No matter how many hours you work or how many late-night phone calls you field from reporters and editors, it isn’t always humanly possible for one person or department to keep up with a constant stream of queries from journalists in every time zone. That’s why an online newsroom is an essential tool for any communications team.

Wieck's approach to Online Newsrooms is unique, although we would say obvious; we consider the needs of both journalists and communicators.

Wieck Australasia was founded with the sole purpose of helping PR professionals to facilitate the distribution of news, images, video and audio to media outlets around the world. As part of a global network, Wieck provides solutions for clients including news outlets, corporate giants, photo agencies and Government departments. This diversity enables our team to stay on top of the changing technical requirements.

Wieck’s online newsrooms contain must-have features for the modern media. We carefully consider the needs of journalists and editors that are on a deadline so everything about our newsrooms is designed to facilitate ease of use and speedy retrieval of relevant material.

The layout of the site takes into consideration the different method of information retrieval and includes vital components such as contact information on every page, a search facility and categorisation of all content.

The newsroom is not simply a passive repository for media material, it can be used to actively promote content by providing features like opt-in email notifications, RSS feeds and social media sharing.

Text, images, video and press kits are separated into their own sections to accommodate the needs of a publication’s various editors. This is also useful for online publications that require all types of multimedia assets to support their articles.

On the homepage, users are presented with a list of the latest media releases, photos and videos available. From this point, they can view media releases, preview a larger version of the latest photo or video or navigate to information that is most relevant to their needs such as a corporate overview or key personnel within the organisation.

All information is listed in reverse chronological order meaning the most recently published information appears first.

At Wieck we realise that some PR initiatives have an extended life. This is why the homepage also contains a section at the top of the page that provides the opportunity to keep PR material of particular importance front-and-centre.

The Feature section can be used for an individual release, a full media kit or an eye-catching image.

The media release listing is given the most prominence on the centre of the page because the majority of media users are journalists and their decision to publish news and information is based largely on the value of the story.

There is strong evidence to suggest that media releases with associated images or video are far more likely to be used than those that only provide text so the list page displays icons to notify users when multimedia assets are available.

<img src="/1_Embedded_photos/press-releases-more-multimedia_490.jpg" width="490" height="396" alt="Graph showing an increase in average views per press release, when multimedia elements are added " />

When a release is viewed, the associated multimedia assets are offered for download in multimedia pods, minimising the effort required by the journalist and maximizing the opportunities for the release to gain exposure. Users are also offered plain text and PDF versions of the media release for download and, as with all content items, can share the release on a variety of social media channels.

The multimedia modules on the homepage provide journalists with the ability to evaluate the news value of the images or video on offer before downloading. The image module provides information that is extremely useful to a picture editor or online editor. Caption information is displayed, pixel dimensions are shown and images can be downloaded or added to the basket feature all without leaving the homepage.

The latest image can be accessed via this module however a link is provided to the image gallery of the newsroom allowing the user to enter the full gallery.

Once a media representative enters into the galleries, they are able to view, download, share with social media or add the multimedia asset to their basket.

If a journalist is working on a more in-depth article; are attending a launch in a remote location; or prefer to review their content selections before downloading, the Basket feature is a very useful tool. Everything from releases and images to a variety of video encodes can be added into the basket.

Once items have been added, the top banner keeps a total of how many things are in the basket. The user can then go in and remove the things they no longer need, download the entire basket, download just one or two items, or email it off to their production or technical team. Once they’ve finished with their edited selection of content, the basket can be cleared with one mouse click.

Often a single media release is not enough to adequately communicate a PR initiative, launch or event and a press kit is required.

Press Kits contain multiple articles, images and videos that are all directly connected by a common theme. Wieck’s Online Newsrooms provide press kit functionality and provides the media with an overview of the kit’s contents plus the ability to download content in its entirety or item-by-item.

 In addition to the multitude of features designed for the media, a Wieck Online Newsroom provides extensive reporting facilities designed to help corporate communicators track the success of campaigns or individual content items.

 Administrators can access a wide variety of site activity and specify the timeframe that will most accurately reflect the desired reports.

 The newsroom provides reports on what information has been accessed and downloaded - and by whom.

 These site reports are not simply raw statistics, instead they are provide evaluative reports enabling communicators to better gauge how effective media messages are.

 Site statistics are an accurate way of assessing what media outlets are utilising the newsroom. Download numbers are a good indicator of ‘intention to use’ and often identify organisations that are not captured by media monitoring services.

 While these numbers can’t be relied upon for actual use, they can assist in providing leads or to determine what campaigns or initiatives generate the most interest within the media.

Wieck Australasia doesn’t just provide a newsroom product; most of our clients take advantage of our editorial desk support service as well. Our editorial support desk serves as a vital extension of your team. We handle the uploading of all content to the newsroom, ensuring multimedia assets are of suitable size and resolution, allowing the communications team to concentrate on the big picture.

For those that want to take on complete administration of the newsroom, Wieck will provide on-site training for selected personnel.
Staff will be shown how to:

  • Upload and publish/unpublish media releases
  • Upload or publish/unpublish photos
  • Upload or publish/unpublish video
  • Relate photos and video content already on the Newsroom to media releases
  • Approve/Deny users
  • View site statistics

Additionally, Wieck staff can be contacted at any time if assistance if required.

 The Administration section of the newsroom can be completely customised to suit an organisation’s requirements however we recommend a clean and simple design that assists in the management of all multimedia assets on the newsroom.

Metadata fields are incorporated for all content types. The number of fields and the information they contain are specific to the specific medium. For example, a wysiwyg editor is available when loading a media release while the ability to choose encodes is available for video.

Adminstrators can also select a representative thumbnail, add subtitles and review the specifications of all video files. This data is vital for ensuring the source material meets the basic requirements of the media.

 Changes to multiple digital assets simultaneously are often required, so Wieck have incorporated batch editing features for a variety of actions such as publishing, unpublishing, categorisation and deleting content.

Wieck Online Newsrooms are created with all stakeholders in mind; our newsrooms are built by media professionals for media professionals.