Stock Online Newsrooms with Visual Assets

Corporate online newsrooms are underperforming because they often lack visual assets that harried, short-handed reporters and editors could use to fill out story — and give companies more dominant coverage.A new survey shows corporate online newsrooms are underperforming, in part for lack of trying to meet evolving news media needs. 

Traditional newsrooms are running with smaller staffs as newspapers and magazines try to convert or at least adapt to digital platforms. As a result, there is heightened interest by news reporters and editors in images, video and links they can use as part of stories. TV stations share in this interest as they seek to build strong web presences.

However, managers of corporate online newsrooms often fail to provide this kind of content, resulting in lost opportunities for more dominant coverage of their story pitches.

Sally Falkow, president of PRESSfeed, which conducted the survey, says 83 percent of journalists surveyed wanted images to accompany text. But only 38 percent of corporate online newsrooms included visual assets. The disconnect, Falkow told ragan.com, reflects a sluggish response by PR professionals to a more visually oriented news environment.

Old habits may be hard to break for media relations professionals, but Falkow said her point is reinforced now that Twitter features tweets with images.

It could be that PR staffs aren't ignoring the trend; they just may not know how to capitalize on it. "The No.1 reason is lack of resources and close behind is lack of skills," Falkow says.

Without diminishing the skill and craft of professional photographers and videographers, there never has been a time when producing high-quality images and video is more accessible and affordable. Yes, it takes some work and you have to exercise some muscles that may have atrophied since college, but it isn't rocket science.

There are plenty of options – short video explanations or demonstrations, B-roll footage, infographics and a picture gallery.

If you knew you could get better coverage more often for your story pitches, there is no credible reason why you shouldn't stock your corporation online newsroom with the stuff the news media needs and wants.