We’ve been learning about PR in the online realm, most recently by looking at the online PR newsrooms. As usual, the best way to learn is through the practical, so we analyzed the news room of a real organization. And since I’m gearing up for the baseball season, I chose my home team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Overall, the Cardinals’ site has several strengths. It is easily navigated, easily read, and easily understood. It’s both engaging and informative.
But let me just get specific:
1. The newsroom is easily accessed. First tab on the mother site, in fact. The prominence on the news tab shows that news features prominently in the Cardinals’ PR strategy.
2. The content of their site relates to current events. For example, the first story today relates to a recent incident between Matt Adams and a Reds fan, who claims that Adams pushed him intentionally. Placing that story prominently on their page does two things. First, every baseball fan that googles what happened in the incident will be sent to their page. They are increasing traffic by covering stories that are controversial. Second, the Cardinals get to communicate their message about the incident, that, if Adams did push the fan, it was accidental.
3. The Cardinals do a fantastic job of incorporating photography, video, and graphics. These elements automatically engage the reader in the content and solidify the Cardinals’ branding in their mind, keeping readers on their page and engaged in their team.
4. The site easily connects with other social media sites. In today’s media landscape, this is absolutely necessary. Sharing a story on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or through email are just one click away thanks to handy button at the bottom of each story. Fans don’t just read the story on the official website, but the Cardinals’ message is being broadcasted all over the web by the readers themselves.
5. The site is easy to navigate. The different sections, types of media, and stories are organized so that the reader understands what they are looking at and how to get to what they want to look at. When a site makes things easy, it leaves the reader more satisfied with the site’s product.
The Cardinals’ newsroom is an excellent example of how an online newsroom should be done. It is truly a multimedia one—engaging, informative, and presents a strong message for the team. The Cardinals baseball team uses their news to the best advantage, both to drive readers to their site and keep the opinion of those readers favorable.