Social media. Content marketing. Brand journalism. You are probably familiar with these ideas within the communications industry. I'd like to add one more to the list - online newsroom. By creating a stand-alone, news-centric website dedicated to what is happening within your organization, inside your partners and suppliers organizations, and around your industry as a whole, you can accomplish many things.
First, you establish a digital archive of press, communications, and marketing materials for your organization - giving reporters, bloggers, enthusiasts, and researchers 24x7 access to the essence of your brand, the window into your company's vision.
Second, with search engines accounting for such a large part of referring traffic to websites, an online newsroom gives you another outlet for people to find you. By including direct links to your organization's other website efforts such as the corporate site, E-commerce sites, Facebook and Twitter accounts, you help build relevancy and can increase your ranking in the search engines.
Finally, by creating an online newsroom, you open up all of your valuable communications content (news stories, videos, images, subject matter experts, corporate history, investor relations financial information, and events) to the world of social media. In one of our recent social media research reports, we found that there are an increasing number of people that are relying on social media to find and share news. By infusing social media into your online newsroom, you are able to engage directly with your potential customers, existing customers, as well as analysts, investors and the press. Social media can become the distribution platform for your online newsroom.
With an online newsroom, you can centralize your communications efforts, making it easy for anyone interested in learning more about your products and your organization to do so. Social media can provide a platform to extend your distribution efforts and allow you to reach new audiences directly. The social media online newsroom gives you the ultimate opportunity to present your organization's story to all audiences, cost-effectively and efficiently.
Below are some tips for creating a better online newsroom:
- Create news stories and features for people other than just journalists. Investors, analysts, partners, potential customers, existing customers, and brand loyalists all are interested in stories about your organization.
- Provide immediate contact with a corporate spokesperson at trade shows or big events. Use iCHAT or create a chat format on Twitter highlighting your event.
- Ensure that you setup an analytics package (such as Google Analytics) to provide you with statistics on traffic, content, and other valuable insights about your website.
- Test your online newsroom on a multitude of browsers (Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and mobile devices to ensure compatibility and legibility to a wide audience.
- Create a gallery of official corporate and product logos as well as detailed product shots.
- Establish a dedicated news Twitter account for your news and use it to publish information automatically from your online newsroom; monitor this account frequently to address any questions people may have.
- Create accounts with social media news aggregation sites such as StumbleUpon and Reddit to increase exposure of your news content.
- Make sure to include email address, phone number, and corporate social accounts of all media contacts.
- Offer translated releases available to foreign countries as part of your online newsroom.