Building an effective Inbound PR newsroom
The way that journalists research stories and find information about companies has completely changed in the last few years.
Traditional methods and connecting with CEOs, employees and spokespeople remains an important element of the research process, but today's journalists are also much more proactive in doing their own research online before approaching businesses for comments and information.
This is highlighted in research conducted by digital communications platform ISEBOX. ISEBOX found that 95% of journalists are accessing company websites at least monthly and 41% look for more information on corporate websites on a daily basis.
But while many businesses have effective press office capabilities – either in-house or via an agency – too many have failed to translate this into the digital world and are not providing journalists with the information they need in an easy to find and usable format.
Enter the Inbound PR Newsroom.
The philosophy behind the Inbound PR Newsroom is straightforward: if journalists are making a proactive effort to come to your company's website to look for recent news, images and videos – or information for PR contacts – make it easy for them to find.
A number of businesses have tried to establish Inbound Newsrooms, but outside of major brands like Coca Cola, Red Bull and Nike, to name a few, many have failed to meet the expectations of journalists when it comes to making essential information easy to access.
In the ISEBOX research, 70% of journalists said that the corporate newsrooms they had visited had not met their expectations.
80% of journalists in the study also said they would more actively seek out a company's newsroom if it provided them with what they needed, demonstrating how an Inbound PR newsroom can make your company a better prospect for media attention.
But what does an Inbound PR Newsroom need?
Up-to-date media contact information
If a journalist comes to your website looking for the best way to get in touch for a quick comment, you should provide up-to-date and accurate contact information for your in-house media team or PR agency, including phone numbers and emails. If they can't get in touch with you, your business faces missing out on being part of the story or worse; being highlighted as a business which "refused to comment".
Multi-media content (including hi-res images)
Look at any modern news website. Whether local, regional, national or trade, they all have one thing in common: they are full of multi-media content like photos, videos and audio.
The days when a news story consisted of a 350-word article presenting the essential Who, What, When, Where and Why in a structured format are long gone.
If you have a company announcement, carry on with the written article but think about producing a video alongside it and putting that in your Inbound PR Newsroom for journalists to use freely.
In a time when businesses are doing everything to stand out, a well-crafted video could be what makes the difference.
At the very least, ensure you have a good selection of high-resolution images, including executive head shots, general shots and product images. There is nothing worse for a journalist than to find an interesting story and then have to hunt around the internet for a decent image to go with it.
If a journalist is exploring your website trying to find some basic information about your business, its owners and senior team, then you should be making steps to make this info readily available – and a well-stocked and updated media kit can help tremendously in this regard.
Including logos of varying sizes and resolutions, biographies of your senior team and some standard imagery for use in stories, can make a journalist's life much easier. And, as they know your business is a reliable source of information, they'll be much more likely to come back to you the next time they're looking for comment or further details.
Links to social media
Using social media as a research tool in the story development, contact building and investigative stages of a story is becoming common practice in modern newsrooms, and journalists often search for and follow the names to know in the industry they cover.
Make it easy for them by including links on your website to your company's social media profiles and ensure those profiles are active. This will allow them to follow you and see what stories and events you’ve been responding to in your industry.
Most recent news
It is still surprising to see how many businesses don't publish their latest company news on their own websites, especially as their PR team dispenses press release after press release to the media.
Publishing and archiving your company's news on your website can give journalists a much clearer picture of your company, how it has progressed over the years and what kind of news you release or issues you talk about.
If they like what they see, they could even be tempted to subscribe to your latest news or, at the very least, come back on a regular basis to see what your business is up to.
Ultimately, an effective Inbound PR Newsroom should take the stress out of chasing coverage and entice journalists to come to you. Online research has become a staple of journalism today, so by providing journalists with usable, accessible and detailed information through your Inbound PR Newsroom, you will greatly improve your company's chance of getting noticed and earning that all important media coverage you crave.
If you want to make sure your PR agency is sharing the right information about your business, download our "Top tips for briefing your new PR Consultancy" eBook.
Tags: Inbound PR