Happy 25th Anniversary World Wide Web!

March 12, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social + Evolving Content

Twenty-five years ago today, the concept of the World Wide Web was officially established.  Founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, built as a side project while at CERN, Tim was the first person to write the code for a browser and editorial system, eventually released broadly and at no cost in 1993.

The establishment of the World Wide Web changed the way companies and consumers interacted.  Before the introduction of websites, PR teams would distribute press releases, then manually follow up with interested parties, including reporters, analysts and customers by phone.  If someone wanted to learn more about an organization or its offerings, they would call, leave a message and hope for a return call.  If no return call was made, no company information was shared.

Before the introduction of websites, news consumption was via newspapers and magazines with TV and radio leading the charge with breaking news or daily recaps.

Business Wire WebsiteNineteen  years ago, Business Wire recognized that the World Wide Web would dramatically change the way the world communicated.  We understood that by providing media, analysts and consumers instant access to key news and information, companies would build stronger relationships with these groups, as well as increase brand visibility and reach to new, previously hard- to-reach audiences.

But the web didn’t just help organizations.  With our new website, the first in the entire commercial newswire industry, Business Wire now offered additional ways for reporters, journalists and analysts to receive news– via newswire feed, email or web, ensuring immediate access to the corporate information they needed to write stronger and more compelling stories – ultimately increasing their own readership and reach.

News distribution and consumption has changed dramatically for all organizations in the last 25 years.  The penetration of smartphones ensures that 90% of American adults have full computer power in their pockets at all time.  Consumers and media alike can access websites, corporate newsrooms, social media channels and more to find company or product information.  While newswire distributions continue to be the preferred method of news distribution, journalists can receive press releases instantly through email or text message.

The late 90s and early 2000s also brought significant changes to the web, and again to news distribution and consumption.  In 1997, Business Wire launched the industry’s multimedia news release to proactively supply journalists with photos or video embedded into the press release.  The birth of Webshots, SmugMug, Flickr and Yahoo! photos triggered a massive wave of photography creation and sharing, increasing consumer demand for media outlets to include multimedia in press releases.

In 2005, YouTube launched, providing for the first time, a central repository for videos and kicking off an unheard of amount of video creation, sharing and consumption.  Consumers and media embraced video so dramatically, it too triggered another shift within the media space. 2005 marked the beginning of the massive surge of interactive news – suddenly a traditional news article could be supplemented with company created videos, providing viewers a much deeper look at the company.

Since the birth of the World Wide Web, news consumption has sped up.   We are now in a 24/7 news cycle with news coverage including everything from an article, a tweet, a photo, a video and more.  And it is only going to get better.  We look forward to the movement towards wearable technologies,  faster data speeds and other new inventions and the impact they will have on this industry.  Bring it on, future! We are ready!


Critical Content for an IR Site: Press Releases Most Viewed Within Investor Centers

January 13, 2014
Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

We’ve heard from naysayers for years now that the press release is dead, especially within the financial industry. The statistical truth, however, is that the press release is, by far, the most accessed type of content within an investor relations center, or IR site.

At Business Wire, we work with thousands of publicly traded companies to disseminate press releases containing important financial data. Many of those organizations have also partnered with Business Wire to host their IR site. As we monitored these sites, we noted that the most popular content ranked as follows for 2013:

  1. Press Releases
  2. Events and presentations
  3. Executive biographies
  4. Annual reports and other financial documents
  5. Analyst coverage

With hundreds of thousands of views, the press release reigns supreme as it is viewed almost seven times more than events and presentations, the second most preferred content type. Views for all content types increased from 2012 to 2013. Interestingly enough, executive biographies grew over 300 percent, passing annual reports by a level.

I’ve always championed the frequently asked questions or FAQ section, particularly for the IR site, and it is next in line after the top five content types above. Financial communications can be complex at times, and investors, analysts and financial reporters have a lot of questions they need answered quickly. It makes it straightforward for all parties if the most common questions are provided with the most current answers.

Due to the demand for press releases, it is vital that they post simultaneously and directly to the IR site as they are distributed via the newswire. Categorizing releases not only by date, but also by subject matter, will make them easier to review and manage.


Business Wire Presents: Everything PR and IR Pros Need to Know for 2014

January 2, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social & Emerging Platforms

Let’s face it; there is nothing better than working the last two weeks of the year.  Oh you may think it is better to be with friends and family or battling mall crowds or lines at the airport, but in reality, those of us working this week are enjoying shorter commuting times, phones not ringing and a few spare minutes to catch up on the latest industry news and trends.

As we in the Business Wire marketing team catch up on our reading, we compiled this list of posts to catch you up on the best of 2013 and prepare you for a productive and successful 2014.

Top Gaffes for 2013 (after all, you don’t want to end up on this list next year!)

2013 Industry Changes + Best Practices

Looking ahead: Top Tips and Predictions to Prepare You for 2014

And just for fun, a hat tip to Buzzfeed for this scarily accurate look at Isaac Asimov and his 1964 predictions for 2014.


Media Consumption in 2013: The Risks of Ignoring Mobile

November 18, 2013

By Simon Ogus, Media Relations Specialist

The sight is so common now; it doesn’t even register with us anymore.

You see someone with a few minutes to kill, whether it be waiting for a bus or an appointment, and inevitably the smartphone comes out and the individual is immediately engaged with the apps and web that are so easily accessible.

This is media consumption in 2013 and there is no going back.

With web networks continually getting stronger and Wi-Fi becoming more readily available in public places, the public’s mobile consumption will continue on the meteoric rise that it’s on right now. Consider this graph below from Business Insider detailing the U.S. Consumer Media Consumption Share of Voice:

Source: Business Insider

Source: Business Insider

The graph above shows consumption for all forms of major media. Television and print media are steadily declining with their users often simultaneously engaged with some second screen device, especially during valuable commercial time.  Meanwhile, mobile use is steadily rising.

There are many reasons for this trend, but first and foremost is that when you are on the go, mobile has no competitors. It’s convenient, provides immediate gratification, and there isn’t as much opportunity for distraction as there is when you are watching television, reading a newspaper/magazine or even sitting down with your laptop at home or at a coffee shop.

There is considerable data to suggest that these trends will not only continue but continue in a dramatic fashion. Consider these facts in a recent Business Insider report on mobile media consumption.

  • Consumers are spending as much time on mobile as they are in the traditional online category (which includes all activity on desktops and laptops).
  • Mobile was the only media type to grow in total U.S. consumer minutes spent per day from 2010 to 2012.
  • In the course of 2013, tablet shipments have grown 83% while PC shipments dropped 13%.
  • Mobile video is already big, but it’s poised to become even bigger. Consumers are watching at almost unheard of rates. They’re also sticking to their mobile devices for longer periods of time while watching. This gives marketers more time and opportunity to place ads within streaming video content.
  • The 219 million mobile-only users now make up close to 20% of Facebook’s total user base and Pinterest’s U.S. mobile-only user base grew 28% reaching 18.3 million in June 2013.  Facebook in particular has made significant progress monetizing this growing  audience: mobile advertisements now represent 41% of its ad revenue.
  • Search is also becoming increasingly mobile. Tablets and smartphones now account for 26% of all local search traffic.

Business Insider’s reference to the development of mobile websites is particularly significant and shows that this trend is for real. As developers continue to make mobile websites quicker and more efficient, consumer usage of mobile search and mobile brand interaction will continue to grow.

Early versions of mobile websites were less user-friendly, but the newer interfaces are improving so rapidly that it is becoming less and less of an issue.

What does this mean going forward for today’s brands and organizations? It means that any information disseminated through the web needs to be easily accessed and consumed from a tablet or smartphone. Organizations can do this by first creating a fast, mobile-friendly website utilizing responsive design.  This will ensure easier access to your content whether it is read on the desktop, smartphone or tablet.

The second step is serving up content directly of interest to mobile users. Mobile phones are lean-in devices, people do not pick them up without wanting to take an action. Use your Google Analytics to help you determine what content you should present first on your mobile website.  For most brands it is contact information, including a phone number, then links to internal sections of the website including the About Us and newsroom.

Today’s mobile newsrooms and press releases also require mobile-ready formatting.  Images, videos, press releases and PR contacts should be easy to both find and read on each device. Multimedia, a huge component of driving action on mobile and desktops alike, should render quickly on mobile phones, and any delays in rendering the image should be fixed quickly. Lastly, make sure your newswire vendor distributes your news in both standard and mobile-ready formats.

With many companies investing in user-friendly mobile layouts, and consumers’ mobile devices replacing desktops, the organizations that don’t make mobile websites and content priority will start to fall behind the pack.  Mobile is the present and the future and businesses will need to acknowledge and adapt to this reality going forward.


Six Simple Steps to Switch Your IR Site

October 16, 2013

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

Earlier this year, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. purchased the Corporate Solutions Division of Thomson Reuters which included their IR site hosting services. Recently, NYSE Euronext announced that it would discontinue financial subsidies for companies using these legacy services.

Needless to say, many companies are rapidly performing due diligence to find a new IR site hosting partner. Business Wire is pleased to be a preferred partner for NYSE, meaning qualified companies can easily switch their site hosting to our advanced InvestorHQ platform and continue to receive financial assistance.  In fact, we have helped several of those companies quickly and easily switch their investor center over to our secure, advanced InvestorHQ platform.

If you’re one of these companies and you worry about your IR site – don’t. Review the six simple steps we’ve laid out below, and let Business Wire guide you through the entire process.

  1. Schedule Launch
  2. Transfer Content
  3. Choose Categories
  4. Select Navigation
  5. Match design
  6. Go Mobile

These steps will help you understand what is involved so that your IR site can be converted quickly and cleanly.

1.       Schedule Launch

Anytime you begin a new project, you should visualize the desired end result first, and lay out a structured plan to achieve that outcome. Once we have established your required launch date, Business Wire will provide that plan, including a timeline featuring milestone dates that help us meet the deadline. If your corporate site is in the process of being redesigned, the redesign stage will also be incorporated into the timeline.

During this time, you will be trained on the easy-to-use content management system, and advised on best practices for important areas that span a variety of levels. Consultation will encompass the time zone of your IR site so dates and times post accurately, how your site will display in each of the latest web browsers, the importing of your contact database for email distribution, and the security of your content with access levels for individual site administrators.

2.       Transfer Content

Depending upon how long your company has been in business, you may or may not have a lot of content residing within your current IR site. All you need to do is let your assigned Business Wire HQ Specialist know which content you want to keep and where you want it located within the new site. Your HQ Specialist will physically move the content for you, expediting the launch of your IR site. If you are creating new content for new features and sections within Business Wire InvestorHQ, just send the content to your HQ Specialist for set up.

Not only will all future press releases distributed over Business Wire post automatically into the IR site, but more importantly, the releases will post directly. The distribution of Business Wire press releases and the Business Wire InvestorHQ Investor Center remain within the Business Wire framework, eliminating the need for a third-party wire release aggregator and decreasing the potential of a lost or delayed press release. There are cost-savings, workflow efficiencies and security inherent to using one partner for both services.

GraceIRScreenShot

3.       Choose Categories

Content should be categorized so that it is readily accessible for site visitors. Not only should press releases be available by date, but also by topic or subject matter.  For example, note that CKE Restaurants (http://investor.ckr.com) created categories entitled “Financial Releases,” “CKE,” “Carl’s Jr.,” and “Hardees,” so that their press releases are organized by parent company and brand, yet still allow investors and analysts to locate and access financial releases quickly.

Events and presentations should also be categorized even as commonly as “Past Events” and “Future Events,” as displayed on the W.R. Grace investor center (http://investor.grace.com) when future dates are available. If your company has multiple events, you may consider fine-tuning with classifications like “Webcasts,” “Board Meeting,” “Analyst Day,” or “Press Conference.”

4.       Select Navigation

There are certain types of content, including Analyst Coverage, Stock Charts, SEC Filings, Executive Biographies and additional Corporate Governance documents that should be available within every investor center. Your navigation structure should reflect those content types, and your HQ Specialist will present each of these content types to you and order the navigation in a pattern that best suits your company’s needs.

5.       Match Design

Site visitors need to be able to visually trust that the IR site contains official company data. This is done by following the same fonts, colors, spacing and other design elements that reflect the identity of the corporation. It can also be done by using the company’s domain name within the uniform resource locator (URL) similar to http://investor.chemtura.com or http://ir.standex.com, as well as linking to the IR site from an “Investor Relations” navigation button located on the corporate site. We recommend that the investor center follow the same design as the corporate site, positioning all branding available, even down to the “From” identifier on email alerts and broadcasts.

6.       Go Mobile.

As mobile usage increases dramatically, it is imperative that sites are easily accessible by a mobile audience. Business Wire offers mobile-optimized IR websites that are legible when accessed by smartphones and tablets of varying screen sizes.

When it comes to news distribution, hosting and consumption, it is worth noting that Business Wire has been around for more than 53 years and provides a multitude of financial disclosure services. Partner with Business Wire and stop worrying about your IR site.

For more information on the “must-haves” and “should-haves” for an IR site, we suggest reading: IR Sites: A Guide to Requirements and Best Practices white paper.


IR Sites and Social Media: Integrated and Automated Equal Effective and Efficient

April 17, 2013
by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services, Business Wire
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

Last week, Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz was interviewed on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” by Maria Bartiromo and Bill Griffeth. Business Wire Senior Vice President of Global Media Neil Hershberg relayed the finer points of that discussion in a blog post titled Social Media in the Spotlight: Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz Talks About the SEC’s Guidance on CNBC. As noted, the SEC now allows social media channels – once formally announced – to be utilized for Regulation Fair Disclosure communication, along with press releases, investor relations web sites, webcasts and filings.

Any communications professional worth their salt knows that communications tools are tactics, and that tactics are much more productive when exercised in unison. The fitting strategy is to coordinate these tools to work together automatically so that they are not only effective, but also efficient and timely.

Superior practices performed by multiple investor relations officers (IROs) begin with a safeguarded earnings release broadly distributed and tweeted by an established, trusted wire service. The next step is to make sure that the earnings press release posts directly and simultaneously from the wire service onto the company’s investor center, and into the correct category. If a third-party aggregator is used, there may be a delay in that press release being accessible and organized correctly on the IR site. If the IR site is solely used as a means of disclosure, there is the potential security concern that the information may be found before it is officially made available to all parties. Sadly, this has been experienced by some companies.

The IR communications professional is also responsible for determining that the IR site accepts registration for select email alert and

IR site visitors should be able to share posted content either by emailing, tweeting or posting onto social networks.

IR site visitors should be able to share posted content either by emailing, tweeting or posting onto social networks.

text message or Short Message Service (SMS) delivery. Investors, analysts, financial media, executives, and others who have expressed a desire to be notified when an earnings release is posted must immediately receive either the chosen email alert or mobile alert delivery method, or both. It is imperative that the message be identified as being delivered from the company’s official investor center, and should always contain a link to the full text version of the press release located on the IR site.

There are ways to successfully implement social media tools into the IR communications mix – in a useful and harmless manner. This can be done by integrating authorized social networks and a sharing module. Once a material news release is automatically posted onto the IR site, the IRO should then, if desired, be able to distribute an official tweet, as well as post onto Facebook or LinkedIn from the IR site administration dashboard. This creates a much more efficient workflow than logging into individual company social networks and preparing messages to tweet or post.

At the minimum, social media badges should be visible on the Home Page of the IR site, but if there is a company Twitter stream, it should also be integrated and displayed. Site visitors can then quickly see the most recent tweets made by the company, including the earnings release announcement, the scheduled webcast event, and the video interview of the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer discussing the latest earnings release. The Twitter stream should contain only tweets made by the company, and not include tweets by followers.

The addition of a sharing module within an IR site expands the distribution potential of vital content. Once the earning press release is officially public and available on the IR site, site visitors can share their interest in that news by electing to tweet or post the content onto their social networks or send it by email.

There are many helpful ways to utilize social media in IR communications; however, when it comes to full and fair disclosure, these communications tools should be used as part of an overall strategy in conjunction with tried and true, secure communications techniques.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ibrey Woodall is the VP Web Communications Services for Business Wire. She actively writes and speaks about online public relations including web services such online newsrooms, and IR web sites. She can be reached at Ibrey.Woodall@BusinessWire.com, LinkedIn: Ibrey Woodall or via Twitter @IbreyWoodall.


Is a Password Protected Company Website a Best Online Newsroom Practice?

November 27, 2012
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor; and Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Miami

Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor

As more and more companies are building their online news sites, many are faced with questions about how best to serve their consumers, employees and visiting journalists:  When building your online newsroom, should you have visitors register to log into your company website? How far back should press releases be archived on an online newsroom? Should executive bios with age be included on the company news site?

These were some of many questions asked at Business Wire Florida’s Online Newsrooms Best Practices for Communicators panel earlier this month at the University of Miami.

Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative

The panel consisted of Bill Faries, Miami bureau chief for Bloomberg; Rick Hirsch, managing editor for The Miami Herald; and Jeff Tavss, executive producer for digital & social media for WPLG-TV. Ibrey Woodall, vice president of web communications services for Business Wire, moderated the panel. Each media professional shared his insights on online newsrooms and the challenges of their usage by the media.

When asked if they would visit a “password protected” company online newsroom where they had to register to gain access, each panelist said no, and had questions of their own on the matter.

“Why would a company do that?” Hirsh asked.

“How prevalent is this practice?” Tavss said.

Pictured left to right: Pilar Portela (Business Wire), Jeff Tavss (WPLG-TV), Bill Faries (Bloomberg), Claudia Perez (Business Wire), Janice Essick (Business Wire), Julia Sotelo (Business Wire), Eric Bushkin (Business Wire), Rick Hirsch (The Miami Herald)

Faries shared that you have to be a big company such as Coca-Cola for him to register for such a site. He even went further to say that once he is in a password-protected news site he should be able to find information that is not accessible by the general public.

“The act of password protecting content types within an online newsroom is not widespread; however, it can be very useful at times. It all depends upon the strategy and specific purpose of the online newsroom,” added Woodall.

Also brought up during the panel discussion was a timeline for press releases and searchable archives. Hirsch said, “Companies should keep everything up”. Faries agreed and added, “Keep it up for transparency.”

Woodall advised that the industry average is to provide a minimum of 2 to 5 years of press release archives. “If you can provide more historical press releases than do so,” stated Woodall. “But if you are unable to do so, at least provide milestone releases that affect  the make-up of the company, such as a merger or acquisition or new CEO. You don’t necessarily need to provide a release about a small community event from 1973.”

Here are some other essentials a company should keep in mind when mapping out its online newsroom.

  • It should be easily accessible, and made available from your home page.
  • Full birthdates for executives should be listed, not just ages.
  • Complete executive bios, including resumes, are preferred.
  • Provide links to the executives’ LinkedIn pages.
  • Phone numbers (very important) and/or email addresses for media contacts should be available.
  • Provide cell phone numbers for executives if possible.
  • Categorize press releases and include searchability functions.
  • Sites MUST be optimized for viewing on mobile phones and tablets.
  • Media does not like when they have to register to access the information.

For more information and tips on building a better online newsroom read our guidance report. If you would like us to create your online newsroom contact your local Business Wire account executive.


KISS an Online Newsroom

August 8, 2012
By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services, Business Wire
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services


“What I’m hearing is KISS — Keep it Simple, Stupid — correct?” exclaimed one of the 70+ attendees during Business Wire’s “Meet the Media” luncheon. The discussion for this Atlanta-based session covered how the media uses online newsrooms. As moderator of this session, I turned and looked at the panelists to answer this outburst. All three replied with vigorous, affirmative nods.

The panel consisted of Anita Sharpe, Bureau Chief, Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg News; Jeremiah McWillams, Business Reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Stephen Brown,EVP/Managing Director, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta. Each panelist shared their personal insights about challenges and usage of online newsrooms by the media. This included keeping the online newsroom simple and straightforward with easy access to news specifically about the organization.

For many years, I’ve surveyed journalists on what they want in an online newsroom. I’ve also surveyed communicators on how they manage their online newsroom. I use this valuable feedback to make sure that Business Wire’s NewsHQ product contains the best features and functionality. I enjoy listening to the horror stories, and seeing journalists get worked up about obstacles in some of the online newsrooms that they visit.

Atlanta "Online Newsrooms" media panel

(L-R) Jeremiah McWilliams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Anita Sharpe, Bloomberg News; Stephen Brown, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta and Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire discuss how media use online newsrooms.

Although all agreed that an online newsroom is a necessity for any organization, below are simple points that have caused frustration for these particular panelists.

  • Excessive clicks from the corporate site to the newsroom
  • Complicated navigation and design
  • Uncategorized press releases
  • Absence of press releases distributed via wire services
  • Dearth of historical press releases
  • Press releases in PDF format only
  • Omission of dates in press releases
  • Lack of fact sheets
  • Insufficient birth dates for executives
  • Missing subject matter experts
  • Unavailability of email alerts
  • Forced registration/password-protected content
  • Inadequate updates during a crisis situation
  • Failure to provide media contact phone numbers and email addresses

All of these frustrations are easy to avoid with a proper online newsroom. There was one request made; however, that I’m not sure will ever be available in an online newsroom – cell phone numbers for chief executive officers.


PRWeek Takes a Look at Business Wire’s NewsHQ

July 31, 2012


Since its debut nearly two years ago, NewsHQ (and its IR counterpart, InvestorHQ) has made quite an impact, with dozens of companies adopting our versatile, dynamic online newsroom solution.

Today, PRWeek takes a look at NewsHQ, through a Q&A with Tonia Elrod, associate director of global communications, digital and e-commerce for Procter & Gamble. An excerpt:

How does it serve your business needs?

It helps us communicate to the news media and other influencers more efficiently. We now have one place they can go to get all the information they need. We didn’t have newsrooms before this. We’d have to email or call them with information.

Media or influencers can sign up for alerts so we can send out alerts to everyone at the same time now. This has helped us reach media and influencers who we know want to receive information, versus guessing who wants to receive it.

Overall, it’s more efficient for P&G and more real-time for the news media.

Click through to read more on how P&G is using NewsHQ to streamline their global media relations operations globally (and a few nice words about Business Wire as well!).


3 Areas to Automate in an Online Newsroom

July 11, 2012

by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services, Business Wire

Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services

A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a panel that discussed “Smart Digital Tactics.” Since this conversation took place at the PR News Social Media Summit in NY, those particular tactics pertained to social media. Although all of the information was extremely helpful, I saw a lot of attendees sport an information-overload glaze after the first day of the two-day conference.

As the last presenter of the conference, my goal was to help ease the minds of overwhelmed and overworked communicators by illustrating how technology can be used to manage multiple communication steps. This can be done with one single tool – the online newsroom. It’s all about automation. Automation is the essence of digital technology.

I’m always amazed at how many different responsibilities fall under the realm of the public relations department, how few resources are available to that team, and how little time there is to meet all of the deadlines. Out of sheer survival, communicators must automate as much as is suitable within the online newsroom. Suitable, in this sense, means that it must have an actual purpose, be expedient, and alleviate some of the workload.

Below are three areas within an online newsroom that should be streamlined.

  1. Press release posting
  2. Social network posting
  3. Social media integration

1.       Press Release Posting

Online newsrooms are for multiple publics, but the core audience is still the journalist, according to the 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Practices Survey results conducted by Bulldog Reporter and Business Wire. All press releases, self published or distributed via a wire service, should be available and searchable within an organization’s online newsroom. All press releases that are distributed through a wire service should always post automatically into an online newsroom. Depending upon the amount of releases, this automation could save a communicator several hours, days, even weeks of valuable time over the course of a year.

To facilitate the process even more, all wire-distributed releases should be organized into a selected category. Those categories should be labeled by subject matter. Organizing press releases by date alone is no longer sufficient. Journalists also have a very long to-do list with tight deadlines. They need to be able to quickly access a specific type of release related to their research. It’s much easier to find that release under “Product Releases” or “Financial Releases” instead of trying to remember if it is under “2012” or “2011.”

For greater efficiency, a communicator should also be able to feature that release and generate an email alert at the same time it is distributed, posted and categorized. A featured release is not only placed into the archive, but it is also highlighted on the Home Page of the online newsroom. Despite the date of the release, the communicator can choose to keep it featured as long as they desire, even if other releases are published after the date of the featured release. This tactic persuades journalists to view this release first upon entering the online newsroom. The email alert links to the releases, increasing traffic to the online newsroom.

Communicators should be able to simultaneously distribute and post a press release onto their online newsroom, along with categorizing and featuring the individual release.

So that the corporate site also remains current, the three most recent press releases headlines should also feed and display onto the Home Page. This is done through really simple syndication (RSS) feed from the online newsroom and fulfills two objectives – making fresh news available and again, directing more traffic to the online newsroom.

The most recent news posted onto the online newsroom can also be automatically displayed on an organization’s main site via an RSS feed.

2.       Social Network Posting

Now that a great deal of time has been saved by distributing, emailing, posting and highlighting a press release simultaneously, it’s time to delve even deeper into the benefits of online newsroom automation.

When self-publishing a press release within an online newsroom, the communicator should also be able to choose to post a message onto the official Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts without having to spend the time going to each interface to log in, prepare the message and then post.  This is even more important now that Twitter no longer displays tweets on LinkedIn.

When self publishing a press release, communicators should also be able to optimize the content for search engines, dispatch a message to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and generate an email alert.

3.       Social Media Integration

Now that content has been pushed out, it’s time to pull some content into the online newsroom. This is especially helpful if the social media accounts are managed by someone outside of the public relations department.

The automatic integration of social media content into the online newsroom will let site visitors know that the organization does indeed have official Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, along with links to them. This creates an entire page of content in the online newsroom that does not require maintenance.

It’s a good idea to also link to the organization’s social media policy, as well as integrate the Twitter stream into the Home Page of the online newsroom as seen in the P&G Corporate Online Newsroom.

The P&G Corporate Online Newsroom integrates Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube content into http://news.pg.com.

In summary, if automation within an online newsroom is not present or utilized, especially in the areas of press release posting, social network posting and social media integration, valuable time is being wasted.


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