Every successful tech company has an online pressroom as part of their website. But does it work? If not, you are throwing good money after bad.
How much time and money does your company spend to promote your business, your services, technologies, and products to the media — magazines, blogs, and industry trades?
It is all wasted if you don't have a good online pressroom or press page.
What happens when an editor arrives at your company's website and tries to find information? Can they easily find what they need or do they click off, instead visiting one of your competitors to get the info they need?
I have been involved with press and media relations for more than 25 years — wearing both editorial and media hats — and have seen and experienced far too many sites that did not work and were extremely frustrating.
Your pressroom site should be an important component of your public relations (PR), sales, and marketing plans.
Your pressroom is open and working for you 24/7. Editors and writers often work late at night, on the weekends, and during holidays when your PR and marketing teams are not available. Your website and its pressroom have to be able to provide all the info needed.
Top 3 steps for an effective online pressroom:
1. Make your pressroom easy to find — If you want to get covered by the industry press, it is essential to make your info easy to find. Good website designs are easy to navigate. Don't hide your press page or pressroom. If possible, put a link to it from the front page — labeling it as News, Press, or even Pressroom. Many companies hide it one layer down under the company info or “more about us” tabs. That's not quite as good but is OK.
2. You must have PR contact info. It should be easily found on your pressroom page. If you operate in various regions (e.g., US, EMEA, APAC) then list the press contacts for each area. If possible, list local phone numbers for each region. If your organization is very large with many divisions and product areas, you may want to have a separate PR contact page to make it easy for a writer to find the appropriate contact. This is important. Make sure that there is someone available to answer the emails or to pick up the phone for the press contact. A quick response to an inquiry is essential.
3. Your pressroom should also have the broadest range of resources possible. Include photos of your products, links to whitepapers, company backgrounders and corporate information, profiles of company leaders and management, a list of upcoming shows where the company will be exhibiting or is available for interviews, etc. If appropriate, include other technical documents, product descriptions, data sheets, etc. If you want writers to try out, review, and then write about your products and services, make it easy for them to find that info. Also include relevant user and reviewer guides for easy download.
If you want to position yourself as the thought leader in your industry, your company should create and post articles, blogs, short columns, etc., about the latest trends, developments, and standards that impact your industry sector. If you are in a highly technical space, you may want to create and post your own wiki or a definition of terms important to your industry.
Think how powerful it is when an editor cites your company as the source for info about particular technology, product line, or industry initiative.
Make it all work for you
By creating an easy to access and easy to use online pressroom, your business will be able to more effectively leverage the work done by your PR and media relations group, as well as provide a modern, outward-looking face to the press. Don't have a mystery site that ignores the needs of the world's journalists.
Keep the pressroom updated — just don't post the releases and press coverage and walk away. Make sure new press successes are added, new product information is uploaded, and maybe most importantly, make sure that all editorial inquiries are handled promptly.