As technology advances, journalists and bloggers are adopting more social tools to help them gather and report the news. Many journalists have stated that in this new media world they rely on outside sources for content, which is an excellent opportunity for PR pros. But we have to provide the news content in the format they need and provide the social tools they find useful. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen took a look at corporate newsrooms and gave us a dismal “D” in PR. The reason? We don’t provide the content and tools journalists require in the digital world.

So if you want to score an “A” in PR on your website what should your online newsroom offer?

Social Media Integration:

According to a report from the Altimeter Group social integration keeps visitors to your newsroom on your site longer and provides one URL where they can access all content. The Washington Post listed not having a social content hub as one of the top 10 mistakes companies make in social media.

socialmedia integraotn with newsroom
Sharing Icons:

According to the Pew State of the Media report sharing your news content should be a priority. Provide one-click buttons that allow visitors to post content they like to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social sites. Use the most social form of these sharing tools – ones that show them their friends who have liked or shared this content.

Diverse Audiences:

In today’s digital world your newsroom has to serve more than just mainstream media. You should also deliver content for bloggers, buyers, consumers, analysts and investors.

RSS feeds:

Journalists and bloggers use feeds to access and organize their information. Feeds also increase your search visibility and filter your content into the social web. Allow visitors to filter your content and subscribe to sections of news they are interested in – don’t just offer one feed of all content.

Search Engine Optimization:

Journalists, bloggers and the public find their news and information via search engines. Just throwing a few keywords into a release won’t do the job. You need an SEO strategy for your PR content and the hour newsroom should allow you to tag all content, including images and videos, with keywords.

Content Quality:
Does your newsroom focus on news releases or do you consistently deliver high quality content that will drive qualified traffic to your website?

Content Format:

In a recent study PR Newswire found that news release views increase significantly with the addition of visual material. When you add an image, a video and a graphic to a release views increase by as much as 77%.

An online newsroom needs a multimedia gallery with images, videos, slide decks and graphics. You should be able to pull these visual assets from the gallery and use them with any release.

Embed Codes: This is one of those new tools journalists find invaluable – and corporate newsrooms don’t supply.

Web editors, reporters and bloggers are asking for embed codes because it makes it possible to embed a video, flash presentation or slide deck right on their site with just a few clicks. 85% of media websites use video today and 76% ask for embed codes. Only 11% of corporate newsrooms offer embed codes.

Your online newsroom should have a place to add the embed code for every multimedia asset you offer in the newsroom.

Brian Wong has an excellent article on how to embed video

embed video

Analytics: It takes very little effort to add Google Analytics to an online newsroom. Your webmaster or IT folk can do it in a jiffy. Buy SAMS Teach Yourself Google Analytics in 10 Minutes and watch the Google Analytics IQ presentations and videos on their site. Take the time to learn the basics, so you can see what is working and what is not.

There are many ways to achieve this “A” rated online newsroom. You can build it in WordPress, if you have a programmer who can tweak the basic WordPress templates. You can hire a team to build you a custom newsroom, or you can use an online newsroom vendor, like PRESSfeed. PRESSfeed can have an “A” rated online newsroom, with all the required elements in place, up and running in just two weeks. And they offer free training sessions so you know just how to use all the features.