A PR 2.0 Interview Updated

I’ve written a couple of posts recently that focus on the importance of technology and how it’s critical for PR people to explore and get up to speed with the latest applications and resources not only for their own agencies but also for their clients. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to do an update on the new developments at TEKgroup International.

In 2007, I interviewed Ibrey Woodall, Director of Marketing of TEKgroup for my book PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.  TEKgroup is recognized as an award winning Internet software and solutions company, creating online newsrooms for the public relations industry.  I was extremely impressed with Ibrey’s knowledge and expertise and quickly learned through the interview that TEKgroup’s product was a valuable asset for companies who needed a turnkey newsroom solution to attract journalists and equip them with the information they need to be more productive.

I first learned about TEKgroup when I came across its annual Online Newsroom Survey that reveals the opinions and preferences of journalists who are looking for specific functionality and information in a company’s newsroom.  TEKgroup’s 2009 Online Newsroom Survey revealed that the top five functions to have in an online newsroom are:

1. Ability to post elements 24 hours a day, from any location – no HTML code

2. Ability to distribute targeted e-mail alerts and story pitches

3. Ability to identify a journalist and report on what elements he/she accessed

4. Ability to add/delete sections and organize news by subject

5. Ability to optimize individual news releases for search engine access

An organization’s newsroom is one of the best ways to connect with journalists.  With the right tools you’re helping them to gather more information in one central location and be efficient in their jobs.  And, today, your newsroom is not just for reporters and editors of mainstream media. It’s a critical touch point to your brand for everyone (bloggers, customers, prospects, partners, etc).  In my blog post, PR Lessons in Life, I discussed how important it is to make a good first impression.  A well equipped newsroom is one way to for a brand to make a good impression, even before a journalist speaks to a PR contact or a member of the company.

During a recent conversation with Ibrey, I learned that since our interview, TEKgroup advanced its capabilities to offer an interactive social media package.  Building PR 2.0 sharing capabilities into a newsroom enables your news to be viral in the social media landscape. Newsrooms should include features and functionality that allow information to be passed along through social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Newsvine, Reddit and StumbleUpon.  Newsroom visitors are also able to bookmark releases in Digg and Delicious communities.

I definitely agree with TEKgroup’s approach.  By having a newsroom that’s organized, with the right assets, one that’s easy to navigate and provides social media capabilities, the functionality will suit the needs of journalists who don’t have the time to search for resources, and for consumers and other groups who want to gather, organize and then share the information in their social networks.  This is truly a fantastic way to supply information that the brand needs to communicate and simultaneously build a relationship with people by assisting them to find what they need too.  Through this type of solution, the brand becomes a valuable resource (now, that’s a good first impression) and it can then track the success of the PR 2.0 newsroom through the conversations and behavior of its newsroom users.

Are you enhancing your newsrooms with PR 2.0 capabilities?  Please feel free to share some of your favorite newsrooms and why they are successful.