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UK High Street brands failing to engage on digital, with 40% lacking an online newsroom

Press release   •   Apr 16, 2014 13:49 BST

New research suggests the UK’s biggest High Street brands are failing to adequately engage with the media and stakeholders, with 4 out of 10 brands failing to provide an online newsroom and the remaining six falling short in multiple crucial areas.

At a time when the UK is beginning to recover from the recession it is essential for British businesses to get to grips with the developing trends in digital communication and engage with those who matter most to their organisation including journalists, online influencers, consumers and other stakeholders.

The What's the story? 2014 newsroom report by Mynewsdesk has found that while UK High Street brands are in the process of adapting to the age of multi-channel shopping they are failing to fully utilise the the technology they are investing in. Although High Street brands were one of the sectors most likely to responsively design their newsroom and offer a multimedia library, only one brand’s online newsroom was optimised for search and just 20% of those assessed linking to their newsroom from their homepage, meaning it was near impossible for their target audience to find their newsroom.

Furthermore, despite being wholly consumer-orientated brands, 40% of those that supplied a newsroom linked to the social network LinkedIn. Given this is a network designed exclusively for business users, this was highly unexpected and would indicate the brands are wasting their efforts targeting their audience in the wrong way.

Paul Sutton, Head of Social Communications at Bottle PR said, “The days of PR being a one-way process, where consultants sent out news releases as a means of gaining press coverage, are long gone. Journalists and bloggers now work in the moment, using social media channels and the web to find the information and assets they require at a moment’s notice. If that information isn’t available for your brand, the chances are very high that they’ll simply move onto one of your competitors. So it’s shocking to read that so many newsrooms are out of date, inaccessible or contain poor quality information. Running a Facebook page or a Twitter account in isolation simply isn’t enough and brands must wake up to that face. Fast.”

Peter Ingman, CEO of Mynewsdesk stated, “With an average overall score of 9% for brand newsroom best practice, our 2014 newsroom report should serve as a firm wake up call for UK High Street brands. They are drastically behind the 38% average score of the world’s top 100 brands which shows much improvement is needed for British businesses to succeed at home and compete on an international level.”

Mynewsdesk’s What’s the story? The 2014 newsroom report is available for download here. It includes the complete findings of the study, it is also offers best practice guidelines, top tips for a successful online newsroom, practical information, expert opinions and real-world examples.


Notes to editors

The full study, What’s the Story? The 2014 newsroom report, evaluated the top 10 brands from five different UK sectors and benchmarked them across 60 different criteria, taking in to account content, social media integration, newsroom structure, features, multimedia, blogging and mobile functionality.


Based on a decade of experience developing newsrooms for companies across the world, the Mynewsdesk team devised a set of best practice criteria, in conjunction with professionals from across the communications industry. We evaluated the top 10 UK companies from five different sectors against our criteria, and assigned each a score. With 56 points available, we were then able to create a benchmark based on how well they performed.

You can download the 2013 benchmark report into the top 100 global brands here.

The companies assessed were: Lurpak, John Lewis, Princess Cruises, University College London, Leeds, Warburtons, Imperial College London, Cornwall UA, Cunard, Audley Travel, Birmingham, Oxford, London School of Economics, Sheffield, The Body Shop, Exodus, Walkers Crisps, County Durham UA, City of Edinburgh, Bristol, Durham, Dunelm Mill, Inntravel, Evans Cycles, HF Holidays, Fred Olsen Cruise, Bonmarché, Manchester, Cambridge, Trailfinders, Glasgow City, Nestle Nescafé, Hovis, Lucozade, Andrex, Bradford, King's College, Manchester, Waterstones, Edinburgh, Kingsmill, Wiltshire UA, Lush, Richer Sounds, Lakeland, Early Learning Centre, Cadbury, Whiskas, Archers Holidays, Riviera Travel

Media contact:

Darren Willsher / Andrew Hill

EML Wildfire Tech PR

+44 20 8408 8000

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