Sally Falkow

Stock Online Newsrooms with Visual Assets

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, reflects a sluggish response by PR professionals to a more visually oriented news environment.

Who Will Write the News?

As traditional news media founder, many wonder who will write the news that people can depend on as truly fair and balanced. That responsibility may fall to public relations professionals, who should bone up on their responsibilities to the greater community of good.

Social media strategist Sally Falkow speculates that the dwindling band of traditional media hands will need increasing help from PR professionals to cover all the news. Writing for The Proactive Report, Falkow says 40 percent of working journalists believe their dependence on PR content will increase as a consequence of shrinking news staffs.

That is a far cry from the days when reporters and editors dismissed most press releases as fluff and wadded them into the wastebasket. I know because that's what I did as a reporter and editor.

An emerging symbiosis between traditional media and PR professionals raises fascinating questions. Can media guardians, however meager their ranks, trust what PR professionals produce? Can PR professionals represent their clients' interests at the same time as fulfilling their responsibility for telling the truth to the greater community?

Falkow adds another issue — can PR professionals keep up with media trends? Traditional media, along with bloggers and manifesto masters, draw people to their online content via sly tweets about breaking news events. Keeping your Twitter feed up and running on your computer or mobile device is a great way to stay connected and remain current on news events. However, far too many PR social media campaigns use Twitter to push their product at viewers, often with mixed success.