Ten Ways to Give Your Online Press Center the Attention It Deserves

Give Your Online Press Center the Attention It Deserves
October 2009

Most public relations professionals will tell you that the key to a successful campaign is having a good relationship with the media. Part of building that rapport includes doing your research, providing a good story, and remaining accessible. But there is another ally to media relations: your online press center.

The face of your company when you're not around, your online press center speaks volumes. If designed and integrated properly, your brand, company, or client is effectively represented and journalists will want to come back for more and will continue to look to you as an authority in your space.

The reality is that many press centers don't live up to their potential. A study conducted earlier this year by Nielsen Norman Group found that "journalists remain mighty frustrated about the lack of easy-to-find information on corporate sites." (Read more here.)

The 5 Essentials of Any Online Press Center

By focusing on these five essentials, you can make your online press center one of the handiest items in your company's PR toolbox:

  • Press contacts: Believe it or not, many websites still lack a press contacts area. Research suggests, though, that this is one of the first places journalists look when deciding whether to pursue or follow up on a story.
  • Interactive press kit (IPK): This differs from other forms of marketing collateral and should take a "just the facts" approach. Like a traditional press kit, an IPK contains a brief history of the company, case studies, product specs or service details, data sheets, and high-resolution photos of products and executives. An IPK, however, differs in that it isn't a flat or static PDF or html file; viewers can navigate through it as if it were a subsection of your press center.
  • "About Us": When a journalist is really interested in writing about your company or brand, the writer might want additional corporate information that isn't directly related to the subject in question. The most logical place to look is in the "About Us" section. You can either include it as a subsection of the press center or provide a link that directs to it.
  • "In the News": Eighty percent of journalists wanted to see coverage from other journalists relating to the company they were researching according to a recent TEKgroup survey. "We've always suggested having an 'In the News' section within online newsrooms because journalists use that as extended research," said Ibrey Woodall, director of marketing for TEKgroup International, Inc. "This year we've learned that they also want to see specific questions that other journalists have asked, and how that question was answered. The Help/FAQ section is a good place for that." (TEKgroup, Online News Survey, April 2009)
  • Overall Design: Of course, you want your website to engage visitors. However, incorporating flash or over-designing the press center can slow down a busy journalist or blogger. When it comes to document access and navigation, simple is better.

Take Your Strategy to the Next Level: 5 Strategies

Once you've gotten a handle on the essentials, you'll also want to consider taking these steps to increase the appeal of your press center.

  • Include a search box where journalists can plug in a few keywords pertaining to their topics of interest.
  • Provide sound bites or quotes for each spokesperson, in addition to the individual's profile and credentials. This will make it easier for the journalist writing a story to obtain keener insight into your speaker's personality prior to an interview.
  • Include links to photos, videos, blogs, and places where you have a social media presence, as well as other supplemental material. While you're at it, you may even want to link to your online press center from your homepage, press releases, and other appropriate locations.
  • Highlight thought leadership. It demonstrates that your company is an expert in its area.
  • Offer a sign-up. Journalists may want to stay up-to-date regarding changes to your press center. By providing them a place to subscribe — via RSS or email — you can start developing a relationship without explicitly pitching.

BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring

BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring can uncover all of your relevant media coverage in local and national print, online (including news, social media, blogs, and video), broadcast. With a source list that's growing every day, you'll find a service that's right for you. Choose from full service press clipping, very early morning delivery, or self-guided media monitoring.

About BurrellesLuce

BurrellesLuce is the U.S. leader in media monitoring. Professionals in a wide range of industries rely on our comprehensive curated content from local and national print, online, broadcast, and social media sources. BurrellesLuce has a turnkey copyright compliance program that allows us to provide copyright-compliant, behind-the-paywall content not available to other services. BurrellesLuce combines grade-A content with easy-to-use software, allowing users to evaluate and analyze their media coverage and PR efforts. It's all integrated into our user-friendly interface, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™.

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