The Value of a Content Management System for Your Online Newsroom
By Anastasia Kedrova
Your website’s newsroom is the center of the online communication with your audience, be it investors, journalists, end consumers, or other stakeholders. Whether your newsroom contains press releases, news articles, photo galleries or press kits, the content is dynamic and must stay up to date, especially for disclosure purposes.
Traditionally, to get your website’s newsroom updated, you would need to know how to code or you would have to turn to internal or external IT resources. Maintaining an online newsroom with dynamic content can be challenging via this approach. It may take a long time for IT to get the content uploaded due to: multiple layers of approval required, waiting for overnight deployment, and generally dealing with a long queue of tasks on the list of priorities. This becomes frustrating for all parties involved, especially if there are numerous iterations, or more importantly, the pressure of time-sensitive content.
A good content management system (CMS) can help you ease the task of content upload to the newsroom and alleviate the workload of the IT department. Below are some key benefits of a CMS platform:
- No knowledge of coding required
- Eliminates the need to depend on internal or external IT resources
- Full control of the content
- Quickest turnaround
Don’t be fooled though – a CMS is not a quick fix to your current process problems, but rather an investment and commitment. Take a look at some of the best practices we offer below.
1) Develop a content strategy
Every organization has its own strategy when it comes to its newsroom content. Come up with a strategy that best fits your needs and aligns with the overall corporate communication strategy. Ask yourself questions, such as:
- How often will I need to update the newsroom?
- Are there steps that can be automated?
- Will the content need to be timed relative to other corporate communication initiatives?
- Will there be other people who need to be involved in the workflow?
2) Invest in a stable and easy-to-use CMS that fits with your content strategy
Based on your answers to the questions from content strategy development, create parameters for CMS evaluation, such as:
- Ease of use
- Automation of repetitive tasks
- Customizable workflow process
- Easy access to support material
3) Take some time to learn the platform
Working with new technology is always a challenge. Although some CMS platforms make it easier than others, take the time to learn how the system works and take note of the patterns. If available, keep a user guide or how-to videos within reach, saved on your desktop or bookmarked in your browser.
4) Learn simple troubleshooting tricks when working within the CMS
Sometimes, the classic call center’s first troubleshooting question to a computer malfunction is “Did you plug it in?” can be applied here, as well. There are simple troubleshooting techniques you can remember when working with a CMS. For example, some CMS platforms are equipped with content version control or back-up recovery. Some also offer activity logs where you can see if you’ve missed any steps.
Take a look at how Greater Management Admission Council, the owner and administrator of the GMAT® exam, has been able to apply these best practices to successfully implement a CMS platform for its newsroom needs. Click here to download a copy of its newsroom success story.
After having mastered a content management system, keeping your website’s newsroom current would be entirely within your ability and control. Now with all the time saved, you would be able to focus on other value-added activities to drive your organization’s success.