Strategies for Online Newsrooms

Almost everyone is bombarded with marketing messages.

Getting your message heard is a challenge with all of the background noise and the ability of the younger generation to filter.

To succeed, you have to find new platforms and not only listen to the conversation, but also participate.

One way to do this is by developing an online newsroom, which becomes the headquarters for all of your audiences, explained Ibrey Woodall, vice president of web communications services for Business Wire.

Her company conducted a survey of reporters and found that 77 percent want to find information on an online newsroom.

Reporters expect to find PR stories (88%); breaking news (87%) and PR contacts (80%). Fact sheets (64%) are regaining in popularity.

Also important on an online newsroom are images (63%), press kits (53%) and biographies (52%).

Woodall said reporters are looking for quotes in the stories, photos and interesting angles.

“It’s all about being able to download without having to contact you,” she said.

Reporters also want to see releases that go back several years. More than half (52%) said they want the releases to go back one to five years. Twenty-seven percent want sites to have a full archive of releases.

Woodall’s recommendation after five years to only post “milestone releases,” which are releases that share significant news about the organization. Releases about event and minor news should be removed.

Once you have your newsroom built, you need to promote it.

  • Include the URL for the newsroom on your business card.
  • Include a link to it in your email signature.
  • Link to it from the main navigation of your site.
  • Issue a media advisory about the site and encourage reporters to subscribe to it so they can receive an alert when new content is posted.

Online Newsrooms Worth a Visit

We all know that the Internet makes finding information easier. But are you making it easy for people to find information about the company for which you work, your own business or your book?

Steve Momorella, who is the owner and founder of TEKGROUP, which has been creating online newsrooms for 25 years, recently shared some great tips to make your online newsroom stand out.

Key attributes include appearance, freshness, content, social, SEO and ROI.

The appearance must look professional and have the branding of the corporate site, otherwise, Momorella says, you confuse the viewer.

Freshness, of course, refers to making sure the newsroom is up-to-date. The content on the site must include more than press releases. The site should include background on the company, videos and the company logo.

Social, Momorella says, is the big shift. “Twenty-five years ago our target was journalists. It’s gone much bigger than that.” He refers to the general news consumer, individuals who want to learn more about the company. “A lot of people go to the newsroom for research.”

SEO, or search engine optimization, is important because you want your newsroom to be found when people are searching for information about your company. ROI plays out when you build a newsroom that allows you to distribute videos that stations can use. Doing so saves money in overnight shipping and often lands your company on a news segment, which can lead to an increase in sales.

To check out some online newsrooms that Momorella says incorporate these attributes, visit:

  • Toyota’s newsroom because of its graphic design, categorized video search and social media landing page.
  • Cisco for its fresh content, storytelling, graphic design, embedded video and searchable archive.
  • Starbucks for its video, photo galleries, information and speaker requests and fresh content.