Multiple studies conducted among journalists for years have provided a remarkably consistent list of items every organization newsroom should deliver. That list is reflected in Microsoft’s News Center, which has won first place in the “Online Newsroom” category of Ragan’s 2017 PR Daily Awards.
The News Center’s executive biographies include color and black-and-white photos for use by the news media. Analyst reports, executive speeches, a fact sheet, video and B-roll, press contacts and (of course) press releases and more are all there, and all meet the highest standards. There’s even a link to Microsoft’s @MSFTNews Twitter feed. All of these are easily accessed from a drop-down menu.
A visit to news.microsoft.com offers a collection of frequently-updated brand journalism pieces that focus not on products or services, but on people, including customers and employees. Compelling storytelling combines narrative text, images and video.
The site—which has a dedicated staff of professional journalists—delivers articles that rival the best produced by mainstream media. For example, consider the tale of the Microsoft researcher who developed a watch that temporarily short-circuits tremors so a 33-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease can write legibly for the first time in years. Or the employee who lost an infant son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), then channeled his grief into a project that analyzes data with a goal of ending the disease by unraveling the mysteries behind it.
Microsoft uses custom templates and a single publishing platform across all its properties, enabling the team to publish the stories—which are visually striking—at low cost. News outlets have picked up News Center stories and used its photos, videos and other assets. In 2017, the site accrued nearly 15 million pageviews from nearly 10 million visits by nearly 8 million unique users. Those numbers are no surprise—telling great stories about people is bound to attract attention.
Congratulations to Microsoft for its outstanding online newsroom.