Online Newsrooms Puts Media Assets to Work For Companies

by / Newsroom Ink on 11/18/2011

by Tony Cecala, Ph.D./Newsroom Ink

Just a half decade ago, the cutting-edge in online PR was considered to be publishing an email address or an online form for media requests. We now know that journalists, investors and consumers research your company on the search engines long before they consider contacting anyone directly for information. In fact, a survey of journalists by TopRank found that more than 90% of journalists use search to research past stories, get story ideas, and research specific companies.

Tony Cecala

Tony Cecala Ph.D., Newsroom Ink’s VP of Technology

What is your first step in doing research on a purchase or a company or anything for that matter? You turn to the search engines, of course. Information is so easy to access, it makes emailing or phoning another person seem antiquated by comparison.

Getting found in the search engines is critical, and SEO, search engine optimization, is an entire industry now.

How can you ensure that your media assets are findable, searchable and accessible? Building an online newsroom is the obvious answer to making your media assets accessible. What technology should be the foundation for making your media assets findable and accessible? Should you build a proprietary content management system? Should you host your newsroom on a third-party service? Or is there a better solution readily available? We believe there is, it is the WordPress content management system.

WordPress is best known as an open-source blogging system. It’s rapidly grown in popularity and powers 14% of all internet sites. The power of WordPress lies in its expandability and ability to provide a search-engine-optimized site right out of the box.

While setting up a WordPress site can be considered easy, configuring and optimizing the site for SEO demands attention to detail and a process that enables your optimized keyphrases to flow from within your site into structured sitemaps and other external files to help keep the search engine spiders well-fed with timely and on-topic content.

A properly configured online newsroom provides tools that make it easy to write and post content that is search-engine friendly. These tools should not get in the way of writing a good story, but rather they should enhance the writing experience in a way that makes it easy to focus on the message while handling the keyword, categorization, and tagging of the story in such a way that metadata are embedded throughout the system in a simple and almost automatic fashion.

WordPress plugins for media and SEO are just the tools needed. They provide templates for managing keywords and metadata within stories and images. These plugins even make it easy to control and preview what the story “snippet” (short post excerpt) will look like in a search engine result.

Findability of media

At a granular level, a company’s communication assets are its stories, photos, and videos. Each of these media types is indexed and cached by the search engines. Interestingly, most companies find that their media assets are more effectively organized by Google than their own internal systems (both websites and intranets). This recognition is the first step in turning around this problem.

In preparing for a newsroom a company takes several steps in organizing their own media assets:

  1. inventory of existing media assets
  2. determination of how media assets are created, consumed, and shared
  3. assigning metadata to the media assets: taxonomy (categories) and “folksonomy” (tags)
  4. sharing those assets with the search engines (with sitemaps) and the public (downloadable/sharable assets)

This organization aids humans and search engines in making sense of the many facets of a company.

Video

Additionally, while the success of Google has been in the organization of web pages, their purchase and investment in YouTube is a recognition that video is a rich and important medium for storytelling and sharing. Blendtec has used video to propel itself into visibility with its “Will It Blend?” campaign. Old Spice has practically reinvented itself with the “Old Spice Guy” videos (“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”).

Social Sharing

The rise of social media has granted a new authority to voices outside of mainstream media. Of particular interest is the sharing of posts, photos, and videos among friends and colleagues. Social sharing is the driver behind the growth of Facebook. In fact, Facebook is the largest photo sharing site in the world. The ease with which people can share links, photos, and videos makes accessibility of these media assets more important than ever before.

A newsroom makes media assets both findable and sharable.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top
%d bloggers like this: