Most large companies are scared of blogging and yet they have quite a good news section.
My belief is that the two are not really that different.
A blog traditionally is more informal but that doesn't have to be the case.
Some blogs are very formal and discuss the same stories with the same accuracy as traditional news outlets.
Transforming a news archive into something that attracts readers, traffic, RSS subscribers, thousands of links and top search rankings is actually not very hard and is something we do for clients every week.
The first step is to educate the writers and explain about producing clickable titles and interesting copy.
Most press releases and corporate news stories are way too boring for bloggers to even read let alone write about, so you need to stand out from the crowd while remaining formal enough to keep your credibility.
The next steps are simpler and follow a few basic rules:
- Use Wordpress.
- Use Feedburner & full RSS feeds.
- Set up Wordpress to ping Google & Feedburner etc when you publish news.
- Make sure Wordpress is SEO friendly.
- Place RSS & email subscription boxes above the fold.
- Use a nice template.
Having somewhere to instantly reach hundreds of journalists and fans of your brand is hugely valuable to a business in a reputation crisis and extremely useful if you ever need to launch a new product or service.
News sections are very important for online PR and linkbait purposes, time and time again I see companies issuing press releases without publishing the story on their own site.
This results in a massive reduction in the number of links to the site and stops the story spreading.