LA Communicators Share Online Newsroom Best Practices

by Warner Boutin, Account Executive & Luis Guillen, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire LA

Business Wire LA hosted a media panel breakfast event on Wednesday, March 28th examining best practices for online newsrooms.

Business Wire’s VP Web Communications, Ibrey Woodall moderated the panel. Panelists included Brian O’Connor, Director of Marketing & PR, Cunard Cruise Line; Serena Ehrlich, Director of Marketing, Mogreet; Deborah Braidic, Manager Website Content/Internal Communications, Children’s Hospital LA and Amanda Hedlund, Web Communications & Media Relations Specialist, Children’s Hospital LA.

L-R: Amanda Hedlund, Deborah Braidic, Brian O’Connor, Serena Ehrlich & moderator Ibrey Woodall

Based on the recent Bulldog Reporter/Business Wire Communicators Online Newsroom Survey results, panelists discussed anecdotes, challenges & overall benefits of their online newsrooms. Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

General survey findings:

  • Half (48.4%) of corporate communicators currently have an online newsroom
  • The online newsroom remains a relatively modest investment for most companies
  • Companies are integrating their social media activity into their newsrooms
  • Two most important site features: PR contacts and search module

On building your online newsroom:

  • Stakeholders should come together from the very beginning – O’Connor
  • Corporate communications and web development must be on same page. “We streamlined things early, which prevented the marriage from falling apart down the road” – Braidic
  • Know your audience’s needs. “We make sure our audience can quickly find our latest news” – Hedlund
  • Determine what content your audience wants to see
  • Journalists want quick access to your newsroom rather than searching full site

On making your online newsroom relevant:

  • Customize newsroom based on top 3 most frequently accessed content type:
    • Photos, press releases & b-roll – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Multimedia, PR contacts and all social media content – Mogreet
    • Multimedia, Experts/Physicians lists and protected logos – Children’s Hospital
  • Categorize your releases and list experts as well – Ehrlich
  • Use inbound site traffic to create potential blog posts. “I check the web traffic analytics for blog ideas” – Ehrlich
  • Analyze your online newsroom’s web page stats on a weekly basis
  • Make your corporate blog accessible on your online newsroom

On online newsroom maintenance, crisis communication and security:

  • Every company should have dark site ability, allowing you to prepare pages ahead of time for a potential crisis
  • Dark sites need to be light on graphics and multimedia
  • Some of my clients maintain 10-12 different dark sites for “just-in-case” situations – Ehrlich
  • You must know your target market if you’re going to password protect your newsroom – Ehrlich
  • Password protected content needed sometimes:
    • We don’t want somebody pulling a photo archive on a ship we don’t manage anymore – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Sometimes we’ll use passwords to prevent logos from being stolen – Children’s Hospital LA

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwchat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,638 other followers

%d bloggers like this: