The Need For An Online Newsroom
An online newsroom is a one-stop shop for all your public relations content, and it is absolutely vital to any business or organization’s online presence. It helps you build your brand while increasing your online visibility as well. So how do you make sure that your newsroom is the best that it can be?
The first is content - you want to make sure that whatever you are publishing onto your online newsroom is relevant to your brand. While having a lot of content is great, it still has to be useful to your audience. Too much irrelevant information will only deter people from visiting your page. Images and links to videos are also an important component of your newsroom, but so is the quality. Photos and videos engage viewers while also giving journalists the visual/digital content that they need for stories. However, if the quality is poor, then it may be doing more harm than good. Integrating social media feeds onto your newsroom is also an effective form of content since it lets visitors view current posts without having to leave your site.
Once your content has been decided, another thing that you’ll want to keep in mind is the accessibility of your online newsroom. You want visitors to be able to navigate the page easily and intuitively. It should be structured in a way that is simple, organized, and easy to access - this includes being mobile friendly as well. News releases and all other content should be categorized by topic, while social media links and PR contacts should be clearly visible and easy to find. A search function is also imperative to your newsroom as it allows journalists and other visitors to search your archives for specific information.
Ultimately the goal for your online newsroom is to have it be a trusted source on all things about your business or organization. Journalists and consumers always want the most current information available. By updating your online newsroom on a consistent basis, you can become the go-to news source that they are looking for.
From the PRSA, examples of companies that have strong features in their online newsrooms include:
Background information: Pitney Bowes prominently places addresses on the company’s Fast Facts sheet.
Product information/ Press kits: CIGNA provides multiple press kits.
Photographs: The Walgreens Press Room provides logos along with downloadable images.
Video: Two companies that expertly use online newsroom video are the Disneyland Resort Online Newsroom and the Scripps Networks Media Center.
Audio: Ford Motor Company lists sound bites regarding earnings and also from auto shows.
RSS feeds: The AAA Chicago Newsroom breaks down RSS feeds by section (Safety, for example) and subsection (Child passenger safety, Teen driving, etc.).