Our definition of an online newsroom contains four main areas: Content, Tools, Distribution, and Analytics. Within these areas we believe there are strategic elements that define the core of what an online newsroom should have, as defined by our research with journalists and social media news consumers. 

TOOLS:
Search -> Social Search & Shared Results
Surprisingly, many organizations do not have adequate search available on their online newsroom. A significant amount of visitors that come to an online newsroom are doing some sort of research on a particular industry issue, searching for past information or financial news. It is important not only to include dates on all press materials including releases, images, and videos, it is equally important to provide a date range option in the search function. Google introduced a feature called Social Search which allows people to find relevant and useful information from within their social circle. Linking social search results into your online newsroom will allow you to provide even more results on searches of your content including status updates, tweets, and reviews of your content. Additionally, providing a facility for users to share their search results with their colleagues and co-workers is a great way to have your content extended beyond your online newsroom. 
 
A search on Google for Walgreens news yields links to their online newsroom, their investor relations area and links to coverage, albeit negative. Below are the results of a blog search on Walgreens which shows all kinds of coverage about the organization.
 
 
Secure Areas -> Community Ideas
Since the first online newsrooms became available late last century, a debate has ensued about whether to password protect certain areas of your online newsroom or not. Instead of entering this debate, we decided to ensure that our online newsroom software allows clients the ability to choose. Some choose to have the entire online newsroom password protected and some choose to keep the site wide open. A few organizations like to password protect their B-roll video and high resolution images, knowing that users of that content are most likely mainstream media looking for content to put on television or in print. By creating a user account with the online newsroom, journalists are able to customize the areas of content that they are most interested in and also can sign up for email alerts to be immediately notified of breaking news. Organizations can create a special area for employees that is private and is only viewable to employees with the proper credentials. By offering specialized and personalized areas within your online newsroom to distinct targeted groups, you are able to ensure that you are getting each group exactly the information that they seek. Why not schedule a quick guided tour to see an online newsroom that includes secure community areas, you can help meet that preference?  
 
Information Requests -> iCHAT & Twitter CRM

There are times when someone searching for information on an online newsroom can not find exactly what they are looking for and may need to get assistance. Typically, this is done via an information request form which is submitted to the PR or communciations department at an organization. This may be a request for a printed press kit, or a CD/DVD of video or it could be a request for credentials to attend a specific event or perhaps someone seeking an interview with an executive. With an online newsroom, communciators can handle all of these requests. By socializing this feature with two tools, you can elevate the service that you provide. Including an iCHAT icon on your site will give people the ability to instantly get the answers they require. However, his does require staff, so take that into consideration if you decide to implement iCHAT. For those organizations who might not have the ability to handle real-time inquiries, another option is available. Setting up a specific Twitter account to handle media requests is an easy way to utilize social media but also doesn't pin you down to real-time feedback. As people send requests via Twitter, you have the ability to answer them at your convenience instead of the real-time nature of iCHAT. However, responses are typically recommended for legitimate requests in a timely fashion, depending upon your available time. Are you interested in learning more about saving time with an online newsroom?

 
Dell utilizes more than 20 Twitter accounts to handle incoming questions and requests from various countries and on multiple topics, including an area for people to submit ideas to the company.
 
 
SEO -> SMO
A significant number of people come to your online newsroom directly from Google. Journalists and news consumers alike go to Google and type in "company name AND news" and should be taken to a search results screen that has links to your online newsroom. If you run a search on your company and your online newsroom does not show up in the top five results, then perhaps your Search Engine Optimization strategy needs to be reviewed. With an online newsroom, you are able to take advantage of the SEO of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and other social media outlets by interconnecting your networks together. This is sometimes called Social Media Optimization, which is the process of using social media to attract vistiors to your online newsroom content. The more social media outlets you have that are updated with content and have cross links not only to your online newsroom but also to your other outlets, the better your SMO will be. This in turn should lead to enhanced SEO. Do you want to learn more about how SEO can help save money?
 
Features -> Recommendations
Successful online newsrooms allow communicators to highlight or promote featured content. If a company has great earnings, they may want to showcase the stories and coverage for a few weeks. Instead of being slowly driven down the page in a reverse chronological order, communicators can fix that particular story and feature it for an extended period of time. Similarly, featuring videos, audio, or images as well as trade shows, product press kits, or other big announcements is a great way to actively drive journalists and news consumers to the content that you want themt to see. With a social newsroom, organizations can intuitively display content based on what other users have viewed. We've worked over the past several years on our recommendation tool that we call "Related Assets" and have found great success in being able to give site visitors the ability to see similar content to what they are reading. If I'm reading a story about the latest Toyota model, I may want to see the press kit that goes along with it, or the video commercial that is running on television. By automatically displaying recommendations and related content you are helping visitors to the site have a more gratifying experience. Strategic use of online newsroom tools will extend your brands reach, and save you time and money. Are you interested in learning more? Schedule a quick guided tour today.
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