An online newsroom is a repository for journalists and other audiences to readily obtain information about your organization – its leadership, news announcements, products, services, upcoming events and more. Many companies are diligent at archiving press releases and news coverage but few take full advantage of the benefits offered by a dynamic online newsroom.
The last thing you want is for visitors to become frustrated because they can’t find what they need. If the media and other interested parties have taken the time to come to your website, make sure that they don’t have to do too much work once they get there.
A well-planned newsroom provides visitors with relevant, useful information that encourages them to return again. In a Web 2.0 world, there are lots of features that you can add to your site. One of my favourite examples is Cisco – check it out. If you’re not quite at the Cisco level, keep things simple initially and add the bells and whistles later. A few basic tips BEFORE you get started:
- Feature a highly-visible link to the pressroom on your home page.
- Select easy-to-use content management software so that you can update and revise your website quickly and easily.
- Examine the pressrooms of corporate giants as well as the competition to see what they’re doing. Big brands spend millions on site development! Take advantage of their research by noting what they do well, what they don’t do well, what you would do differently, and what will work best for your site.
- Ensure your webmaster has chosen the best words for meta tags on these web pages. Meta tags are hidden HTML code that provide information to visiting search engine spiders and become important for search engine optimization (SEO).
What should your online newsroom include?
- Press releases (sorted by date with the most recent first)
- Press coverage (ditto)
- Executive biographies
- History / Milestones
- Fact Sheet
- Media contact details
- Images Library: logos, product images, and executive mgmt photos
- Product Data Sheets
- Calendar of events
- Awards and recognition
- Success stories, case studies and/or testimonials
- Multimedia: Audio and video clips of interviews, presentations, product demos
- Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, social bookmark sites, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Flickr
- RSS feed to sign up for press releases
Note: Some of the above content should be downloadable as PDFs. For example, your company should have a Media Kit, which contains the most essential information neatly packaged in one document for journalists to quickly pull-off your site.
Happy newsroom planning! If you have any questions or would like me to review your online media centre, please contact me at maria(at)epicpr.ca. I would be pleased to help. Maria Loscerbo
Update: June 21, 2011: Here’s another post written by PR Daily on online newsrooms. I also wanted to highlight another newsroom example at UCLA that I think is brilliant because it is much more akin to a news publication such as the NY Times than it is a graveyard of press releases. It is the central hub for communications to media, the public and everyone else in between. This newsroom example was created using: http://www.ipressroom.com/pr/corporate/default.aspx. I’ve never tried it, it looks great but I think the pricing is extremely high and likely out of reach for the small to mid-size business.