Why is the Subject Index so important?
Your entries in the Subject Index are the most powerful feature
of your Sources listing. Your choice of headings tells
journalists, editors and researchers you have expertise in the subject
they are looking up, and leads
them directly to your company or organization. Journalists can find
you in the A-Z
Index if they already know you, or they may come across
your listing while browsing Sources, but journalists
on a deadline will usually do a Subject search to find experts on
the topic they are working on. Choosing your headings carefully
maximizes the chances of them finding and calling you.
How can we find subject headings which best
describe our expertise?
1) We can provide you with lists of headings related
to your area of expertise. We have more than 100 such lists available
in fields ranging from Biotechnology
and many more. Most organizations find that all or nearly all the
headings they wish to be listed under are on these lists. Find them
on the Sources Web site at www.sources.com/Category.htm.
2) Make a list of the subjects on which your company
or organization has expertise or views; then browse through the
Subject Index in your print copy of Sources or on
the Sources Internet
site to find headings matching your expertise.
3) If your organization was ever listed with Sources
before, we have your previous list of headings on file. We can send
this to you to update; this can save you a lot of work. Simply delete
headings that are no longer appropriate and add new ones that are.
How many subject headings can we choose from?
There are more than 21,000 headings available to you in the Sources
Subject Index database. There are also more than 1,500 cross-references
which guide users selecting one term to substitute or related terms.
Can I make up my own headings?
It depends. Suggestions for improvements and additions are very
welcome, but Sources maintains editorial control of
the contents of the Sources Subject Index database,
which is a proprietary information resource used by a number of
publications and online directories. A Subject Index Editorial Board
decides on changes and additions to the database. Additions are
commonly being made in rapidly changing fields, especially science
and technology. Additions involving minor variations of existing
headings, or which are too narrowly specific, are unlikely to be
made because Sources users indicate that a proliferation
of such headings makes it harder to find what they are looking for
-- counterproductive for the organizations listed in Sources
as well as for the journalists who use Sources to
find contacts to interview and quote.
Will journalists using the Sources
Web site find us in the same way as users of the print edition do?
You appear under the same headings in print and online. The Search
Engine on the Sources Internet site has some extra
features not available in print. Online users can use a "Contains"
query which allows them to specify topics containing word roots.
What are some common mistakes in selecting
Headings which are too general. "Education" and "Environment"
are common examples. Reporters are rarely if ever told to write
a story on "the environment". They are more likely to
look up topics like "Blue Box Recycling" or "Wildlife
Headings which are too restrictive. A heading like "Mirimichi
River Salmon Fishery", might be an example. A journalist would
be more likely to look under headings like "Salmon" or
"Fisheries/Fishermen" or "Sport Fishing".
Vague or obscure headings, such as "Analysis", "Facilities",
"Solutions", "Trends", "Prevention".
Repeating of minor variants of the same heading rather than choosing
a broad range of headings. An example might be "Comic Books/Adventure",
"Comic Books/Horror", "Comic Books/Romance",
"Comic Books/Science Fiction", "Comic Books/Superhero".
In an already specialized category like Comic Books, a reporter
will first look under the "Comic Books" heading. If you
are there, the other entries are probably superfluous. You might
be better off choosing additional headings like "Popular Culture"
Prefacing headings with adjectives. This usually reduces your chances
of being found. If one of your areas of expertise is Houses, suitable
headings might include "Housing", "Housing/Seniors",
"Construction/Residential", "Home Builders",
"Mortgages", "Building Standards", "Roofing",
"Condominiums", etc. Most reporters would think of these
and similar headings; few would try headings like "New Houses",
"British Columbia Houses", "Leaky Condos", "Sub-standard
Using phrases, marketing slogans, or mission statements as subject
headings, e.g. "Excellence in customer service", "Marketing
Solutions", and "Easy-to-Use".
Concentrating only on what you do rather than on what you
know. Fighting fires may be primarily what fire departments
do, but they know a great deal about defective wiring, gas explosions,
chemical spills, and how not to store propane cylinders. Make sure
your headings reflect the full range of your organization's expertise.
Where can I get more help or information?
1) Call us at 416-964-5735. We'll be glad to help.
2) Lists of subject headings grouped by category
are available on the Sources Internet site at www.sources.com/Category.htm;
or we can fax or E-mail you a copy.
3) Look through the Subject Index in your copy
of Sources or on the Web site to see how it works
and how other organizations make use of it.
find you: Getting the most from the Subject Index
Getting the most
out of your Sources Listing
your listing and get the most for your dollars
Sources magnifies your Internet visibility