5 Questions About Online Newsrooms – Answered…

Ashley McDonald  /  January 17, 2022 17:00 EST

5 Questions About Online Newsrooms – Answered…

  1. What is the purpose of a newsroom?
  2. Who should have a newsroom?
  3. What makes a newsroom successful?
  4. How do I get an online newsroom?
  5. What is the cost of an online newsroom?

What is the purpose of an online newsroom?
When the words ‘digital newsroom’ is mentioned, we reference a section of a business or company website that contains all the information a journalist, member of the media, or blogger requires to write a great story.  This information may include but is not limited to product images, spec sheets, informational pieces, media kits, who the directors of the business are, where else the company has been featured in the media, and the history of the business.

The journalist should find all of this information in one central location (your newsroom) and easily access the information.  Of course, you may have all the information available in various locations throughout your website.  Still, if it is not easily accessible, the journalist may skip your business and move on to one that has the information they are looking for, more easily accessible.

Hence, the purpose of your newsroom is to organize all this information, making it easy for a journalist or blogger to find, increasing the likelihood of them writing a story about your business, product, or service or including you in a story, they are putting together.  It is important to remember that journalists don’t just write stories based on a press release that came across their desk.  They may have an idea for a story and require further research; hence, they look online for sources to help them.  If a journalist uses information about your business, they will more than likely mention you.

Who should have a newsroom?
The age-old question.  Who should have a newsroom?  The answer might surprise some people.  In a survey of 700 journalists from Axia Public Relations, they advise “approximately 85 percent of respondents said they visit online newsrooms of small, medium and large-sized companies, compared to only 8 percent who visit only large companies.” Yes, according to the article, it is more critical for small and medium-sized businesses to have a newsroom over a large corporate business.  As mentioned in the previous point, journalists don’t just write stories based on a press release.  Many journalists are given an assignment and need to research information to find what they are looking for to write a great story.  This research may include looking at different small businesses in a community, especially for their local paper, which is why it is more important than ever for a small business to include a newsroom with good helpful information.  You could even have general industry information.  We like to tell people, put yourself in the shoes of a journalist.  What information would be helpful to you if you were writing a story? 

What makes a newsroom successful?

To make a successful newsroom requires a combination of an excellent newsroom design and excellent content.

Some essential components of a newsroom include:

  1. Who should they contact at your business?
  2. Where else you have been written up in the media
  3. Access to high-resolution images
  4. Access to a high-resolution logo
  5. An overview of what your business does
  6. Who are any critical individuals of the business
  7.  A timeline of events of how the company started
  8. Corporate or product videos
  9. Spec sheets or white papers about your product or industry
  10. Media kits

Having this information easily accessible makes life much easier for journalists and increases the chances of including your tips and information in their story.

How do I get an online newsroom?
There are different ways of attaining an online newsroom for your business.  Your two main choices would be hiring a programmer to write the newsroom into your existing website or using a third-party plug-in (like PRKarma.com).  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.  We will cover this more in-depth in a follow-up article.  With PR Karma, if you are dedicated and have much of your information available, you can have most of your newsroom set up in a couple of hours.  Once set up, newsrooms are quick and easy to maintain—register here (https://prkarma.com/register).  The advantage of this method is you can be up and running in an hour or two vs. a few weeks or months.  Not to mention the initial outlay of hiring someone to write the code vs. a low monthly cost.

What is the cost of an online newsroom?
The costs of newsrooms can vary based on whether you go with an existing newsroom provider or whether you hire a programmer to write custom code for a newsroom.  If you have someone write your newsroom code for you, this could take a few weeks to a couple of months and cost as much as $10,000 or more.  If you go with a monthly subscription, the costs can vary between $49/mo.  Up to $500/month.  The advantage of a monthly fee is most places include upgrades in their monthly subscription.

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