How to Build a Media Friendly Online Newsroom
According to research by WebsiteHostingRating.com, as of January 2019 there were over 1.94 billion websites in cyber space. And the number is rising daily. To maximise the chances of getting your business noticed, you need to do everything you can to improve your visibility and reputation. A great way to do this is with an online newsroom or press centre.
What’s an online newsroom?
An online newsroom is a section on your website dedicated to your PR activities. It’s the first place journalists and bloggers go to find out information about you. If you don’t have one, you could be missing out on precious coverage.
Why you need an online newsroom
1. Control your story
In our 24/7 news culture, real news travels fast. Fake news travels even faster. Misinformation can escalate into a full-blown crisis if it’s not controlled. Your newsroom is the place to tell your side of the story, and correct false stories before they get out of hand.
If a crisis hits or you suffer a public embarrassment, journalists will look to your newsroom for a response, or for the contact details of the person who can give a response. Make sure it’s there.
2. Earn trust
A professional newsroom will give your website credibility. And when your website is seen as a credible resource, journalists are more likely to contact you for quotes or opinions. This can lead to valuable PR.
The key to building trust with reporters is keeping your newsroom updated with unique, engaging and helpful content.
3. Highlight your awesomeness
Your newsroom is your virtual awards cabinet. It’s the place to show the media how awesome you are by including details of awards you win, big clients or jobs you secure, charity initiatives you spearhead and anything else that shows your business in a positive light. The more good stuff you include, the more credibility you earn.
4. Boost your search engine rankings
As well as attracting journalists, the other benefit to keeping your newsroom updated is search engine optimisation. Every time you make an update to your website, the search engines take notice and often re-arrange your site’s ranking. So if you want to increase the chances of your website getting higher up the SERPs, you need to stay on top of your newsroom with fresh, regular content.
What should be in your online newsroom?
1. A boilerplate
A boilerplate is essentially a description of who you are and what you do. It should be short, to the point, easy to understand and interesting to read. Boilerplates are typically tagged on to the end of press releases. Check out this example from MediaTek, a Taiwan based semiconductor manufacturer. It ticks all the boxes.
2. Links to media coverage
Have you bagged any magazine or newspaper coverage? Have you done any media interviews on TV or radio? If the answer is yes, it all needs to go in your press centre. Coverage breeds coverage and showcases your credibility with other reporters and bloggers.
3. An image gallery
Make sure you include high-quality pictures of your logo, products, corporate office and key executives. Photos and graphics that exhibit some creativity will get far more use. Car brand Porsche, for example, develops and engineers beautiful cars. And this carries through to their online newsroom. High quality, beautiful images of their cars are used throughout.
Having access to high-quality images makes a journalist’s job a whole lot easier.
4. Multimedia content
People like to absorb information in different ways. So, give them a choice. Upload videos of customer case studies, audio files of your company history and eye-catching infographics. Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola uses multimedia to great effect. It has a large library of video content, and makes good use of infographics to highlight key company information.
5. Breaking news
Publishing breaking news in addition to standard news releases will show your company is out in front on important stories.
6. Social sharing
Make social sharing an integral feature of your online newsroom. When journalists find content in a press centre, they sometimes like to share the link directly with their audience. Make it easy for them.
When was the last time you looked at your online newsroom? Put yourself in the shoes of a busy journalist or blogger and visit your own site. Would you be able to find what you’re looking for? What information is most compelling? What can you do to improve the experience?