More than 50% of journalists visit online newsroom sections of organizations’ websites at least once a week. They are looking for background and information on a story they are researching or writing. Being able to find what they need sometimes can mean the difference between a story, a brief or no mention at all.
Top things journalists are looking for in an online newsroom:
Media contacts for your company, including cell phone numbers for after-hours contact. Don’t use a web form for contacting the company or firstname.lastname@example.org Use a human.
Hi-res photos (and video if you have them) of product or service. Use JPEG file format that can be used for both electronic and print media. Allow easy download and use fine print to spell out any copyright or attribution requirements.
Infographics if you have a product or a process that is difficult to explain or photograph.
News releases. Make sure everything can be text searched, copied and edited.
Hi-res headshots and brief bios of key company leaders. Keep bios consistent (length, level of detail, tone, etc). Even better – list who is spokesperson and if you have more than one, list of who speaks to what based on expertise.
Stories or real reviews from customers, patients or clients who have used your product or service. No marketing language (1-2 sentences of personal or professional background to indicate why they needed you, length of time they’ve been a client, 1-2 sentence outcome). Have contact info ready to share in case the reporter wants to follow up with the customer.
Financial information (for publicly held)
Recent news coverage. They’ll typically look at who else has covered you, especially if they are trying to write an exclusive or be first. Don’t add your Newswire or other paid wire service clips - those don’t add credibility for reporters.
Succinct information about company background and products/services, how the company is organized, where it started and when, etc.
Upcoming events, presentations or other places people can “find” you (list of trade shows you’ll be attending allows media to add you to their list of who they might stop in to meet)Presentations, Powerpoints or videos from past public presentationsRSS feed (sign up) and social media handles/links.
Tips to organize your online newsroom:
Don’t be tempted to throw in too many extra things that you think a journalist might need, but design the media center for the widest range of journalists – those in your industry and those who aren’t.
Add a filter and/or search function to find information or news releases by topic, product/service, date and other relevant details.Purge or archive the really old stuff.
Start today. Add a tab on your top-level navigation “Media Room” or “Media Center.” Add the 24/7 media contact name, email and cell phone. As you have more elements, add them.