01 February 2005


As printed in O'Dwyer's PR, www.odwyerpr.com, February 2005

Web Sitings
John O'Dwyer

A reporter on deadline needs copy and images fast and the web is where most go to get what they need. Does your company have an online newsroom that has authorized press releases, images, company logos, graphics and media kits for journalists in need of a quick information fix?

TEKgroup Int’l. can help you get one up and running without any technical investment on your part or the need to load complicated software.

“An online newsroom is important because it lets journalists know they’re getting the real story from the official source,” said Steve Momorella, Director of Sales and Marketing for TEKgroup.

Momorella explained that his company customizes each newsroom to fit the style and look of a company’s main
website, incorporating these essential features:

  • Press release module.
  • PR contacts: database of media contacts around the world using monitoring technology from BurrellesLuce and VMS.
  • Press kits: incorporating easy access to multimedia such as audio/video clips.
  • Events calendar: automated e-mails that call attention to upcoming events.
  • Executive biographies.
  • Crisis comms. module: involves the building of a crisis website behind the scenes.

According to Momorella, companies need what he calls a “dark site” that can be launched at a moment’s notice in the event of a crisis. TEKgroup has a site like this set up for Ford in the event of a recall.

“Imagine if a crisis hits, you’ve got to have a response ready quickly. There’s no 5 PM deadline for a blog,” Momorella said.

He stressed that the main benefit of his software is its ability to track who reads a distributed release and whether they run it.

Momorella added, “Journalists are expecting to get their releases and their information tailored to them specifically. Sending out a press release through traditional means just isn't enough anymore.”

Cost savings is the key

Materials and manpower are the big cost savings for employing an online newsroom, according to Momorella.

“You don't need people answering phones and making slides of company images for reporters. It costs $15 a pop to FedEx a slide so a journalist can run it in their magazine or newspaper.” he said.

Momorella stressed that TEKgroup clients don't need to be spending big dollars on press kits to benefit from his company’s service, though current clients include Audi and Delta Airlines.

He said his service is ideal for those with an annual press kit budget of $50K.

Pricing for a TEKgroup-designed online newsroom is based on the number of admin. users (those with the permission to create and send releases), number of press releases sent out and web traffic the site generates.

For example, one designated admin. person sending out 10 releases or less per month would cost $500/month.
As mentioned before, TEKgroup hosts the software and performs regular maintainance for its clients’ newsrooms.

Florida-based TEKgroup has 26 employees and was founded in 1998. You can find them on the web at www.tekgroup.com.

Online newsroom for carmaker Audi developed by TEKgroup.

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