Searching for El Dorado
Making your newsroom findable and accessible for international audiences.
How to Optimize your Newsroom for International Audiences Part 1 of 4
As the world’s economy globalizes and commercial success of businesses becomes ever more intertwined with other markets, the communication departments of many organizations need to cope with new sets of audiences. In this first of 4 articles, we dive into the reason PR pros should not hide their news.
Fifteen years ago, reporters probably found your corporate pressroom by typing in your company’s URL and looking for an “about us” or “contact” page. Today, they are more likely to arrive via a Google search or a snippet and link from a social channel. They might have run across your organization by means of a tweet, a relevant hashtag or a trending story on Facebook or LinkedIn.
The modern online newsroom is a very effective strategic tool for communicators to distribute news articles that include infographics, images, and videos, allowing them to attract bloggers, journalists and customers in new markets.
The language barrier is the most obvious initial challenge for communication professionals when dealing with new geographical markets. Even though you can get quite far with English, cultural subtleties, tone of voice and local do’s and don’ts need to be taken into consideration. It is therefore key to ensure you have the right content translation processes in place.
Additionally, it must be acknowledged that addressing a market in its own language and with localized content can be much appreciated by local audiences, as it demonstrates commitment. Some important local communiqués are not worth placing on the global corporate newsroom, but do need a formal home for audiences from a specific market.
'Search' is another key issue for the need to localize newsrooms. A search engine will look for the language code in a page for it to be indexed on keywords. If you place German press release in a page that is set up for English, Google and other search engines will be confused to say the least (see the short video on meta geo tags on the right).
Therefore, setting up your newsroom infrastructure to accommodate the languages of key geographical markets is a critical first step.
Build and they will come...
Wrong! Your newsroom needs to be easily accessible, searchable and shareable. However, to make sure it is accessible, searchable and its content shareable, it needs to be found first.
Many companies still hide their newsroom in the ‘About Us’ drop down menus and refrain from showcasing their latest news articles on their homepages. In essence, hiding what they have to say and making the newsroom an El Dorado (the mythical Colombian city of gold that is yet to be found) of some sort.
It is best to place an easy to find button on your homepage that links to your newsroom. Avoid the word ‘Press’ or ‘Pressroom.’ The media landscape has changed so dramatically that most brands are now also writing for other audiences -think clients, partners, staff, influencers- and the word ‘Press’ would discourage them from clicking on it.
Feed your news
A great way of making your news more accessible is by feeding news snippets to the homepage of your website. The homepage, at many times a quite static page, will be automatically updated with each release you publish.
Furthermore, ensure that your newsroom can be found through search engines. For this it is imperative that you use the correct language codes for each newsroom and refrain from mixing different languages in one newsroom; this will confuse searches and can even lead to exclusion from search results.
Click here to see the homepage of the University of Manchester.
Socialize your news
By making your news socially shareable and directly pushing your content to selected social media handles, you are providing backlinks to your news articles, and thus your newsroom.
But it is not only this direct distribution to your timelines and feeds and the echoing of influencers that matters, setting up a Facebook newsroom can be a tremendous asset. The Facebook newsroom promotes your content in a significant manner by mirroring your corporate news and PR contacts.
Click here to see the Facebook newsroom of the Shepherd Center.
This is part 1 of a series of 4 short articles on how to best set up your newsroom for international audiences.
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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.