reporters, media relations, website

Dish Network updated its newsroom.

Reporters look for online newsrooms, which help them find key information quickly.  Business Wire found nearly 90% of reporters used Google to search for companies, while 75% use online newsrooms.

Denver-based pay-TV provider DISH has 400 registered users who receive an abstract of news releases and a link to the full release, said John Hall, DISH general manager of corporate affairs. The DISH blog carries announcements not significant enough for a release,  Hall told people at a PRSA Colorado luncheon.

While the online newsroom is one channel, DISH still pitches stories to reporters – often several times a week. DISH started their newsroom with media as the core audience, but prospective employees are a key secondary audience.

Journalist Survey

Business Wire conducted a survey of journalists about the features and functions they want to see in an online newsroom. According to Ibrey Woodall, the most popular features are the ability to sign up for email alerts and to search by type of story. Journalists who cover a company regularly also expect the ability to:

  • Search by category (releases, images, video)
  • Register for email alerts, RSS feeds, blog and Twitter
  • Find an editorial calendar
  • Search just for news, not the entire corporate site

DISH keeps all their news releases on the site (http://about.dish.com). “I check out our past releases all the time,” Hall said. Teams of employees sign up for news releases so they get current information. A searchable database of news releases provides reporters easy access to years of information on the company.

DISH is currently redesigning its website using analytics to guide decision-making. Featured news is the first thing the company wants people to see. The most popular news is farther down the page. The January 2015 launch of Sling TV is still the most-viewed news release and has a permanent spot on the DISH news page.

Sling TV provides TV programming live-streamed to computers, tablets, streaming boxes, game consoles and mobile devices. Its newsroom address is http://news.sling.com.

Blogs Help SEO

Both DISH and Sling TV maintain blogs for different reasons. DISH has two blogs: one consumer-facing and the other for public affairs. The DIG serves as an Insider’s Guide to Entertainment maintained by the marketing department. “SEO is a big reason the blog is there,” said Hall. A policy blog is maintained out of Washington, D.C. addressing industrywide regulatory issues and presenting DISH’s Federal Communications Commission filings. To make the information easily accessible to media, the filings are posted on the policy blog with a link to the FCC site.

The Sling TV blog hosts public announcements that do not rise to the level of a news release. “I want to spend my capital with reporters when I really want their attention,” Hall noted.

Woodall provided these tips for a successful online newsroom:

  • Put logos and highly relevant photos in your newsroom, so reporters can download them easily
  • Have a few, highly relevant photos and videos for reporters to choose from that are the most current and easy to locate
  • Put an executive’s birthdate in the online bio, not their age. Reporters do not know how recently the bio has been updated.
  • Media want video of executives for their stories.
  • Put commercials on your online newsroom. Journalists covering your industry want to see them