by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida
Hopefully, one of the items on your list of New Year’s resolutions is to closely review the workings of your current online newsroom. Do you have a fully developed and optimized online newsroom? Does it have the expected features? Does it fit well into your overall set of public relations and social media tools? Does it allow you to work efficiently and timely? If not, do you have the budget to afford one that does?
Based on the results of the October 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Practices Survey by Business Wire and Bulldog Reporter, the majority of organizations who intended to create an online newsroom in the future expected to do so within the next three to six months. That means that 2012 will be the year that some communicators will finally take advantage of the technology available to them.
In the past, barriers to utilizing an online newsroom have included lack of resources, inability to self-publish content, inability to integrate social media, lack of traffic, lack of analytics, lack of automated posting of press releases, inability to customize or highlight content, and simply the absence of a user-friendly content management interface.
Fortunately, very few of those surveyed felt that the cost of an online newsroom was a hindrance. Both large and small companies pay less than $10,000 a year for a standard online newsroom. Use this number as a parameter when working the cost of an online newsroom into your 2012 budget.
One of the obstacles communicators have had to deal with is one I’ve seen way too often. You won’t find this hurdle noted directly on the survey because it deals with internal departmental control and strife. However; you can imagine or even relate to the situation when you see that most organizations use an internal IT department to create their online newsroom. This may explain why communicators have not been able to self-publish content, automate press release postings, integrate social media, or even highlight specific content.
An online newsroom is a means by which a communicator can perform their job more efficiently, update content more frequently, supply desired material to journalists more easily, and interact with multiple audiences more timely – especially during a crisis situation. It is not just another section within an organization’s marketing website.
Will you be able to use dedicated communications technology to meet the varied demands of 2012? In other words, are you a PR warrior with the proper battle weapons?
Learn more about Communicators Online Newsroom Practices: join us for our free webinar on Tuesday, February 28 at 1pm ET. Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services for Business Wire, will moderate the panel, which includes Cindy Haas, Director, Corporate Communications, Ryder System; Maggie Jensen, APR, Media Relations Consultant, Securian Fianancial Group; and Mike Trask, Manager of Corporate Communications, Bally Technologies. Register for the free session HERE.