3282644551_4d160134f6It’s difficult to remember every possible tool you can use when news breaks, which is why we have a breaking new checklist to follow at DesMoinesRegister.com.

We don’t do everything on the list in every situation, but it’s a good reminder of the many tools that are available, both to promote the news and to enhance the reader experience around the news.

Here’s a list to help you start your own breaking news checklist Download as PDF.:

Promote the news

    • Post to Twitter (and have staffers post to their Twitter accounts)
    • Post to Facebook
    • Send breaking news text alert
    • Send breaking news e-mail alert
    • Send a message to MySpace friends
    • Create a widget so others can add news to their site
    • Buy keywords on Google/Yahoo/Facebook
    • Send to Drudge, Reddit, Digg, Fark
    • Send info to bloggers/sites who cover that topic
    • Post info in forums related to that topic
    • Put together a print promotion plan

      Tools to use on your site

        • Use an alternative home page design
        • Create a poll
        • Start a breaking news blog
        • Should any of your staff bloggers promote on their blog?
        • Are there community members who can blog about this topic?
        • Link to blogs outside your site
        • Start a discussion forum
        • Ask readers to submit photos
        • Create a live chat
        • Create a hastag for Twitter/Flickr/etc.
        • Ask readers for YouTube videos
        • Ask readers what questions they have/what info they know
        • Add a Google locator map
        • Create a Google map that allows readers to add content
        • Create a searchable database
        • Q&A with reporter or editor or source
        • Ask Twitter followers for feedback or help
        • Add links to more coverage elsewhere on the web
        • Create a site that captures social media conversation on the topic
        • Aggregate content from other sites onto our site
        • Create an RSS feed for continuing content
        • Allow readers to subscribe to that RSS via e-mail
        • Post large photos online (in a blog or story)
        • Offer print pages for sale
        • Highlight the best comments from readers

        Don’t forget

          • Take screengrabs
          • Alert advertising department so they can sell ads around the news/content

          Download this list as a PDF document.

          What other tools should be on this list? Please share them in the comments area.

          Photo credit: hyperscholar on Flickr