28 April 2009
The definition of public relations is sometimes referred to as the actions of a corporation or individual in promoting goodwill between itself and the public. With this definition in the forefront of one’s mind, a public relations professional can consistently maintain a successful online newsroom.
By following the steps of PROMOTE - providing elements, recognizing audiences, organizing content, measuring efforts, optimizing for search, thinking centralized and e-mailing alerts, a communicator will effectively use best practices for managing an information center.
-          Provide Elements:
For several years, we’ve gathered feedback from journalists, asking what they want to access in an online newsroom. This year, we’ve added to our normal Top 10 list and gleaned a Top 20 list from the new 2009 TEKgroup Online Newsroom Survey. By supplying most, if not all of these elements, you are well on your way to helping journalists help you.
-          Organize Content:
While recognizing each audience, communicators should have the means to categorize and target content by section.
-          Measure Efforts:
Every business tool should yield an evaluation metric to determine its usefulness. Value can be seen in multiple forms from an online newsroom. It can save time and money, generating a financial return, it can provide traffic statistics, and it can track and identify journalists who visit.
-          Optimize for Search:
Although the consumer site will link to the online newsroom, attention should be paid to the use of meta tags, titles, URLs, keywords and links within the online newsroom, as well as within each news release. A planned strategy will increase traffic.
-          Think Centralized:
Start here and stop here. The online newsroom should be your starting point. You should have a page or section that displays links to every external environment in which your organization participates, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Those external environments should also link back to the official source of information – the online newsroom.
-          Email Alerts:
Almost 100% of journalists surveyed indicate that they prefer to receive news via an email alert. The key is to make sure you target distributed news so that it is pertinent to the individual recipient.
On April 30, 2009, I joined Jeff Conlin of Restaurant.com and Brian Pittman of Bulldog Reporter for a PR University webinar entitled “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Online Newsrooms.” We discussed these best practices in detail.
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