Sep 19, 2016

Media Room Anatomy: What to Include in Brand Newsrooms

anatomy-of-a-media-roomThe online brand newsroom is evolving.

Once a place on company websites where press releases were merely posted and archived for years on end, successful brand media rooms now showcase multimedia, highlight earned media mentions and give journalists a helping hand.

Media rooms today are seamless, integrated extensions of branded websites – living company assets that pack a content punch.

Whether you’re looking to add a media room to your existing site or simply need to do some fine-tuning, read on for the eight brand newsroom pages all companies should consider employing – plus two that will give your media room a boost.

1. Homepage

Think of your homepage as the face of your brand’s newsroom. Its features should be polished and present the best first impression possible.

The homepage design sets the tone for other pages on the newsroom, so make sure all content is attractive, readable and navigable. Many companies place a mission statement or company overview front and center, flanked by page navigation tabs and surrounded by other assets.

Use breakout boxes to highlight recent announcements or news that visitors need to see at a glance. Or consider employing a rotating carousel feature, such as an image slideshow, in lieu of a static banner image.

Brand fonts and colors, embedded videos and other multimedia can also make homepages pop.

2. Press Releases

The backbone of any newsroom is, of course, the press release section. If you use a wire service to distribute press releases, most media rooms can auto-post the text and embedded images via a feed.

You can (and should) add more multimedia to a release once it’s been posted to your site – think videos, SlideShares, PowerPoint presentations and additional images to enhance your story.


3. News Alerts

Make it as easy as possible for people to stay in the know about your company by implementing a simple information form where they can subscribe to notifications regarding company news, events and updates.

Integrate alerts with your press release area by placing a ‘subscribe’ button directly at the top of that page; also include RSS feed options to better cater to different subscriber preferences.

4. In the News

It’s important to have a section of your newsroom dedicated to earned media mentions. Not only does it provide free promotion for your company, it also establishes a sense of third party credibility for visitors.

Similar to the press release section, the content here should follow chronological archive format. Include the headline (externally hyperlinked to the mention) along with the story publication date and outlet name.

If appropriate, consider having a separate ‘Awards and Recognitions’ subtab within your media room; if your collection of accolades is limited to a media mention here or there, including them in this section is fine.

5. Events

Webinars or other digital company events should be housed in their own separate area, where page templates can display short-form content in a uniform way.

When posting events, be sure to include the name, date and time (including time zone), along with any relevant assets and external links. Also implement an ‘add to calendar’ functionality for ease of use and email reminders.

6. Multimedia Gallery

Nowadays, journalists and other members of the media look to online newsrooms to fulfill their editorial needs. As I covered in Quick Tips to Maximize Multimedia in Your Media Room, it’s standard practice to have a subpage dedicated to press kits, galleries or other multimedia resources to assist journalists in their story writing.

Whatever your approach, be sure to have any hi res images and video content easily accessible and downloadable. Having preloaded public galleries also cuts down on time spent fielding journalist requests and helps them meet their deadlines.

7. FAQs

A simple facts page – an appendix to the finer points of your newsroom – serves as another means of keeping external media bombardment to a minimum while also streamlining communication.

Avoid block text; instead, break out each FAQ as its own standalone item or header with an explanation beneath. Visitors should be able to glean all necessary info at a glance, so lists, bullet points and short paragraphs are encouraged here.

8. Media Contacts

Eliminate outreach guesswork by explicitly stating your preferred point of contact. Name, title, email address and phone number should be included.

Determine if your media contact will be one individual at your company or if different departments will each have their own representative. If the former, use a general email address to avoid getting personal spam with non-related media inquiries.

Bonus Pages

In addition to these eight must-haves, there are other ‘bonus’ pages that your media room can benefit from. The two most common ones include:

9. Social Media Landing Page: Some companies use a Social Media Center page within their newsroom navigation as opposed to a traditional social ticker box in the side column.

These pages, or hubs, display social media content and can auto-update when new posts are added. Not only do they allow for much larger screen area and readability than sidebar tickers, they present a clear navigational indicator for where visitors can go to learn more about your brand’s online presence.

10. Events Landing Page: If certain campaigns require a little extra attention, use an events page to point visitors to any pertinent information they’ll need to know. These one-stop-shops should include the event overview and specs, along with any infographics, factsheets, media mentions and associated press releases.

Of course, not every event needs its own showcase page. Use these areas to highlight more high-profile functions, such as an annual conference; standard events pages are still suitable for smaller scope presentations and digital events.

In Branding for Growth: A C-Level Strategy, SVP of Marketing Ken Wincko explores how communications must be connected across all of your channels. Having an owned media hub to house these brand assets can help.

Learn how by downloading our free branding guide and coupling it with the above tips. 

Author Emily Stulock is a product advocate at PR Newswire, assisting clients with MediaRoom and PR Newswire’s other platforms. MediaRoom helps communications professionals share information and connect with multiple audiences through branded microsites. Visit here to learn more.

1 Comments on Blog Post Title

­ Ford Kanzler 17:01 EDT on Sep 20, 2016

Very good info and a place where most companies fall way short.
Suggest adding:
- Specific Topics on which the company/brand has domain expertise, is available to discuss with a graph or two about that topic and references to media where that info has been exposed or published.
- Speakers and/or Content Experts available for interview. Your Chief Technology Officer may not be a regular media contact, but you have noted experts within the company, don’t keep it a secret.
- About Page explaining the market and you company’s position in it. This should include a sharply-defined competitive position vs. a few other known players. Make it clear how your brand stands apart from others. This is most often entirely missing from a company’s web site. It can also link to added info on how the market has and/or is evolving and where your company fits. This provides background for media pros who may not have any particular depth in your business sector.
- Key Market Research Analysts following your company and market sector with links to their reports if publicly-available.
- (I’m sure there’s other ideas I’ve missed)

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