Want a fancy online press centre?

April 14, 2009

press-room1957-ike-strokeWhether you’re a pressure group strapped for funds or a multinational, you’ll want an excellent online press centre where journalists can easily find your latest news and other relevant material they might use for a story. But it should not just contain a long list of press releases: with everything the web has to offer in terms of showcasing content, it’d be a wasted opportunity. Ideally, your press centre would also do some of the following:

  • Allow journalists to subscribe to news updates at the click of a button
  • Contain material in multimedia formats i.e. especially video (which journalists increasingly appreciate and make use of)
  • Allow for commenting so journalists can get an idea of public reaction to your news
  • Enable journalists to find content very easily via keywords or tags rather than searching through a whole list in chronological order
  • And not to be forgotten, be SEO friendly so your content helps boost your site’s search engine ranking

Looking at that list, it sounds an awful lot like the features of a blog. And herein lies the answer to the “how do I build an excellent press room that makes the best use of all the tools available to me” conundrum. Just set up your press page like a blog: present all your newsworthy content, whether a press release or the 2-minute video interview with the CEO you filmed on your iPhone, as blog posts. Have categories and tags so users can easily find material. All your newsworthy material will be presented in one place rather than scattered around your newroom, which I suspect journalists will appreciate (although do be careful to not deem too much material as newsworthy); and you won’t feel restricted by the press release standards e.g. you can publish a very short post or a post just containing a video.

Result? More varied content + far better accessibility = happy jounalists.

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