18 August 2015
With so many retail stores vying for attention, both offline and online, some companies have taken to using social media online newsrooms as a way to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. REI, an outdoor specialty retailer, recently launched an online newsroom – http://newsroom.rei.com – that focuses on stories about their customers, products and employees. The site features embedded video and several photo albums, including many high-resolution, print-ready images of hiking trails featured in their recent “Every Trail Connects” campaign.

SOCIALLY INTEGRATED
The REI newsroom is socially integrated, providing website visitors with the ability to share stories, photos and videos across a wide network of social sites including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For the diehard outdoor specialty and apparel fan, there are links to the seasonal media kits from REI, evrgrn, and Novara, including images of apparel and other details. The REI newsroom also includes news stories segmented by various topics including Gear & Apparel and their new Stewardship program. For those interested in keeping up-to-date with REI news, there is an Email Alerts subscription that allows people to sign-up to receive frequent email updates.

TARGETING MORE THAN JUST JOURNALISTS
Having an online newsroom that is socially integrated allows you to target your content to multiple audiences. Instead of focusing solely on traditional journalists, distributing news content via social media channels is not just opening your news up to an entirely new audience, it is much more cost-effective. Using your social media newsroom as a news distribution channel is one of the top ways that you can save significant money using this approach. Additionally, by including libraries of videos and images and making them available for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn while at the same time offering high-resolution images for traditional journalists and print magazines, is going to save you money by less Fedex’ing, less emailing of large files, less file management, and increased visibility and awareness. Using a social media newsroom as a news distribution tool will help you centralize all of your communciations content – news stories, videos, photos, thought leadership and blogs, media kits, calendar events – and make it available not just to journalists, but also to the general social media news consumer.

THOUGHTS FROM TEKGROUP
“The REI online newsroom, which recently launched, is a great example of a retail organization providing large galleries of video and images that can be shared by anyone at any time,” said Steve Momorella, Owner/Founder of TEKGROUP. “The passion that REI consumers have for their products is bound to inspire and encourage their customers to share product images, product reviews, and other stories across their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. This is using social media for news distribution and REI is doing a great job.”

DO YOU NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA NEWSROOM?
Feel free to reach out to us at steve@tekgroup.com to see if your organization could benefit from a social media newsroom. If you are looking to reach new audiences in a more direct fashion, all while saving money and time, then perhaps a few minutes of your time looking at how others are doing it effectively, might be worth it. If you are interested in seeing a quick guided tour of the REI online newsroom (and others) feel free to contact us at any time.
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