2013 Online Newsroom Checklist

Content marketing and the convergence of paid, owned and earned media are firmly on the agenda of most marketing and PR people today. If that’s the case with your company it’s time to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your online newsroom, as the newsroom is the most logical vehicle to act as your content hub. But it needs to have all the features journalists, bloggers, analysts, investors and the public expect to find in a content hub so that they can easily find, use and share information about your brand.

Use this checklist to evaluate your current newsroom.

  • A simple, easy-to-use content management system, so you can add items without the need for IT or a webmaster
  • A custom URL – news.yourcompany.com
  • Brand consistency in design
  • Ability to categorize content by topic or subject
  • News feeds on all news categories
  • Easy, one-click feed subscription
  • Ability to subscribe to the feeds by email, if preferred
  • Your logo displays in the feed content
  • Ability to post news in either traditional format or social media release format
  • Image gallery
  • Video gallery
  • Embed codes for all visual material
  • Ability to automatically add multimedia content from the galleries to a release or news item
  • Ability to add PDF’s to an item
  • Press contacts
  • Company Info pages
  • Executive bios
  • Experts’ bios
  • Add tags to all content
  • A tag cloud that highlights your focus of content and acts as a search function
  • A custom Google search on the newsroom
  • Connection to all other social media content
  • Easy one-click sharing icons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and StumbleUpon
  • ‘Share This’ feature with a list of all social bookmarking sites
  • Pre-populated sharing messages
  • An event calendar
  • Displays corporate blog posts
  • Displays the company Twitter feed
  • Ability to prepare a “dark” section of the newsroom, in case of emergency or crisis

If your newsroom doesn’t have all these features an upgrade should be in your 2013 PR plan.

Talk to your IT folk about the viability of building it in-house. Since they are not PR experts, and you are not a development and technical expert,  it’s going to take quite a bit of research to figure out how to build it and what to put in it.

The best alternative is to use an online newsroom vendor who has this all figured out.  You can have your newsroom up and running, with everything you need, in just two weeks.

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