19 février 2004

Online newsrooms white paper

A few days ago, someone on the YoungPRPros Yahoo list asked:

Can anyone point me in the direction of a few company Web sites that have excellent media relations/press contact pages? Recent news releases, media relations contact info, bios, high-res photos for download, etc. Trying to come up with great examples to show a client who needs the same thing. Bonus points to those who find good RETAILER Web pages that fit the description!

In addition to offering to write a proposal and a specific online press room architecture for him his client, I pointed him in the direction of Creating a Good Impression Online: Best-practice online newsrooms, a white paper published by Vocus (they offer "online software for corporate communications").

It really is one of the most informative white papers (on this subject, of course).

There are two sections:
- the results of a survey of journalists.
- best-practices.

The first answers about the use, by journalists, of a corporate web site for finding info (yes), their level of satisfaction (not bad and getting better), what they're looking for (press releases—unsurprisingly—is number 1), their pet peeves (no contact info is number 1), etc.

The second section covers what you/we should do about our online newsrooms. Plenty of useful tips herein. Some of the results of these tips are also documented, a very good thing IMHO. The only aspect that might rattle you is the fact that they use (at least in some instances) their clients' websites as examples.

Now there are a number of things that aren't mentioned in there that I think should be added. The first four are: lists of corporate and employee blogs and links to them, a history of their webcasts, an RSS feed for press releases and relevant artwork in different formats.

Also, I would probably go into way more details than they did on specifics. Among other things, they don't mention things like white papers (which is surprising since they publish some themselves), product specs or pricing, they don't cover the issue of tracking, nor do they mention the relationship between IR and PR.

Still, it's a good primer and my stuff might just be nit-picking.

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