“The good old days of PR… they are over.”
...said Frazer Neo Macken, Vice President, Communications & Digital, Electrolux Asia Pacific, at a recent conference on New Media Relations. He felt that many PR practitioners in corporations are stuck in wanting to manage media relations, and not creating sufficient creative content to engage the stakeholders.
With media increasingly utilizing digital sources like social media, and corporate newsrooms for news-gathering, “it is clear traditional PR tactics alone will not be sufficient to guarantee share of voice.” (Weber Shandwick’s recent report “Digital Life of Journalists in Asia Pacific”)
The poll amongst journalists revealed “corporate websites and blogs were the second-most trustworthy source after corporate spokespeople”.
How should Singaporean companies review their PR efforts and kickstart a brand newsroom strategy online? Here are 6 ‘C’s to consider when building a communications hub for greater engagement and share-of-voice.
Firstly, define the key audiences for the company. Customers, Partners, Employees – these would be your top tier contacts. It is important to keep them engaged with news – they are your advocates! Gather contacts from relevant media and influencers. Defining these contacts will influence the framework for how you communicate, and what you communicate.
Content, itself, can involve an entire strategy on its own. Here, we focus on kick-starting your newsroom with the existing resources. As Frazer mentioned, many corporations struggle to produce content. This could be due to lack of resources. However, we can start by tapping on the existing resources.
Is your business already actively communicating via press releases, mailers, advertorials, and e-newsletters? There you go, here’s your content. Lengthen the ROI of your content by bringing them back to life again on your newsroom.
Stories with images receive 94% more views. Package your story with photographs, infographics and videos to create more engagement. Visual content also tends to be shared amongst social media channels.
Establish a “home” for your brand stories and asset. Typically your website, or media newsroom, this is where journalists will be able to find archived information to beef up the stories that they are reporting on. Latest company developments, blogs, social media channels and image library should be found here. You don’t want to send the press scrambling around for information.
Since we have already identified the contacts, it should be easy to know what channels are important for your company.
Asha Philips, Verily's Founder, and News Digest Editor, Yahoo said, “Distribution is king. Of course you need great content, but it’s all about the channel you use to share that content. You don’t have to look at every single social media platform, think about what you are doing, what your brand is, who your client is, and what message you are trying to put out there – and thus what platform is actually relevant for that. Don’t spread yourself to thin doing everything. Just focus on the right platforms.”
From social channels to traditional media channels, it is also good to consider tailoring content language and format to fit the audiences for respective channels.
Think like a newsmaker, an editor. Chart out important events for your organisation and plan your editorial resource around them. This will help you to plan ahead, and also to prevent upcoming events to take you by surprise. It will also allow the opportunity for seasonal newsjacking. Prepare content pieces catered for festivals, industry events etc. For example, Singapore’s SMRT communicates via its newsroom and social media on route changes and service extensions that coincides with events like Eve of holidays, F1, and Chingay Street Parade.
Lastly, keep the conversations going! Remember, conversations are two-way. Allocate resource to respond to enquiries and comments on your social channels. People who engage with your brand are your fans, and if there were complaints, take the opportunity to exercise service recovery and turn complaint into compliment! Monitor news and conversations about your company and the industry. That way, as a brand, you can actively engage, and be the opinion voice for your industry.
Interested to build your a content hub for greater engagement with your community? Email or call us for a free consultation!
//Julia Tan, Marketing, @MynewsdeskAsia (email@example.com)
Julia, Frazer and Asha were on the panel for "Setting Up a Social Media Newsroom to Create Content, Communicate & Connect" at the New Media Relations Conference held 14 - 15 July 2014. The session also covered points discussed in our previous post "Using your newsroom for inbound PR".
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