online newsrooms

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

Digital Game-Changers

Make your issue-focused websites and online newsrooms snack rooms for viewers who can munch on chunks of information designed to win hearts, quell fears and redirect a public conversation.Websites, microsites and online newsrooms have become ubiquitous, but not always as useful as they could be in helping to manage a tough issue.

Here are six ideas to make your digital platforms matter — with more relevant, engaging and persuasive content: 

Make your site a "linkable asset"

That requires developing content of interest to your target audience. Dense backgrounders or self-serving fluff won't pull viewers or keep them engaged very long. But solid, credible information will — especially if displayed in visually accessible ways with charts, videos and well-packaged text. Providing valuable information, which is updated regularly, will convince people to bookmark your site and return. It even may lead to your site being linked to other sites, expanding your viewership and outreach.

Give viewers "information snacks"

Giving viewers good content doesn't mean trying to tell them everything you know about a subject. The concept of less is better than more prevails. Design your information as if people were eating snacks instead of a 7-course feast. Yes, provide details —in layers that the most interested and devoted readers will click to find without bogging down the more casual, quick readers. Here is a great example of snack-size information in a CNN post about a host of developments in the Boston bombing case.

The Habits of Effective Media Relations

Building relationships with the media is more effective over the long-term than coming off like a carnival barker pitching stories.Good communicators rely on craft and relationships rather than luck to earn positive media mentions. Many times, good communicators go unnoticed, like great athletes who make amazing physical feats seem effortless. But like athletes, communicators train to improve their skills.

Here are five healthy media relations habits you should adopt:

1. Believe relationships with the media are important

Don't fall into the indulgent trap of believing that reporters or media outlets are out to get you. Think instead of what you can do to build rapport with the men and women whose job it is to cover what you do and say. You can't control what the media publishes, but you can assure yourself better access to the people who write the copy by taking the time to treat them as you would a colleague or customer. A little respect goes along way, and you will get back what you give.

2.  Think like a journalist