US Chamber to launch own online news portal this week

WASHINGTON: The US Chamber of Commerce will unveil a revamped FreeEnterprise.com during president and CEO Thomas Donohue's annual "State of American Business" address this Thursday.

WASHINGTON: The US Chamber of Commerce will unveil a revamped FreeEnterprise.com during president and CEO Thomas Donohue's annual “State of American Business” address this Thursday.

The site will have a full-time staff of six to eight employees who create content for it, as well as guest analysis and opinion from independent voices and material aggregated from third-party news sources. The organization originally launched the site in 2009.

The portal will have a political edge, featuring interviews with figures such as Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. It will also cover political candidates that the group believes has pro-business positions.  

The Chamber will promote the site through social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as search engine optimization. Donohue's address is also expected to draw significant media interest from major news outlets.

“There is a built-in audience to help get this off the ground,” said Nick Schaper, executive director of digital strategic communications at the organization.  

The site will differ from mainstream business news outlets in that it will serve as a source of advocacy for business issues, said Tom Collamore, SVP of communications at the Chamber.

“We want to ensure that we advocate policies that create an environment that will create jobs,” he said.

Agency partner Adfero Group reviewed the Chamber's online properties and suggested it change FreeEnterprise.com into a news portal.

“With trade associations, there is no other site that is truly a legitimate source of news,” said Chris Battle, a partner at Adfero Group.

He explained that more organizations are creating their own content as they aggressively highlight issues they feel are important.

“With technologies available today, you can create your own media outlet,” Battle said.

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