Digital PR Awards: Online Newsroom

Winners: AT&T with FleishmanHillard - AT&T's Social Newsroom and MasterCard - The MasterCard Engagement Bureau: Brand Publishing Around the World

AT&T with FleishmanHillard - AT&T's Social Newsroom

From passive to active. From corporate to social. This best describes the change in AT&T’s online newsroom ( Since early 2013, the AT&T Newsroom has transformed into a best-in-class online newsroom that not only educates reporters, bloggers, analysts and consumers about AT&T’s products, services and corporate social responsibility efforts, but also pulsates with social trends and industry news.

In 2013, the AT&T Corporate Communications team worked with FleishmanHillard on a plan to generate more original content and energize the newsroom with more videos, graphics, and better storytelling, stepping outside of its corporate comfort zone. The ultimate goal was to engage key and new audiences rather than just inform them, as well as provide content they can use in their own communications.

AT&T and FleishmanHillard collaborated on a new web design and infrastructure, search engine optimization opportunities, video and social media content, blogger outreach initiatives and regional and national media relations to create a new compelling and interesting experience.

The result has been a robust, mobile-optimized, multimedia online newsroom containing fresh stories, compelling content, and complete social integration. The newsroom is no longer one location with just AT&T news; rather, it is a socially integrated solar system of news, videos, graphics and original content to be shared externally and internally.

The effort has certainly paid off as the newsroom received 7.2 million unique visitors in the first half of 2014, an increase of 18 percent compared with the first six months of 2013. The mobile newsroom has received more than 3.6 million visits in the first six months of 2014, a 29 percent increase from the previous year.

MasterCard - The MasterCard Engagement Bureau: Brand Publishing Around the World

Launched in 7 regions and 11 languages, the Engagement Bureau is MasterCard’s publishing ecosystem delivering real-time news, opinion and perspective that relate to the payment technology company’s world beyond cash vision. A responsive design makes it easy to discover and engage with content in a timely matter, on any device, anywhere.

MasterCard also ensures that every piece of content on the site is attributed to a Communications Team Member. Through a digital avatar, its communications staff is now front and center, offering influencers the opportunity to engage with them via Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ --and of course via email and phone. Visitors to the site can look at a staff’s profile and get a sense of where their expertise lies.

Content creation is driven by social listening and insights derived from MasterCard’s Conversation Suite, where it tracks traditional and social media in 43 markets and 26 languages. MasterCard noticed a trend of people demanding digital content that is less dense and more visually appealing. In fact, an infographic produced by Zabisco noted 40 percent of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. This led the team to decide the Engagement Bureau and Cashless Pioneers blog would comprise “snackable” digital content to meet the needs and preferences of today’s audiences.

Within the first 5 months of 2014, the newsroom saw a 108% growth in monthly visits and a 122% increase in time spent per visit, with top referrals coming from top-tier and trade media along with leading social channels.

Honorable Mentions:

•             Cisco Systems - Cisco's The Network

•             Inserm Press Room

•             POM Wonderful's Press Room Makes POM-Inspiration Simply Wonderful

•             Weber Shandwick - Keeping Consumers Engaged: Live.Love.Lux