So why would we want to encourage businesses to consider having their own news centre? Surely this is the stuff of professional publishers and broadcasters?
Well, it used to be – but in today’s fast-paced, interactive world, modern businesses need to communicate with their many and varied audiences directly and proficiently.
There’s still room for brochures, briefings, meetings and proposals, of course – that will never change – but, let’s face it, we check each other out instantly these days, don’t have time to hunt for information and yep, we make value judgements based on what we see.
Image and profile matters – but we also want to be comfortable with people we do business with. Not just what they do – quality and price is always relative for instance – but also how they do it – and other things like seeming to be a ‘good fit’ and having some valued expertise.
That’s where credibility and reputation matters – like having interesting views that suggest industry or professional knowledge and insight – or being quoted in news articles.
What sort of standing do they have? How do they promote themselves – not just in words, but video and photography. How aware they are and what sort of impression they create?
So let’s look outside in for a moment.
View yourself as a publisher of relevant information about your business – what do you see?
More importantly, what do you think others should or will want to see so they are encouraged to pick up the phone or draft an email?
You can either be daunted by this or see it is as a massive opportunity.
Creating a portal – let’s assume it is your website – to place all of your news and information in one place can enable people to see the type of business you are and maybe even the people you have on board.
That means creating a range of differing features.
Let’s start with news. Do you have press releases – or more importantly press coverage – to show? What about news releases that speak directly to your audience and don’t need a journalistic intermediary?
What about opinion related items including blogs? These shouldn’t be random but carefully planned, thought out and structured. How about events you are hosting, attending, maybe even speaking at or contributing towards?
Then there’s factual information you can provide to make life simpler for your customers to understand what you do and how you do it – FAQs, fact sheets, guides, glossaries – anything that helps potential customers make informed decisions so they can navigate your website for specific product or service information.
How about using graphics, video or photography imaginatively to bring this all to life?
The possibilities are endless once you put your mind to it. And you can keep adding to it.
You also have an added raison d’etre to promote your news centre via social media and other means – drawing people into your news centre – your hive – so they can delve into your world, read your news, see your take on business and view your activities.
This is so much more than creating content for mere SEO value or what they refer to in book circles as vanity publishing.
It is about content driven promotion – raising your profile, building your credibility and gaining a (positive) reputation – the three great strides businesses need to constantly take to develop and grow.
We’ll be looking at this all-important communications strategy in detail at our Worcester Business Media Club meeting at Wild Wood Rooms on Friday, October 30 between 9.30am-12.30pm.
To book your seat, call Chris or Teresa Green on 01905 453908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Green is managing partner of Chris Green Media.