Must-Haves for an Effective Digital Newsroom

Must-Haves for an Effective Digital Newsroom

The changing media landscape demands that journalists work more quickly with fewer resources. As a result, 92% of journalists use corporate websites for research when writing an article involving the business.

Because journalists tend to work on tight deadlines as one-man-bands, having clear, accurate information that is readily available on your website can support their need for efficiency and give your business a competitive advantage for news coverage. However, most corporate newsrooms fail to meet the needs of journalists, with a dismal 6% meeting their expectations.

Here’s how to create an engaging digital newsroom that will narrows the divide between information access and media exposure:

What Should Your Digital Newsroom Include?

A digital newsroom is an information hub located on your business’s website that showcases its brand image and newsworthiness. While consolidating important resources can be beneficial to any of your website’s visitors, it is particularly useful to journalists who provide media coverage for your business.

Providing journalists with all the information they need in one place is the best way to obtain killer media coverage. Make sure your digital newsroom includes the following five key elements in a user-friendly, searchable format so journalists can easily access important information about your business:

  • About Us: Perhaps the most important page of your website, the “About Us” section should portray your business’s unique identity. At its most basic, the page must communicate what your business does and why. But it may also include humanizing aspects, such as a compelling startup story, relevant statistics or video of your process.
  • Content: Share compelling content about your business, such as a press release whenever your business has a newsworthy update to communicate. Press releases should be organized by the date they were published and contain accurate, concise information. If your content marketing strategy includes a blog (which it should!), it acts like an extension of the “About Us” section because the content is a reflection of your business’s capabilities and areas of expertise. Case studies, white papers and infographics should also be included in this section.
  • Multimedia: Provide high-resolution images of your business’s logo, products, employees or other shots that may be relevant to publish alongside an article about your business. Video and audio may also be included for journalists to embed into online articles.
  • Media Mentions: A vault of past media placements gives journalists an idea of how other reporters have covered your business in the past. Creating a permanent home for media hits also extends their impact because visitors can easily access the articles and appreciate the third-party look at your business.
  • Contact Information: Include the phone number and email address of your business’s media spokesperson or head of public relations—this is critical in case a journalist needs additional information for his or her article. In addition, offer an option to opt-in to emails about future business updates.
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How to Promote Your Digital Newsroom

First of all, it’s important to know that busy journalists are not going to go on a wild goose chase for basic information about your business, so making sure to isolate your digital newsroom in its own easy-to-locate tab on your website is a necessary first step.

Next, make sure to include a direct link to your digital newsroom when pitching to media. If journalists see that you have already provided most of the information they need to write a story upfront, they will be more inclined to accept your media pitch and ultimately publish a story about your business.

Finally, take the time to regularly update your newsroom and drive visitors to it by sharing new content across your business’s social media channels, newsletter or email listserv.

Examples of Effective Newsrooms

Below are a few examples of different organizations with digital newsrooms that are sure to get the attention of the media:

  • B2B: Cisco’s website features a tab for press releases on its top menu bar, which links to a chronological log of business updates. A sidebar on the right of the page provides quick links to the company’s media contacts, logo use request form, and downloadable photos and corporate b-roll.
  • Nonprofit: The American Hiking Society’s media center is ultra-accessible because it offers press kits for specific events, rather than one general resource. It also includes a contact form, recent press releases, a hiking blog and a media-specific Twitter account.
  • Professional Services: Fisher Phillips’s newsroom presents a repository of detailed resources that are vital to helping reporters gage the complexity of labor and employment law. Plus, it’s searchable, so journalists can easily find exactly what they need. Every section in its newsroom also lists a specific contact person to reach out to for additional inquiries.

Public relations is a powerful tool for building brand awareness, and creating a resourceful digital newsroom is an essential first step to building an effective strategy.

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About The Author

As a content marketer, copywriter and brand strategist who operates in both the clouds and the dirt, Katie Casciato leverages the art of storytelling to develop and execute strategic marketing campaigns that generate tangible results for our B2B, professional services, corporate and non-profit clients. Her background includes content creation, digital marketing, PR, content marketing and media relations.