28 November 2005



As printed in PRWeek PRToolbox, November 28, 2005

Erica Iacono

Online pressrooms
Our company has several global offices. I know online newsrooms provide centralized comms, but can one be used to maintain that centralization with such a variety of languages to be considered?

The message must remain consistent and centralized between offices and targets, says TEKGROUP's Director of Marketing. "Direct translation has not been fully mastered yet, but an online newsroom does enable you to input, or upload, and display each news release in its native language," she adds.

Even so, it becomes more of a workflow process between headquarters and satellite offices. Once the release has been finalized, it can be distributed to each office for translation and input utilizing the same administration tool that headquarters used to input the original vernacular.

Woodall says the key is to maintain only one newsroom with various language sections, instead of managing several newsrooms. This saves time and reduces both costs and worries, since efforts are contained to one site, not many.

"In turn, the journalist visiting the online newsroom can select the desired language in which he or she prefers the content be displayed," adds TEKgroup's Steve Momorella. "The online newsrooms of Ford and Delta are good examples. Journalists are able to select their preferred language from a menu on the site's homepage."

Annual reports
What are the benefits of an annual report for a private company?

Annual reports benefit private companies by sending a message that they operate like much larger, publicly traded firms, says Tim O'Brien of O'Brien Communications. "Through such reports, private firms can build effective outreach with staff, suppliers, regulators, and customers," he adds.

As a marketing tool for privately held firms, annual reports serve as up-to-date brochures that can include timely information that may not have a long shelf life, but can be vital to the marketing message, O'Brien says.

"In community relations, annual reports become a gesture of goodwill with elected officials and opinion leaders," he says. "Regulators often monitor these reports to gauge such things as environmental compliance and consumer safety."

Industry analysts also have a voracious appetite for annual reports from all companies that lie in their particular industry sectors. "By providing an annual report to an industry analyst, a private firm can rise above the radar, increasing awareness of both the company and its products or services," O'Brien says.

ANRs vs. RMTs
Do radio stations prefer a live spokesperson via radio media tours or audio news releases?

Radio journalists would much rather have a chance to interview a spokesperson through an RMT than get an ANR, says Maury Tobin of Tobin Communications.

"An ANR is usually a no-no for radio stations, unless it falls into the rare category of a breaking news story or comes from a high-placed government spokesperson," he adds.

Conversely, a phone interview through an RMT allows radio journalists to ask questions, craft a unique story, and hone it for their particular audience.

Because ANRs are canned news stories and radio journalists can't ask questions, Tobin says the ANR doesn't stand much of a chance of getting airtime.

Press kits
How can we get our press kit noticed?
Press kits can come in all shapes and sizes, from small folders to extravagant packages, containing information on what the sender wants to promote, says Gary Glenn of NewsWire One. "To get your press kit noticed, it must be relevant, easy to use, and clear on who is sending it," he says.

Due to the time, expense, and user demands, most press kits have evolved into virtual or electronic press kits. This form fits the needs of today's streamlined newsrooms, which prefer digital versions of all materials.

Creative packaging may help your press kit stand out, but it's the content that is most important. "More than 85% of journalists prefer to receive press materials via e-mail," says Glenn. "So consider packaging your electronic press kit in an e-mail version."
 

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