These days, every company must be a publisher.
As traditional news outlets shrink, organizations are learning to tell their stories in a journalistic fashion through text, photographs, infographics, videos and other means.
Yet in pursuing that mandate, organizations mustn’t overlook a related task: to ease the job of journalists and bloggers by making newsrooms as reporter-friendly as possible.
“They have to, because there are fewer and fewer reporters are out there, fewer people that can tell their story for them,” says Tom Foremski, a former Financial Times journalist who publishes the influential Silicon Valley Watcher blog.
There’s a lot of information out there, and if you don’t provide what reporters, bloggers or others need, they are likely to snag non-corporate images or pull videos from YouTube, says David Erickson, vice president of online marketing for the Minneapolis public relations agency Karwoski & Courage.
Here are some ways to do that:
Many communicators—perhaps most—have experience in journalism. Give your site a look-over with the eyes of a harried reporter on deadline. These days journalists have even tighter deadlines than in the past, and some produce as many as five or six stories or updates a day.
“If you have a newsroom that’s a mess, they’re not going to spend very much time looking around for what they need,” Foremski says.
Foremski has long called for organizations to “deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information,” so that writers can pre-assemble some of news story and make the information useful.
Can an industry blogger quickly find boilerplate about your company? Do you provide financial information in many different formats for that business reporter? Do you offer publishable graphics and photographs of your products? Are names and photos of your officers and experts available?
By contrast, are your press releases in a PDF that prevent writers from cutting and pasting quotes and figures? That slows the writer and increases the likelihood of inaccuracies.
Is information updated and are names spelled correctly? Few things bother a reporter more than getting a phone call from an organization requesting a correction on information taken from the official website.
At Nissan Motor Corp., newsroom staffers strive to post interesting assets that news media outlets can use, says Brad Nevin, editor-in-chief for global communications website platforms. The challenge is to give it editorial integrity and not have it look like a glossy marketing brochure that journalists and bloggers might not wish to use.
At the same time, images and video must be dynamic. If Nevin just slapped up text and staid photographs, “I think it would put a lot of people to sleep,” he says.
A recent story noted that Nissan will become the first Japanese carmaker to compete in the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E racing championship. The story included interviews, behind-the-scenes video, and cinemagraphs, or images with motion that plays in a loop.
The approach, Nevin says, is, “How can we make our stories rich and colorful? We use the video. We use the cinemagraph. We use the sound files. We use the social media video. We use the Instagram series of images.” Nissan encourages industry publications to grab and use what they like.
People won’t visit your newsroom if you haven’t posted since last August. Besides, search engines will decide you aren’t a player in your field if you don’t update regularly.
“Google loves active pages,” Foremski says. “They’re not going to index your pages if you update it every two months.”
There’s a reason: How often posts are uploaded can tell you about how active a company is, he says. Regular updates also help you build a readership that’s interested in your industry.
“It’s good to keep the frequency going,” Nevin says, “and then that trains people to come back and see what’s new.”
When a company as significant as Google announces quarterly results, journalists and bloggers around the world write up the news. Often they search newsrooms and archives looking for different angles or color they can add, Foremski says.
Corporate newsrooms often have a search engine that scans the entire website, rather than searching a narrower field relevant to journalists, such as the newsroom assets, says Erickson.
When creating a press release, think multimedia, he adds. Offer audio clips of quotes from your spokespersons for podcasters, video for other media, he suggests.
For organizations doing business internationally, the added complexity of a globalizing economy and the need to communicate with different audiences in different geographical locations, time zones, and languages makes it a challenge of serious proportions.
This ebook is an introduction to the basics for running a newsroom for international audiences. The 4 chapters reflect the impact of technology and the growing influence of social media on modern PR and media relations strategies.
PressPage provides the global newsrooms for Toyota, CBRE, Velux, Logitech, Mercedes, EPSON and many more. In talking to our clients, we have selected four interesting topics:
Part 1 - Searching for El Dorado
Making your newsroom findable and accessible for international audiences.
Part 2 - Showcase your global media contacts
Getting personal will set you apart from the crowd when building better media relations.
Part 3 - When it comes to content… Go local!
Why your global newsroom should localize content as much as possible.
Part 4 - 'Mobilizing' your newsroom
An essential part for a smooth running global newsroom is optimizing it for mobile visitors.
Bart: “Here’s what hasn’t changed: The first press release was written by Ivy Lee in 1906. He represented the Pennsylvania Railroad when one of their trains derailed off a bridge in Atlantic City, causing more than 50 deaths. That was 112 years ago and guess what? In this digital age, many, many brands are still using press releases to connect their stories to media outlets. Some just use press releases as website content. It’s hard to believe.”
Jeff: “Our friend Dan Lyons, working at Hubspot at the time, found this stat: In 1980, the ratio of PR professionals to journalists in the United States was 1.2 to 1. By 2010, three decades later, there were four PR professionals for every journalist in the U.S.
It’s just a fact of life. Fewer reporters are employed by fewer media outlets with far more fragmentation in the audience space than ever. The world has changed.”
Bart: “Demise is probably a little too strong. News reporting is going to be around a long time. It serves an important social need and legacy media like the Washington Post are showing that really good journalism can make a publication viable even in today’s fragmented market. The print edition of the New York Times alone reaches more people than the Huffington Post, so great newsrooms can still live in this digital environment.”
Jeff: “I’m good with demise, and I blame the Associated Press. AP was an early, and substantial investor in natural language programming, a precursor technology now being perfected via Artificial Intelligence in the form of robot reporters.
Services like WordSmith, Wibbitz, News Tracer, Buzzbot and Heliograf are serving today as robot reporters – and they’re hastening the death of legacy media. Here’s a scary stat I read in Wired magazine regarding national election reporting: In November 2012, it took four employees at the Washington Post, 25 hours to compile and post a fraction of the election results. In 2016, Heliograf created more than 500 articles in the same time frame. Can we really expect news organizations to compete against that?”
Bart: “Bet on the ones who view reporters as customers, that is, who have digital newsrooms that make a reporters’ life much easier by helping them do their research much faster. Reporters are going to naturally gravitate to brands who are serving up content they can get to and use quickly.
Also, bet on the brands who get this: The audience now decides what “news” is. The audience now assesses how much news depth it wants. The audience determines when it will take news in, the format in which it will accept it and with whom they’ll share it.
Brands who understand these two sides of the same storytelling coin are going to prosper. Those still intent on faxing out press releases are going to be in trouble."
Jeff: “Bet on the ones that create content robot reporters will eat, then re-publish.”
Jeff: “It’s pretty clear – brands have to make their own news. That’s how they can reach an audience that cares about them, and to borrow a phrase from the scientist Stuart Kauffman, reach an adjacent possible audience that can be recruited in as a customer or interested stakeholder.”
Bart: “Content remains king but a digital newsroom is its queen. Through a digital newsroom, you’re displaying your own content and you’re using an integrated set of distribution tools, like email and social, to push a message to your subscribers. The content itself is rich enough to also pull in interested eyeballs, so the two-way transaction, along with the fact that the content is served up to reporters in a very friendly way, distinguishes a digital news room from simple content-push marketing.”
Jeff: “Content marketing isn’t much different from advertising – it’s always rainbows and unicorns – nothing but happy stuff. Brand journalism is the key to a killer digital newsroom. When a brand tells stories about itself, even ones that may be about difficult topics, they’re embracing a whole new level of authenticity. That’s very hard for brands to do – they’re too protective, too insulated – but authenticity is the key to relevant content people want to read vs. easily delete-able content that’s nothing but advertising in a different package.”
Bart: “Well, one START is diving deep into your audiences to find out what they care about. What interests do they have in your brand? Why should they read your stuff? With a good understanding of that, you’ll be able to create an editorial point-of-view against which you can develop content. If you don’t have this, then you’re as good as a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear you.”
Jeff: “I think brands, especially those who often find themselves inside of sensitive topics like labor practices, sustainability issues or even the ethical treatment of puppies and kitties, have to STOP putting themselves in front of reporter microphones where they’re exposed to knuckleball questions that have the potential to make them look stupid. Why create that kind of exposure? Take control of your news by making it, and breaking it yourself.”
As advertising and other marketing become less effective, content marketing is exploding. During this event, a panel of experts will discuss trends and effectiveness in corporate publishing strategies.
Foremski will entertain thoughts from:
Intel’s Ken Kaplan who has many lessons to share from a decade of innovative media initiatives at the world's largest chipmaker.
Fred Davis, Co-Founder of Wired Magazine and many other publications. He will share some of the publishing wisdom of Bill Ziff - who built the media giant Ziff-Davis by focusing on trust.
Dave Richardson from Impress Labs/KiteRocket, who will provide thoughts on how PR firms are becoming publishers.
And Bart Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of PressPage, who will provide insights on how the social newsroom is a key asset for self-managed and -operated web properties.
Come Tuesday April 17, 2018 at 6.15pm in the heart of North Beach San Francisco for an informal Media Salon. Location: 811 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94111-1507, United States.
During this webinar Bart Verhulst, Co-founder of PressPage and Niru Gupta, Newsroom Consultant, reveal the secrets for building, promoting and measuring a search engine optimized content strategy centered around your corporate newsroom or brand journalism site.
In this webinar, you will learn:
The changing role of PR in the digital world; from a cost to profit center
The impact of recent changes in social (i.e. Facebook) on your digital PR strategy
The subsequent importance of owned media property and SEO
Basics for a search engine optimized newsroom; content and platform
You can register now to save your seat. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with your own personal link to attend the webinar. Can't attend live? You should still register! We'll be sending out the recording to all registrants after the webinar.
Twitter recently announced a change in their product usage policies which limits the users’ ability to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts. You can read more about it here.
The main reason for Twitter to introduce this policy update, is to get better control over the amount of Twitter accounts that spam the same messages in the hope to reach more people.
To comply to these new policies, and prevent "enforcement actions" by Twitter, we have updated our account selection feature for Twitter. Here’s how it will affect your experience:
Adding a Single Twitter channel
If you have only a single Twitter account connected or only add one channel to a Release, you will not notice any difference.
Adding Multiple Twitter channels
If you have added a Twitter channel to your Release and have more Twitter accounts connected, you will be able to choose only one account to schedule and publish a post on. In case you want to publish the same message across multiple Twitter accounts, then you will need to wait until the previous message has been posted before you can add another one.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact Support.
Contact Statistics: You can now view a number of specific data points for each individual on a contact list. For each recipient you can see: which campaigns each recipient received, how many times they’ve opened a given campaign, and how many times they’ve clicked inside a particular campaign.
Date and location placeholder: When sending out a campaign based on a release, it is important to indicate the location and publication date of the release. Now you can select a placeholder to quickly add both to your email campaign.
Export Contact Lists: We have added the option to export one or multiple contact lists from PressPage Mail to a csv file, enabling you to use these files externally as well.
PressPage Mail UI update: Workflow update to enable adding contacts to a List when actively working in that List.
When new users log on to the platform for the first time, they now receive a tutorial which guides them through the platform. This allows us to ensure our new users are quickly up to speed with the platform. Existing users that have not logged in recently, can also run through this tutorial to freshen up their knowledge. There is an option to activate the tutorial within Account Settings.
Case recovery: Deleted Cases & Releases can be recovered easily from the Trash folder in the Case overview page. Deleting items from the Trash will delete them forever.
Want to stay on top of the latest developments? Be sure to check the roadmap in the main PressPage Manager menu (top-right corner) for upcoming functionalities!
Jackson Electric Membership Corp. had, one month before, gotten its newsroom up and running when tropical storm Irma battered northeast Georgia, where the company is based.
The storm knocked out power for half of the electrical cooperative’s 225,000 members, who were eager to know when the lights would go back on.
The switch last August to a dedicated hosting platform for Jackson EMC’s online newsroom proved fortuitous. It was off-site and therefore less susceptible to power outages and other local problems.
Handling the unexpected
In a world where accidents and unforeseen crises can swamp an organization’s newsroom within minutes, there are many advantages to hosting one’s newsroom on a dedicated platform, rather than on-site. With the emergence of networked computers known as the cloud, communicators can work from home and keep the site rolling on servers located far from the windstorm or other disaster.
That perilous storm more than once proved the value of a cloud-based newsroom platform, according to Cristina Armand, PR and digital marketing manager for Miami-Dade Aviation Department, which runs Miami International Airport.
When Irma brought its hurricane-force winds and flooding to southern Florida last September, the airport’s PressPage newsroom jumped from an average of 100 visitors a day the first week of the month to 11,432 visitors on Sept. 12, says Armand.
“It’s made a very big difference,” Armand says, “and I have seen an increase in traffic because of that.”
Jackson EMC saw similar boosts in traffic. During a major ice storm in 2015, the news site had 31,981 views. In 2017, the hurricane brought visits totaling 43,555, a 36 percent increase.
As Irma howled, Jackson EMC issued 19 press releases in five days and received 120 media inquiries. The newsroom helped get out the news in important ways.
A sleepover at work
The crisis kept communicators at work overnight for several days just to make sure they had access to all platforms. They grabbed a little sleep on cots from time to time, just to keep going.
The company’s PressPage newsroom, however, could have been managed elsewhere. It has the distinct advantage in that it is cloud-based.
“It’s accessible from home or when you’re traveling,” Sorrow says. “That’s something that we’ve used in times when it’s not a crisis.”
By contrast, Armand recalls being at another airport during a blackout. Because the servers were on-site and the website crashed, “they were not able to get news out,” she says.
Another helpful aspect of the platform is that during an outage, it’s easy to switch to “storm mode.” In such instances, the design changes to elevate key attributes that everyone is searching for, such as the power outage map, contact information and a link to report outages.
The power company’s platform also hosts information on its community goodwill-building efforts. Oddly enough, the electrical company is big on recipes (“which sounds a little bit crazy,” Sorrow concedes). The site serves as a repository of its cooking formulas and tips.
That dates to the company’s founding 80 years ago, when many of its clients were used to firing up a wood-burning stove. Jackson EMC even used to do in-home demonstrations of how to cook on newfangled appliances.
“Being an electrical cooperative, some of our early days were about teaching people in rural areas how to cook with electrical appliances,” Sorrow says. “Our members love those recipes. They love submitting them; they love talking about them.”
A good newsroom coordinates the distribution of news to email and social media contacts with the posting to websites, reducing the need for costly newswire distribution services.
The airport’s newsroom traffic from social media platforms increased by 27 percent after the site was launched. In November 2017, the newsroom helped MIA win the Peggy G. Hereford Award for excellence in airport marketing and communication.
All in all, a good off-site web platform helps communicators manage time when they have none to spare.
Andrew Brown, director of media relations and online content for Kalamazoo College, warns PR pros not to panic. He says:
The brand managers who are best at their jobs are data driven from the start. Stick to your social media plans, analyze the new data, and make adjustments where you see your reach slipping, assuming reach is your most important analytical target.
Here’s how brand managers can follow Brown’s advice—along with tips from other savvy communicators—and win with content despite the change in protocol:
1. Start with your own assets
Facebook is a crucial part of PR and marketing efforts, but that doesn’t mean PR pros should post content only there or on other platforms. Instead, start by crafting content on your organization’s newsroom or blog, and then tailor content to fit multiple channels outside your owned venues.
Brown says: If you don't yet have a blog, or if yours has been forgotten in your marketing strategy, get one going. They're vital for search engine optimization, audience engagement and contributing owned content to social media. They also can provide additional reach when content managers see it slipping.
A recent CooperKatz survey revealed that 45 percent of Facebook users in the United States glean their news from Facebook—and after the algorithm change, 65 percent said they’ll go directly to news sources, not other social media channels. If you’re housing your organization’s news and important information on your newsroom or blog, you stand to win big with increased traffic and interaction.
Amy Burke Friedman, president at PR firm Profiles, says a “multi-channel marketing mix leading with PR” is crucial to increasing your stories’ reach and getting your content seen.
Friedman suggests using your organization’s own website as the “home base” for your content, and says by using your own assets and “taking ownership of [your] expertise,” brand managers can “see huge benefits and increased reach.” Those assets include online newsrooms full of photos, video, copy and other elements that tell your story.
2. Create compelling content
Whether content is housed on your organization’s website or newsroom and then shared across social media platforms or it’s created directly on Facebook, PR pros should focus on high-quality text, images and video—rather than the number of posts created.
“Great content is still just as important as it was before, but good storytelling is paramount,” Friedman says.
Rachel Blanks, account manager at ARPR, says Facebook’s algorithm change is forcing brand managers to evaluate whether their content efforts are truly what audiences want:
Brands will need to step back and look at their content from their audiences' perspective and ask, "What can we share that is actually useful or interesting or will facilitate conversation?" At the end of the day, when done right, this is how social media content should always be approached.
“One thing that brand managers can do to combat decreased reach is to make content customer focused rather than having content that is always self-promoting,” says Cassie Gonzalez, community manager and marketing coordinator for OnePitch. “Social media should be used as a platform to connect with customers on a more personal level rather than to make an immediate sale.”
Using data and analytic insights, PR pros should seek out the questions audiences are asking and then create valuable content providing the answers, Gonzalez says. PR pros can also incorporate popular subjects or trending hashtags into their writing and conversations for added relevance.
3. Test purposeful tactics to achieve your goals on Facebook
After creating content that will resonate with your audience, you can then test methods for gaining more eyeballs and engagement on Facebook.
Andy Jelic, social media specialist for Re:Group, shares several tactics PR pros can employ to boost their Facebook pages’ reach, including swapping posts, getting sponsors involved and tagging local businesses. He also suggests having employees share your content, writing:
By motivating your coworkers to share content, you can turn them into effective brand advocates. Brand advocacy is one of the best methods of social media marketing. According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83% of people trust recommendations of friends and family, and the same percentage take action on these opinions at least some of the time!
Jelic’s insights are shared in a blog post on Re:Group’s website, ultimately underlining the importance of housing your content, stories and expertise on your organization’s own digital property.
PR pros should aim for moving past superficial interactions (views and passive “likes”), instead persuading their organizations’ fans to engaging meaningfully with posts.
With Facebook giving more value to engagements like comments and shares, and even testing down-vote buttons, it’s important to give users a meaningful reason to react that isn’t just superficial “liking.” Comments have always been more valuable than “likes,” for example. Achieving these more valuable reactions from users means you have to share or tell a great story without presenting problematic content, which Facebook penalizes.
Posting several times a day won’t solve your problems, either, Friedman says:
It’s not a best practice anymore to flood your feed with 10 posts a day that receive no engagement. We’ve seen clients who post one to four times a week achieve higher engagement rates and reach, and publishing content strategically is important for optimization. Timing can be everything.
Brown says brand managers should think twice about throwing money at the problem of declining Facebook reach, as well:
It’s important to remember why you're on Facebook in the first place. Is it for word-of-mouth or is it for engagement, driving traffic to your website and boosting sales? Content managers should remember what provides them with a return on investment, especially if it's something other than reach. Then, target that return rather than assuming that reach is the end-all, be-all of social media success.
The platform’s algorithm change certainly has caused PR headaches, and it will continue to do so as brand managers battle to gain consumers’ attention and encourage audiences to act.
However, you can overcome this digital content setback by focusing on a stellar newsroom or organizational blog as your foundation, crafting outstanding content there to then push out across channels, and testing posts for what works. Blanks cautions PR pros not to focus only on one platform.
Wood provides performance-driven solutions throughout the asset life cycle in the oil & gas, chemicals, environment and infrastructure, power & process, clean energy, mining, nuclear and general industrial sectors.
MIA launched their revamped social newsroom in March of 2016 switching from a native newsroom -driven by their website’s standard CMS- to a dedicated newsroom solution for digital PR and media relations.
On November 7, 2017, the industry awarded Miami International Airport the 2017 Peggy G. Hereford Award out of over 300 entries. This was made possible due to the launch of their sleek, easy-to-read News Room site that better showcased the airport’s press releases and marketing material, offered seamless integration for social media sharing and search engine optimization (SEO), and generated an exponential increase in online visitor traffic and engagement.
The Sheboygan Falls sausage maker uses their newsroom for web posts and social media sharing, boosting the reach of a cooking stunt and broadening the search for a multi-skilled spokesperson.
The newsroom allows reporters and other audiences to download images and interact with video content from Johnsonville's owned web property. The metrics demonstrate what works online and what doesn't. "That helps me be smarter in terms of what kinds of content we put up in the future," Dlugopolski says.
KLM’s communications team was growing increasingly discontent with the Content Management System (CMS) they were working with to publish news to their native newsroom. “Within KLM there was a corporate mentality, resulting in a workflow with little flexibility. Platforms that were chosen at the time were functioning satisfactorily, but changes in the communications industry were so drastic that we felt we were lagging behind”, says Lars van Straten, Online Communications & Reputation Specialist at KLM.
It is the result that counts, and in this regard too, KLM is very pleased with their newsroom centric comms strategy. The use of the newsroom platform has provided the airliner with a growing number of visitors.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont since 2000. The brand has hundreds of inventions and over a thousand calibers to its name, including the world’s smallest caliber, one of the world’s most complicated wristwatches and a timepiece of near-perpetual movement.
Join Bart Verhulst, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist of PressPage for the "Essentials for a Stellar Online Newsroom" webinar on March 22, 2018, at 1 p.m. Central (US) / 19:00 - 20:00 Central European Time.
In this webinar, you will learn:
As social networks restructure their content priority, it has become clear that brands need to pay closer attention to their owned web properties.
Which successful print media tactics work best for your online newsroom.
How best to use multimedia assets to turn your text-only pages into a compelling multimedia visual feast.
The why and how to make your news available to audiences ‘on the fly.’
How to create instant connection to social media channels gets huge increases in newsroom viewers
Why the connection to social media channels and e-mail distribution increases your newsroom’s reach.
What analytics are key to present PR’s contribution to company results and justify budget.
How to upgrade your corporate newsroom and delivery infrastructure to achieve measurable results.
After the presentation, you are invited for a 15 minute tour of PressPage, the world's leading provider of newsrooms, digital pressrooms, and online media hubs. Register now via the form below or click here.
You can register now to save your seat. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with your own personal link to attend the webinar. Can't attend live? You should still register! We'll be sending out the recording to all registrants after the webinar.
The company’s history dates back to 1889, when the Michelin brothers ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand in France. Historical records speak of a cyclist entering their shop to repair -what is now called- a tubular tyre. As tubulars are glued to the rim, it took the brothers over three hours to remove and repair the tyre, which then needed to dry overnight. The next day, the “repaired” tyre failed after a small test ride by one of the brothers. The brothers' ingenuity compelled them to improve the pneumatic tyre and soon engineered a version that did not need to be glued to the rim. In essence the predecessor to today’s clincher and tubeless tyres.
In 1891, Frenchman Charles Torrent won Paris-Brest-Paris, which at 1,196 kilometres (743 miles) was more than double the length of any previous event of its kind. He rode the full race on a Humber bicycle, built in Nottingham, fitted with the prototypes of the new removable pneumatic tyres designed by the Michelin brothers. Torrent described his victory as an "épreuve”; a test of the bicycle's reliability and the rider's endurance.
Torrent ended winning over 50 major events over his 15-year career, including double victories as 'Champion of France' and 'Champion of Great Britain'.
Today, PressPage's innovative newsroom platform empowers Michelin's news to get the best digital mileage out of their content.
Even though the work that is being done at the Shepherd Center can sometimes remind us of the fact that miracles do exist, it is not everyday that a hospital specializing in brain and spinal cord injuries, gets the opportunity to make the evening news or the morning headlines.
Atlanta-based Shepherd Center has used its hybrid content strategy effectively, attracting attention of news media and the general public alike.
The Ohio based healthcare organization's editorial philosophy and communications workflow is a stellar example of how to run your organization's online newsroom.
Finding traditional news media harder and harder to reach in the modern age, OhioHealth saw an opportunity to showcase their internal communications stories alongside their media relations efforts to truly create a one stop shop brand journalism website.
Two years ago, OhioHealth, a not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Ohio, switched their newsroom over to PressPage. Within the first year, their total viewership jumped from 11,588 visits in 2015 to 114,697 visits the next full year on their new PressPage newsroom. That is a meteoric 889% increase!
The University of Manchester is the UK’s largest single site university with almost 40,000 students. It is also one of the world’s top research universities with 25 Nobel Prize winners. See video.
Formed in 2002, ID Medical works with over 90% of NHS trusts, in addition to private medical organisations. Their recruitment offering spans doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.
Headquartered in Milton Keynes, the ID Medical helps healthcare organisations across the UK find the staff they need to provide the best possible care to their patients.
Their newsroom acts as the main publishing hub for blogs, news, and associated digital content like videos. All content is geared towards clients, candidates and their own staff.
Organizations are increasingly aware that newsrooms must be like the news media they are designed for, delivering great content.
Yet as the mobile revolution takes hold, it is no longer wise to think primarily about desktop users when designing a newsroom.
Mobile use is skyrocketing, and beginning this year, Google will move to mobile-first indexing when it ranks results, as opposed to the desktop-first it currently employs, says Jared Hoffmann digital content editor at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, whose organization uses a PressPage newsroom.
How then should organizations think about their newsrooms, given that reporters and stakeholders access them on the go from mobile phones? Here are a few tips:
1. Think about the mobile experience.
The current trend in developing newsroom websites is “responsive design” – that is, designing newsrooms which detect and adapt to the screen size of the user - thus creating a pleasant experience regardless of device.
Yet contrary to popular belief, responsive design does not mean fitting the entire newsroom site on the user’s screen. The information provided on a desktop view of your newsroom, such press release teasers, are unnecessary and hazardous to creating a positive mobile experience.
As a result, an important part of developing a responsive newsroom is deciding which information to prune for mobile users.
This is cumbersome to manage from a governance perspective, and it is difficult to keep key information consistent.
Nevertheless, nowadays you must think beyond responsive design to “mobile experience,” or architecting one’s website in a friendly way to get people the information they are seeking as conveniently as possible, Hoffman says.
Here’s why. A newsroom might still be responsive—scaling for smartphones—annoy mobile users with endless navigation and icons users must scroll past to find what they’re looking for.
“The tasks that someone might complete when they come to a given page are not necessarily the first things that you see,” Hoffman says.
Children’s Mercy is redesigning with a goal of anticipating what most people are looking for, and placing that information up top. Most of its patient families are looking to make an appointment, and to log in to the patient portal.
2. Make it sticky, not a pogo stick.
There’s an additional benefit to thinking about what your site users are searching for: It boosts search engine optimization, Hoffman says. “Pogo-sticking” is the term for when people Google up your site, click on it, can’t find what they need, and bounce back out to the search results page.
If people then go to elsewhere and spend more time there, Google begins to favor that other destination. Think, therefore, about giving your users what will keep them there.
“By making it easier for them,” Hoffman says, “we’re making it more competitive for Google to rank us in the long-term as well.”
3. Create great content.
It is no longer sufficient to dump text documents and a staid photo in press releases. Newsroom content must be more dynamic, and that includes mobile newsrooms.
At Nissan, the newsroom posts are not just text but also video and cinemagraphs, or photos with motion built in, such as the one at the top of a story headlined, “Nissan and DeNA unveil Easy Ride mobility service in Japan.”
Marketing can be a source of imagery content such as photos or videos that are useful to communicators at Nissan. The challenge, Nevin says, is not looking like an ad.
“We think of it as a real home run when a third-party [such as an auto magazine] uses these,” he says.
4. Don’t overdo the bells and whistles.
Google prefers sites that download more quickly. When designing a page in your newsroom, don’t use a 13-megabyte image where a smaller one will work, Hoffman says. It’s also possible to have too many outbound links, potentially confusing visitors.
In producing a page, Hoffman says, always ask yourself these questions:
“All of your content should architect around those very specific goals, and then nothing else,” he says. “Don’t be tempted to throw in too many extra things in case somebody needs it. Start with the core things you’re delivering and make sure that is displayed in a prominent way.”
5. Create an app.
Because mobile devices use public software platforms, anybody can create an application to use for marketing and public relations purposes, says marketing strategist David Meerman Scott. He has an app that includes blog posts, his Twitter feed and videos, and they link to his online bookstore on Amazon.
Reporters are active on mobiles, so Scott urges those in public relations, analyst relations and investor relations to create apps that reach their constituents.
Scott adds, “When a reporter or analyst has an application for the company, or music artist, or nonprofit she covers on her mobile, then she can easily check what’s going on, as well as generate alerts for things like press releases—all on her device of choice.”
6. Survey or hold focus groups.
Not every news media outlet wants information dished out in the same way, says Whitney Drake, manager of the story bureau and analytics team at General Motors. That’s why GM offers a variety of content to serve the needs of various reporters.
For starters, ensure that your media contacts are easily located. “In terms of contacts, the ability to click on a phone number and dial out is important,” Drake says.
Surveys and focus groups can provide valuable information about what reporters need. The GM newsroom offers picture and video galleries that reporters can pull from. Though it wouldn’t be easy to drag in a reporter from many newspapers and magazines, GM has other experienced journalists it can consult.
The company's currently serves 23 million customers divided over key markets Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as several countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
Just recently, the company announced its succesful market entry in the USA and Ireland.
But offering an array of innovative and sustainable products and services for these markets, challenges the communications team in many ways. The team must communicate in the local language for each market. That begins with translating product information, business communications, and media collateral. But also means providing information relevant to local markets that go beyond simply translating domestic content.
However, with PressPage's newsroom technology, innogy's PR team has a whole lot less to worry about. PressPage allows them to create a global newsroom infrastructure in line with corporate identity, but with a localized touch.
Although Curacao is a well known holiday destination, their PR team does not sit on its laurels. In an effort to make the transition in their marketing efforts towards digital and inbound marketing, the team adopted a newsroom centric approach. Some key indicators of their new strategy being successful are:
Referral traffic from the newsroom to main website has increased with over 180%.
Paid search expenditure has been reduced by 20% due to newsroom success.
The overall bounce rate has decreased to below 20% (Bounce rate metrics for average website = 40.5%).
Cook Children's has made its newsroom an online destination for not only parents, but the industry and media alike. In record time, Cook Children's Health Care System gained a large loyal audience with a (visitor returning rate) of over 89%.
The Fort Worth based hospital’s brand journalism strategy has direct bottom line impact as its stories made one Detroit family decide to fly cross country for surgery after reading an impactful story on Checkupnewsroom.com.
Another article that broke readership records -by garnering over one million readers in less than three days- was “7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know.” The article scored very high on reader engagement with over 800 comments and thousands of shares.
The MPC newsroom launched early 2015 and coincided with the company’s rollout of its first social media activities. The newsroom became instrumental in Marathon’s rapid growth to 3,000 followers on Facebook and 34,000 on LinkedIn.
Social analytics showed that 15-20 percent of the people exposed to a given post followed through to the newsroom where they spent an average of 1.5 minutes reading the article. Additionally, due to the seamless visitor experience between the newsroom and the rest of Marathon’s website, a higher number of visitors than ever before click through to explore the rest of the main site.
The Viking's news site went live early December 2017. For Melinda Eddleman, Del Mar's Associate Director of Media Relations, it was a great step forward in her strategic communications plan.