I'm a Web design idiot. No really. I was one of those horrible offenders who created a multicolored Geocities site about 10 years ago, complete with glitter sparkles and animated butterflies. I could barely manipulate HTML let alone PHP. I'm lucky I can use WordPress.
Enough about me and my Internet lameness. This post is about how even design and coding novices can create a social media newsroom for their Web sites without even the slightest touch of stress -- and only requiring basic cut + paste knowledge.
Why do I need a social media newsroom, you ask? You may not. But many companies should have something like it. Here's a great example from my pals over at Fathom SEO. It aggregates all of your multimedia, event, news release and media coverage into one-stop-shop and can be used for a bevy of communications:
Net new sales lead communications
Sponsorship or partner recruitment
It could even pose as your company's new "about" page
Face it, kids, the corporate newsroom isn't just for reporters anymore.
Which is exactly why we built one over on the SOURCE Conference site today [Full Disclosure: I do pro bono communications work for the security conference]. We needed a page that housed all of our key information, our social networking groups, our news coverage, and so on, not only to make it easier for our media, blogger and analyst friends but to make life easier for our sponsorship sales and attendee recruitment teams, too. So we installed the free Fathom SEO social media newsroom template.
While Christien Rioux had the fun duty of setting this up for me on the back end (a job I know he thoroughly enjoyed) I got to manipulate the design and content once it was set up. His email to me said, "Can you do that?" I said, "Sure." Inside I thought, "Expletive!"
But it was so easy. Sure, I had to read through some code but I didn't have to actually code anything myself. I did a lot of "delete + paste" of links and content that already existed. Posting my news coverage was as simple as posting a regular blog. It took me, altogether, about two hours from nothing to perfection.
My point is, no matter how small your business or your marketing team, you can achieve this type of Web presence by using the free tools that are out there. And don't think you need to hire a Web designer or some $200-per-hour consultant to do it. You don't. It would be a waste of your money. Get the template, install it, manipulate it, and publish. Then blast it out to your team and educate them on its many uses.
Really. It was so easy that I'm thinking of adding some sparkly butterflies and flowers to ours. Off to find some clip art...