‘Looking back and analyzing instead of frantically pushing on’
After the merger between BNN and VARA, the new broadcasting organization installed a newsroom to meet the changing demands of journalists. Creating the appropriate environment for BNN-VARA’s dual brand policy took quite some time and effort.
Even though the two broadcasters have been merged, both BNN and VARA retain their own DNA. Both have their own website for their respective target audiences. And until recently, their press websites were also separated, which eventually caused difficulties.
‘We received more and more questions from journalists who could not find the information they were looking for’, said Thijs Verheij, Interim Head of Communications at BNN-VARA. ‘After the merger the journalists expected to find BNN information on the VARA press website and the other way around. If you hear that too often, you know that something needs to change. Moreover, the journalists informed us that they would like to have the news and program content offered in a different way: searchable by broadcasting day instead of the publishing date. The contact details for each program needed to be more apparent as well.’
Make or buy
BNN-VARA ran into a typical, but relevant PR question: can we develop the newsroom ourselves or should we buy a ready-made product? Consultation with the IT department showed that building it ourselves would result in a long and very costly and lengthy project. ‘I checked with some some of our colleagues in the business and found out that a lot of them used a PressPage newsroom,’ Verheij said. ‘The PressPage solution seemed to offer everything we were looking for and it seemed to be less expensive and faster to implement, which made for an easy decision.’
The dual brand strategy did produce a number of challenges and requests. Verheij: ‘We wanted to be able to clearly mark items belonging to BNN or VARA. Based on this request, PressPage developed a number of new modules to make this possible. Although this took some effort, they managed to realize it quite quickly. The calendar module was also adjusted to match our needs. The newsroom right now is exactly as we want it to be.’
The PressPage solution seemed to offer everything we were looking for and it seemed to be less expensive and faster to implement, which made for an easy decision.
Monitor and Analyze
Verheij and his team are still fine-tuning the communication mix. ‘In addition to producing content, we also need to look at distribution and analysis. At the moment we are examining what is the best way for sending our mailings. The introduction of PressPage Mail allows us to send email campaigns, which simplifies the process, and we are considering a collaboration with Smart.pr for selecting and creating press lists. Using the Clipit monitoring tool in combination with the Analytics in PressPage, we’re able to get a clear view of the results of our efforts.
When looking at data, Verheij sees an important area of improvement for BNN-VARA’s communication strategy and practices. ‘We want to spend more time looking back and analyzing results instead of frantically pushing on with our current path. We are always working on the next project, but evaluating previous ones is very beneficial as well. We should dive into the results, draw conclusions based on data and adapt our strategy accordingly. Data from sources like PressPage and Clipit definitely help.’
PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.