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An Online Newsroom – It’s a Need, not a Want

November 16, 2010

On any given day, someone in the media is looking for your news releases or your photos, audio grabs, video footage or background information. Supplying these individually is time-consuming. It can drain your productivity and test your patience.

At Wieck we know what that’s like, both from the perspective of someone trying to supply it and as the person trying to get it.

Whether you’re a government department, a publicly listed company, an NGO or a peak body for an industry group, there’s a communications challenge that never stops.

Media outlets expect – some would say demand – access to information 24/7. That’s what an effectively structured and resourced Online Newsroom can deliver.

So who is the media, is it television, radio and newsprint? Definitely. How about online news services, blogs and social media – is your PR strategy adequately servicing these increasingly important online forums?

PR operatives must also recognise that news organisations require more digital content than ever, but they have less staff to gather it. Radio and television stations now require text and images for their websites. Newspapers and magazines need video clips for theirs.

Their lack of staff resources can be a huge advantage to savvy PRs who can provide what they need.

Most companies already have a media section on their website. It’s usually a grave yards for their press releases. Often they don’t contain images, audio or video. If they do have these, rarely are they of reproduction and broadcast quality. Standardizing the format is usually overlooked and the ultimate result is that the media have little confidence in the quality of what’s on offer.

Sharing with social media is just as rare, symptomatic of the entrenched corporate fear of not being able to control the conversation. This mindset can’t accept the fact that the online conversation is going to happen, ignoring simply means you’re not part of it.

An Online Newsroom cannot simply be a media section of a website where press releases are dumped. It must be a fully specified newsroom that contains reproduction quality images, and broadcast quality audio and video, all neatly packaged with news releases.

Online Newsrooms need to be completely searchable, have comprehensive user management and detailed statistical information to quantify ROI.

Online Newsrooms must be designed not simply to respond to media requests, but to actively promote their content to the exact degree required.

The ability to embed content into popular social media networks, RSS feeds and email notifications sent to registered users are all necessities for the modern Online Newsroom.

And that’s what we do at Wieck – Online Newsrooms. We build them, we maintain them and we help our clients use them to maximise the return on investment they receive on their media material.

As part of a global network, we provide solutions for clients including news outlets, large corporations, photo agencies and government departments. This diversity of clients enables our team to stay on top of the changing technical needs of major news organisations around the world.

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