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The News Chair

Give Audiences the News They Want

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The word “newsroom” may give people the thought of a room of editors and reporters hustling and bustling to get the latest breaking news and convey a variety of stories to their viewers or readers via one publication or station.

 

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

When it comes to an online newsroom, however, your corporation or organization needs to make sure to focus on multiple audience interests.

 

It’s a one-stop-shop for ANYONE, not just the media, to learn everything they need to know about your business. So make sure all your different audiences get what they want.

 

Steps to building an effective newsroom

In his article, Jon Bernstein says, “Building an effective brand newsroom isn’t about creating the next big phenomenon. It’s about consistently giving an audience what it wants.”

 

Here are some ways to do so:

  1. Define your audience. Create a persona of your ideal customer. Every time you produce a piece of content, consider what angle best suits his or her needs.
  2. Establish an editorial proposition. Provide information that is useful and valuable to your target audience. Don’t just talk about your own brand.
  3. Find your tone of voice. Being relaxed, informal and direct works well, especially when working across multiple channels.
  4. Establish no-go areas. Define up front the subject areas you are willing to write about and those you should avoid.
  5. Be ready to react to breaking news. You must be able to publish and distribute content on the fly with skill, confidence and authority. You also must know which medium will work best.

 

How to design an online newsroom

Then, what are the basics that must be included in an effective online newsroom? Jackson Wightman shares some of the elements in his article for PR Daily.

 

  • Make media contact details obvious. There should be a person who is listed as the point of contact. This should be above the fold and highlighted.
  • Link to news releases and media coverage. This provides an out for journalists in a hurry who may not be able to speak with your company’s or client’s executives.
  • Include a media backgrounder. Have a least one backgrounder on the company and one on a new line, product or service you’re launching.
  • Include executive bios. Some press segments will want to know about the bosses. Be safe and include these.
  • Be social. Your newsroom should have clear social media links. Brands may also embed widgets to display the latest social status updates.
  • Multimedia content is a MUST! This can make or break your newsroom. Have hi- and Web-res photos, along with videos, audio recordings and logos.
  • Show off case studies. Why not show interested media how you’ve helped clients overcome their problems?
  • Display blog content on the homepage. Feature relevant, popular blogs on your newsroom homepage.
  • Make it all searchable. Media are time-crunched. They will abandon ship if they can’t find what they want.
  • Optimize around keywords. The online newsroom offers a chance to optimize content based on keywords.

 

If you build it, they will come

According to the 2013 newsroom report, “How the World’s Top 100 Brands Are Using Online Newsrooms to Tell Their Stories,” noted in this article by Lisa Buyer, 98 percent of brands report they have an online newsroom. But 35 percent fail to keep news up to date.

 

The online newsroom is a great opportunity to tap into all the quality content that can add value to media as well as potential customers and clients. And we have a team to make your online newsroom the best it can be!

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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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