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How to Create an Online Newsroom That Journalists Love

Online NewsroomsCreativity counts when it comes to a media pitch, the headline of your press release and share-worthy blog posts. But what about your online newsroom?

An archive of press releases is useful…. but investing a few hours to add fresh resources can take it from meh to fantastic.

Most companies treat the news section of their website as a laundry list of press releases, never aiming higher, yet it’s the first place a journalist looks when something about your company sparks their interest.

And when they need a well-packaged story? A robust newsroom that delivers exactly what they need can make or break that story opportunity.

Have you given it enough TLC… or is it a snoozefest of corporate-speak with minimal value?


What Do Journalists Want?

The larger the company, the bigger the expectations journalists will have of their digital newsroom. This month’s issue of PRSA Tactics has an article by Business Wire’s Ibrey Woodall called “Delivering News That Media Can Use.” In it, Woodall shares a few details from the recently-released 2014 BusinessWire Media Survey that are worth noting, mainly because so few online newsrooms actually include many of the items mentioned

In the survey, journalists state the following are the most sought-after types of content in an online newsroom: press releases, breaking news items, media relations contact information, fact sheets, high-res images, press kits and executive biographies. If you don’t have these items in yours, it might be time to beef it up. I’d also suggest adding social media feeds to it.

Only thirteen percent of journalists were interested in suggested story ideas or abstracts, probably due to the lack of exclusivity and the fact that those ideas are publicly available. More preferable items included events, subject matter experts, white papers, product specs, locations or a facilities list, FAQs and a timeline or history of the company.

Expected features include:

  • Ability to search content by type/date
  • Registration to receive select email alerts targeted to my beat
  • Ability to download and re-use content
  • Ability to  view content by category or topic
  • Ability to access related content in one click
  • Ability to register to access embargoed content

To check out the rest of the survey and be inspired for ideas to jazz up your own online newsroom, download the survey here.

A few additional resources of interest:

This Inc 500 online newsrooms report 2013 from Sally Falkow is interesting, as are these three articles:


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