In today’s digital era, where news breaks around the clock and consumers rely mainly on the Internet to keep up-to-date, your company needs an online newsroom to have a definitive, trustworthy source of company news for journalists.
Actually, with plenty of brands using online content to engage their audience and earn credibility, it’s not even about sharing your news with the media anymore. A PR content strategy that involves a company newsroom might be necessary to remain competitive.
Then, what is an online newsroom, and what exactly are its functions? Keep reading to find out.
What is an online newsroom – definition
An online newsroom (also referred to as an online press room) is essentially a simple web page whose purpose is to feature all your press releases and company news in one place. Judging by the definition, an online newsroom might not seem like much—but the benefits of company newsrooms can truly surprise you.
Unlike actual media coverage, an online press room is where you completely control your own narrative and decide what to make public. It’s also a go-to place for all journalists, influencers, potential & existing customers, or even employees who want to see what your company has been up to.
Let’s face it: journalists still need press releases, fact sheets, and other materials to research and develop a story. By providing easy online access to your media assets, you’re making it easy for them to cover yours.
Ultimately, the story doesn’t even have to be about your company—but there can still be a place for you in it. A well-organized online newsroom only increases the chances of that.
…And we haven’t even started with the list of benefits yet.
Why have an online newsroom – functions & benefits
Many benefits and functions of online newsrooms speak for themselves. If you’re not convinced, here’s why you should have a company newsroom:
1. A company newsroom helps you draw media attention
Probably the greatest newsroom function has to do with getting media attention. “We need to be thinking of newsrooms in terms of news hubs that act as a repository of sources, information, and industry trends,” said once Wendy Marx, the president of B2B PR and marketing agency Marx Communications. “With journalists often under the gun and pressed for time, let’s make their jobs easier, which in turn makes the chances of us getting ink that much greater.”
Need some data to back it up? Take a look at the Online Newsroom Survey Report:
- 98% of journalists think it’s somewhat important (15%), important (33%), or very important (49%) for a company or organization to have an online newsroom available to the press.
- 98% of journalists say it’s somewhat important (8%), important (34%), or very important (56%) for a company to provide access to news releases within their online newsroom.
- 98% of journalists agreed the ability to search news archives within an online newsroom is somewhat important (10%), important (36%), or very important (52%) to their work.
Protip: Make the journalists aware of your online newsroom and your content calendar. Ask your media contacts about the type of stories they’re likely to cover, invite them to follow your company newsroom (or even subscribe to it), and take their feedback into account when planning your PR content.
2. An online newsroom helps you build brand awareness
Your company newsroom can not only help you get media coverage but also build brand awareness in the process. If you keep your online newsroom up-to-date, you can easily show the public what you’ve been up to and how you’ve progressed.
Protip: A build-it-and-forget-it attitude doesn’t do the trick anymore. Be sure that your newsroom always has a few interesting pieces of information that journalists can use to write a great article about your brand, including eye-catching press releases, a press kit, and a detailed description of your company.
3. With an online press room, you can gain your audience’s trust
Another one of the online newsroom benefits is that it’s not only meant for journalists. Employees, investors, and consumers also use press rooms to research your company. “Newsrooms, in some ways, are simply a natural evolution of social media” – said Carmen D’Ascendis, director of global marketing at Jack Daniel’s.
Protip: Since over 70% of your consumers want interesting content that brings them closer to the brand and 80% prefer to familiarize themselves with a brand via an article instead of an ad, you can win some serious points with your audience when publishing interesting stories or sharing your social media posts through your online newsroom.
4. An online newsroom gives you more web traffic & more engagement
An increase in traffic from the press room to your company website is definitely one of the online newsroom functions (if you take care of its Search Engine Optimization first, that is). In fact, well-optimized press materials allow you to reach a wider audience and attract journalists who are searching for news, experts, and events to cover.
Here’s another benefit: 58% of consumers trust editorial content. Let’s take a look at Reebok’s online newsroom, particularly at their Wine Workout content centered on a millennial mom, April Storey, who showed how people could exercise with household items, like wine bottles.
Reebok’s posts saw tremendous success on social media. Refinery29 picked up the story, and the above Instagram post saw 7500 likes and 1400 comments. Reebok further boosted their engagement by utilizing the Wine Wednesday trend that’s big on social media. On YouTube, for example, it had nearly 25 K views. Reebok’s partnership with Storey came after her #WineWorkout video went viral with 19m views.
Protip: Determine the value you’re delivering to your audience and let it shine through your company newsroom.
5. A company newsroom can save you time & money
Still not sure why you need a company newsroom? Consider that you can treat it as your information management system, investor relations HQ, a crisis management communication center….You name it.
Now, this won’t happen overnight, but once the hard work is done, you will be able to quickly provide all necessary press materials to journalists, editors, and anyone else who’s interested. This saves you a lot of time when managing media relations. Speaking of—check out how you can manage media relations with Prowly.
Protip: Don’t forget to analyze and measure the impact of your content. Track your visits and engagement, monitor its performance across social, and make sure you keep improving.
With the purpose and functions of an online newsroom crystal clear, it should be easier for you to start creating your own company press room. If you still need some guidance, check out our simple guide to building a newsroom from scratch. And, of course…