
And it happens all the time. Our clients continuously use Sources
reach to multiply their own reach.
There is another very important thing to note about this example:
In the Google results, there are five industry associations which
are listed ahead of the Canadian Organic Growers site in
the results, but behind the Sources result.
In the deadline-driven world of the media, it is extremely likely
that one or more of those five associations would have got the reporters
calls instead of the COG, simply because they were on a higher-up
page. Being in Sources enabled the COG to leapfrog
into a more prominent spot in the results. And that makes all the
difference: the difference between getting called and not getting
The benefits of reach
But what if an organization has a very highly ranked Web site of
its own? Does that mean they dont need Sources?
Absolutely not. First of all, the magnification of impact still
occurs. If your Web site has approximately the same reach
as Sources (and remember, more than 97% dont),
being in Sources still doubles your reach.
Nothing at all wrong with that.
Secondly, and even more importantly, our reach is primarily to
journalists, not to the general public. Even in the unlikely
event that an organization's Web site is ranked higher than Sources,
the fact still remains that it is reaching a general audience
of people interested in the organization, while their Sources
listing will reach journalists specifically.
These journalists, by the way, are more often than not totally new
to the subject of the story they have been assigned to cover. They
don't know who to call but they know that using Sources
will find them sources
they can call and interview.
So a Sources listing is more likely to found by reporters,
and therefore to result in media coverage.
However, because the Sources site is so prominent
on the Internet, it obviously also attracts a certain percentage
of people who arent journalists. This can be a nice fringe
benefit of a Sources listing. We came across a perfect
example of this recently when one of our listees, a clinic
specializing in cosmetic procedures, called to tell us that their
Sources listing, which theyd placed solely with
the intention of getting media coverage, was also resulting in so
many calls from people who wanted to book appointments that they
had to put a phone number in their listing for the people calling
to book appointments. All of these people had done an Internet search
on these cosmetic procedures, found the clinics Sources
listing, and then called for an appointment.
Finally, a word about the Sources print directory.
Despite the impressive reach of the Sources Web site,
people keep asking for the print directory. They still like it.
They still use it, especially for coming up with story ideas, a
priority for the thousands of freelancers out there. Journalism
schools regularly request copies of the print version for all their
students, even though their students obviously have access to the
Sources Web site. They tell us theres no substitute
for browsing through a printed book. Weve even received a special
advance order for 1,000 extra copies of the Winter 2007 edition.
All that makes us happy too.
Print or online, it all adds up to this: Sources
yourself in Sources (PDF
form you can fill out)
or call us at 416-964-7799
For more information:
who else is listed in Sources - Alphabetical list of organizations
and businesses who list themselves in Sources.
the topics journalists have searched for in Sources
- This is a list of subjects which have been searched for recently.
You may choose additional topics not listed here if they relate
to your expertise: being the first to list under a topic can be
an advantage. For lists of all available headings (sorted by category)
Plus - More
information on how you can raise your profile and get media coverage
news release services - Publicize
your views and accomplishments.
- A media relations resource from Sources featuring information
and articles dealing with publicity, media relations, and public
media training - Customized
courses on effective media relations.
Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of
the Canadian media, available in print, online, and as a database.
Releases - The
Sources Calendar -
Search Sources Listings
Parliamentary Names & Numbers
Search the Sources directory to find
experts and spokespersons