While it may seem natural to think of our online newsrooms as only reaching a national or local audience, statistics are increasingly showing that there is considerable interest in news content from around the globe. Multi-national organizations such as Toyota and Starbucks; smaller companies like Vail Resorts; and even non-profit organizations have all embraced the idea of extending their communications to handle global needs.
This means non-English press releases available within an online newsroom (a no-brainer), targeted regional Twitter accounts (Whole Foods has more than 300), and even dedicated country pages (Ford Motor Company does a good job of managing international content.) It means creating a platform for your online newsroom and distribution that includes the handling of translated content, international distribution and media contact lists, and the ability to let visitors search by language, when applicable.
While there are many great examples of companies utilizing non-English online newsrooms and integrated country pages, I thought I would provide some examples of clients that I am most familiar with to show some different ways to handle globalization of your news.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals is a great place to start. They have centralized their online newsroom to act as the primary headquarters for all of their news content around the world, including Africa, Thailand, Brazil, and 14 other international locations. Their primary international online newsroom provides photos, videos and individual campaign press kits and their foreign sites offer translated news releases, such as this non-English press release on their Brazilian newsroom. In addition, they provide international media contacts, RSS feeds, and email alerts as a way to better manage the distribution of their news. By centralizing their international efforts in one easy-to-use online newsroom, they can quickly offer non-English content at a moment's notice.
While even the most basic of online newsrooms will allow for non-English news releases, some companies take it to the next level. Ford Motor Company offers Country Pages on its online newsroom, creating a separate "mini-site" for more than 30 countries around the world. This gives journalists and news consumers a way to bookmark their particular country of interest and stay up-to-date on the latest news from Ford by region. Each of the country sites contains financial news, press kits, product specific news, and other translated information. Creating a dedicated section for individual languages allows content administrators to easily manage the site and provides an easy-to-navigate interface for news consumers in various countries.
Integrating social media into your online newsroom can also help you manage your global connections and distribution points. As I mentioned earlier, Whole Foods maintains more than 300 Twitter accounts across countries, product lines and news subjects. Another example of an organization integrating their online newsroom with social media and providing global content is Toyota. The social media landing page located on their online newsroom provides one-stop access to a variety of their social networks, including their international Twitter accounts. Toyota maintains a network of Twitter accounts including Canada, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and many others. Each account is tailored and targeted toward the specific region it represents. Another international corporation - Starbucks - has integrated social media into their global communications plan as well with Twitter accounts in the UK, Spain, Mexico, Malaysia and several other countries. By tailoring and targeting your Twitter accounts to a particular region you are able to distribute the social workload across your team and provide a closer connection to interested consumers or potential clients.
Integrating a global communications strategy takes a lot of work. At a bare minimum consider having your online newsroom be able to handle non-English news releases and other content. For more ambitious efforts think about creating special country pages with translated content and navigation for individual countries and linking regional Twitter accounts to better maximize distribution. People are visiting your online newsroom from around the world. Ensuring that your content can be easily found and read by those visitors - in their language - is critical to maintaining a solid global communications plan.
Full Disclosure: Several organizations mentioned in this article are clients of my company, TEKGROUP International. Thanks for reading!