If you’ve worked in PR long enough, you’ve probably helped a client or employer revamp or create an online newsroom. It’s one of the staples of our profession.
And you’ve probably read a post or two about the basic elements that should be in that newsroom.
All of that is good, but the concept of an online newsroom has changed in the last few years. Media has shifted, and the Web has morphed. Tools have become more democratized and plentiful. Web development is more affordable.
It’s time to update our expectations for what an online newsroom should be in today’s digital age.
I started looking at what the leaders in the industry are doing when it comes to online newsrooms, and I found a number of interesting developments.
Take a peek at the concepts these newsrooms are implementing to connect with media and other publishers and influencers online:
The American Cancer Society
1. Use multimedia with source information:
I love how the American Cancer Society features a video full of interesting statistics and data that the media and publishers can use in stories and posts. (The video is embeddable since it’s on YouTube).
2. Feature blogs on the home page:
This might seem obvious, but don’t forget to feature your corporate blogs on the home page of your online newsroom. In this case, it’s Dr. Len’s Cancer blog and the ACS Pressroom Blog. These blogs are full of dynamic content that’s added regularly; they’re good sources of information and additional story ideas for media and publishers.
3. Organize by topic:
Coke’s newsroom is incredibly easy to navigate. In large part, that’s thanks to the search-by-topic drop-down menus you find throughout the newsroom. This might seem basic, but it’s a quality of the future for most online newsrooms.
4. Organize by text, audio/video and photo assets:
Again, Coke makes it easy for you to find what you need when you visit its newsroom. These days, that means more than just news releases, though. Think audio, video and images that are all searchable by topic.
5. Make the newsroom searchable by media type:
Red Bull allows you to search the entire newsroom by media type right at the top of the page. Search by videos, photos or stories. This is simple, but brilliant.
6. Use icons to make photos and videos easy to find:
Note the little icons below each story. They are signals that show you how many photos and videos each story includes. What a great idea, right? It’s an easy way to quickly find what you need. Just click, download and you’re gone.
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this article originally ran on his blog, Communications Conversations.