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The online newsroom

It’s no secret that organizations need to have an online presence. Outreach through social media is increasingly important. But if you’re not quite ready to dip your toe in the social media water, you should, at the very least, make sure your Web site is serving your audiences’ needs and that your online newsroom is easily accessible, current and relevant.

TEKgroup International recently released results from its 2008 Online Newsroom Survey, which asks journalists what features they most utilize and look for in an organization’s online newsroom.

Not surprisingly, with greater frequency journalists are using online newsrooms to find out about companies. In fact, 87 percent of journalists polled rated the online newsroom as “important” or “very important.” Of those that visit an organizations newsroom, 88 percent want access to press releases (side note: be sure they are downloadable or can easily be printed); 78 percent want access to high- and low-resolution images; and 75 percent want access to product information. Here are a few more interesting statistics:

  • Only 25 percent want to receive RSS feeds
  • 92 percent want easy access to the PR contact’s information (cell phone #’s included)
  • 56 percent want access to video – though I wouldn’t be surprised if this number grows
  • 84 percent would register for a password-protected newsroom
  • Only 32 percent visit company blogs
  • 49 percent want access to social media links (company blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)

Do you have an online newsroom? If so, does it have enough useful information? Think about who your audience is (journalists, investors, consumers, etc.) and put yourself in their shoes. If you were visiting your site for the first time, would it provide you with a good understanding of the company? Keep your newsroom current and relevant with up-to-date press releases, fact sheets, product information, bios, FAQs, etc. Not only will this help make the journalist’s job easier, it will keep your Web site fresh and show how productive your company is (always a good feature if you’re seeking investors).

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