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« Saturday morning (Wizard) observations | Main | FB Fan Pages vs. online newsrooms: The rebuttal »

March 17, 2009

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David Mullen

Jon - I think it's definitely another avenue to share company news, insights, case studies, etc.

You may lose some folks who aren't on FB and don't realize they don't need to be members to view your page. For that and other reasons, I'd want to also keep some of the newsroom content on your website that doesn't need to be updated regularly. But I do think it's worthwhile.

PS - Molecular started putting case studies on its FB page. http://bit.ly/sJvgr

Kristen Kouk

Love this idea! And I think the newsroom aspect of a corporate website (updated daily) would work perfectly with Facebook (needs to be relevant daily to encourage involvement). Would love to see what you do in the future.

Kristen

Debbie Friez

Jon,
It's a good idea, but there are few things to consider. Not everyon (yet) is on Facebook. Can you limit coverage from a reporter who doesn't want to login to Facebook? Also, you won't be able to make reporters register to get content. Some clients want this control.

It is still a good idea.

Chuck Hemann

Jon - interesting idea. One of the ideas I've been floating to people lately is utilizing a wiki platform, like Wetpaint or similar template, to create a multimedia newsroom/press kit. if you haven't seen the template check it out. opportunities to interact through forums, upload photos, upload videos and add in any other content you feel would make sense. Take a look at how Dell and others are using the technology. Good stuff.

Steve Momorella

Jon,

Thanks for your post. I agree with the rest that Facebook, and its 175,000,000 people, are a great distribution outlet for your PR and marketing activities at Hodges.

In today's economic environment, everyone can appreciate the need to reduce costs and use your PR and marketing dollars wisely; however, below are some reasons that you may want to consider sticking with your Online Newsroom and leveraging it to help expand your social media initiatives.

Branding
With Facebook you really have no control over the look and feel and corporate imaging of your site. It is all very templatized (by design) and mixed together so that you are really unable to group and categorize your content into clear and easy to find sections – such as PR Contacts, Executive Bios, Featured Stories. You have very little control over the design of your site, the layout and placement of certain items, and the overall color. This is important and while Facebook has certainly come a long way over the years, the lack of control over your image is a big reason to still recommend a web presence.

Access
As mentioned in some of the above responses, with Facebook, people have to be members to fully engage with your Fan Page. Not everyone is on Facebook, and some reporters on deadline might not want to wait for the confirmation to gain full access to your site. Likewise, you are unable to password-protect any areas within your Facebook Fan Page. You are unable to embargo releases or photos, or create special areas for your “A list” journalists to have access prior to releasing to mainstream. Further, there are no publishing controls, such as providing the ability for one administrator to publish only to certain areas of the site, or to lock down certain areas from other administrators. These are all important aspects of your Online Newsroom, allowing you to provide all of your content to as many people as possible in an open way.

In going to your Facebook Fan Page, I noticed some photos. I saw one with “Caroline and Governor Kaine” but I only had access to the thumbnail image. If a journalist on deadline wanted to get a high-resolution version of that photo to place in their magazine, or wanted a larger image to use as the lead story in their blog, they would be unable to do so using the Facebook Fan Page photo gallery as it currently stands.

Distribution
This is one of the most critical aspects of your Online Newsroom. You are able to send emails to your media contact database directly from your Online Newsroom. You can not easily just email your video or audio or image or press release to a built-in list of journalists or influencers on Facebook. There is very limited distribution out to Google Search, Yahoo Search, Google News, Yahoo News, and several of the top social media outlets such as Digg and Delicious. There is very little Search Engine Optimization for your content since you are in a closed network with little control over the URL, Title pages, and META keyword tags. You are also unable to maintain distribution lists from within Facebook of targeted key influencers – analysts, editors, government relations, bloggers, consumers, employees – whereas with your Online Newsroom you have the full ability to maintain your media contact database.

Monitoring and Tracking
Probably the single most important reason to maintain an Online Newsroom is the ability to report on your activity. How many press releases are being downloaded and by whom? How many press kits were downloaded last month? How many times were videos downloaded? There are no site metrics showing Time Spent on Site, User Sessions, Page Views, and there is also no tracking of how many email distributions were sent out. Facebook really offers little, if any, tracking and site metrics reporting which is critical in determining the success (or failure) of your campaigns.

Related Assets
With Facebook’s publishing facility you are not really able to incorporate all aspects of a social media press release. Each asset in Facebook is part of its own area – photos, videos, notes, etc. – and can not easily be combined to create an actual press kit or informational page that would contain text, links, photos, and video all in one place, all related to a particular event or show. With Facebook, you can create a photo gallery and a video gallery, but you can not easily integrate and embed photos and videos into a press release. This is important as journalists and the general public want to see everything about a particular topic all in one place.

These are just some quick examples that I thought of off the top of my head. There are certainly others that center around credibility, stability, and security that are also important, but I don’t want to take up too much of everyone’s time.

In closing, while I think that Facebook (and LinkedIn and Twitter) are extremely important and help you meet some of your objectives, utilizing your Online Newsroom as a communications portal to manage all of your press materials, media contacts, and social media outlets gives you the flexibility, branding control, and security that you need.

Eric Schwartzman

Hi Jon,

Great to hear from you! Methinks Facebook pages and online newsrooms are birds of a different feather.

My two cents: http://bit.ly/rDbW2

Be well,

Eric

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