Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Social Media News Room Examples

I visited a lot of social media newsrooms (SMN's) for the "Social Media News Releases Are Absolutely Worthless" article.

Below are examples of real newsrooms engaged in real business, and just not some theoretical treatises on the joys and efficacies of a social media newsroom concept. The companies spread out among different industries - a fairly decent cross-section.

The Big Bang

I saw a lot of SMN's that started out with a hot flash, big bang ... then stopped. They haven't been updated for months, if at all. Why? Novelty? Too much work? Risk? No results? Not enough digital assets? Part or all of those things? Don't know. I'll take a shot at it though. It's related to "doing the work." It's a lot of hard work pulling all the content, multi-media and social news sharing capabilities together without making yourself "look a fool."

The Hard Work is not the Hard Work

And the hard work part is not the hard work. Creating or re-designing a newsroom for today's informational needs (buyers, customers, media, analysts) means you have to justify the costs to CFO.

Be prepared. They ask questions that have money attached to them - and the answers they're looking for are not, impressions, views, comments, links, feeds.

You also have to work with a web and graphics design team to get your newsroom design right.

Important thing here. The product and marketing managers have to be tuned in to the value of social media and the social media newsroom, or your going to end up with something that might look great ... but has no content. Which means no usefulness. Which means no value. Which means you have to re-read the CFO's fortune cookie.

Last (but I swear, if my IT team is reading this, the greatest folks on earth, the backbone of any business, the reason any marketing and PR department exists - solely to serve them) comes the IT department.

BIG SCOOP HERE

Sometimes you're not so important to them.

Typically the corporate IT department doesn't consider the newsroom to be "top of mind." And, if you're like the company I work for, with tens of thousands of web pages, implementing a social media newsroom concept is a little more complicated, costly and risky than slapping a yuck-it-up video on YouTube, some Flickr photos with a non-delicious Del.icio.us page. We're working on it at my company and should be rolling out a newsroom with social and multi-media capabilities in 4 weeks. Thanks to the greatest folks on earth, the IT department.

Having said all that - the people and companies listed below are already pulling it off. Hooking, jabbing, pushing, pulling, getting it done.

But first...

What Exactly is a Social Media Newsroom?

SHIFT Communications provides a good answer.

EXAMPLES:

Ford Social Media Online Newsroom
Ford's online newsroom that hosts their Social Media News Releases (SMNR).

Well done, easy to use and easy on the eyes.

Initial landing page is comprehensive but missing comment or conversation tools. However, click on any of their SMNRs and they're there.


Cisco Newsroom

Tagline: News@Cisco⎯"Ideas. Insights. Information."

Full of features, functionality, and content.

When you're a high-tech company, simplifying the complex is hard to do. Very hard to do. Cisco does it well.

It even has a "Cisco Live" Twitter account. Talk to them in 140 characters or less.



Virgin Megastores Social Media Online Newsroom

A visual melange, pastiche, cornucopia.

The Virgin Mega Mashup Newsroom is graphically and functionally strong.

Their Virgin "Mega Friends" Map is an excellent way to engage directly with your audience. The "Mega Rant" page is a direct shout-out for conversation -- "Come on in ... talk to us!"

GM Europe Social Media Newsroom

Tagline: "Product News and Downloads for the online reporter"

Hmm ... what about the online buyer doing his research? Based upon
their "latest comment" section in the newsroom, it appears they have some unwanted visitors ... some buyers.

Flickr photostream is well utilized. Comprehensive. Check out their Youtube channel. 106 videos. Some pretty good ideas to crib from.

Optiem Social Media Newsroom

Like the look of this social media newsroom. It follows the SHIFT Communications Newsroom template closely. They switched the "media coverage" and the "news releases" headings. That's understandable. Their content needs updating, but this is still a good example to get some thought bubbles started.

Wolfstar Social Media News Room

Tagline: "Resources for journalists and online reporters."

Example from the U.K. They use Del.icio.us for their online coverage.

Electrolux

Tagline: "Electrolux has created this newsroom to provide bloggers, journalists and other interested parties with information about Electrolux and its products and services."

Photos and videos are also made available through the site. Hmm ... this newsroom is open for business.

Social Media Newsroom for Evacuation Plan: a Novel from the Hospice

Don't evacuate this newsroom. It's by author, Joe O'Connell, for his book, "Evacuation Plan." It was developed by Social Media Power.

It's beauty is it's simplicity.

The very human touch. Easy accessibility. No videos—but big deal.

Is it perfect? No. Are you?

NeatReceipts Social Media Newsroom

Neat. Simple. Live chat enabled.


TopRank Online Marketing Newsroom

I like this one. Lee Odden is an exceptional writer and social media advocate. Balanced approach.

The newsroom navigation centered at the top is a nice ease-of-use touch

Fathom SEO Online Newsroom


Active newsroom. Talk the talk. Walk the walk.

Check out their Fathom links. Fairly deep. They offer a free media pressroom theme for Wordpress. Miminalist. Simple. Good. Actually use their Twitter account. Their YouTube channel has 36 videos. That's a lot of work.

Now ... if you’ve noticed, a lot of the newsrooms above followed (loosely) the SHIFT Communications Social Media Newsroom Template. So what about SHIFT? Do they talk the talk and walk the walk?

SHIFT Communications Social Media Newsroom

Answer?

Yes.

If you have additional social media newsroom examples -- let me know.

Go back to "Social-Media News Releases Are Absolutely Worthless!

End:

4 comments:

Fathom SEO Consultants said...

Thanks for the write-up for Fathom SEO and recognizing the fact that we are active in our social newsroom efforts! We worked really hard on our Pressroom and free social media newsroom theme for WordPress.

Steve Kayser said...

You guys are doing great work. Thanks for sharing the Wordpress template.
Best,

Steve

Deltina Hay said...

Thanks for the mention!

Wonderful to see some real examples. I, too, have seen so many of them abandoned. It is important for the creator to see the value of the investment and be committed to the maintenance - not just create one for the sake of it.

Joe O'Connell's newsroom is typical of the types of newsrooms we create for authors, but we try and customize each one. And, yes, simplicity is our goal, since the point of the room is to make all of the information available quickly and painlessly - without the bells and whistles, and with no navigation.

Here is another newsroom we created for a PR firm who wants to highlight the media coverage they get for their clients. I think you will find it interesting:

http://www.accoladespublicrelations.com/newsroom

Deltina
Social Media Power

Deltina said...

Steve,

Just wanted to let you and your readers know that we have recently completed our free WordPress Social Media Newsroom theme. This theme is based on http://www.joeoconnellnewsroom.com you mention here. You can find it at http://www.socialmediapower.com/themes.

Thanks!

Deltina