At the heart of an effective social media newsroom is great content. This post explores some of the key elements which are a must to get right.
A great newsroom builds up awareness of your brand as a whole over time. Sharing regular interesting stories will encourage journalists to follow you and demonstrates you’re a worthwhile news source for their publications. It might sound obvious but to be newsworthy stories must be previously unknown so to get readers engaging and sharing your content it needs to be fresh. Recycled content should be avoided unless there is a new angle to be brought to light.
Create layered content
To make it clear what each story in your newsroom is about and to make it easily digestible start with the classic who, what, why, where, when. Then start building up the story so that you include the most important elements up front and gradually add layers of supporting details. This means the reader will straight away know if your story is useful to them, what the story is (as opposed to if it’s buried half way down the page) and they can make use of as little or as much of your story as they like depending on the kind of article they are working on. Reserve general company background for the end of you news or the boilerplate – it’s valuable to give your piece gravitas but should not distract from your news story.
Include pictures and videos
Redefining the Business Portrait
Don’t just tell your story, bring it to life with images. Be imaginative and flexible by providing a range of different types of image and a video. A great picture may make all the difference as to whether your story gets published or not. If you include a quote from a key spokesperson why not include a picture of them too – this will be great for raising their profile. Often pictures get indexed by Google as well as your text so this is another good way to get your content shared. Similarly making image content available online means it can be shared on platforms like Pinterest so you can potentially reach an even wider audience – especially good for new product launches. Videos are also a great way to make your content easily digestible. If your story is complex a short video can break it down into manageable chunks or there is the ever popular infographic to bring weighty statistics and surveys to life.
It is crucial to include up to date contact information on your newsroom and each news story. Providing a generic ‘press office’ telephone number that is only answered during office hours doesn’t work when you’re dealing with journalists producing real-time rolling news for websites and 24-hour broadcast news. If you cover more than one client on your newsroom ideally have a named contact for each so it’s clear who can help with each one. If you’re referencing a spokesperson in your news be sure to double check that you have spelled their name right – it could be crucial especially if your news is shared widely by media and consumers.