Fresh eyes

Making PR work in the age of the digital newsroom

Making PR work in the age of the digital newsroom

Written by Laura Wild,
at Freshfield

Where did you read the news today? On your tablet while eating your Corn Flakes? On your phone on the train? On your computer when you got to work?

The way we consume news has changed massively in just a few years and the rise of social media and mobile technology are just two of the driving forces behind the changing face of the newsroom, which is becoming more digital than ever before.

So how does this impact your business, your PR campaigns and the media coverage you receive? How can you make sure your news makes the cut?

It has to work online

Newspaper groups up and down the country are at various stages of the ‘digital newsroom’ with one editor of a regional daily explaining at a lecture just recently that if news sent to his inbox doesn’t work online then he won’t use it.

While there is and always will be some exceptions to that rule, it is something to be aware of.

Newsrooms don’t want one photograph, they want 10 to make a slideshow, better still a video – as long as it is a good one and it’s interesting.

The Deloitte Mobile Consumer report earlier this year showed that 53 per cent of smartphone users check their phones within five minutes of waking. Editors have done their research too – they know the times of day people are checking their sites from their mobiles, from breakfast to bedtime and they want great news and other content on their site at that time.

The news is 24/7

In many newsrooms the print publication comes second, with the stories which have performed well online and on social media the ones that make it into the next day’s paper.

The news is 24/7 and editors need to fill their websites, TV slots and broadcast bulletins with fresh content so readers, viewers and listeners will come back for more.

Of course the volume of content needed has increased, but quality is as important as ever before and the style of that content needs to adjust too.

New ways to tell the story

With so many people now consuming the news on a mobile or tablet, the way the news is written needs to suit that platform. Great headlines, short and punchy sentences, photos and video to tell the story. It has to be something people want to share on Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn if it’s a business to business issue.

With that in mind, if your business has a story to tell and some news to share, remember there’s new ways to tell the story. Social media is equally important as traditional media and creative, interesting video and photography are wanted by the media to fill their content-hungry websites.

There is one constant in all of this. A well told story will always be welcome by the media, it’s just how it is told that’s changing.

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