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Online Newsrooms: A Necessity for Search and Social Content Strategy

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online-newsroom-survey-resultsThis just in … A 2012 survey says online newsrooms are a website necessity for journalists, users, search and social content strategy.

The final results of a national survey conducted by TEKGROUP International report the importance of creating and frequently maintaining an online newsroom as a centralized headquarters for an organization. I talked about online newsrooms back in December, but now we have more search and social indicators – more evidence – for an online newsroom makeover.

Consider this: almost 100 percent surveyed expect organizations small and large to:

  • Have an online newsroom as part of the website available to the media.
  • Provide access to news releases within their online newsroom.
  • Find PR or media contact information readily available within an online newsroom.
  • Offer the ability to search news archives within an online newsroom.

importance-social-media-toolsAnd don't forget these social news stats:

  • 75 percent of online news consumers say they get news forwarded through posts on social networking sites.
  • 52 percent say they share links to news with others via those means.

What is an Online Newsroom?

A centralized news headquarters for all of your digital content, including news stories, photos, videos, financial and other organizational information; a place for journalists and news consumers to find breaking news about your company.

What Does This Mean for Online Marketing?

google-walgreens-newsThink content. Think fresh content. Think Google loves content. Think social shares of content.

In a day when news breaks in a tweet and via mobile device, the online newsroom can hold the keys to dominating online visibility in a three-screen world.

Search, Social & the Newsroom Domain

A BrightEdge survey released last month reported 84 percent of search marketers say social signals such as likes, tweets, and Google +1s will be either more important (53 percent) or much more important (31 percent) to their SEO this year as compared to 2011.

“The online newsroom is a great strategy for website growth which is important to stay in check with Google’s Fresh update as well as the social component of Google Search Plus Your World,” said SEO expert and author of the SEO Diet Joe Laratro. “The online newsroom also promotes the social connections beyond Google which are becoming increasing more important as social signals become more important to search marketing.”

More Content, Better SEO and Positioning

wheres-the-content-cartoonDigital PR expert and author of "The New Rules of Marketing & PR", David Meerman Scott also notes the influence beyond SEO of the online newsroom in today’s real time communications.

“The online newsroom positions an organization as an authoritative voice in its industry,” Scott said. "It is a one-stop shop for the best thinking and views on a company’s offering and all of the issues and market forces that surround it.”

Online Newsroom Dos and Don’ts

  1. DO create flow, frequency and quality. Create a steady flow of legitimate news stories (not just press releases) as well as high quality news images. Considering Google's Search Plus Your World, online newsrooms that are updated frequently with quality news and content can only be a bonus for a company’s branded online visibility.
  2. DON’T build a social media showroom! Many “social media newsrooms” aren’t social at all. With more focus on showing the company’s own social media channels, with Facebook page updates, Flickr images or tweets, than actually being social. Welcome interaction and enable for readers to socialize with you, your content and your people. Add social functionality, like possibility to comment, share and post.
  3. DO make your online newsroom mobile-friendly.
  4. DON’T be afraid to lose control – you never had it to begin with! A social media newsroom shouldn't be a place to control your brand. It should be a place to embrace the engagement that exists around your brand and key topics. “When we opened up the comment functionality for Mynewsdesk, most of the companies instantly turned the function off, being afraid of negative comments and complaints. Fearing loosing control over the brand. The truth is, they never had control in the first place,” said Pernilla Åström, MyNewsdesk Community Manager.
  5. DO write like a journalist.
  6. DO write with the search engines in mind. Third-party online newsroom sources include TekGroup International, PitchEngine, MyNewsDesk, PressFeed, and MyPRGenie.

Before you forge ahead, keep in mind one more thing: This is not yesterday’s PR world of “For Immediate Release” and “Press Kits Available Upon Request.” This is today’s search and social world of real-time marketing ad public relations.


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