Archive for category social media

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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Is Journalism Really Dying?

Many critics of online journalism and Web 2.o claim that the nature of true strong journalism is decreasing.  With all the junk out on the web, credible sources can be hard to find.  They also think the fast- paced, blog style of writing and resources does not provide the reader with quality information, and nothing is ever as good as the old way.

However, there is hope in our new technologies to suggest that the industry can be saved.

In fact, online newsrooms can enhance journalism.  Since companies are going public with all their important information, journalists do not need to pull teeth for financial reports or even be at formal press releases.  They can simply watch the video online, and at their own leisure.

Journalists are making good use of their online resources, thanks to Web 2.o technologies.  According to PRCoach.com, journalists agree that their field is benefiting from the new practices.  The use of social media is also affecting the future of the profession.  The use of social media is high among journalists, at around 70%.  This increases communication between the companies and the people that report on them.  Journalists read corporate blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts and ‘follow’ or friend the companies they research on Twitter or Facebook.  This interactivity is different from past practices, and creates a better flow of key information.

Journalists know they cannot do it all alone.  There is evidence to suggest companies are working with journalists to provide them with the tools they need to do their job correctly.  Justin Pettigrew and Bryan Reber did a study on how Fortune 500 companies utilize online press rooms.  They looked specifically at the easy-to-use features on the websites.  A good feature is contact information. 58% of the sites contained PR contacts.  This makes it easy for journalist to have further communication with a company, and create a stronger personal relationship.   The press rooms also had a key factor, frequent updates.  92% contain press releases within the last 30 days.  This tool gives journalists the most current news, as well past information to learn more.  45% of these sites contained a press release search engine, to make looking through archives quick and easy.

There is obvious evidence that all of this information can only help true journalism.  An interesting thing I hope to research next week is the high use of Twitter among journalists.  I want to further develop ideas on this topic, and see the advantages/disadvantages of the microblog.  Stay tuned!

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