7 Tips For A Better Website Press Page
Make it easy for journalists to find information and write about you.
23rd Jun 2020
A good media section on your website shows journalists two important things: 1) you are a serious player in your field and 2) you understand that journalists are busy and have hundreds of companies they can cover, so you’re making it as easy as possible to get to know you and glean information about you.
Having a confused press section – or worse, no press section at all – can undermine your relationship with journalists and negate the usefulness of your website. This seven-step process ensures that your media section is impactful and puts journalists in your corner.
1. Ask Yourself If You Really Need A Press Section
As companies strive for websites to be more content driven and social, the press page doesn’t always translate well. But If your website doesn’t have a useful media section, you’re effectively telling journalists that you don’t care about them.
Look at the media sites of technology companies like Apple and Cisco. Their media pages are amazing resources for the media. Now look at some of the cool, start-up tech companies that you might want to emulate. Do they have a media section? Often not. In some cases, they have a blog – and it might be a great blog. But if they’re still around and doing well in five years, you can bet they’ll have a media section – especially when they realize the impact of treating journalists like the important and special people they are.
By the way, you might notice that Sonus doesn’t have a news section on our website. We’re a B2B technology PR agency, and for us, a blog is perfectly adequate. But it’s very different for our tech company clients, which are trying to appeal to a vast and sophisticated set of media.
2. If Possible, Put The Press Page On Your Primary Navigation Bar
There are millions of website designs, many of which have removed the media page from top-level website navigation. However, if you can afford the website real estate, it’s important to put a link to your media page on the top-level navigation bar.
To understand why, you have to put yourself in the shoes of a journalist who’s looking at your page. The first thing a journalist will look for on your homepage is keywords like “media,” “press,” “newsroom” or “news.” If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they might scroll to the navigation bar with 30 links at the bottom of the homepage. Would they find a link there? In many cases, no. So then they have to scroll back to the primary navigation bar and begin clicking on different sections – maybe About Us, Corporate or Resources – to find a secondary or tertiary link to the media page.
The point is that all of that scrolling and searching for your company news can take significantly longer if you don’t have a link on the primary navigation bar. And journalists are extremely busy and always on deadline. This is your chance to be kind to them by making it easy for them to find information about your company without being frustrated in the process!
3. Add A Section For Press Releases To Your Media Page
Some people say the press release is dead. They’re wrong.
Without question there are media outlets like TechCrunch that don’t care to receive press releases and, instead, prefer to receive individualized exclusive pitches (sure, who wouldn’t?). And some journalists increasingly turn to social media to take a company’s pulse (I do the same, but it doesn’t mean I’ve gotten rid of email).
In the world of B2B technology, press releases are alive and kicking – and they deliver results every day. The key is that it has to be a good press release to generate media interest! Once you’re creating good press releases, you need a press release section on the media page. Depending on your site’s navigation, you can make the press releases your media homepage, with sidebar navigation to the other elements you need to include (more below).
4. Separate “In The News” From Other Sections
It’s extremely frustrating for journalists when native press releases and are combined with other types of resources because it impedes them from quickly browsing and culling information. Remember:
The key to a media page is to make it as user friendly for journalists as possible!
While it might look impressive to include links to every third-party mention of your company, doing so isn’t necessarily going to impress busy journalists, who are interested in what you’ve announced in press releases. Orbex does a great job of separating press releases, in the news, updates and videos.
5. Make The “In The News” Section Impressive Or Don’t Include It
The impression that you want to convey here is “Wow, these guys get a lot of press, so they must be important!” This section should be loaded with articles that feature your company and its key stakeholders, as seem here on VIAVI’s website.
If you don’t get a lot of press – likely stemming from the fact that you don’t have a good technology PR agency in place – don’t include an In the news section at all. Likewise, it’s important to only include true editorial articles and bylines; filling this section with automated press release pick-ups makes you look desperate.
6. Include A Real Media Contact
When journalists peruse your website, they want to quickly find information about you, and they want a real person to contact if they need something extra. Give the journalist what they need: access to a person who can answer questions/queries, including a phone number and email address that’s clearly labeled on the media page or an easily accessed sidebar.
The contact information has to be for a real person vs. using a blind email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. These types of blind email addresses provide little assurance that someone will actually answer a query. Worse, however, is that such email addresses give the impression that there isn’t a real PR or marketing manager or agency representing the company.
Think about it from the perspective of a journalist who needs to send a time-critical query (and all of the queries from journalists are time critical!). Which email address are they more likely to use in the hope of getting a timely answer?
One more thing … while we’re all aware of the need to track inquiries using a contact form, your need to create a great relationship with journalists far supersedes the limited tracking information they might generate. Remember the goal of your media page – putting journalists in your corner – and give them a real person with an email address and phone number.
7. And Give Them Some Digital Assets
As you think about what journalists might need – be sure to provide it without having to be asked! So, for instance, if you have imagery of products – especially clean images against a white background with the product in use – make them easily accessible.
Also provide head and shoulder shots of key stakeholders, as well as several iterations of the company logo. For all imagery, best practice is to provide hi-res (300dpi) and low-res (72dpi) versions of each.
What else can you provide journalists to make their job easier? Videos, product briefs, white papers and case studies are just a few examples of content that a good tech PR firm can help you produce.
Journalists are your friends – and you should treat them as such! Make the whole experience on your website easy and frictionless, and journalists will be grateful. While you won’t get a handwritten note expressing their gratitude, you can expect more and better media coverage as a result.