Online Newsrooms: Transforming Social Media

create the best newsroom possible – part 1

Posted on: October 10, 2010

Transparency, credibility, and openness; three things that companies these days are striving to achieve in order to continue to be competitive in their field, according to author and award-winning journalist, David Henderson. Henderson explains that they best way a company can achieve these three characteristics is to create and maintain a successful online newsroom. When you a company accomplishes this task, they are providing their audience with the best place to locate accurate and meaningful information about themselves and their industry. Sound like a lot of pressure? Don’t panic, just read on.

With all the positive aspects online newsrooms bring to the table, there are also important components that are necessary, and guidelines that need to be followed in order for it to actually be effective.

There are hundreds of tips and steps that are involved when creating an online newsroom and it is important to research and consider as many as you can so that you can get the most out of your time and money. It seems that the golden rule to managing a successful online newsroom is to keep it simple and easy for your customers to view. PR Newswire suggests that a company should make sure the information in their online newsroom is easy to find and easy to share.

PR Newswire also emphasizes the importance of determining who the target audience is going to be. Neglecting to complete this particular step would be like jumping into the deep end when you don’t know how to swim. You need to consider who will be looking at certain sections of your online newsroom. Will it be customers, the media, business partners, employees…or all of the above? Figuring out the answer to this question will get you on your way to creating an effective newsroom.

Scott Deyager, the social media supervisor at Toyota, explains how one of the best things they did was to take a risk and chose not to use password protection for Toyota’s online newsroom. Deyager explains that as a change in social media takes place, more and more people are sharing their opinions and they are all influential to a company, so everyone should be allowed to view one of the best places they can do that, which, of course, is an online newsroom.

Mary Fletcher Jones of Fletcher Prince agrees that an online newsroom is an essential component to a company’s website. Jones believes that the most important thing you must do first for your newsroom is list your media contacts so that anyone viewing can ask questions and contribute their own thoughts, which is a major part of an online newsroom. Here she describes what she believes are the best practices to a successful online newsroom.

Figuring out the best practices for your online newsroom can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are endless amounts of resources that can help you create a successful online newsroom for your company. Hopefully this has helped condense some of the information; stay tuned for some more helpful hints in part 2!

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4 Responses to "create the best newsroom possible – part 1"

When I first read that Toyota didn’t password-protect its online newsroom, I was shocked. But the rest of your post made me realize that online newsrooms contain information that should be available to everyone. A good relationship with the media is crucial to maintaining a good reputation with your constituents, and an online newsroom is an easy and effective way to provide the media with the information that you want them to have. I think you are correct that every company should be at least in the process of creating an online newsroom. I’m interested to know what some of the “endless amounts of resources” are, besides PR Newswire. Do you think you could include some in your next posts? I found a resource that helps universities come up with a set of best practices for student journalists, and I thought it would interest you since your major concentration is journalism. This is the site: http://www.tradershuddle.com/2010081064563/globenewswire/iPressroom-Offers-Cost-Effective-Online-Newsroom-Solutions-for-Limited-University-Budgets.html

After watching that video I came across some other ones about social media newsrooms and found this one to be particularly interesting because the interviewee is a blogger who uses online newsrooms for her information (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIhsnW0zfVI). The interviewee discusses the different elements of an online newsroom and how they aren’t just geared towards journalists anymore but towards anyone looking for information on the website. She identifies three most important elements that need to be in an online newsroom to make it successful. It would be interesting to have a post where you applied her three successful criteria to different companies’ online newsrooms to see how they measure up.

I’m interested in how the audience for an online newsroom effects the content. If a newsroom is for traditional media will it be different from one for bloggers? Also, I’m wondering what the endless resources are as well, and along with Claire, I’d like to see some examples in a later post. I look forward to seeing what can be included in the news rooms.

Emily- I have always found it interesting how general concepts of business “Best Practices” can be applied to all different types of media platforms. This post does a great job of illustrating how 2-way communication and audience analysis is imperative in any corporate communications strategy.

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