It has never been more critical for an organization to actively manage its news. Relying on newswires, PR agencies and marketing firms, media contact databases, and third party consultants to provide the voice for your brand is not cost-effective and rarely yields better results than self-publishing and self-distribution. Organizations that leverage online newsrooms as their central communication hub exert greater brand control, can immediately publish, email and monitor their message in a variety of media outlets and track the ultimate success of their news story.

Each year TEKGROUP International highlights 25 online newsrooms that provide a valuable resource to journalists and news consumers. While all newsrooms should be mobile-friendly and contain relevant content, these go above and beyond by offering integrated social media, blogs, subject matter experts and extensive multimedia. Below are five online newsrooms that have helped redefine how organizations are saving time and money while extending the connection with their audience.

The Sprint online newsroom focuses on traditional press content mixed with timely, relevant and frequent blog posts on a variety of topics. Their news releases are broken down by topic, such as environment and community, while their blog posts are typically focused on product, innovation and technology. The communications portal also includes a social media wall that integrates live Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels into one screen, allowing people to see what the company is doing and share those posts across their own social networks

Prudential Financial and PGIM online newsrooms are integrated into one centralized publishing system that allows the corporate communications team to manage both traditional press releases and news along with multimedia, thought leadership, and featured articles across both sites. They include topical content on relevant issues such as financial protection, wellness and retirement as well as provide detailed research and commentary on trending events and finance. Their PGIM content centers around real estate, associate groups and partners and provides a brand journalism approach to covering the organization.

REI’s online newsroom is wholly integrated into their corporate site, thus providing a clear and transparent view into the company’s public relations efforts. The PR team includes basic information such as “About REI”, executive biographies, fact sheets, and general statistics, but also provides photos, videos, and detailed media kits to round out their content offering. The home page offers four key featured stories, featured videos and images and integrated embeds to their social media accounts. Finally, they provide content surrounding news releases, their Co-Op program, environmental stewardship, programs and adventures.

University Hospitals online newsroom is a leader in the healthcare field for providing up-to-date, relevant news content on current health trends. They segment content via their various institutes and health centers and offer subject matter experts on a variety of content topics including child psychology, immunology, and neurology. Additionally the site offers audio, video, images and press kits with detailed download options. With such a large database of news content, the site makes it easy to find content by offering search tools, filters, and archives. Finally, the PR team offers an “In the News” area of the site which features recent press mentions of the organization.

MGM Resorts manages more than 15 of their branded resorts with one online newsroom. You read that correctly- ONE! They include numerous and compelling videos and photos; including b-roll video and high resolution photos. This media can be instantly used for televised news stories or printed magazine articles. Another highlight of their newsroom are the featured stories of concerts and events. Lastly, MGM’s newsroom includes a Media Login where registered and approved members of the media can access embargoed content and exclusive stories. Journalists love this stuff! First access to exclusive stories- yes, please!

These companies are leveraging their news content — stories, videos, images — to help not only distribute their message, but also to build trust in their brand and develop an integrated relationship with marketing and ultimately sales. Setting your brand up as a trusted news source will not only drive consumer traffic to your site, but also provide a valuable and relevant resource for traditional news media to share. If your online newsroom is not amazing, you may be missing out on opportunities well beyond PR.