Feb 19, 2013

Online Newsrooms are a Key Part of Content Strategy

pressroom

With all the Google algorithm buzz (kill) about the need for fresh and frequent quality content, the answer could start with a press release and be buried in your company’s online newsroom.

While most brands report having an online newsroom as part of the company website, only 14 percent of press releases were optimized for search and recent surveys indicate the entire newsroom is lacking optimization.

Shocker? Maybe. But, smart marketers can take it as a digital smoke signal for SEO and PR to spark up a better relationship.

“Newsrooms – if done right – can be an excellent source for new content. However, in this renewed age of content marketing, it can’t just be the press releases. Whatever content gets put up has to be compelling enough for people to want to share. It should not simply report facts, but should have some sort of human element explaining what this news means to the target audience.”
- Quote from Thom Craver https://twitter.com/thomcraver

The Online Newsroom Opportunity

Online newsrooms actually present an opportunity for digital marketers trying to find new ways to engage their audience with relevant content at the right time. To help drive traffic, marketers are now shifting their priorities to inbound marketing efforts like creating effective content such as such as blogs, webinars, white papers and press releases according to MarketingSherpa’s eighth annual benchmark report. All this newsworthy content can be used inside the online newsroom.

For example, a recent online newsroom study by PressFeed found:

  • 72 percent of media rooms have an image gallery and 61 percent have a video gallery.
  • Less than 30 percent use multimedia with a news release and only 14 percent of news releases are search optimized.
  • 80 percent of journalists and editors say images and video are important.
  • 61 percent are connecting their newsroom to their social content.
  • 52 percent offer social sharing options in their newsroom.
  • They also lack features the media value.
  • Only 13 percent offer embed codes for images, slideshows and video.
  • Inc. 500 companies have some catching up to do, but have the most opportunity!

Online Newsroom Makeover Tips

Educate the PR and SEO Teams

“The issue that most SEO’s face is most of the time their PR or Corporate Communications folks have not fully bought into the idea of optimizing their online news. This requires education to start with and then charting a process wherein SEO is part of the online newsroom process,” says Bob Tripathi.

Keep it Fresh

Newsworthy stories, images, video, social links and blogs would seem an obvious bonus in attracting quality visits. In the past the newsroom’s visitor profile was typically the journalist, but today’s savvy consumer knows to navigate to the online newsroom to find the latest news.

Collaborate for the Sake of “Quality Content”

“First, I’d hold a brown bag lunch and invite somebody from both groups to explain why collaboration and cooperation between the departments will enable both of them to meet their marketing goals and business objectives,” Jarboe said. “Believe it or not, both groups need to create ‘quality content.’ And that quality content will be read by prospects as well as the press.”

Get Visual!

Let the statistics speak for themselves. Journalists prefer images and multimedia. Search results combined with an image have an increased performance and images are the most shared type of messaging on social media.

One more stat: 44 percent say they’re more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media, according to ROI Research. Get creative and add news feeds from Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook to the online newsroom.

Google Alert: Creating Good Content Pays Off!

“The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community,” says Google . “The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.

“It is not only the number of links you have pointing to your site that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those links. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the buzzing blogger community can be an excellent place to generate interest.”

The PR side of the house will be happy to hear that an online newsroom can be a link magnet. The SEO side might want to meet up with the PR side, after all they are the content generators who just need a little “need to know” SEO guidance.

Bottom Line

Online newsrooms are the mother lode of quality content that should be optimized as soon as possible.

Join guest author Lisa Buyer February 20th for a webinar with PR Newswire where I will dig further into this topic. Click here to register for the upcoming webinar.

PR Newswire’s MediaRoom line offers a seamless solution to organize and drive additional online visibility for your content, from automated news feeds for your current site to a fully hosted MediaRoom site.

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