Building Your Online Media or News Room on Your Website
By LynAnn King, KingSings PR
When customers or media want to know what’s current about your organization, the online media room can be a powerful informational tell-tell all place to go. It’s the most updated page on your website.
Marketing your business now has multiple channels to consider. Websites have evolved to being a current accessible info hub. All kinds of people visit, journalists, your prospects, suppliers, stake holders and customers. Make it easy for your raving fans and influencers to spread the word.
The online media room was originally created for media and journalists looking to quickly access logos, graphics, photos and content needed immediately to round out their stories and verify facts. It was the responsibility of the company’s publicist to have current contact information and press releases posted. Now, many companies have elaborate online media rooms with a great deal of information available in many different formats: audio, video, photos, press releases, background information, and much more.
Now visitors expect that the news releases and media-targeted pages on a site will reveal the very latest about a company. Statistics show that for many companies, the news release section is one of the most frequently visited parts of the Website, thus picked up by the search engines more frequently. So why not use the professional best practices used to give media folks what they need, by designing the online media room to romance your buyers, customers, partners and vendors?
One of the most important considerations for your online media room is to use the keywords and phrases that your buyers use when they search for answers to their problems that your company solves. When news releases and other content are posted to your online media room, search engine crawlers will find the content, index it and rank it based on words, phrases, and other factors. Because news release pages update more often than any other part of a typical organization’s Website, search engine algorithms (tuned to pay attention to pages that update frequently) tend to rank news release pages among the highest on your site, driving traffic there first.
An online media room is an important part of any organization’s Website and a critical aspect of an effective media relations strategy. When done well, an online media room will turn journalists who are just browsing, into interested writers who will highlight your organization positively in their stories. And more importantly, an online media room can move your buyers into and through the sales process, resulting in more business for your organization and contributing to meeting your organization’s real goals of revenue and customer retention.
We’ve noticed that hundreds of online media rooms fail to deliver compelling content. Sure, they may look pretty, but often the design and graphics, not the content that journalists (and your buyers) require, are in the forefront. Here’s a list of best practices and tips that will help your online media room work effectively. I will expand on each one of these tips in follow-on blogs.
Best practices for online media rooms – You control the content, not your webmaster.
Start with a needs analysis – Before you just jump right into web site aesthetics and the organization of news releases, take time to analyze how the site fits into your larger marketing, PR, and media relations strategy.
Optimize your news releases for searching and for browsing – The best online media rooms are built with the understanding that some people need to search for content and others are just browsing.
Create background information that helps journalists write stories (and buyers to understand your company) – Publish a set of background materials about your organization, sometimes called an online media kit or press kit, in an easy-to-find place in your online media room.
Include multimedia content – Use of non-text content, such as photos, charts, graphs, audio feeds, and video clips, to inform site visitors and the media.
Include detailed product specs and other valuable data -Communicators who use online media rooms to offer valuable content are more likely to score the positive story (as well as move buyers into the sales process).
List executive appearances, conferences, and tradeshow participation – List all appropriate public speaking appearances, tradeshow and conference participation, and other events in a separate calendar section in your online media room.
Include calls to action for journalists (and for buyers) – It is a great idea to include Special offers for the media, or an offer for an executive interview, or a demonstration offer of some kind.
Embrace bloggers as you do traditional journalists – Bloggers are influential, and they want to be treated with the same respect as traditional journalists.
Avoid jargon, acronyms, and industry-speak – Unfortunately, most online media rooms are chock full of jargon, three-letter acronyms that are not understood.
Make the online media room one click from your home page
The online media room is a place where many people congregate, not just journalists. It is one place on your organization’s Web site that you can control, without interference, approval processes, and IT support, so it presents a terrific opportunity for marketing and PR people to get content out into the marketplace. On the Web, success equals content.
LynAnn King, Marketing Visionary & Publicist with KingSings PR, partners with small businesses to rollout creative marketing campaigns that land media coverage and attention to increase the bottom-line revenue. Co-author of Women Entrepreneur Extraordinaire by THRIVE Publishing, available on Amazon.
KingSings PR | LynAnn King | Marketing Strategist & Publicist | www.kingsingspr.com