All organizations have good news. The key to having a successful online newsroom is to focus on content. With today's easy-to-use mobile phones, digital cameras, video recorders, and podcasting tools, it has never been simpler to create multimedia content. Many organizations also repurpose existing content that is being used for marketing campaigns. Whether you are creating new content or reusing existing, it is important to define content channels within your organization so that you have a fresh link to news and events that are happening throughout the company. Great social news stories can come from R&D, Marketing, HR, and even from the C-suite. Many CEO's, CTO's and CIO's regularly maintain blogs and Twitter accounts. Using their content as part of your social newsroom content will help promote their message as well as provide a network of information that can be shared with others. Did you know the TEKGROUP online newsroom platform allows you to tweet about your news story at the time you add it to the system from the story tool? 
There has been a lot of discussion about the idea of a social media press release and what it should contain. There have been countless blog posts about the death of the press release or how you should use the Shift Communications SMPR format. Two main components are critical to transforming your standard press releases into social media press releases -- multimedia and sharing. Several studies have shown that including embedded video and significant imagery in your press release will not only make it more interesting but also provide increased exposure and viewership. If at all possible, it is certainly a huge improvement to a standard text press release if you add multimedia elements. However, if I had to pick one component that defines a social media press release, it would be "shareability." At a minimum include one of the many free sharing widgets on each and every press release that you have. This will allow readers of your news to quickly share it with their co-workers, editors, friends, family or anyone else who might be interested. This is very quick and easy to do and every press release or news story should be shareable. In a perfect world, the multimedia elements would be shareable as well, so that people can quickly share the video on their Facebook account or tweet out a link to an image of a new product. Other elements of a social media press release include the ability to accept comments as well as providing related multimedia assets.
As organizations move to be more transparent, maintaining open lines of communication with your constituents and influencers is critical. The #1 most important feature of an online newsroom in the eyes of a journalist is PR Contacts. In order to socialize your PR Contacts, there are two steps to take. First is to potentially open up your contact list to include people outside of the PR department, such as Subject Matter Experts, technical resources, sales and marketing contacts. Additionally, provide social network contact information for your PR contacts including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, so that journalists and others can connect with your PR team via social media. Did you know you can update your PR & IR Contacts from your online newsroom?
Audio has long been a staple of successful online newsrooms. Traditionally, organizations would create audio clips of earnings conferences or create mp3 audio files of their commercials so that journalists could quickly download and listen to executives as well as hear the latest radio or TV ads. In the past several years, as the technology has become easier to use and the costs less expensive, companies have begun to create podcasts featuring not only executives, but also HR, R&D, and Business Development spokespeople. Additionally, public companies are able to provide a real-time audio stream of their earnings conferences and other important financial speeches. Once the audio content is created be it a weekly podcast, or quarterly earnings webcasts, ensure that it is shareable. Let people easily post it on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that they can quickly pass the information along to their colleagues.
When we first surveyed journalists in 2006 and asked them about video, we were surprised by the results. More than 40% of journalists said that they would like to see video on an organization's online newsroom. We knew then that video was going to be something that would eventually become integral to the features of an online newsroom. The two key pieces to socializing your online newsroom with video are to ensure that you include any videos that you might have on YouTube into your online newsroom and your social media press releases. It is easy enough to directly embed a video that you might already have up online right into your press releases, to give them a little more interactivity and pickup. The second use of video that we have found to be extremely cost effective is to provide B-roll online to TV stations and web journalists. This can save a lot of time and money since you are able to take very large video files and make them immediately available to TV stations for use on the air. And finally, with the advent of low-cost HD video cameras, it has never been easier to create compelling multimedia content that can be edited and quickly delivered to your online newsroom, YouTube, and to a host of other social media outlets. Did you know TEKGROUP's online newsroom lets you embed YouTube videos into your content?
Similar to video, making your images available not only within your press releases but also as part of categorized galleries will help people quickly find the pictures that define your organization. Ensure that you make the images shareable, allowing people to quickly post them on their Facebook page or exchange them with friends and colleagues. A lot of successful organizations also create an area on Flickr to house their photos and then embed those images into their online newsroom. By intertwining your images with Flickr you are getting your brand in front of millions of people that search Flickr on a daily basis. Additionally, if you are running into space and storage issues with your existing online newsroom, you can create a large archive of images on Flickr that will help offset some of those costs.
Before blogs were called blogs, they were called message boards. And before that, they were called Forums. In reality, the idea of self-publishing short pieces of content that people can comment on and exchange a back-and-forth dialogue has been around since the 1980's with popular destinations such as the Well, CompuServe, and AOL Boards. Corporations have been utilizing blogs now for several years with CEO's, other executives, R&D and HR staff taking advantage of blogging sites such as Wordpress and Blogger to help them get their message out in a less formal method than the traditional press release. And, by inviting comments and feedback, organizations can gauge their constituents' sentiment instantly. The next evolution in blogging will provide your organization even more resources for interacting with the media as well as possible consumers. Blogrolls, which are groups of related bloggers, will help an organization round out their blog content by offering fresh and different perspectives either inside or outside the organization. Additionally, organizations are creating an area for featured bloggers that they commission posts from on an ongoing basis, to provide external voices to particular topics that are important.
Puget Sound Energy uses a local meteorologist, Andy Wappler, and a blog to keep constituents updated on important events, including power outages.
Making all of your organization's events available is important to journalists who are seeking more information about press conferences, trade shows, earnings announcements, and other product launches or milestones. Online newsrooms are the perfect place to provide a calendar of events highlighting all happenings and now with social media tools such as eVite and Facebook Groups, communicators can actually invite people to their webcasts, press conferences or trade show booths and interact with them prior to the event. This gives organizations a way to gauge interest in their announcements to help build anticipation and set expectations.
Are you spending a lot on postage/shipping?  One of the quickest ways to generate a return on your online newsroom investment is to digitize your press kits and make them available online. This will allow you to immediately reduce your printing and shipping costs for traditional press kits, which can be extremely costly to both produce and mail. By making your press kits interactive and shareable, you are able to allow users to pick and choose which pieces of the press materials they are interested and make their own customized PDF files of press kit information.
Another staple of successful online newsrooms is the executive biography. Journalists are always looking for quotes from high level executives and by providing these in an executive biography you are able to get your key executives press coverage especially when certain industry issues crop up. Extending the executive biography throughout your organization to create people profiles and subject matter expert biographies will give your organization even more exposure and more chances to get interviewed during important news cycles. Additionally, ensure that you include the various social networks where your executives are active, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Did you know TEKGROUP's online newsroom lets you manage thought leader, subject matter expert & executive bios
Most online newsrooms have the ability to create a single "dark site" to be used in times of crisis. Typically these consist of a handful of pages that can be updated behind the scenes and then made live once the crisis hits. With today's 24x7 news cycle and with social media outlets being used more and more to break news, it may be important to have multiple sites ready in advance. Some organizations are creating dark sites each quarter for their earnings releases by putting all of the support materials up and online in a secure area prior to releasing earnings. Micro-sites can also be used for new product launches, executive crises, and special events. Do you want to learn more about the control that you can get with an online newsroom?


Google and several other public companies have moved away from using expensive wire services to utilizing an investor relations web site, RSS feeds, and social media for optimal disclosure.
One area of an online newsroom that gets particularly detailed attention is the investor relations section. Typically this part of the site includes earnings announcements, financial documents and links to press releases and SEC filings concerning sales and other investor information. Regulation FD makes it absolutely clear that organizations can use their online newsrooms as the primary area for investors and analysts to receive financial documents. Web disclosure is growing in acceptance and several large organizations are using their web sites to bypass expensive wire services, saving them both time and money. Furthermore, organizations are starting to use social media outlets to assist in disclosure as well. By creating Twitter accounts that are linked directly to their investor relations site and then publishing their earnings automatically to those accounts, organizations are able to leverage social media to ensure wide issuance of their earnings announcements.

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