How About That Corporate Newsroom?
Like most PR/Comms professionals, the new year also allows you to set some new goals. One that might top your list is ‘pimping’ your corporate, or brand, newsroom to make it an effective tool for your online and digital communications strategy: make it more visually attractive and adding new features and functionality that will increase its ROI.
So the goal is set to make your newsroom topnotch. No longer just a list of pdf releases, phone contacts for reporters, and a general media inquiries e-mail; it has to be a multimedia content platform for journalists, industry peers and current and potential consumers.
But should you build it in-house? Or buy it off the shelf from a specialized external vendor?
Here are a few points that will guide you make that decision as you create a multipurpose destination for your press releases, news stories, features, blogs and rich media assets.
Here is my take on when you should absolutely pursue an in-house build:
- The software (newsroom) drives the company’s core business
- The software (newsroom) provides your company a major competitive advantage over competitors
- Your IT team is responsive, fast, efficient, and PR/Comms is its top priority
- You can spread the cost of a more expensive in-house newsroom system over years and many users
If the answer to the questions above is ‘no’, then it is wise to consider an external vendor to take care of your newsroom technology.
However, if you do decide to commission your own web team to upgrade your corporate newsroom, you also need to be ready for some drawbacks...
The attractive cost level of custom newsroom software persuades many to avoid in-house systems. If you ask your internal web team to build a newsroom, learn the costs of hardware maintenance and software updates (usually in the form of salaries). If your organization is small- or medium-size, this cost could force your CFO to veto your custom-built newsroom.
Lack of in-house technical proficiency
Your web team is working on a half-dozen projects. Your IT team is trying to keep up with 20 or 30 jobs. Neither team may have the skills to build newsroom software. If you can’t hold your software developers accountable, is custom-built worth the months of meetings, firewall issues, missed deadlines, arguing with IT over what they think you really want? You’ll never get exactly what you want from IT.
If you expect perfection because you work down the corridor from them, you’re doomed to disappointment. Remember how tough it was to get the old newsroom built, the one you’re fed up with? It’s 20 times more dicey to get a powerful, efficient new platform built in-house. Not to mention improvements and updates that take forever!
Lack of time
A proprietary newsroom is a BIG deal. You want your organization to be totally digital within six months? Don’t re-build your newsroom from scratch! It will become a never-ending story.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn on January 6, 2016, titled "A PR Pro’s New Year’s Resolution: How About That Corporate Newsroom..?"
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.