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.

Upcoming Business Wire Events – Aug. 2 Edition

August 2, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Business Wire Networking & Happy Hour

Hosted by Business Wire Seattle

Join your friends at Business Wire for a complimentary Happy Hour to thank you for your membership. Network with other BW members, meet local account executives and editors, and enjoy a drink and light appetizers at the Tap House Grill in Downtown Seattle. This event is free and open to Business Wire members only.

Tuesday, August 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT
Tap House Grill
1506 6th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101
To register: Please RSVP here. For questions, please contact Lauren Linscheid at 206-405-4000 or email

Adding Video to Maximize Your Reach, Exposure & Pick-Up

Hosted by Business Wire Atlanta

Join Business Wire in Atlanta for lunch and a panel discussion on using video to maximize your marketing communication efforts. Learn how integrating video into your marketing and public relations plans can add value to your news and generate interest in your PR campaigns. Panelists include: Jay Durgan, MEDIAMobz; Cliff Pollen, VisibleGains; Kate Keib, WXIA-TV; and Leigh Jones, The Daily Report Online. This event is free for Business Wire members, and $20 for nonmembers.

Wednesday, August 11 at 11:30 a.m. ET
AMC Fork & Screen Buckhead
3340 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
To register: Please RSVP to Yasmine Santos at 770-667-7500 or email

Video & SEO: Best Practices for Effective Marketing and PR

Hosted by Business Wire Los Angeles

Business Wire Los Angeles hosts this breakfast event where our panel will discuss how to use video in your press releases to drive web traffic, generate leads and help your search engine optimization. Tips will be offered on creating simple but engaging videos, and optimizing your video and press releaes for search. Hanna Pantle, AVP, Corporate Communications & Media Relations at BMI will moderate the panel, which also includes: Dave Toole, MediaMobz; Meredith Kendall, Break Media; Matt Meeks, Bender Helper; and Joel Russell, the Los Angeles Business Journal. This event is free for all attendees

Thursday, August 19 at 8:00 a.m. PT
The Olympic Collection
11301 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
To register: Please RSVP to Garrett Henricksen at 310-820-9473 or email

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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