Media coverage is one of the best forms of free advertising. A news story by a credible source can help you generate more sales and become recognized as a leader in your industry. Since journalists work on tight deadlines, you must make it easy for them to locate all the resources they need to develop informed and accurate pieces about your company.
An online newsroom is a low-cost and effective way to share your latest news with the media. Instead of printing and mailing expensive press kits, simply direct journalists to your online newsroom to grab up-to-the-minute information.
According to Ibrey Woodall, Vice President of Web Communications Services at Business Wire, “98% of journalists surveyed believe an online newsroom is important. And over 70% want social media within your online newsroom. This is great, but you should also use your newsroom to target ALL audiences – consumers, evangelists, investors, analysts, employees, and more. Just make sure to categorize your content.”
Your home page or primary navigation menu should contain a link to your online newsroom, allowing journalists to quickly find information. Here are 9 key items to include in your online newsroom – even if you don’t think you have any “real” news.
- Social Networking Content. Edward Lallo, Partner at Newsroom Ink, says “today’s new type of corporate newsroom must be a place to listen and interact with your audience, as well as use all the popular social media tools.” Savvy companies are incorporating social media into their PR to build relationships with customers, discuss industry trends and distribute news. Journalists also use social media sites, such as Twitter, to research stories and access breaking news. Your online newsroom should include links to all your social media profiles. You can also post your latest blog entries, tweets and YouTube videos.
- Media Kits. Post both an online and downloadable version of your media kit. Standard media kit content includes press releases, fact sheets, backgrounders, product reviews and your most frequently asked questions (FAQs).
- Graphics. Make it easy for reporters to download high-resolution logos, product images and photos of your key personnel.
- Basic Company Information. Reporters and shareholders will use your online newsroom to research your company. Include your annual report, stock information, company history and executive bios.
- A Subscription Tool. Create an RSS feed that allows journalists to sign up for automatic notification when your online newsroom is updated. A study by TEKGROUP International determined that “more than 60 percent of journalists want to subscribe to company information in online newsrooms via RSS feeds.”
- Outside News Coverage. Journalists often like to review your recent news coverage. An “In the News” section can contain articles, news footage and other media coverage.
- Educational Resources. Post your latest white papers, e-newsletters, published articles, industry research and podcasts. A reporter may pick up on one of your resources, increasing its chances of going viral and generating massive interest in your company.
- A Search Tool. Allow journalists to easily search your newsroom archive.
- Your Contact Info. Many companies fail to include contact information in their online newsrooms. If a reporter needs to verify time-sensitive information, but can’t get through to anyone, you may lose an opportunity for publicity. Always post the full contact information for at least one PR representative, including their direct line and e-mail address.
Do you need inspiration? Check out these examples of informative and creative online newsrooms:
Also, feel free to share a link to your online newsroom below.