Social media strategies continue to prove their relevance in today’s Internet age, and as a result, the traditional online newsroom – a set of static Web pages that support one-way delivery of information that is protected by passwords and made available only to the likes of “official” journalists and industry analysts – is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Taking the place of these old-school information portals is the new social media newsroom, a more dynamic, open, and flexible Web-based newsroom that encourages broad, bi-directional communication and information sharing among a more diverse audience.
With the new social media newsroom, a company’s official content is easily accessible to not just members of the media, but to all those the company wishes to communicate and share information with, including prospects, customers, business partners, and investors.
These potential targets can subscribe to, review, and utilize timely and relevant news and other announcements from the organization’s public relations department, as well as related image, audio, video, and other multimedia files.
But what makes the approach of the new social media newsroom so innovative and unique?
The answer lies in is its ability to facilitate collaboration and direct conversation with the end information consumer.
While traditional online newsrooms allow for only one-way information flow, social media newsroom readers are encouraged to participate in open discussions and freely share their thoughts, feedback, and opinions about individual news releases and other available content.
These comments are posted directly to the newsroom, for all visitors to see and reply to. Additionally, any content within a social media newsroom can be easily tagged, emailed, or added to any social media book marking site such as Technorati, digg, or del.icio.us.
”Corporations are eager to participate in the Social Media era but are still evolving from a broadcast-oriented, one-to-many paradigm, towards a model in which they adapt to a new reality – their voice is just one-of-many,” states Todd.S. Defren, principal at Shift Communications, a fast-growing, high-tech public relations agency with offices in Boston and San Francisco.
Delivery of online content that is more targeted is yet another major benefit of the new social media newsroom. Instead of browsing through pages and pages of outdated or useless content to get to what they want – as is often the case with traditional online newsrooms – visitors of a social media newsroom can easily access, receive, or share only the information elements that are most important and relevant to their specific interests and needs.
The new social media newsroom also allows marketers to more effectively interact with those who directly influence consumer perceptions and preferences. For example, quotes and comments from various company spokespeople that are published in blogs and other social media vehicles can be publicly tracked and monitored, then posted to the social media newsroom. This allows journalists and other site visitors to understand the company’s position on important and frequently-discussed industry issues, and to see what type of impact the company has on content across the Web.
Those companies that develop their own social media newsroom should also consider creating a secure, password-protected micro-blog that can be easily added to an RSS reader. This would enable media representatives to preview on-going story ideas created by the company’s public relations department.
SHIFT Communications is a PR agency specializing in high-tech public relations, consumer public relations and social media. SHIFT has San Francisco and Boston public relations offices.