During a recent PR Council webinar Marissa Aydlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Appboy, challenged businesses to think like marketers, but operate like a newsroom.
After reflecting on the insights Marissa provided on how to go about this (which you can hear by streaming video from 10:35-12:30 and 27:44-31:22), I got to thinking about other areas businesses might consider revamping in order to achieve this “newsroom” MO.
What’s one thing every company could reimagine that would transform it from an ordinary information source into a major business asset? The answer: their press page.
A few months ago, PRESSfeed and the Society for New Communication Research released its 2015 report on media trends and the state of corporate newsrooms. In the report, PRESSfeed president Sally Falkow shared a few trends driving the landscape:
- There have been massive decreases in media resources due to layoffs, budget cuts, mergers, etc., which opens the door for companies to provide industry news and branded content to media.
- Search is the now most trusted mechanism for finding news and business information according to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, which indicates the need for companies to create multiple, highly optimized discovery paths.
- There is a growing demand for visual content across all publishing but due to scarce production resources, media is leaning on brands more to source and produce this content.
- Due to time constraints, there is a legitimate need for a centralized digital content hub where the dwindling number of reporters can find everything they might need.
These current trends present tremendous opportunities that place PR squarely in the media relations driver seat.
Falkow’s advice: “Take advantage of all this low hanging fruit by optimizing an oft-overlooked company asset: your press page.”
Below are 8 elements every modern newsroom should have that will turn it into a major brand asset capable of paying out media (and customer) dividends.
1. Direct Contact for Press Inquires
One of the most frequent complaints from journalists is that company newsrooms do not provide explicit contact information for media opportunities. Clearly state the best person for media to connect with and how to reach that individual. If you have various contacts for specific PR offerings, list each person’s contact info along with what area they own.
2. Industry Trends and Story Idea Generator
Nothing is more helpful than a thoughtfully curated list of industry news, topics, and trends. By offering stimulating editorial ideas, you automatically position your company as an entity that sees the bigger picture. When you become a trusted source for content inspiration or story angles, you can rest assured journalists will tap you time and time again for contributions.
3. Expert Database
Journalists are constantly seeking authoritative comments, quotes, and guest content. Provide a list of your thought leaders along with their areas of expertise, so media knows who to tap and what topics they can speak about intelligently. Your newsroom is the perfect place to show off your prowess and plant the seeds for potential media opportunities.
4. Video and Image Gallery
Everyone agrees that visual content is a major media trend that will continue to have prominence. Your newsroom should boast original images, infographics, company videos, and any other image driven assets your brand owns. These may not result in direct propagation, but it will demonstrate your understanding of the power of imagery and your ability to create it.
5. Featured Owned Media
Are you a content producing powerhouse? Show off your best stuff that touts your killer writing ability, but encourages any visitor to dig in deeper.
6. Company Design Assets
This seems like a no brainer, but it is amazing how many sites don’t offer bios or high-resolution headshots for their senior leadership team. Don’t make media search for the basics. Host everything in one place to minimize asks via email. Additionally, make sure your company logo and any other design assets are readily available, both for print or digital purposes.
7. Recent Press
#Duh. It is a press page, after all.
8. Upcoming Events
Got a panel coming up that you’re moderating? Are you the keynote speaker at a conference in a few months? Let people know when and where they can find you and your company beyond the four walls of your office.
At the end of the day, your newsroom should pique interest and encourage outreach because of the inherent value you are providing. When properly “stocked” with all the essentials, this piece of your site becomes a media opportunity creator, a lead generation tool, and a discovery path for potential customers.
A modern-day brand newsroom provides validation of your wide-ranging reach while extending the network effect of all your hard work. If you’re looking to truly serve the needs of the shifting media industry aim for your newsroom to be helpful, organized, and informative.