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In this 24/7 news environment that we live in, everyone wants and watches breaking news. Many of us leave news channels on our televisions and news Web sites open in our browsers throughout the day. Additionally, we can now subscribe in a variety of ways to news sites via e-mail and RSS and its many forms like My Yahoo!.
Historically, through the linear news path, a organization would send its news over a wire service hoping that a media professional would pick it up and use it to generate or perpetuate a news story through his or her paper or station. The Internet has obviously accelerated this cycle. Newspapers are facing extreme hardship as they are "yesterday's news" the moment they are printed. We as news consumers have a constant flood of online and on-air options from which to choose. No longer do we even have to wait for a news or media organization to deliver a organization's news to us given that wire services, Google News, Yahoo! News and even many organizations' online newsrooms can provide subscription options directly from their Web sites.
Given this environment and the disintermediation of traditional media coverage, what can a organization do to make sure that their online mediaroom is working hard for them, not JUST in terms of their media audiences but also for us - the consumer and potential customer of the organization?
The following are simple ways you can make your mediaroom more consumer-friendly:
1. Provide breaking information about a variety of topics - not just what would be considered "newsworthy" by traditional definitions.
2. Utilize social bookmarking tags within your site content. Digg, Delicious, Technorati search and other such quick links allow visitors to share content from your site that they might find interesting with others in their network or peer group.
3. Post more news in general. Even if the organization doesn't send the release over the wire, they should post it to the mediaroom. Search engines love fresh content and so do your subscribers. No one wants to subscribe to a news site that never puts out fresh news! Post announcements about new product features, or even just blurbs about something happening within your orgranization's community. Become a relevant resource to your site readers beyond the usual boring financial information that you're required to post for compliance purposes.
4. Optimize your content and your site pages in order to make them more "search-friendly." Search bots love fresh information, particularly content that relates to other content within your site by effective use of title tags, meta tags, hyperlinks and keywords. Imagine yourself trying to find your organization's content through Google. You wouldn't type in your organization name because maybe no one knows your organization name. Make sure you are searchable and can be found by terms and words that relate to your products and services. Use keywords that will lead users to your Web site. Why not use your online mediaroom as the portion of your site that has the most "attraction" to all audiences?
5. Post interesting multimedia. This does not simply mean pictures of your organization headquarters. Post YouTube clips of employees actively engaging in community outreach or pictures from the company picnic and other fun events that people want to see and share. In essence, "humanize" your organization to your customers.
Particularly in this economic environment when many organizations are slashing advertising, marketing and IT budgets, the importance of effective public relations cannot be understated. Organizations should "optimize" their PR efforts online and a customer-friendly mediaroom is the tool through which all of this can be done!
To learn more about PR Newswire's MediaRoom service, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.