How to Raise Visibility with an Online Newsroom
[By Kait Fowlie]
The aim of an online newsroom is simple: you want to create one centralized place where the media and anyone else who’s interested in your company can get the latest news. An effective online newsroom can turn your website into a trusted source that keeps people coming back for more valuable information, improve your search rankings, and raise your visibility.
Connect with media and reach new customers
An online newsroom is an important tool for connecting with the media. According to the 2014 Online Newsroom Survey Report by TekGroup, 97% of journalists think it is important for a company or organization to have an online newsroom available to the press. The size of your business doesn’t matter – 86% of journalists will visit large, medium and small business online newsrooms.
It’s also a smart way to reach customers. According to a study conducted by Eventility, 97% percent of consumers search for local businesses online. Having an optimized newsroom as part of your site will greatly increase the chance that you’ll be found by those new customers who are searching for your products and services.
Are you making use of an online newsroom? If not, start by considering the basics needed to build a strong center of the online communication with your audience.
The Bare Necessities: A Checklist for a Complete Newsroom
- A content management system. If you’re starting from scratch, a CMS can help ease the task of content upload to the newsroom and alleviate the workload of your IT department
- Optimized news releases – for the current year and an archive of past years
- An image library with your company logos, photos of key staff, pictures of your business, etc.
- FAQs such as “Who are your customers?” and “Where are you located?” – consult your sales team to come up with a list of commonly asked questions
- A backgrounder or fact sheet outlining your company’s history
- Key staff bios (downloadable JPGs in high and low resolution for print and web)
- Any awards and recognition
- A list of clients/customers (if appropriate)
- Upcoming events, sponsorships, and speaking engagements
- The primary media contact(s) name and contact information
- Links to all your company’s social media profiles
With a solid foundation for an online newsroom, the next step is to enhance and optimize it. Consider these best practices to drive visibility to your newsroom.
8 Best Practices to Optimize Your Newsroom
- Make sure your newsroom – and its content – can be found by search engines. While most brands report having an online newsroom as part of the company website, Search Engine Watch reports that only 14% of news releases were optimized for search and surveys indicate the entire newsroom is lacking optimization. For more information about creating search-optimized releases, access our tip sheet, “8 Steps to Search-Optimized Releases.”
- Make your newsroom easily accessible. Feature the link to your newsroom on your website’s home page and in your social media bio and / or about page.
- Offer subscriptions to RSS feeds and / or email updates with all the latest news.
- Give each page a unique URL for easy linking and bookmarking.
- Add visible social media buttons so visitors can quickly and easily share, and also follow you on your social media channels.
- Organize your content into categories and include tags so visitors can find more content on the same subject easily.
- Incorporate multimedia content. Releases with visuals generate up to 10 times more views than text-only releases, and they’re also more likely to generate media coverage.
- Consider who will be visiting your newsroom—media, customers, investors, etc.—and make sure you’re including content of interest to all your audiences.
After you’ve created your newsroom and have the tools to optimize it, keeping your content current is entirely within your ability and control. A newsroom is not a set-it-and-forget-it venture. It requires ongoing optimization efforts. The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get in return.