When it Comes to Online Newsrooms, Give the Media What They Want

October 27, 2014

By Sarah Drake Boerkircher, Assistant Director, News & Communications, Wake Forest Universitysdboerkircher

At the PRSA 2014 International Conference in Washington, D.C., I participated in the public relations professional development workshop “Content, Social Strategies and Online Newsrooms: Managing Communications in Higher Education.” As a PR professional for a university’s news and communication team, I was eager to hear how journalists were interacting with online newsrooms. These are the takeaways that I found to be most helpful:

So… what do media really want in a newsroom?

  • First and foremost, an online newsroom must be mobile-friendly. If a newsroom isn’t responsive, this will only cause annoyance, causing the reporter to leave your site as soon as possible.
  • Press releases, which are categorized and easy to search.
    • Experts with biographies and up-to-date information.
    • Media contacts that include email addresses, phone numbers, mobile numbers and Twitter handles.
    • Fact sheet(s). Note: a fact sheet is not the university’s history.
    • Images, photo galleries, infographics and videos.
    • In the News” section, which includes the most current university coverage.
    • An archive. Up to five years of information can be included, but must be easy to search. Major university milestones that fall outside of the five-year window can also be included.
  • Finding an answer should be easy. When media visits a university homepage, more than 80 percent are looking for the newsroom. Reporters do not want to spend hours (let alone minutes) searching a university site for an answer, so make the newsroom reporter-friendly by easing the search features and incorporating the content outlined above.
  • Content needs to be searchable. Often public relations professionals use corporate / university speak that is not easily searchable, which prevents a press release or story from gaining traction. Use language that people will most likely use when they conduct a search. This is as simple as calling a spade a spade.
  • Use a story in multiple ways, so impact can be measured. Storytelling is key in public relations, so being able to measure the impact of a story is important. Repurposing content through a blog post, tweet, video, infographic, photo or Instagram post, increases the chances of a story to be shared. Once content is shared, which is often easiest to do so across social media, a story’s reach and spread become measurable.
  • There is always room for improvement. After major or minor changes to a newsroom, do not be afraid to ask media to take a look at your site. Feedback can help to make the newsroom that much more efficient and only help get media the content that they want when they need it.

Time It Right: The Importance of Financial Calendars

September 25, 2014

By Hannah Kelly, Business Wire Paris

What is a financial calendar?

A financial calendar (also referred to as an economic calendar) is used by traders, shareholders and the media alike, in order to track the important events of the economy. The majority of the time, this is to check for market-moving events, such as monthly jobless claims, factory orders and debt auctions which are all found in the economic calendar. Several high-profile sites such as Bloomberg and Forex publish release dates for forthcoming economic reports each week.

Bloomberg Editorial Calendar

Each audience segment utilizes this information in a different fashion. A trader for instance, may implement a specific strategy based on the proposed outcome of a report, while a newsroom will adjust their coverage and focus, based on that same report.

Why is the calendar important for public companies?

Companies use the economic calendar in order to avoid scheduling conflicts with their conference calls, investor days, and other important events. The calendar is vital in anticipating workload, keeping to a schedule and keeping everyone up-to-date and informed.

However, in addition to following the economic calendar, companies should also be aware of the dates and times of companies within their respective industry – you wouldn’t want a top analyst to have to choose between your company and your top competitor. Best practice is to try and schedule the event close enough but not so close that an analyst or reporter cannot cover both.

How should the calendar be used as a tool when a company is setting up their next event?

Press releases:  Many traded companies choose to note key dates in certain press releases, which works excellently. Those who read your first quarter results will likely be reading the next quarter, so why not quickly mention their publication date?

Investor HQ:  Here at Business Wire, we offer InvestorHQ, a web-based content management system that allows clients to manage a search-engine optimized online newsroom. Since InvestorHQ  is a CMS (content management system), events can be posted simply by entering the date, time and location. Audio and visuals can be also be added to the calendar, and email invitations can be sent with a link to the Event page, through which investors can register and receive reminders for that particular event.

No more excuses – no matter how big or small your company is, the financial calendar should play an essential role in scheduling your next event!


The Online Newsroom Debate: Combine or Split Out Financial Data

September 12, 2014

In this piece by Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s VP of web communication services, we take a closer look at the various ways public companies present their company news to reporters, analysts and other parties.

IR-site-or-online-newsroom

Some online newsrooms combine public relations, branded content and investor information on one single landing page. While this allows all interested parties access to a wide range of content, many experts have noted that the experience these newsrooms present are not customized enough to produce significant results.

The other option is to decouple company and branded content from investor information by creating two sites, an online newsroom and an IR site that link to each other as needed. Since each audience has such differing goals when visiting the company’s site, this allows each section of the website to be tailored enough to the visitor that it drives higher rates of adoption of content and alignment with the company message itself.

What type of corporate online newsroom does your company have?  And why should you care?  (Hint –over 70 percent of reporters access the company’s news page when writing a story).  Read more here to find out which set up works best for you and your goals.


Online Newsroom or Investor Center – Your Message Must be Mobile

May 21, 2012
by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

I have weekly, often daily, conversations with communicators at Fortune 500 companies. These discussions focus on online newsrooms and investor centers. More and more, I see these top-notch professionals realize that their communications center should be optimized for mobile access.

Whether your message is for investors and analysts or journalists and bloggers, you cannot ignore the fact that your audience is a moving target. And that moving target has a smartphone.

Two years ago, only 18 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned a smart phone device. Today, it is 44 percent according to Nielsen. If you need more statistics to convince you of the mobile momentum, the Pew Research Center reports that a third (34%) of all desktop/laptop news consumers also use their smartphone to access news.

So the question isn’t whether you need your online newsroom or investor center optimized for mobile devices, it is how quickly you can make it happen. Other points to consider include which platforms your mobile-optimized online newsroom or investor center will support; how investors, analysts, or journalists will find your mobile site; if your mobile site is legible; if you will be able to view mobile site statistics; and whether you need a mobile application or a mobile website.

Luckily, mobile-optimized sites should be clean and uncomplicated since we are talking about a very small screen. Therefore, the mobile-optimized version of your online newsroom or investor center should take no longer than two weeks to launch. All major platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) should be supported, and when a member of your target audience visits your online newsroom or investor center, their smartphone should automatically redirect to the mobile version for better viewing.

Simple design is the key to a good user experience when it comes to mobile sites. Shy away from use of graphics that carry a large file size, and keep the code clean. As with any other site, you should have access to analytics so that you will know the number of page views and unique users garnered by your mobile online newsroom or investor center.

Although there are very good reasons to create a mobile application, Business Wire offers the mobile-optimized version. It’s faster and less expensive to provide to communicators with deadline concerns and budget limitations. It’s also searchable via Google so target audiences have a greater chance of finding company news, information and other content types including press kits, stock quotes, and contacts. And, as we’ve seen, web browsers will continue to gain speed, while an individual platform may not necessarily have an indefinite lifespan.

If you have questions concerning NewsHQ Mobile online newsrooms or InvestorHQ Mobile investor centers, contact your local Business Wire representative.


InvestorHQ and NewsHQ Now Available

September 14, 2010

We teased you with them a couple of months ago — now they’re finally available. InvestorHQ and NewsHQ, our new online investor center and online newsroom products, are here for your company to build and better your web presence.

Take a look at today’s press release, and view the two slideshows below that outline some of the terrific features to be found in NewsHQ and InvestorHQ.

To learn more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


Business Wire Responds to Client Demand with Launch of Online Newsroom and Investor Relations Website Solutions

July 19, 2010

by Ibrey Woodall, VP of Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida

Ibrey Woodall

BW VP of Web Communications Ibrey Woodall

In response to multiple client requests, Business Wire announced the upcoming August launch of the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center solutions. The new products complement Business Wire’s current suite of services, improving communication and constructing an enhanced workflow for communications strategies and investor outreach.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are often referred to as microsites. Microsites are auxiliary websites that cater to specific needs and interests. NewsHQ and InvestorHQ were developed specifically to help corporate communicators and investor relations officers house and maintain information for a myriad of audiences, including journalists, bloggers, investors, consumers, analysts, key influencers and others.NewsHQ-InvestorHQ

There are many benefits to employing these content management solutions. One of the main reasons the online newsroom came into existence was because public relations representatives were having a hard time getting cooperation from their technical, or IT department, when they needed a press release posted quickly. Investor relations officers also needed a means by which they could get the most recent financial news and data to their company’s investors and analysts.

So, control was an initiating factor for this technological evolution. Communicators needed to be able to post and organize content in a timely manner. They needed to be able to get their message on their website, and delivered directly to those who were interested in their organization.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are tools that enable communications professionals to edit and manage the overall functionality of the website, without having to acquire complex technology skills. Posting content to the site is as easy as using word processing functions such as bold, italic, underline or upload image.

The NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions also make it much easier for those interested to research the status, history, and news of an organization. All of your company’s press releases, photographs, executive biographies, SEC filings, quarterly and annual reports, relevant stock and background information, along with other components can be accessed and downloaded from one central location – a headquarters – no matter where the site visitor resides. Journalists, investors and analysts expect this convenience 24 hours a day. They do not want to wait for the communicator to “get back to them.”

Search engine optimization is important in every communications campaign. The goal is to optimize your content to gain a higher ranking within search results. The ability to create links and URLs, and add keywords and tags are available within both the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center. These features will help strengthen your SEO efforts.

Business Wire’s clients will truly see a return on investment with the NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions. Simultaneous posting of formatted Business Wire press releases into your online newsroom and investor center, along with streamlined email and SMS alert distribution, and automatic placement of press releases onto your company’s social networking sites, reduces the amount of steps you have to take to post and distribute content. ROI is also realized with the simple equation of placing a dollar figure on the amount of time you spend answering the same questions over, and over, and over again.

If you are interested in learning more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


Congratulations to Our Netbook Giveaway Winners!

June 16, 2010

June is always a big month for our industry & Business Wire is fresh from the floors of some of the most important PR & IR conferences of the year. At the shows this year, we discussed our two new products, NewsHQ online newsrooms & InvestorHQ online investor centers, and gave away netbook computers at the NIRI 2010 Annual Conference in San Diego, the IABC 2010 World Conference in Toronto and the CIRI 2010 Annual IR Conference in Ottawa. Congratulations to our winners:

NIRI 2010:
Angela Steinway, Integra Lifesciences
Plainsboro, NJ

IABC 2010:
Lynne Heasman, Quit Group
Wellington, New Zealand

CIRI 2010:
Dmitry Kushnir, Agnico-Eagle Mines
Toronto, Canada

Congrats, all! Conference Month isn’t quite over for us yet…if you’re attending Bulldog Reporter’s Media Relations Summit on site in New York or online on June 28, we’ll see you there!


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