OhioHealth, a non-profit healthcare system in Ohio, set up their Presspage newsroom in 2015. That first year, they saw a meteoric 889% increase in traffic. In 2017, they were awarded Best Online Newsroom by the Public Relations Society of America. OhioHealth’s mission to showcase brand journalism has restructured their PR workflow and turned their newsroom into a one-stop-shop for journalists.
“When we came across Press page, that was when the lightbulb went off – we have this idea for content, and now we have an easy to use, attractive looking digital platform for our newsroom.”
Mark Hopkins, OhioHealth’s director of Media Relations, could see that their old approach was losing ground: “Our team was doing all the traditional things that media teams do – pitching stories and writing news releases. Slowly we were starting to see that the news media was changing. They had fewer resources and the world was going to the digital side. So we started talking about developing our own content and videos while still pitching our stories.
Presspage’s platform soon became a catalyst in restructuring OhioHealth’s overall approach to PR. Missy Gleason, Managing Editor of the OhioHealth Newsroom, established an internal Content Council, making sure teams were sharing stories and information internally and no work was being duplicated.
Gleason reflects that making the most of their own resources has helped produce engaging content: “The media team got trained on how to shoot videos, so we can give a little more context and flavor. We also have an internal newsletter, so we now share those stories as well.” Producing their own high-quality content is the foundation of OhioHealth’s newsroom. Presspage then allows them to attract and keep visitors on their own site, by, for example, having all their content and rich media on the newsroom rather than linking to external sources.
Gleason readily acknowledges that “there’s no silver bullet to what kind of story does well.” Instead, she relies on her philosophy as a broadcast journalist to guide her editorial choices:
“Step away from your desk and think about how you absorb news as an audience member. When you are looking to read something, or something stops your scroll on Facebook, think about what grabs your attention there. What do you want to know as a viewer, or reader?”
By combining engaging content with an easily accessible and responsive platform, OhioHealth’s newsroom visits increased from 11,588 to 114,697 hits within a year; a change of nearly 890%.