Deliver Your News to the World

Australian brands failing to tell their stories online


SYDNEY — Burson-Marsteller Australia (B-M) today announced the results of a study into the online newsrooms of twenty top Australian brands. The study found that the vast majority of Australian companies are failing to provide journalists and bloggers with the content or services they require to effectively report company news announcements online.

“Online forms of media provide an opportunity for organisations to bring their news stories to life using rich media content,” said Daniel Young, Director, Burson-Marsteller Australia. “Organisations can make this content available via their online newsrooms, as well as offering content sharing capability and newsroom search functionality to assist time poor journalists and bloggers. Unfortunately, a large number of the companies we surveyed have failed to seize the opportunity to the detriment of their online news coverage.”

More than half (60 per cent) of the companies surveyed provide direct access to their newsroom via a homepage link. The experience for journalists and bloggers is generally disappointing when they get there however, with only 15 per cent of the top twenty brands offering image downloads and just 10 per cent offering video content for download.

Basic online newsroom functionality was also found to be limited. Only 20 per cent of the companies surveyed offer the ability to share newsroom content via RSS or sharing tags, while only one (five per cent) provides search functionality specifically focused on newsroom content.

“An effective online newsroom can automate many aspects of media relations,” continued Young. “The simple act of making background information available via the newsroom saves time for Corporate Communication teams, journalists and bloggers. In my experience, journalists can get very irritated having to spend valuable time chasing photography, biographies and the like.”

“The Web is an increasingly visual medium and research has found that Internet users are much more likely to click on video content. We recognise the resource consideration associated with the development of video content but it’s actually very easy to enhance online newsrooms using free video and image sharing services such as YouTube and Flickr.”

“It’s surprising that organisations aren’t investing in news as this is among the most compelling and dynamic content that they have at their disposal. Online newsrooms are poor and corporate blogging is almost non-existing in Australia. For one reason or another, Australian brands are missing out on the opportunity to engage and tell their stories online.”

The B-M report - ‘Online Newsrooms and Australia’s Best Brands’ - provides a more detailed analysis of the findings and identifies best practice at an Australian and global level. It is available via the B-M Australia website and the B-M Australia Slideshare account.

This study follows B-M research into ‘Social Media Use by Australia’s Best Brands’, which found that many Australian brands are failing to follow through on social media strategies as evidenced by the number of inactive social networking accounts.

About the Study
The study looked at the online newsrooms (media centres and equivalent) of twenty top Australian brand name companies. It examined the extent to which these organisations are using the Web and online content to more effectively communicate company news and announcements to journalists, bloggers and customers/stakeholders. The research looked for the following online newsroom features:

• Access: Is there a homepage link to the Newsroom?
• Images: Are images available for download?
• Search tools: Is it possible to search the newsroom content (specifically)?
• Video download: Is video content available for download?
• Sharing (Social Tags and RSS): Is the capability to easily share news content available?

The study examined 20 companies as identified by Interbrand in their Australia’s Best Brands Report, which was published in March 2009. The analysis does not include independent subsidiary brands that do not share a name with the parent company. The 2009 Interbrand study is available here.

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller (, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and public affairs firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising, and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 57 wholly-owned offices and 44 affiliate offices, together operating in 58 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks.


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