The TEKGROUP recently announced the results of its annual survey about online newsrooms. I found the results interesting. Here are some highlights:
- Journalists overwhelming expect companies or organizations to have online newsrooms. Fully 97 percent say that it is important.
- Most journalists visit company newsrooms regularly (at least once a month). And they visit newsrooms for small companies as well as large.
- Fully 77 percent of the respondents thought that the newsroom should have an easy-to-remember URL.
Most Important Elements
Journalists felt that the most important elements in an online newsroom are:
- Search functionality
- PR contacts
- News releases
- Breaking news
- Email alerts
- Product information
- Crisis communications
- Event calendars
- Social media
- Executive bios
- Information requests.
A few notes on these elements:
Search functionality: 98 percent want to be able to easily access the material.
PR contacts: It continually surprises me that some companies hide their PR contact information. Clearly not a good idea.
News releases: Almost all the respondents wanted to be able to access news releases, and 95 percent of them want those releases to be organized by the type of news.
Photos: 96 percent of journalists wanted both high- and low-res photos. Additionally, 81 percent thought video was very important.
Breaking news: 93 percent of journalists said that it’s important to be able to access breaking news.
E-mail alerts: E-mail is still far and away the best way to reach journalists. However, journalists prefer quality over quantity. Most of them (75 percent) prefer to receive notifications only about news that is relevant to their work.
Product information: It only makes sense to have product information easily available, so that journalists can easily access product details.
Crisis communication: In a crisis, your online newsroom is one of the first places journalists will turn to for information. It’s recommended that you have a “dark” microsite ready for crisis communications.
Events calendar: This information increases the chance journalists will cover your events.
Social media: Nearly nine in 10 respondents said that it’s important for a newsroom to link to a company’s social media pages. What’s more, about the same percentage said they visit corporate Facebook pages, and 93 percent said they read blogs about companies, products and services.
Executive bios: Having bios online means journalists can easily check names and titles.
Information requests: Almost 90 percent of journalists want to be able to submit an information request online.
One last point. Most journalists (75 percent) want to be able to access this information from mobile devices.
These highlights are good reminders of some best practices. I encourage you to read the full report.