By Sacha Kiesman, WordLab Client Associate
The newsroom page on your organization’s website shouldn’t just be another place to keep “owned” media. Journalists often visit newsroom pages while doing preliminary research before reaching out to schedule an interview, and a poorly utilized one can leave a bad first impression. Your newsroom is truly where “owned” media can start to become “earned” media, even before you speak with a reporter.
According to a 2020 study, journalists are frustrated by the current state of online newsrooms. However, online media relations are more important than ever, and the study found that junior journalists with new media experience have increased trust in organizations with a successful online media relations strategy. With this in mind, here are three critiques identified in the study that are useful to building an online newsroom – one that is helpful to journalists and will make them more likely to contact you and share your organization’s news.
Critique 1: Newsroom text doesn’t comply with journalistic standards.
Journalists are often in a time crunch and don’t want to sift through exaggerated numbers and long, winding sentences to find information. Newsroom copy should be written following the format of a news article, including a clear summary of the topic and pertinent supporting details. The newsroom is not the place for ad copy.
Critique 2: Newsrooms don’t have adequate photos and visuals.
Photographs in your newsroom should be high-resolution enough to put right into a newspaper or magazine. They should also include captions with information about the content of the photo, such as the names of everyone pictured. Journalists have hectic schedules, so make it easier on them by providing useable photos and proper attribution details.
Critique 3: Newsrooms should easily lead to contact with an organization.
According to the study, contact information is the third most important feature of a newsroom to journalists, after photographs and news archives. Journalists stress the importance of providing working emails that are regularly checked, and indicate increased trust in an organization when they receive fast answers from the authorized media relations point of contact.
An updated and well-designed newsroom will increase trust in your organization and make it easier for journalists to know who you are. So, visit your newsroom and look for information about your organization’s last public initiative.
Is it easy to find? Do you have enough information and photos to build an article?
Putting yourself in the shoes of a journalist will improve your media relations – and subsequently, your communication with the public.
To read the full 2020 study in the Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations, visit https://journalofcommunication.ro/index.php/journalofcommunication/article/view/309/294.