One of the most frequent questions I see on LinkedIn (PR section) is about online press rooms.
It seems there is a lot of confusion about the topic. Here are my thoughts on the matter. I’ll first discuss the general content of the press room. In my next post, I’ll talk about navigation and give some additional tips.
But first, the basics.
The term “online press room” (also called a “news room” or “media room”) refers to an area on the web that is dedicated to providing the news, visuals and other information reporters may need to cover your company, product and services. The section also gives other visitors an organized way to get background information.
A good online press room has several advantages:
- It gives reporters 24/7 availability to current, timely and important information.
- It can reduce the load on your PR staff by decreasing e-mail and voice-mail messages.
- Since you can track traffic to the press room, you have another tool to measure the effectiveness of your PR campaign.
The online press room could be a designated area on the general website or a mini site with its own URL. If the former, make the link obvious on all pages—especially the home page—and make sure it takes only one click to get there.
Here are some other tips.
Make the online press room complete. Provide all the information someone who knows nothing about your organization would need to understand your business.
For example, include the following material, as appropriate for your organization:
- News releases, both current and archived as far back as possible. It’s a good idea to include the contact information on the releases, even when that information is available elsewhere.
- Past press coverage. Put headlines and links to favorable articles and other coverage about your company and industry.
- A fact sheet, backgrounder and other information outlining your organization’s mission, product or service, history, management and the like.
- High-resolution, downloadable graphics in several formats (e.g., JPG, GIF). It is also good to provide instructions on how to download the visuals (e.g., “right click”).
- Contact information for the internal and external PR representatives. The lack of contact information is a pet peeve of many reporters.
- Presentations, including slides and streaming audio and video.
- Case studies and testimonials.
- FAQs, answering the questions reporters frequently ask.
- A list of industry and company events, including trade shows, webinars and presentations.
- Bios and photos of company spokespeople.
- Links to blogs, podcasts and archived webcasts.
- Annual and quarterly reports.
You might also consider:
- An online “request-an-interview” form.
- A sign-up form to receive news releases and other information directly.
- Both HTML and PDF versions of important documents.
- A comment form.
- Pre-loaded dark pages, which can be activated in the event of crisis.
In my next post I’ll discuss navigation and give some other tips for an effective online press room.