On Friday, November 9, Business Wire hosted three of Miami’s media elite for a panel discussion on “online newsroom best practices.” The panel consisted of Bill Faries, Miami Bureau Chief for Bloomberg, Rick Hirsch, managing editor of The Miami Herald, and Jeff Tavss, executive producer, digital and social media for WPLG Local 10. Moderated by Ibrey Woodall, VP of Web Communications Services for Business Wire, the event brought a packed house of public relations and media relations professionals from the Miami area.
As technology evolves, so too does the way people consume information giving ways to phrases such as “Google it,” “friend me,” and “tweet me.” By now, every business is expected to have a website. Combine that with the explosion of social media in recent years and you have a never before level of anticipated accessibility by not only consumers, but also by the media. One such tool that many businesses are using is an online newsroom.
Tips to keep the media happy with your online newsroom:
- Don’t make it difficult to find. Have it available on the homepage.
- Make it public. Media get annoyed when having to create an account to access the information.
- Mobile friendly is a must. Reporters are hardly at their desks anymore and must be able to access information via their smart phone or tablet device.
- Make bios for key members, including CEO, easy to find and include their personal contact information as well as links to their social media accounts. Also make sure bios include age, education, background, etc. or include a link to their resume.
Bonus PR tips:
- Pitching stories via email is still the preferred method. A catchy, intriguing subject line is key to getting your email opened.
- Only call the reporter if you have an established relationship or if the story is a big one.
- When sending videos, send the transcript so that the reporter can easily scan through it. They will not watch an entire video. Definitely don’t send the video as an attachment.
- When sharing stories on Facebook, Twitter, etc., take the time to really think about the headline.
- If contact information is difficult to find or their calls/emails are not responded to quickly enough, the reporter will seek an additional source as they work on deadlines that are tighter than ever.