Six reasons why you need a corporate newsroom
Information has never been harder to manage, especially for companies that need to communicate with a wide range of audiences: employees, customers, NGOs and politicians to name a few.
To cope with this, organisations can benefit from bringing the skills and practices of a newsroom into the heart of their communications. Thinking and acting like a media organisation is a growing trend among larger companies, giving rise to a new breed of corporate newsrooms.
Some of our clients, like Coca-Cola and ING, are already leading the way in this area and, as former journalists, we can see why it makes sense. We also know how it can be done and the benefits it can bring.
What is a corporate newsroom?
To avoid confusion, let’s start with clarifying what it is NOT.
- It is not a press office
- Not a group of spokespeople
- Not about media relations
- Not a news section on your website
- Not just about pumping out content to your employees
So, what is it? We define a corporate newsroom as a central team that communicates the organisation’s strategy, using editorial standards, practices, and a journalistic mindset.
Why is a corporate newsroom needed?
- It tackles information overload
It’s never been harder for companies to cut through the clutter and noise of our information-saturated world. Professionalising how you tell your story, to internal and external audiences, will help you get heard. Learning tried and tested tricks from the media world, like great storytelling and human-interest angles, is key.
- It stops misinformation spreading
This is especially important at times of crisis. In a 24/7 information culture, news travels fast – and that means real news AND fake news. At times like this, misinformation can quickly escalate into a full-fledged crisis. A newsroom culture can ensure you get your story out – for your employees and external audiences – before they hear it anywhere else.
- It builds authenticity and transparency
Having a trusted and consistent voice from the company is key. A central newsroom can do this, building a sense of authenticity and transparency and helping you speak with one voice.
- It makes you human
One of the most common questions you hear from any journalist about a story is ‘what’s the human angle?’ News organisations know that stories about real people work best. This translates into a corporate setting too – a newsroom culture can help you humanise your organisation, helping your employees and external stakeholders see behind the corporate façade, into the heart and soul of your organisation.
- It boosts employee engagement
And when you do get your story out there, accurately, quickly and compellingly, you will be boosting employee engagement, which after all, is the aim of any internal comms team. PR Week recently reported a survey by the Confederation of British Industry which said that with 48% of companies say employee engagement is their key business priority for 2017, so now is the time to think of ways to turbo-charge engagement, and a newsroom approach could be one of the answers.
- It clarifies your company’s strategy
If you are still not persuaded about how a corporate newsroom can help, think about that other core task facing any corporate and internal comms team – communicating the company’s strategy. It’s easier said than done and, frankly, many companies are struggling to do it effectively.
A recent survey says that 82% of CEOs think their employees understand their company’s strategy but only a third of employees agree. Clearly, in many companies, the message is fundamentally failing to get through.
These are just some of the reasons why a corporate newsroom can help you – and why they are on the rise among some of the world’s most communications-savvy companies.
Putting a newsroom structure in place need not be as hard as it sounds, and certainly need not involve new headcount or costs. In many cases, it’s simply a question of adopting a journalistic mindset, thinking more like a media organisation and applying a consistent set of editorial practices to help you tell and target your stories more effectively. We’ll talk about this more in our next blog.
Find out more in a recent webinar on how newsroom culture can boost your corporate comms in a Gorkana webinar given by Stampa directors, James Curtis and Abigail Levene: