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The News Chair

Online Newsrooms are a Must

Today’s news atmosphere calls for up-to-the-second news, as soon as you can get it and as fast as you can post it. That includes social media such as Facebook and Twitter, but it also applies to websites. One essential way to keep your website as updated as possible is an online newsroom with fresh, new content that is constantly evolving.

David Henderson, author of “Making News in the Digital Era,” said, “Static newsrooms are the least-visited part of a website because most are just graveyards of old press releases. Your newsroom needs to present the spectrum of all the things that your company is doing within its industry, and hanging press releases there kills credibility.”

The core audience for an organization’s online newsroom is everyone from shareholders and business partners, to customers, donors, employees… and THEN the media. And because newsrooms are not only for the media, practitioners must use a writing style that draws interest in a way people can relate to.

“Nobody cares what your company does unless you tell them in a way that adds value,” Henderson said.

What are some elements to add value to your online newsroom?

  • News articles (300-500 words)
  • Short videos (HD for B-roll)
  • Links to company facts and contacts
  • Search capability

And if you use WordPress as your content management system, you’re not alone. Even The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal use it for their blog networks, said Ryan Zuk. There are over 22 million WordPress publishers as of February 2010: 10.6 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com plus 11.4 million active installations of the WordPress.org software. According to Quantcast, around 250 million people visit one or more WordPress.com blogs every month, and they view over two billion pages on those blogs.

So get reading, writing and online newsroom–ing.

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