Building An Online Newsroom
It goes by many names…”online newsroom,” “media page,” “press releases,” “digital newsroom”…but whatever you call it, the digital section of a website where you share PR items needs to be useful and pretty. Are you curious about what’s needed for creating a successful online newsroom? Well, then, this one’s for you!
Online newsrooms are valuable so let’s make sure yours is working for you. You may think you’re a PR pro and are adept at making journalists’ lives easier, but they disagree. According to a recent survey, over 50% of journalists visit the online newsroom section of an organization’s website once a week. It’s expected that organization’s will have an online newsroom and guess what? Journalists are hoping, nay, expecting, to find a lot more than just your company’s news releases.
What should be included in an online newsroom? Let’s dive right in!
Your online newsroom is your digital filing cabinet and should include the following items:
- News releases (I said they want more than news releases, not that news releases aren’t necessary to include. Breaking news items and coverage from other outlets also need to be included.)
- Visual assets (Think about adding headshots of the head honchos! And remember – anything you include online needs to be of print-quality resolution.)
- Messaging guide (A style guide or messaging guide are SO helpful. If you have a certain way you want your company referred to or your logo should only be used in a certain direction, let people know. I personally like Charity Water‘s media kit and branding guidelines.)
- Media contacts (Pretty basic, but who should people get in touch with if they have follow up questions? According to PR Newswire, journalists often complain about not being able to find the public relations contacts on a website.)
- Executive bios (Let the media know who the execs are.)
- Concise information on the products, services, or mission of your organization (Your online newsrooms is all about having the important information in one place. Be sure to highlight the most important features of your company so there’s no question about what you do.)
Readily available news releases, company info, and digital assets: Seems pretty simple, right? But you don’t want to be just like everybody else.
These features will help raise your newsroom from blah to amazing:
- Search function – Help visitors quickly find the information they’re after by building the ability to search within the newsroom itself. Easy access to your archives is a really nice touch.
- Filters – Add filters so that users can find info. or news releases by topic, date, or product.
- Email signup – Make it easy for PR folks to contact your organization or receive email news alerts. Nowadays, many people prefer to receive news via email.
- Background info – Again, make it easy on visitors by providing an educational section on the history and milestones of the company – a fast facts page, if you will.
- Social media links – Highlight your social channels or feature a compelling YouYube video! Let people know that you have a community beyond the website that you’d love them to be a part of.
Here’s another pro tip: focus on visuals. Subpar newsrooms lack images and video content. Ugly, boring, clunky sites will not attract readers. Get rid of the clutter and fill the space with videos, photos, and eye-catching headlines.
Lastly, simply make sure the information that is up there is accurate and up-to-date. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get in contact with someone only to find that the email isn’t right or the phone number is disconnected.
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It’s a wild web so if you’re unsure whether your website’s news area is up to snuff let us know. We’re here to help you build an outstanding online newsroom (or pretty much anything else web-related), so don’t hesitate to reach out!