Five tips for creating an online newsroom

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According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of journalists visit online newsroom sections of organizations’ websites at least once a week.

What are they looking to find in the online newsroom? More than news releases. The online newsroom should serve as an organization’s online filing cabinet with news releases, company information and digital assets readily available, including:

  • news releases;
  • visual assets like photographs (including key leaders’ headshots in print-quality resolutions) and video;
  • succinct information about products and services;
  • biographies of key executives;
  • media contacts, including cell phone numbers;
  • financial statements.

Smart PR professionals are now thinking about online newsrooms as a full section of a website, rather than just a single newsroom page.

Five tips to take your client’s online newsroom to the next level:

1) Filters: Set up filters to sort information or news releases by topic, product/service, date and other relevant details.

2) Search function: Search helps a visitor quickly find the information he needs, and the ability to search within the newsroom is important.

3) Email signup: Make life easier for both the PR pro and the journalist: Set up a form to capture journalists’ contact information and preferences, so they can receive e-mail news alerts if they wish to.

4) Background information: Take the opportunity to educate journalists on the company’s history and key milestones while they’re visiting the online newsroom. Turn the organization’s fact sheet into “fast facts” on a webpage.

5) Social media: Go beyond linking to the organization’s social media accounts by embedding a Twitter feed or spotlighting YouTube or Vimeo videos in the online newsroom.

The survey of journalists on website newsrooms was done by TEKgroup, a leading online newsroom provider, and published in its 2017 Online Newsrooms Survey Report.

Missy MacFarlane, APR is a member of PRConsultants Group. She is co-founder and principal of B2 Communications, a strategic communications firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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