By Ken Payne

How is it possible I forgot to wear green today? They remembered to turn the water in Chicago green. New York managed to remember their St. Patrick's Day Parade – all green. But I can’t even remember to tape a shamrock to my tie!

Well, here’s something I can do that has everything to do with green – as in money. Saving money by using an online newsroom as a central part of your digital communication strategy.

So here I give you as my St. Patrick’s Day repentance - five ways an online newsroom can save your company a little green.

1. As an information management system

How many times a week do you receive a call or email from a journalist on deadline asking for photos, quotes from subject matter experts, links to old news releases, or media kits?

You probably get similar requests from within your organization, sending you combing your computer’s hard drive or sifting through dusty archives.

By using your online newsroom as an information management system, you can have all your company’s materials at your fingertips. Now, this won’t happen overnight, but once the hard work is done, you will be able to quickly provide all types of content to both journalists and internal partners.

Time is money!

2. As an investor relations HQ for Web disclosure

The idea of using an online newsroom as your headquarters for investor relations (IR) and Web disclosure has been around for several years. Only recently have many companies realized its full potential.

According to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), it is permissible to use an online newsroom as the primary vehicle for disseminating financial disclosures, filings, and other investor materials. More and more companies are doing so, but they must comply with Regulation FD disclosure requirements.

The key is to create a special area of your online newsroom, or even a completely separate investor online newsroom that contains all your IR materials, including financial statements and filings. Then, companies can issue a brief (and considerably less-expensive) advisory release on a service, such as PR Newswire, advising the public where to find their financial information—namely the online newsroom.

Distribution is money!

3. As a crisis communications center

It is nearly impossible to predict when a crisis is going to hit your organization—or from what angle it will come—but you should still be prepared. Using an online newsroom as a crisis communications center is an effective method to help you manage a crisis. Many organizations build a “dark site” that is unavailable to the public until a crisis strikes.

Other organizations, such as the American Red Cross, are in a constant state of reporting crises. Its online newsroom offers breaking news in the form of “disaster alerts” covering fires, weather, explosions, and other natural disasters. The online newsroom also provides disaster relief guides, media contacts, and a detailed map and search engine to find shelters. Journalists can find an archive of past relief operations, and concerned citizens have a place to make donations.

By using an online newsroom to manage content before a crisis hits and to provide a headquarters for updates and other information, companies can deploy an effective communications strategy.

Timely and accurate communication is money!

5. As a product rollout/launch companion

Digital communications have blurred the lines between traditional media relations and marketing. To that end, online newsrooms are a great resource for showcasing a product launch, acting as a repository for photos, videos, product press kits, quotes, events and other rollout information.

Because most big product launches are planned weeks, months, even years in advance, communications teams should begin well ahead of time to organize and tag all content for the online newsroom.

Ford uses its online newsroom for launches at auto shows, creating social media landing pages for popular models; such pages are viewed by thousands of journalists and potential customers. Using its online newsroom as a companion to its marketing gives Ford a headquarters for photos, videos, and media kits for each model and year.

Marketing communication is money!

5. As an SEO content engine

Most traffic to websites comes via search engine such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Web pages are crafted with care through search engine optimization (SEO). Generally, the pages with timely, relevant, and useful content are listed higher in search results, leading to more exposure and potential traffic. An online newsroom is an incredible SEO tool, because it gives an organization an outlet to publish content regularly. 

Although Google constantly adjusts its search algorithm, the search engine has made it clear that frequent content updates are a good thing. Relevant, useful, and popular content is also a positive factor.

The many methods for bolstering SEO in your news content seem to change almost daily. You can make your online newsroom an online hub by increasing relevant content and finding ways to prompt news outlets and bloggers to link to that content. 

Organic search is money!

There are many uses for an online newsroom and many ways to save money and generate awareness and coverage. From an IR portal for Web disclosure to an information management system that’s optimized for search, you have many options when investing in an online newsroom.

Are you interested in finding ways to save a little green? Schedule a quick guided tour.


Steve Momorella

Online Public Relations
Phone: 734-945-7790
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