Centralizing all Brand Communications with Online Newsrooms
Online newsrooms are becoming very popular, thanks to companies like TEKGroup International Inc., an internet software and services firm that helps PR and corporate communications professionals save time and money, while providing a platform to help increase coverage in the mainstream and social media. Companies like Starbucks, Toyota, Dunkin Donuts and Walgreen’s and many others are using these newsrooms to centralize all their communications content. On this episode of #Brandstorm, Steve Momorella, owner and founder of TEKGroup talks about the online newsroom and why companies should be considering them.
What is an Online Newsroom?
TekGroup has been creating newsroom for brands since 1998. Back then, they were called Press Rooms. They were a placeholder on your website for press release, news coverage, logos and imagery. The focus of the Press Room was for journalists. With the advent of social media, in the last 5 years or so, these Press Rooms have changed to Online Newsrooms or Brand Journalism Newsrooms where the focus is on the brand’s audiences. It is now a hub for all communications content – media assets, stories, imagery, video, audio, pdfs, social media, etc. While press releases are still used, companies have switched their focus to stories about the brand — how the brand was created and how it is being used by customers, as an example. The articles are often written by people in different departments within the company, and not just PR professionals. Companies like Sprint are using the online newsroom as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) site or as Investor Relations sites.
Steve says the other big difference is that online newsrooms now make it possible to upload content and distribute all your communications to journalists, employees, customers and any other target audiences with a few clicks and its delivered.
The Online Newsroom Advantage
With social media and distribution integrated into one platform, PR and Communications professionals save time and money. They don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on wire releases because more than 4000 journalists are already in the dashboard and can be targeted by industry. TekGroup even offers a Twitter feed for journalists that can also be targeted by industry. You also can save money by not having to pay contact database companies to send out emails.
In the past, PR professionals had to write the content, pay a wire service so they could upload the photos and press release for distribution. Now PR professionals can save valuable time because the platform integrates distribution and all your social assets. You can choose which social media account to use, who you want to send the content to, while sending out consistent messaging, all from one dashboard.
TekGroup Technical Support
The online newsroom is technically a standalone site from the company’s website, however from a visual and SEO perspective, it is integrated with the website. Visitors never know they are going to another site when they click on the newsroom icon. TekGroup build the site based on the client’s needs, and then become the IT department, hosting and managing the site. The platform also has an embedded analytics system that can integrate with a company’s Google Analytics for tracking and SEO purposes.
The Way of the Future
Steve says research has been conducted the last 15 years to measure the trends and expectations of both journalists and consumers when it comes to an online newsroom. In the past, it was used 100 percent of the time by journalists. Now, the numbers are 70 percent consumers; 30 percent journalists.
According to Steve, there are two pricing tiers – professional and enterprise tiers. For large companies with lots of personnel, locations, products and services, it can be expensive. For small companies, the cost $10,000 annually. Steve likes to say, for less than $1000 per month, you get a fully-hosted website management system with unlimited use. Plus, no more costs for wire services or email contact companies. The savings can be huge depending on how much content a company sends out.
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