How are Fortune 500 companies using online news room to engage the media? I just read an academic journal article this week and want to share it with you. This reading is for my public relations class. I chose the following article:
Pettigrew, J. E., & Reber, B. H. (2010). The new dynamic in corporate media relations: How Fortune 500 companies are using virtual press rooms to engage the press. Journal Of Public Relations Research, 22(4), 404-428. doi:10.1080/10627261003801412
The authors explored four aspects of Fortune 500 company websites: relationship-building components, easy-to-use features for journalists, methods and tools employed to encourage initial visits by journalists, and method to encourage return visits.
The authors collected data from 10 selected journalists to identify the items those journalists look for in online news room.
After gathering the information, the authors developed a coding system for content analysis. Six coders visited all Fortune 500 companies’ website in less than a month; moreover, on each site, coders could not spend more than four minutes to find the information.
The results indicate that the corporate websites enable relationship-building with journalists. However, only two of the websites allowed reporters to communicate directly with public relations practitioners through real-time chat. Corporate websites make progress with providing the tools that encourage return visits; moreover, the calendar of coming events will encourage return visits to the websites.
The results also indicate an issue of the ease of use for journalists. Information that deeply in the site will cause frustration for journalists. Almost half of websites provide search engine for archived press releases.
The finding for third and fourth aspects provided insight for improving the relationship building with journalists. For example, about 45 percent of the companies did not have anything posted from the last 7 to 10 days. According to the authors, frequently updating corporate websites could attract more return visits from the journalists. Moreover, fewer than half of the Fortune 500 websites provided tools for searching for news releases. Journalists also pointed out that personal contact information would be useful.
The authors explained that there were two limitations in this research. The first limitation was that they focused large corporations. The authors pointed out that smaller companies might do better with relationship building with the media through their websites.
The second limitation was that corporate websites as a medium could be in an immature stage. The Internet as a dialogic medium might change with time.
Hi, everyone, my name is Boyu Cao and I am from China. I am a senior student majoring in public relations at the Univeristy of Oregon. This is my first public relations blog and I am going to use this for my J452 Strategic Public Relations Communication class.
In Public relations, two-way communication is encouraged and that is also my expectation from this blog: I want to interact with my readers and explore the public relations field together.
Feel free to leave comments.