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Is your company’s digital newsroom relevant in today’s news environment?

April 9, 2012

Here at MarketWave, we are continuously looking at the latest digital trends and ways to incorporate these channels and approaches strategically for our clients. As someone who works a lot with journalists, I’ve spent some time studying how to use digital newsrooms to provide reporters the information they need, when they need it.

Today’s reporters are overworked, usually doing the job of a few people. If they are interested in covering your company, you should avoid making them search through your website for details. Additionally, reporters are most likely looking at your website before they even decide to interview one of your executives.

So, a digital newsroom is kind of like a first impression. Is that impression a good one?

  • Does it make your company seem credible?
  • Do your spokespeople look interesting?
  • Are you offering statistics and other information that is useful to a reporter?

“An online newsroom is the foundation of brand journalism,” (Public Relations Society of America) so keep these tips in mind when planning your newsroom or online media kit:

  • Highlight key statistics so that they are easy to find, including company size, employees, locations and geographic areas served.
  • Tell your company’s story. Provide a quick and interesting overview of the company’s history with any noteworthy milestones.
  • Include images with press releases and highlight multimedia visuals that are available for reporters.
  • Build your reputation. Provide links to other media coverage, but don’t reprint the articles on your site unless you’ve bought the rights to do so.
  • Highlight key experts through blogs. Give journalists a taste for the type of information available from your company’s spokespeople.
  • Connect to your social media. Include links to the company’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, as well as YouTube, Pinterest or any other social media channels. Include a sign-up for e-newsletters if available.
  • Highlight company ads. If your company is currently running an ad campaign, include clips or images in your newsroom.

Also, make sure to update your digital newsroom on a quarterly basis. It’s quite irritating for journalists to find old statistics that require more work on their part. In addition to your online presence, make sure your company contacts are willing to serve as spokespeople on short notice. If this is impossible for their schedules, then it’s best to find different spokespeople.

At the end of the day, there are always more companies telling stories than there is space for those stories in media outlets. Keep that in mind when you’re communicating with journalists. However, if you facilitate the information-gathering process with reporters through an organized and accessible newsroom, your company should certainly stand out among competitors.

MarketWave offers digital newsroom development as part of its digital services. Our team is available to discuss elements that would best fit your site. In the meantime, here’s a good article from the Public Relations Society of America: The newsroom approach: Make customers care with brand journalism.

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