3 essentials for your online newsroom

Digital newsrooms make it easier for reporters to cover your story or organization. Here’s how you can help journalists do their job.

In our visually focused world, there has never been a more crucial time for public relations professionals to include multimedia content as part of their offerings to journalists.

I deal with top reporters and editors daily. I’ve discovered that having high-quality photos and video greatly improves the chances for media coverage.

Download a free white paper, “How to be a Brand Journalist,” to learn what it takes to become a successful brand journalist and create news content on behalf of your brand.

Today, an online company newsroom is the best way to deliver your content to journalists and news decision makers. The best way to set your online newsroom apart is by ease of use. Be sure reporters can find and acquire your multimedia content—hassle-free.

What do journalists want in an online newsroom? Here are three tips:

  1. Easy access. Journalists are busy people. Sometimes, they are short on patience. To keep them happy, eliminate all barriers to entry into your newsroom by making sure they don’t have to set up passwords or cumbersome log-ins. For those times when you must guard content behind a wall, make sure you’re technically able to set up a password-protected area if needed. This works well if you have content to offer in advance of an embargo. As a rule, don’t limit access to content that you want reporters to pick up and share.

  2. Simple to use. Journalists should be able to download your content with the click of a button. If you have too many steps for news pros to get what they need, you risk losing them. Make sure your interface is user-friendly and presents your content offerings in a logical way that’s easy to navigate.

  3. Customize things. The way to get a journalist’s respect is to let them know that you understand their needs. Your online newsroom should offer downloadable multimedia elements in the styles and formats that journalists most frequently use. Make sure you offer several formats or versions of your content. This may include edited pieces as well as raw elements for the journalists who want to create the story themselves.

If your organization doesn’t have access to creating all the elements, choose a few that you can. Make sure you label your content as available for free and unrestricted use, and let news professionals know who provided it, such as this: “Video courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Your job is to make a journalist’s job easy, because a happy journalist is more likely to use your content.

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource , a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism . MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards . Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.

Topics: PR

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