Amid all the noise of viral social media stories and 644 million websites,
it’s extremely difficult to catch journalists’ attention.
The Aslib Journal of Information Management highlights that:
"Journalists have a need for large volumes of information. They need the
information to be relevant and trustworthy. You also need to deliver it
quickly. The key problem they face is a shortage of time."
That requires having an engaging and useful online newsroom.
So, what does your online newsroom look like? Is it evolving with
technological advances to cater to journalists’ needs, or is it just a
bulleted list of
news releases and a mail-to form?
Your online newsroom might need an extreme makeover to help your company’s
story stand out. Here are a few case studies to guide your mobile
newsroom’s design and function.
The importance of visuals
In a case study by
Nadya Khoja, VP of marketing at Venngage, she explains:
"Your brain processes and remembers images 60,000 times faster than words.
The simple explanation is images often do a better job of painting a
picture—telling a story—than text."
Khoja further shares that infographics
and original graphics perform the best for about 42 percent of marketers,
followed by charts and data visualizations (26 percent), and videos (20
Infographics translate information that might be difficult to process on
its own. Pictures of an event can trigger an emotional response. Images of
your product or services in use can create an instant connection for the
online newsroom, for example, comes across more as an online magazine,
which draws the reader in.
Fitt’s Law and your online newsroom
A frequent complaint of journalists is that they cannot quickly and easily
find the public relations contacts on a media website. On many sites it
takes a minimum of five clicks to get to the public relations contact page,
according to PR Newswire.
In a case study by
Kissmetrics, it found abandon rates increase the more clicks a visitor has to make to
find what they seek.
Fitt’s Law says the time required to move your mouse to a target is based on two
factors: distance to target and size of target. Both must be optimized.
You can increase your click-through rate by making your target bigger. This
can mean creating a button instead of a hyperlinked sentence. You must also
place it where users will click on it, meaning where their mouse naturally
is. If you line up all your buttons, the mouse moves minimally and
click-through rate increases.
You can also decrease cancellations by using a smaller button for that
SAP wanted to increase trial downloads of its Crystal Reports software. Its
winning design included removing distractions and adding a second
click-through option at the bottom of the page. After the alteration, the
download button is clearly differentiated from the rest of the page.
What does this mean for your online newsroom?
A lot of your traffic will come from search engine results. The journalist
might not have landed on your media page, so make your information easy to
find. This includes a visible tab for journalists that links to your
contact information and latest reports.
Remove barriers between journalists and your data
When people click on your website, does it ask for your contact information
immediately? If so, people are bound to bail out in a hurry. They can
easily find what they’re looking for elsewhere without cluttering
their inboxes with unwanted email blasts.
Though you might crave a list of journalists’ emails for future news
releases, asking for their information puts up a barrier. This could bring
two bad results: Either you’ll get a fictitious email, or they’ll flee your
site. They probably don’t have the time to fill out a form and will delete
or ignore random emails.
Also, don’t put articles or reports in PDF format. Reporters want to copy
and paste quotations.
Mark Shapiro, a marketing consultant advises helping journalists to use your content:
Do not convert your text content into jpgs and images. Instead, make it
easy for journalists to access and ‘borrow’ your content in order to
promote your products and services.
It helps to make your site more SEO-friendly.
Cut the industry jargon
You might be using a lot of complicated terminology the average person
Think about your target audience and where you want your story to get
picked up. That way, you might even be interviewed as an expert for a hot
topic in the news.
[Event: Practical PR Summit
Ilan Mochari explains in
How to Introduce a New (Somewhat Complicated) Product to Consumers how Perfect Fuel, a healthy energy bar, was born.
The challenge was to explain the new snack in a familiar way. Using the
word “fuel” helped customers associate the chocolate bar with a boost of
vigor, similar to “Five-Hour Energy.”
The same thing applies to news releases. If you’re in the tech industry,
you may be sending your story to tech reporters. However, you shouldn’t
limit your audience with complicated wording.
Optimize your online newsroom for mobile speed
Slow downloads present an obvious problem.
Sixty-four percent of smartphone users expect a page to load in less than four seconds.
Joel Gross highlights the
increasing popularity of accelerated mobile pages
"AMPs use simplified HTML code that prioritizes page load speed and
readability. While the code required to create these pages is
leaner—restricts some formatting and design options—the benefits of a
faster, easier, and overall better browsing experience cannot be
By optimizing your mobile site, you elevate the user experience.
Journalists are more likely to report on your story and return for future
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