by Marcia Yudkin
When Web site usability guru Jakob
how well major corporate sites met the needs of
reporters, he gave them a "D" grade. Journalists who
tested sites for him located basic information such as
the companies' financials, management team, commitment
to social responsibility and a phone number for a PR
contact only 60 percent of the time.
An excellent way to meet reporters', editors' and
producers' needs is the online press room, collecting
what they need to know about your organization in one
place. Some sites offer this as a sub-choice under
"About Us," while others have a major link called
"Press Room," "For the Press" or "For the Media." By
providing press-friendly materials on demand 24 hours
a day, 365 days a year, you increase the odds of
someone writing about you, using photos you've
supplied and doing so with accuracy.
Your online press room should contain, at a minimum:
* An organizational profile
* Names and bios of principals and executives of your organization
* A PR contact with name, email address and telephone number
* Press releases, presented with the most recent first Optional extras for your press room include:
* Online versions of recent annual reports or white papers
* Downloadable photos of products or key personnel
* Statements about relevant controversial issues currently in the news
* Suggested angles for feature stories about your organization
* Sample questions for talk show hosts
* Links to pertinent studies, statistics and news stories
* Links to previous coverage you've enjoyed
* Prewritten use-as-is stories or tips
* Audio or video clips, especially for music performers
The more lively the style in which all of the above
comes across, the more likely you are to get
journalists passing through to stay awhile and start
thinking about how they can use what you've provided.
Corporate-speak may please internal bosses, but it
gets in the way here and may even provide fodder for
the many sites that make fun of pretentious marketing
Keep in mind that on the Web, media from all over the
world and from outside of your industry can access
your press room, so avoid acronyms and insert the
kinds of background explanations that would be found
in a quality news story. Dates are especially
important to present unambiguously. Jakob Nielsen
reported a case where a European reporter dismissed a
company's news as old because it was dated 10-3-2000,
which to him meant March 10 rather than the intended
Nielsen also pointed out that the journalists, whom
his team observed in their actual work environment,
often were using old software or hardware that crashed
when trying to access PDF files or Flash sites.
Remember that despite the apparent convenience of
downloadable files, some media folks may for many
reasons still prefer to receive a physical copy of
your photos or your product - or a traditional
all-in-one-folder, expensive-to-mail PR kit.
An online press room meets some needs, but not all, so
be prepared to fulfill old-fashioned press kit
requests as well.
Successful Small Businesses Use PR
Are you ready to follow the winners and get public relations working for your small business?
The payoff can be significant – key audience behaviors that directly support your business objectives and make the difference between failure and success.
Where is the Best PR Value?
People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to- desired-action those people whose behaviors affect the organization, the public relations mission is accomplished.
The Increasing Power of Publicity...and how it can benefit your business
Publicity placements have
always been a cost-efficient way to market a product/business and generate
clients or customers. But because of lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding
of what publicity is and does, many entrepreneurs don't take full advantage
of publicity opportunities. That can lead to missed marketing chances.