Michigan’s online newsroom knows what its audience wants

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation delights Michiganders and newcomers with information and stories about the Great Lakes State.

The goal of Michigan’s online newsroom is this: Tell stories and start conversations about why Michiganders live there and why others should join them.

It’s simple, but it works.

Why? Because the Michigan Economic Development Corporation knows its audience, and that’s just one of the reasons it won the 2012 PR Daily Award for Best Online Newsroom.

Shirley Gray, who submitted the entry, says her team wanted to reach a public that:

  • Has a short window. “They decide within seconds whether to examine something more closely or move on,” Gray says. “We have to grab their attention quickly in as few words as possible so get to the point in the headline or post since most won’t read any further.”
  • Becomes distracted. “People scan news stories and social networks, while doing something else simultaneously,” Gray says. “If someone is boring them or seen as uninteresting or unreliable, they tune into something more interesting. This is why we gather news and information for them, posting the most helpful stories as soon as we possibly can.”
  • Is influenced by peers. “People read an item or watch a video because their feed says multiple friends read it,” Gray says. “So, we try to reach people who influence others.”

Considering these factors, the team created its online newsroom. In this newsroom, you’ll see a plethora of ways to learn more about Michigan: Pure Michigan tourism emails, Web content, videos and press releases. It also updates its Facebook pages, Twitter, Flickr and blogs. It also prominently displays “Contact Us” and “Join our Email List” buttons.

Congratulations to Joseph Serwach, Thomas Nicholas, Kathy Fagan, Michelle Begnoche, Robin Peebles, Shirley Gray and Nathan Pilon for being proud of Michigan and getting more people to learn about it.

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