Archive for November, 2010

Not Just for Giants

Online newsrooms are clearly a part of a major corporation’s PR strategy, as they have a lot of information that needs to be organized in the public sphere.  Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are among the best practitioners of the media tool.

However, the tool can prove to be helpful not just the big players in the game.  Smaller companies can benefit from putting their content online in an organized fashion in order to gain media attention.

Jeremy Porter did a follow up to “How to Build a Better Online Newsroom” with “Part II“, and explores example of the best practices of smaller businesses.  He examines software company HubSpot.  Their most helpful aspect of their site is the chronological list of news coverage, complete with links, which he sees as a great tool for journalists and bloggers.  Atlanta-based MailChimp is an email marketing software company.  They do a good job with supplying customer facts, which tend to impress a journalist visiting the site.  They also have a “Most Popular Articles” section that also attracts journalists writing about the field.

Smaller businesses may not have the manpower or budget to create an online newsroom.  Fortunately, there are ways around this.  eReleases, a press release distributing site, offers free eNewsroom service to their existing clients.  Their belief was in the 80% of their client base that did not have the resources to keep up with the technology.  They set up the newsroom with their client’s brand, free of charge and subscription fees.  This is one way to help smaller companies from lagging behind the industry giants.

Another important way to utilize newsrooms is to stick to your industry.  When you are a smaller company, newsrooms can be used to focus on the market itself.  The Imperial Sugar Company does this well; the newsroom is a extensive forum for the entire sugar refining industry.  This brings them media attention from other similar companies, and shows their dedication in the field.

The PR business is changing, and not just for corporate giants.  Smaller businesses can learn from the larger ones, and adapt similar tactics.  Increasing technology, like free newsroom services, will only help all businesses increase transparency and stay current.

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The Social Media Newsroom- An evolution of the online newsroom

The importance of social media in society has certainly changed the nature of PR.  The growing popularity of these sites has shifted where and how news and content is distributed among companies.  First, the online newsroom was a place where journalists could have access to press releases, biographies, and links to a company’s social media tools.  With the implementation of corporate social media strategies comes the new development of the social media newsroom (SMNR).

The idea of the SMNR aligns with the high usage of the social media press release.  The traditional press release is changing; content is not simply viewed through the single website of one corporation.  Readers view feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and others.  Since journalists are expected to now find content this way, companies must make shifts to organize the information

In 2008, Deltina Hay’s post “Social Media Newsrooms: The Ultimate Web 2.0 Tool for Your Business” understood the need for this new development.  She notes the real advantage of using interaction with social sites.  Technorati, Digg, del.icio.us are ways to utilize social bookmarking and RSS feeds.  Still true in 2010, Social Media Strategist Sally Falkow explains that PR professionals need to see this change, and present their information in a clear concise manner for journalists.  She suggests certain criteria to what include on the newsroom.

  • Links to social content
  • Everything should be in social media format
  • Multimedia
  • Use Search Engine Optimization
  • RSS feeds
  • Provide embedding codes on content for journalists and bloggers

Sites like Press-feed offer services to companies on how to create their own online newsroom.  While they still offer the traditional newsroom format, the premium SMNR offers the most features for content uploading.  It makes it simple to upload a social media news release, and works with social media sites like Twitter to pull feeds on the site.  Here is an example of what a SMNR could look like.

SMNRs have proven to be useful for journalists, by making content easily printable and already uploaded.  The Reputationobserver Blog see these sites all you need for effective news coverage.  Since they are relatively new in development, there is a lack of hard research to prove the sites successful.  However, bloggers and PR strategist agree that the tools in SMNRs help journalists do their job.  The technology will continue to be used more as the direction of PR tends to lean toward social media.

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Twitter: Lazy News or Help to Journalists?

For journalists, the implications of Twitter have revolutionized a lot about the field.  The timeliness of the news cycle has become narrower as news can travel within seconds of the event.  This poses both new challenges and advantages for journalists; who can use Twitter to cover stories as they happen.

News organizations are highly utilizing Twitter as a outlet for information.  In Lauren Oliver’s post on the 100 Most Influential News Media Accounts, she notes the Wall Street Journal, BBC’s Breaking News, ESPN, and The New York Times are all within the top 25.  These accounts also hold a large number of Twitter followers.  CNN’s Breaking News account has well over 3 million followers.  However, she also adds that it is the quality of the posts, not the followers, which lead an account’s real influence.

CNN's Breaking News Twitter Page

 

Twitter can be a help to journalists, who follow a news site to stay constantly updated with the news of the moment.  Since Twitter does not have any real predecessors, it contains different approaches to how journalists look at it. Jeremy Porter’s post “How to Build a Better Online Newsroom“, highlights the close relations of Twitter as a main media source, and the closeness of journalists to the site.  He also claims a company’s Twitter accountant should always be linked on the online newsroom for easy access.

Another way Twitter can serve as a tool for journalists is through posts to press releases.  Journalists use press releases for story ideas and information.  This site has changed the normal functions of a press release, by creating free content for users.  “Distributing Your Press Release By Using Twitter” describes the press releases as the same PR ideas, just condensed to 140 characters.

With every new technology, there are always skeptics unsure of the real influence of the medium.  Kate Day questions whether these briefs snippets are decreases the quality of journalism.  Organizations are losing control over their content, since Twitter allows citizens to upload and post material.  She concludes in her post the importance of an open media.  The Internet opens door for every news outlet, and it is true this shift may create a more informed society.

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