Why Your Newsroom Sucks (and what you should do next)

parrot-4078_1280Digital newsrooms are not measuring up to expectations. That is the opinion of an ISEBOX survey of journalists. In fact, 65% gave the thumbs down for online newsrooms and only 6% said that these sites are useful to their work!

This is very telling in an era of digital transformation. So what went wrong? Here are four areas where journalists said that they want to see improvements:

  1. Build an online newsroom

In all the furor about social media PR and content marketing, many seem to have forgotten that newsrooms are an essential tool for journalists. Yes, they are more digital, twitter-crazy and online-savvy. But they still need an area to easily access all of the information. In fact, 41% said that they visit newsrooms daily, and 95% go there at least once a month. Imagine their chagrin if there is no new information, updates or announcements—or even a newsroom at all. If you are not going to engage the media and get them interested with a newsroom, your rival will.

  1. Become accessible

No one likes to fill out a contact form, especially journalists, who want an answer or fact dished out to them fast.  Stop being shy about giving your PR contact so that they can reach you fast. If you are not going to be accessible, then they are going to look for another contact point to get the information, which may or may not tow the official line.

  1. Summarize your announcements

Imagine if you are journalist, and poring through hundreds of websites. You get to a newsroom and then see a section on press releases.  Then you need to click each headline to find out what it is about. Worse, you need to download each press release in PDF format to find out whether it is useful. Instead, give a summary and highlight key words. Minimize the number of mouse clicks, and they will love you for your thoughtfulness.

  1. Be social

In an era of social media and engagement, it’s funny how many corporate newsrooms lack such features or even support. Most journalists use social media to get in contact with, follow companies and develop stories. Although many corporations have social media website pages, these are hardly advertised. A simple onboarding campaign at the newsroom site will help your feeds to be seen by those in the media. [bctt tweet=”A digital newsroom is vital for today’s digital media world #PR”]

A digital newsroom is vital for today’s digital media world. Making it accessible, concise and informative is not easy. But once you get the right balance, the media will thank you for it by getting the facts and messaging right in their articles.