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Your Online Newsroom: Engaging in a Digital Age

By on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

With reporters increasingly working from their desks and online, your online newsroom is becoming even more important. Reporters are likely to look at your online presence before they even pick up the phone to call your nonprofit or association. Here’s a key list of elements for a successful online newsroom:

Clear contact information for media contacts with your agency – including an email address and a phone number answered by a real person after hours. Why? So reporters can get a hold of you when needed for a story or question.
Background materials about your organization – your fact sheet, annual report, key statistics from the organization and on the issues you care about, and program information are all helpful.
Biographies for key spokespeople – a 1-2 paragraph summary is fine, but longer biographies also work. 
News releases – the news releases and statements your organization issues to the news media should be listed and indexed if possible. 
Links to news articles – many online newsrooms now include a feature showing a list of links to already published news articles.
Social media links – many news outlets are now including links to social media in their stories or tweets about a story. Make it easy for the reporter to find your Twitter handle or Facebook community by including social media links in an easy to find location in the online newsroom.
Downloadable photos and logos – high-resolution images showing your nonprofit’s programs and key spokespeople, cleared for media distribution, are an important asset to have available in  your online newsroom. Don’t muck up the photos with odd text impositions on the images or require a cumbersome registration process to download them. Remember to write captions for the photos that include a photo credit. 
Web-quality and broadcast-quality downloadable video – links to downloadable videos are becoming more important now than in the past. If you don’t provide it – they may find the grainy footage on your YouTube channel and not what you prefer.
Links to resources to help reporters report the story better – if your organization works in an area where media reporting plays a role in preventing a problem or language is especially sensitive, there may be online resources for journalists working in this area. You may want to post links here to those resources to help reporters improve their coverage.

Everyone wants to know what you think.

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