One of the first things we do with new clients is look at their website to see if they have an online media center.
An online media center is a page on your website with all the important background information on your company or business. It should give an interested journalist the answers to the basic questions running in his or her head:
Why you need an online media center
You may be wondering, “Why do I need a separate online press center or press page, when all the information about my business is already on my website?”
Even though you website may already explain what you do clearly and cohesively, a lot of times a business site is very deep. That means a lot of the important information a reporter needs are buried in separate pages throughout your site.
The reporter has to figure out what exactly your company does and why they and their audience should care about you. If reporters have a hard time finding the answers, then they’re simply going to leave your site. They’re not going to spend 10 minutes clicking around to find the answers.
What this means is, a good press page can rescue a good story!
And a bad one — or not having a press page at all — can kill a potential story about you and your business.
With a good media center, a reporter landing on your site will be able to quickly go to the tab marked “Press” or “Media Center” and know that all the information is there for them to learn about your business and make a decision about whether to write about you or not.
Unfortunately, not all business websites are properly organized and written to provide the information media need quickly and easily.
A dedicated press page or media center is the answer. It will make a journalist’s job much easier, which means more media coverage for you.
What should be in your online media center
Think of your media center as a press kit in digital format. It contains essentially the same elements a physical press kit would have, such as:
- Company Background. A brief background of your company: how did it begin, what is its vision and mission, what milestones has it reached?
- Photos. Photos of you and other essential personnel, as well as beauty shots of each of your products. You may also include photos of special events, if they are newsworthy.
- Bios. Short biographies of the company owners and founders, as well as top management.
- Products. Include a list of your products or services, with a brief description of each. Mention why each product or service is significant in the marketplace. You can link out to detailed descriptions.
- FAQs. Provide answers to the most commonly asked questions you get from media. Or what you anticipate reporters would want to ask. This can be a useful place to “plant” a question, such as one that reveals a unique or little-known fact about your product/service.
- Possible Interview Topics. Go ahead and provide a list of topics best suited to your products/services and business. Dig deep to uncover all the media-sexy stories your business can tell.
- Press Releases and Media Coverage. Include a list of previous press releases you have written as well as any media coverage your business has received. If possible, link to where the articles are published online.
- Contact Information. Prominently display how a reporter can contact you and do make sure the telephone number and email address you provide are where someone can reach you immediately! With tight deadlines and breaking news, if you’re not available the reporter will move on to their next source.
How to organize your online press page
All this information can be difficult to organize on a single web page, especially if you have a number of products/services. Here are some ideas to consider:
To keep everything within a single page, you can use tabs. Each element will have its own tab, and all the tabs are visible at the top of the page. This makes it easy for the reporter to go from one tab to the next without leaving the press page.
- Within-page Links
You can have all the elements on one long page, but at the top of the page, have a hyperlinked list of all the contents. That way, the reporter stays on one page while accessing all the information he or she needs. However, this can get unwieldy for very long pages. Make sure you have plenty of “return to top” links throughout the page, so the reporter can return to the list of contents easily.
- Links to Other Pages
Another way is to populate your press page with links out to separate pages for photos, products, etc. This will require the reporter to leave the press page, but with proper navigation links, it doesn’t have to be difficult to move around.
Work with your web master or designer to decide on the best structure for your press page.
How are you doing?
Do you currently have an online press center? If so, what does it look like? How can you improve it?
If you don’t have an online press page yet — what are you waiting for?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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