Tips On Setting Up Online (Interactive) Newsrooms

With the advancement of internet technology and the increase adoption of bandwidth around the world, the new PR/media relations professional has to make sure to embrace the modern day platform. Setting up an online newsroom for your company is essential for a few reasons:

1. It’s going to be the main source of credible information about your company, especially when journalists, analysts, and customers are researching at all hours or use your online news center to obtain breaking news.
2. The newsroom is also a great way to maintain control of brand communication (much better for a journalist to receive info straight from the brand rather than another source).
3. Newsrooms can also save in costs associated with sending out media kits or informational product USB sticks. All Media kit information can be converted into PDF format and posted in the newsroom as well as USB sticks converted into video format.

Most journalists or investors expect to see the basic elements included in your newsroom. Basic elements include:

Contact info for your main PR contact. Basic facts about the company. Executive bio section. Company’s point of view on its industry. Access to financial information, quarterly newscast of earnings. Easy downloadable images for stories. Images and logos should be in 72 dpi for web usage and hi-res 300 dpi files for print publications. Searchable news release archives. Product information.

Online newsrooms range from the basics to the more advanced media centers with searchable databases, video presentations, and podcasts. These interactive newsrooms can contain blogs, RSS feeds, and SMR (Social Media News Releases). When sending out PR email alerts to journalists or investors, it’s always good practice to put link-backs to the online newsroom. Targeted messages using RSS feeds are also great for wireless devices like mobile phones.

Other online newsroom features you will want to include are E-press kits. E-press kits include targeted news releases, images, statements and related content. Also include the ability for a journalist to sign up for email “media alerts.” If you really would like to cater to your journalists and media personal, include personal folders in the newsrooms with a password protected (encrypted) area to store information they’ve researched and want to archive for future use. Add special icons into press releases or other collateral that will enable the journalists with a simple click to add to their folder.

Break the newsroom into a “corporate” and “consumer” section. The consumer section should include news and info on customer satisfaction, feedback, e-commerce, marketing, safety, compliance and service. As you build your online interactive newsroom keep the following in mind:

Your brand’s newsroom will be a main source of credible information as journalist’s research story ideas or analysts looking for financial information.

Understand the basics of your online newsroom before enhancing it. Add features and functions slowly. Keep in mind that most journalists today that access your newsroom are technologically savvy. Don’t be afraid to add advance features.

Always post fresh content everyday (blogs are a good example). Fresh content will have journalists & Investors returning to your newsroom to check out the latest news and information.

Build your newsroom in phases starting out with the basics. A second phase can include features such as RSS, podcasts, video. A third phase you can add blogs, tags, social bookmarking sites and even Twitter searches or Mention to check out all the chatter on a topic in the blogosphere or social media platforms.

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