When a journalist tries to find you, they start by talking specifically to someone official at your company about any product releases, news, or trends about the company and industry.
There are times when they are looking to talk to any number of companies that are in your niche in order to get a comment about any changes in the industry. They could also be looking to find an expert in the field who can contribute to a larger story.
You need to ensure that the media can make their way through your website without problem. They need to be able to contact your experts to see if they are right for their needs or not. You need to ensure that any reporters or editors can effortlessly find the information they need, such as contact information and photos.
You can do this by creating a great press page or for your website. It’s not that difficult to do at all. Just follow these rules that have been put together by experts in the industry.
Where to Put Your Press Page
You need to make any press/media centric portion of your website noticeable and accessible from the home page. You should put a link to the press page on the main navigation section of your website, such as next to your About Us page. The main thing is that visitors should be able to quickly find it.
Your media section should be a separate part of the website, but it still needs to be integrated into the homepage in some manner. Some companies accomplish this by putting snippets of press releases or a selection of mentions in the media on their homepage for visitors to notice.
While some websites choose to have journalists make an account to get access to the media page, experts consider this to be a bad move. Journalists will rarely bother to jump through hoops to talk to you. Make it worth their time.
The Key Elements of Your Press Page
To ensure that you have everything you need on your press page, the experts suggest having the following items on your press page:
You need to put a designated phone number and email address that the press can use to contact your media affairs representative, or whomever you would prefer the media to contact.
If you’re concerned that people who are not members of the press might use these contacts then you should put a disclaimer on the page. Just ask that people who are not affiliated with the press call customer support instead, or a different general number for your company.
Including a direct email on the press page is much better than putting together a contact form and making reporters fill it out. This can make it hard for them to follow up with the communication.
Putting bios on your press page is particularly important if you’re trying to get certain people in your company in front of the media during an interview and offering their professional opinion. You need to include some basic biographical information a journalist can easily absorb.
Journalists can take just mere seconds to decide if someone is right for what they need or not. That’s why you need to put the credentials a person has out there as quickly as possible instead of making a reporter dig for information. The media need to choose who they feel is the most qualified person for the story. They do research of their own and the press page is the only part of that you have any control over.
- Write in third person. One potential formula you can use for a bio is to have a professionally written biography done in the third person and start it out with the most important credentials, advanced degrees and achievements that person has.
- Start with the important things. You should never include something important like a having a Wharton MBA in the final sentence of a bio. The journalist will have made their mind up by then.
- Be thorough. Don’t forget to include any past appearances in the media including TV, print media, and online appearances.
- Include relevant info. You need to showcase that you are an expert who has the qualifications necessary to make informed comments about the area the journalist is looking into.
Some sites will just offer up a snapshot of the credentials someone has on the main press page and give reporters the option of clicking through to learn more. If you do this you need to include only the best assets in the shortened bio so that journalists know quickly and easily what credentials a person has.
Additional Elements to the Press Page
You should feature the most recent press releases from your company and include an archive of past press releases, organized in chronological order for easy navigation. These releases should be kept in traditional press release format and you also need to ensure that journalists can read them no matter what platform they use. This means making your website (or at least the press releases) mobile friendly.
Video and Audio
If you are looking to get your company executives or an employee on TV to be featured as an expert then you need to show journalists that the person in question understands how to behave during an interview.
It’s recommended that you feature one or two of your best media appearances on the press page to highlight your ability to compose yourself in an interview. However, you should be careful as putting too many videos on a page causes it to load slowly, which can chase away journalists and visitors.
You could also include videos of product demonstrations or any b-roll footage that a journalist could use to flesh out one of their pieces or gain a deeper understanding of your product, service, or business.
Photos and Graphics
You need to include artwork on your press page including the logo of your company, photographs of the top executives and of your products, and any recent charts or important graphical data. All of these photos should be provided in the typical 72dpi for use online and the higher resolution 300dpi for use in print publications.