Let's face it. The online newsroom is not only for journalists.
It hasn't been for quite some time and although a sticky subject for some organizations, it is undeniable. Content published on online newsrooms is being consumed by journalists, yes, but also by investors, analysts, customers and potential customers, employees and future employees, students, researchers, vendors, clients and partners. A much larger audience, and also an audience equipped more than likely with LinkedIn, Facebook, and possibly Twitter accounts that can be very influential in sharing your news to their networks.
In our 2012 Online Newsroom Survey Report and 2012 Social Media News Survey Report, we found that the "news consumer" is active, digitally savvy, and using social media, mobile technologies, corporate websites and online newsrooms to monitor, read, and share news. About you and your organization.
With this idea in mind, we took a look at four online newsrooms that have integrated with social media. They have begun to "socialize their online newsroom" in an effort to extend the reach of their content out beyond just journalists and into social media. There are some basics ways to socialize an online newsroom, and then there are more advanced features. These five organizations provide a good mixture of both.
The American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society has long been among the gold-standards for online newsrooms containing a robust collection of press materials, media relations contacts (always in demand), executive biographies and other pertinent information. What makes this site great is where they go beyond the standard offering to include integrated blogs, embedded video, and are thoroughly ingrained into social networks such as Facebook, Twitter (more than 8 accounts), YouTube and have mobile apps. Each of these accounts is active and the integration from within the online newsroom helps centralize everything. Additionally, they employ a "fixed footer" linkbar with direct links to their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts and a link to a "Dr. Len's Cancer Blog" RSS feed.
With everything from customized social media icons to integrated Twitter feeds to a dedicated Twitter account for news, Vail and all eleven of their other online newsroom brands (Heavenly, Kirkwood, etc.) have managed to not only integrate their online newsroom with their social media channels, but have embedded features from their social networks into the online newsroom. As seen below, Vail has created a dedicated @VailResortsNEWS Twitter feed that acts as a social channel for the media relations team. Select one of the other properties (Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, or SSV) and you instantly get a refreshed online newsroom with news, videos, story ideas, photos, and embedded Twitter feed. The complete site is loaded with photos, videos, news releases and most importantly, the site and social media accounts are updated frequently.
The Coca-Cola press center does a great job of presenting a very visual and interactive online newsroom that is clearly focused on many audiences. All of their news releases and company articles have photos or images and they have integrated their Twitter account right into the home page of the online newsroom. Another nice feature is that they have created multiple RSS feeds for subscription. Instead of forcing RSS subscribers to get every single news announcement, Coca-Cola has segmented their feeds into topics such as environment, marketing, community, and awards. This allows RSS subscribers to only get the information they want, which is certainly a best practice.
One of the best integration points is in their Image Gallery and A/V Center where they offer hundreds of images available for download and for sharing. One of the key components of successfully integrating social media into your online newsroom is giving people the ability to share their content easily with their social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others. The Coca-Cola online newsroom also lets visitors share content via email, which is a nice additional feature.
The Intel Online Newsroom, dubbed the Free Press, is a leading example of not only how to integrate social media but also how to create content aimed at more than just journalists. The site makes it easy to follow Intel on various social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube and also has a mobile app available for download.
The newsroom breaks down the content by category including hardware and software. Also included are some interesting topics entitled "Future Now" and "Bits 'N Bytes" which showcase multimedia rich news stories from professional in-house writers, utilizing a concept called brand journalism.
In a recent interview with Patrick Darling, who heads up Intel's Communications team on this initiative, I asked about Intel's online newsroom and integration with social media and Patrick offered that the "real drive for this integration came several years ago when Facebook and Twitter were really starting to get popular, we wanted to adjust and figure out how we could take advantage of those social networks to help spread our news."
That statement from Patrick Darling at Intel pretty much sums up the idea of leveraging your online newsroom with the power of distribution that social media provides to create a one-stop digital communications center for your organization - a socialized online newsroom. Hopefully these four examples of organizations finding unique ways to integrate social media into their online newsroom will help get some of your own ideas flowing and provide you with some ideas on how you can integrate your online newsrooms with social media.