Online Press Room: One Stop Shop for Media

Last week I talked about the importance of SEO not just for your website but also your press releases (and distributing them online).  I will reiterate why this is important – so that people, especially journalists, can find you online! Remember this one thing, which I want to re-enforce, and I’m sure that Chris Nastav, a contributor, will back me up here – People, even media, don’t know they’re looking for you until they find you!

This leads me to the next important element for your PR….your online press room.    If you don’t have one on your CNNNewsroomwebsite, you need to create navigation for it today.   An online press room is an essential element for your website for many reasons, but mostly so that when media come to your site they can easily find your business’ latest news and contact information for an interview.  Your story isn’t going to necessarily just tell itself with the basic information on your website.   Unless you paint it on your homepage, media aren’t going to know that you’ve finalized a merger, introduced a new product and more!  Besides, the practice of having an online press room is becoming a mainstream practice and a necessity.

Here are some of the elements to include on your press room:

  • All press releases – be sure to archive anything over six months old
  • Photos – product shots, CEO/president, interior of retail stores, etc
  • Company backgrounder
  • CEO/president bio
  • Video clips – you can easily make them on your own and post them.  It gives broadcast media a chance to see how you speak and get a feel for how you’d perform in an interview
  • Product or company fact sheets
  • Any media you’ve received
  • Contact information – this is the person a journalist should contact about a query.  It should be someone who can, without a doubt, get back to the journalist in a very timely manner (you don’t want to miss any opportunity.  Finally, you’d be amazed at how many people fail to include contact information on press releases, let alone their online press room

An online press room reflects professionalism, credibility and more importantly an understanding and respect of how media work.  There isn’t one major corporation that doesn’t have an online press room in today’s Web-driven environment for news and sources.  I suggest looking at some of them to get a feel for how you want to design your press room and what you need to include as it relates to your business and meeting journalists’ needs.

This is just another way of achieving positive PR for your business because some media may go to the press room, get what they need, download approved graphics and photos and run a story or mention without even contacting you.   And this is why you need to take time each week to search your business online to see if there are any stories that have run, blog mentions or comments about your business on various boards, like Yelp.com.

Jennifer Fortney, Cascade Communications and SmallBizPRMadeEasy.com

Follow me on Twitter for daily SMB PR Tips @SmallBizPRXpert

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