16 March 2009
By Director of Marketing
 
The online newsroom is no longer for media only. This is what I told PR Week during an interview a few weeks ago. PR Week usually calls me to find out about the latest trends in online newsrooms, and I thoroughly enjoy this exchange. The issue date for the upcoming online newsroom issue is March 30, 2009.
 
I explained that although the online newsroom has been referred to as a press room or a media room, it’s always been about news, news that needs to be easy to find and available 24 hours a day. It’s also news that must be delivered in a targeted manner, categorized by type of news (i.e. environmental, financial, community, etc.), and delivered to various audiences. I added that if you aren’t marketing your news to multiple audiences today (reporters, bloggers, analysts, and consumers), you are missing potential opportunities to spread your organization’s message.
 
The online newsroom is the “official” starting point. It is the central location where everyone should go for news about your company. Obviously, journalists want to get the traditional essentials such as releases, photographs and executive biographies; however, they also want to have quick access to other environments where the company engages in conversations. Because of this need, links to a company’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts should be readily available within the online newsroom. More importantly, those external environments should contain links to the online newsroom.
 
The online newsroom is a business tool, as is its integration with social media. Starbucks, Delaware North Companies, and Ford Motor Company, PRSA and Prudential have all realized the benefits of social media. Podcasting, video, optimized individual release URLs, tagging, and automatic delivery of content into Twitter and Facebook help both the journalist and the communicator do their job more quickly and more efficiently. Expanded delivery without added pain is always useful to PR professionals who are already taxed with too many responsibilities and decreased budgets.
 
My time last week at the PRSA/Ragan Social Media Conference ingrained in me even more so the power of social media. I had a great time tweeting from the show floor to the #socmedialv conversation. Through this method of distribution, I was able to invite tweeters to the TEKgroup booth, provide information to interested parties about the top 10 elements needed in an online newsroom, announce the winner of our raffle prize and even direct thirsty tweeters to the room where the Diet Coke was located. There were so many conversations about the conference on #socmedlv, that it was considered one of the top trends on Twitter. And now, Bill Gates of Microsoft is following me at http://www.twitter.com/IbreyWoodall. How fun is that?
 
I’m looking forward to the PR Week online newsroom issue, and I'm excited about this evolution.
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