Online Brand Building - Do You Need a Social Media Newsroom?
Curriculum vitae, work experience, references, skills inventory,
resume: all describe a source of information where people can
condense the vital information about themselves into a single
document for interested parties to examine. The idea is giving
people an overview they can sort through in order to weigh your
merits and strengths against their needs, as well as to get an
idea of how you present yourself.
This concept has been adopted for the web in a number of ways,
but none more unique than the social media newsroom. A
combination bulletin board and press collection, the SMNR is a
one-stop location for people to find out critical information
about you. Whether you have a new book you're promoting, a
lecture tour you want to draw attention to, or a business plan
you wish to propose, the SMNR is the place you gather all the
information about your venture together into a clear, concise
As implied in the name, a newsroom is a page where you compile
relevant press (your own and others') about the relevant topic.
It lists the basic information, quotations, summaries and news
stories in question, but then it also goes a step beyond the
In previous articles we've discussed the advantages of
integrating your audience into the brand, and taking advantage of
the web's powerful communication abilities to bring their
influences into the picture. The SMNR doesn't just present good
press, it includes communication venues for people using
Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg and more. It includes a
comments section for added communication, and options for instant
messaging or blog connectivity. In short it is more than just a
static page, and is an active communications hub.
Do You Need One?
Any organization interested in creating and maintaining a vital
web brand will find the SMNR an incredible, vital tool toward
this purpose. If you have any good press, such as a positive
review or mention from a SM group, consider putting up an SMNR
page to centralize further promotion efforts.
The value of the SMNR lies in its convenience for your audience.
As we have discussed, the web has allowed people to develop an
incredibly short and discerning attention span. If you centralize
your relevant information so that people can browse easily, they
will be more likely to stay and peruse your content than if they
had to hunt down the information themselves. Instead of looking
for reviews of your company's quality, they can find it all
right at hand in your SMNR.
Which Social Media?
Given the sheer variety of social media networking sites, there
is no one design of SMNR that will work in every situation. There
are of course the broad guidelines already discussed, but these
are not specific to any situation and for good reason.
Applications such as Twitter or Digg are fairly universal,
serving as conduits rather than direct sources of information.
However services like Myspace and Facebook have differing user
bases, and one may be more appropriate to your organization than
the other. You must do the research to see what suits your
The most important piece of advice is to make your SMNR its own
distinct element. We have discussed the importance of giving your
online marketing efforts their own focus, rather than simply
getting to them as you have time. The SMNR is no different. It
will not replace the draw of a good blog or video series, just as
an author's webpage does not replace the act of actually reading
Instead, find the social media networks that tie most organically
into your usual web branding efforts, and build from there. If
you're focusing on a smaller audience, include instant messaging
service so people can drop into the page chat room for quick
input. If you're going for a wider audience, Twitter is still an
excellent way to quickly link your newest article or bit of
The Press Release
An integral part of any newsroom is the press release. This is
not strictly speaking a traditional news story so much as it is a
formalized announcement using the news style. As an illustration
of the difference, a news story is when a journalism organization
covers an event and relays the information. A press release is
when the organization itself gives out information they feel is
important, usually through a news channel. A good press release
keeps to the basic facts, and is short and punchy.
The press release is therefore an outstanding tool for any SMNR.
Brief and concise, it explains why your newest venture or change
in policy deserves attention. It can be linked through your
preferred social media tools and disseminated quickly, bringing
people to your page for the full story. From there they can be
directed to other materials, and you have your audience at hand.
Once again, the focus of the SMNR is as much about drawing in
user commentary as it is about distributing information. Take the
time to analyze the comments and usage figures from your newsroom
against your chosen metrics. Listen to what people are saying,
and engage them about these comments. Many good ideas have been
lost simply for lack of communication, so take advantage of the
fact that your audience is literally right there, in the newsroom
with you, and ready to have a dialog.
Enzo F. Cesario is an online brand management specialist
and co-founder of Brandsplat, a social media company that
uses blogs, articles, videos and social media to drive
traffic to your site. For the free Brandcasting Report
go to www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit our blog at