For years, many brands have relied on the same newswire vendor to distribute important news about their business, services, employees, and products. To a large extent, the newswire industry has remained stagnant and failed to evolve its legacy infrastructure and systems to maintain pace with the rapidly shifting media landscape and consumers' news consumption habits.
The ubiquity of social media channels, desire for multimedia elements, proliferation of news information, waning attention spans, and preferences for user-friendly workflows are among the leading factors shaping today's contemporary communications space.
The pervasive economic effects wrought by the coronavirus global pandemic have prompted companies to scrutinize every penny of their budgets to ensure they are obtaining the most value for the services for which they pay. Newswire distribution vendors are no exception.
Whether you're working on the brand side in corporate communications or partnering with clients on the agency side, the below questions will help to guide your decision about whether it's time to say goodbye to your current newswire service.
Do you have the flexibility to distribute standalone multimedia content?
If you look at any news outlet, you will see a combination of video, images, text and connected social channels to illustrate the news story—and journalists would like the same from brands. Reporters do not want to spend time going through a press release to find multimedia assets, or sifting through your website to obtain them. Instead, having the capability to deliver standalone multimedia assets directly to the media makes their jobs much easier and more efficient. This will help create a better working relationship with PR professionals and journalists by delivering relevant, engaging, and informative content in the most sought-after formats.
Is your platform experience speedy and efficient?
Many newswire platforms tend to be set up in a way where you need to rely on editors to achieve the most basic functions. Is that what users want? I doubt it. Current workflows are inefficient and slow—characterized by manual, time-intensive processes, such as having to share documents back and forth with editors, clients, and other stakeholders. Users should have the ability to work smarter with a platform that streamlines the workflow with smart automation, customer software, secure collaboration with stakeholders and greater control. The human element should never be neglected, though, and is still profoundly important. Put the human where it matters most—in customer service.
Is your platform secure?
Data breaches are pervasive, and existing vendors that rely on third-party content sharing are even more susceptible to security leaks of your pre-released news. Sensitive financial information, M&A deals, and product launches, among others, should never be at risk of leaking because of poor internal security controls. The News Direct platform has the most secure data protection protocols in the category—including industry-leading isolation cloud technology to safeguard every piece of content throughout the workflow.
Is the pricing model predictable?
Customers should not have to worry about word counting, geographic limitations, and other painful reminders of antiquated pricing structures. Budgets are tight. Every line item will be scrutinized to ensure value. And having a major platform with a flat-rate pricing model for greater budget management and transparency is critical. With News Direct, you will not have to fret about surprise charges or additional fees.
Are you getting the right measurement insights to test the ROI of your content?
Brands and PR agencies must ensure the news and content they distribute is reaching the right audience, facilitating substantive engagement, and driving desired actions. Bottom line—you should be able to focus on your goals, not just numbers. It's easy to rely on vanity metrics as a way to measure ROI; but, while quantifiable, metrics like impressions and number of placements mean absolutely nothing if they don't meet your business goals. Focus on metrics that can demonstrate more impact on your business drivers
So, the last question you may be asking yourself is: Is my newswire vendor helping me work smarter and more impactfully in today’s media environment? If the answer is 'no,' it may be time to find a new distribution partner that is purpose-built to meet the demands of modern media outreach.