Nice to meet you. First of all, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss more if you would like.
I'm the content manager for Cook Children's and oversee our online newsroom: http://www.checkupnewsroom.com. I like the ideas you have posted on. You'll see we overlap on some things.
Dan knows I could talk about this all day, so I'll try to keep it as brief as possible and then feel free to email me if you would like.
We started our online newsroom five years ago this month. We previously had a blog on our .org site. But we wanted to be timely and quick. That meant asking our webmaster to drop everything he was doing and meet our request (more like demand sometimes). It was hard on him because he was super busy.
So we went out and started our own independent newsroom. It's been good because it gives us a separate identity, but we use our physicians and other providers as the experts.
We meet at 9:15 every morning with our media specialist, our social media specialist (the three of us make up our external communications for the entire system), along with a Marketing representative, the person who writes for our .org site and someone from internal.
We talk about what is trending that day, whether it's within our medical center, our system, locally and at times nationally.
We figure out the best source for the story and I go about writing the post. We then send it out on our various social media platforms.
I've curated the relationships with our doctors and had more than 80 doctors ranging from specialists to primary care physicians participate.
A while back I was at the medical center and a reporter from our local NBC affiliate walked up and asked me my name. She knew who I was because she said she visits our newsroom site every day. The reporters know they can visit our site for a story that day if they need one. Our media specialist also uses it to pitch stories. The stories are written from our perspective so the articles and TV stories have been much more accurate and to our liking. I've seen reporters with their phones, asking questions off of the stories I've written.
The doctors now see the benefits of participating: in five years, we have more than 12 million views, we average more than 200,000 views, we've gotten multiple doctors appearances on local and national media and through Google analytics we can show the people who have booked appointments because of a newspaper story. We can also point to at least three different times that people have come from another state to Fort Worth because of a newsroom story.
So a newsroom is valuable: Because you can be independent and you can move at your own pace. Make sure you have analytics/data to show the doctors that the stories are being read and the value of the newsroom (the three appointments from out of state alone paid for our newsroom for years to come) and get to know the doctors. I can't tell you how many doctors I have on my cell phone. I work the way they want and what makes them comfortable: if it's running over for an interview I'll do that, if it's writing questions great and if it's letting them start their own draft we can work with that too.
I'm rambling, but will be glad to talk to you about anything specific you have either in this discussion forum or if you want to email.
Please don't judge my writing by this rambling email. I'm sure there are ton of mistakes. I just got out of a three hour meeting and have to run to another one soon (about Google). But I wanted to respond real fast.
That help? Sorry if too much or if I didn't hit on the points you want to discuss. Dan, if you've made it this far, please let me know if there's anything else you would like me to cover.