Introduction to Online Newsrooms

Online newsrooms have developed as another outlet for a company’s online communication.  The resource mostly on a company’s main site, and is a way for journalists to sort through and check up on media outlets of a company.  It serves as an organized point to access information.  Companies like Microsoft have an interactive page, complete with links to corporate blogs, video/podcasts, press releases, and financial reports.  This makes it very easy for journalists to have a centralized access point in order to research and report on company activities.

There are criteria to what good online newsrooms should include.  Although companies are different, the services they provide to journalists are very consistent.  In this video, Pete Codella of Codella Marketing explains the list of what an online newsroom needs to include.  He takes note of the list of basic contents:

  • Contact Info
  • Press Releases
  • Press Kits
  • Executive Bios
  • Links

There are additional trends companies follow.  According to Bill Stoller of PublicityInsider.com adds that companies either have the newsroom accessible on their main site, or as a separate page.  An example is Microsoft’s easily accessible as a link at the bottom of the microsoft.com page.  Stoller also suggests not making journalists sign in to the information, as it makes it difficult on their already hard job.  The interesting part about the lack of user log-in is that the information is not only available to journalists, but by anyone with a computer.  The everyday user of the web has access to this plethora of information.  Talk about transparency!  This offers to perhaps even change the nature of journalists; they do not need to be employed by a media corporation to have inside access to write a good story.  In fact, almost any of us could do it along with other research.

On the contrary, Stoller does note the traditional press kit isn’t dead.  This is true with most forms of the media we learned about; there are always people who prefer to go the old school way.  They may not be laggards, but instead those who like to keep their credibility consistent with the old way of doing things.  Still, it looks like newsrooms play a large role in today’s journalism.  Just like corporate blogs, it is important to see who does it right.  Microsoft, Google, and Crayola are example of those companies that have taken the initiative to get ahead.

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  1. #1 by Lindsay Callahan on October 5, 2010 - 1:30 AM

    It’s interesting to see the differences between Google’s newsroom versus Microsoft’s. Google’s takes the typical Google setup and design–consistency I think continues to make Google more and more credible. Although Microsoft’s newsroom is more eye-catching and interactive, Google is at least sticking to it’s classic, user-friendly roots. Both sites have incredible resources and great information for journalists.

    Another credible and well-done newsroom is Apple (http://www.apple.com/pr/). They have an awesome helpline that I have actually utilized before and they post their latest press releases.

    Hope this helps!

    • #2 by Christine Berghorn on October 5, 2010 - 3:15 AM

      Interesting ideas Lindsay. I suppose Google is going along with their simple design technique. Thanks for the Apple example; it’s also very good. We’ve learned Apple to be a transparent company, and it also looks like Apple has kept their consistent brand in their PR newsroom. It seems focused on Press Releases, which i guess makes sense in reference to new product developments and announcements.

  2. #3 by Tim Dietz on October 5, 2010 - 10:54 PM

    Design aside, I think this is a pretty neat concept. But I have a question – you say that newsrooms provide a central point for journalists to do their research. Are these newsrooms really intended for journalists, or do they have a duty to dig deeper? These seem similar to VNR’s in a sense that what the company considers “news” and what is actually news depends on how you look at it. A lot of your examples file the newsrooms under the PR category, not marketing… but I would argue that online newsrooms could be considered a marketing effort as well. Either way, they’re clearly useful to corporations and I look forward to reading more

  3. #5 by Angela Marino on October 8, 2010 - 8:42 PM

    Great analysis and information regarding newsrooms. I think the press kit will never be dead as you mentioned. They way they will be delivered will definitely change though. Electronic folders neatly containing contact information, resumes and bios or mission statements are moving to be the norm. I have found that artists are using the electronic press kit instead of the traditional way of mailing them. This is less cumbersome and focuses on sustainability. One website, http://www.powerpresskits.com/power_electronic_press_kits/whos_who.aspx, complies press kits for artists in a creative user friendly way. I personally like the idea of doing it through email because it is easier than having a box on my desk of cds and pictures in binders or folders.

  4. #6 by Melissa Williams on October 10, 2010 - 7:46 PM

    After reading your post I immediately went online and googled whether or not non-profits had media news rooms. They do! Here is an interesting example ,http://www.pitchengine.com/newsroom.php?id=9950. It is a newsroom specifically for non-profit film producers. Seems a very segmented niche group but they had tons of news. That is so interesting to me! Thank you for such an interesting and informing post. This concept has just opened a whole new outlet in which non-profits and corporations could really get their news out to the right people. What an effective marketing idea.

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