It seems as if every company – big or small – has an online newsroom. Most just contain a listing of press releases or a small gallery of images. Typically, to maintain a successful, effective online newsroom, there are several key elements that must be followed. Creating and publishing content on a regular basis is of upmost importance, along with ensuring that the content is relevant, shareable and contains some multimedia elements such as photos or videos.
Each year, we research great examples of online newsrooms and include them in our annual report of “25 Amazing Online Newsrooms”. Below we have selected five that really stand out in terms of graphic design, content frequency and relevancy, and the use of new techniques such as brand journalism to provide a complete news hub for not only journalists, but also news consumers and other influencers.
What makes Coca-Cola amazing? In 2015, the company decided to stop using the newswire and take control over distribution and publication of their own news. What?!? You mean you can still get your news out to the public without using the wire? They were also one of the first to employ brand journalism in their newsroom. Instead of the typical navigation labels such as "news", "press kits", and "PR contacts", Coca-Cola includes featured stories on topics such as the environment, their employees, and entertainment. They still offer financial news and standard corporate releases, but their main focus is on sharing compelling stories with their existing and potential customers.
MGM Resorts manages all 15 of their branded resorts with one online newsroom. You read that correctly- ONE! They include numerous and compelling videos and photos; including b-roll video and high resolution photos. This media can be instantly used for televised news stories or printed magazine articles. Another highlight of their newsroom are the featured stories of concerts and events. Lastly, MGM's newsroom includes a Media Login where registered and approved members of the media can access embargoed content and exclusive stories. Journalists love this stuff! First access to exclusive stories- yes, please!
Prudential does an excellent job of featuring and highlighting thought leaders as part of their daily content. By making their subject matter experts available to the press, they are able to secure interviews with magazines, newspapers and TV stations. They also provide research on important topics such as “Women & Money” and “The African American Financial Experience”. Weekly posts and research are consistently boosting Prudential’s search engine optimization and Google relevancy. Additionally, they have a section highlighting mentions of Prudential in the news. This gives everyone a view of what the press is saying about the company. Prudential also does a great job of providing content about their community involvement and CSR, such as their involvement in the Special Olympics.
Lenovo has social media down! With so much activity on their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels, the company decided to integrate a social media wall that constantly updates visitors. Anytime their marketing hashtags are used on Twitter or someone shares a Facebook post, the Lenovo online newsroom is updated instantly. This not only looks great, but is functional as well. People can quickly share any of the company’s social posts with their own network, giving Lenovo a huge social distribution network.Secondly, Lenovo has a great blog. Frequently updated, with posts including awards, Q&A’s and highlights, they are able to offer a more informal voice to their brandwith their social efforts. Finally, Lenovo, as you would expect, has a lot to share in terms of multimedia. Product photo galleries, B-roll video, facility photos, corporate bioimages, graphics and logos are all available on the newsroom and is one of the most popular newsroom areas.
5) H&R Block
H&R Block’s online newsroom heavily relies on brand journalism concepts, featuring not just press releases and press kits, but rather stories in a more personal and useful format. Featured stories such as “identity theft”, “daycare”, and “tax help” are just some of the topics they cover that apply to a vast majority of the general public, not just journalists. Their online newsroom also includes an “In the Media” section that includes constantly updated mentions in the media from outlets such as ABC, Marketwatch, and Forbes. Lastly, recognizing their audience, they make their entire site available in Spanish, with fully translated content. Overall, the H&R Block online newsroom is an amazing example of how a traditionally conservative company can be a leader in offering a new type of content based on brand journalism.
The above online newsrooms are not alone. There are many amazing online newsrooms from all industries that are providing a valuable asset to the PR and Marketing teams of those companies. Driving traffic, generating media coverage, and ultimately impacting the bottom line are all results of an amazing online newsroom.