It is almost budget season! As you are putting together the plan for your organization, hopefully you are considering ways to save money. An online newsroom can go a long way to helping you save both time and money and helping to increase awareness of your organization. Below are some essential elements to consider when planning your yearly budget. 

Direct Contact for Press Inquires
One of the most frequent complaints from journalists is that company newsrooms do not provide specific contact information for media opportunities. This survey reported that 69% of journalists say there is inadequate contact information listed. In your online newsroom, clearly state the best person for media to connect with and how to reach that individual. If you have various contacts for specific PR offerings, list each person's contact info along with what area. 

Reference for a best in class example. 

Recent Press
You would think this would be common sense, but maybe it's not. Have an “in the news section” with all of the recent positive mentions of your organization from blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc. Leveraging stories about you, your partners and your industry-at-large, not only helps with search engine optimization but also lets others quickly see what people are saying about your brand. Similarly, with social channels, embed your Twitter and Facebook feeds into your newsroom. Make it easy for people to see what is being shared about your brand. 

Video and Image Gallery
Embedding images and videos into your news stories and press releases can get expensive if you are using the newswires. Consider having all of your multimedia assets including B-roll video and high-resolution images in galleries that are searchable. Toyota is a great example of offering multiple formats of their video content to make it as easy as possible for all of their news consumers. They offer embedded YouTube videos and short thumbnail clips for the people interested in learning more about the company. Additionally, they make broadcast quality HD video and high resolution images available for journalists. Creating a central location for all of your multimedia assets gives news consumers, journalists, and anyone else wanting more information a one-stop shop for your content. 

Journalist Resources
How awesome would it be if someone did half of your job for you? Pretty darn awesome! Include a “journalist resource” section in your online newsroom with story ideas, high resolution images, b-roll videos, and media kits. Helping a journalist save time is one thing, but actually providing them with all of the various assets they need in one package, in one location, is quite another. Putting all of the fact sheets, press kits and related news in one resource area will ensure that journalists keep coming back for more content and increases the chance of coverage. 

Company and Leadership Assets
Hosting all of these items in one place is going to minimize people calling and emailing you and that equals more time for you to do your job. Offer high resolution headshots and bios for your entire leadership team. Additionally, make sure your company logo and any other design assets are readily available, both for print or digital purposes. 

Email alerts and self distribution
Why pay someone else to distribute your news? With targeted email and social media available to most PR practitioners these days, it makes more financial sense to self-distribute. Companies that manage and grow their own internal email lists can not only save money but also allow greater interaction and the creation of trust between brand and journalist. By establishing a direct relationship between yourself and the journalist, you are able to cut out the middle man, potentially saving valuable dollars. Following journalists on Facebook and Twitter is another way to establish relationships, introduce your brand and products, and ultimately create a network of people interested in reading and sharing your content. 

As planning for your budget begins, consider doing a quick analysis of your current newsroom and seeing how some of these essential elements can help you save money, save time and increase awareness. TEKGROUP is offering a free analysis of your current online newsroom with tips and recommendations on how to improve. Email if you are interested. 
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