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Feed the Press

An online press center is critical. Because journalists are always on deadline, by publishing important information on your Web site, you'll save them research time while also increasing your chances of being featured in their story.

Your online press center can be one Web page or several pages, depending on how much information you put on your site.

Online Press Center

You can certainly create a "Press Center" section on your site. or you could post press information in your "About Us" section because journalists know to look there, too. Here's key information journalists will be thrilled to find on your site:

  • Brief history of your company including the year it was established (or a business bio if you're a consultant promoting a personal brand, not a company one).
  • Names of key executives and a brief bio on each would be a bonus.
  • High-resolution images, photos, and logos.
  • Past and current press releases.
  • Statistics, surveys, case studies, and a sample tips list published by your company.
  • Name, date, and link to (if possible) other mentions in the media.
  • Awards and reviews your company has received.
  • Events calendar of where you may be speaking or exhibiting.
  • Contact information, including phone number and an e-mail address, not just an online form, in case it doesn't work.
  • An invitation to subscribe to your company's e-zine, or blog feed, to receive timely and relevant information about your business and industry.

Posting this information on your site does two things. First, this boosts your credibility as an industry leader, which shows why you should be quoted as an expert. Second, journalists can quickly find stuff they need to quote you without contacting you.

I go a little crazy sometimes playing phone tag with business professionals or waiting around for their responses by e-mail, when I'm on deadline for my articles. And to be honest, when I'm considering featuring companies I'm not familiar with, I review their Web sites. I look for content that shows credibility. Knowing that, how does your online press center measure up to those of your competitors? Take a few minutes to find out.

An online press center is an essential part of your online publicity plan. It can win or lose a shot at fame.

Missed Opportunities

A rather well-known company lost the opportunity to be interviewed in my Entrepreneur magazine column because I couldn't find contact information on its Web site. The online form didn't work either. I even went to Network Solutions to look up contact information, but it wasn't available. Sigh...oh well. Too bad for them.

Another company missed an opportunity because the company didn't put their fantastic survey on their site. I spotted their statistics from the survey on a blog and followed the link to the company that published the survey. It wasn't referenced anywhere on the site. Arg. Although I contacted the company, by the time I received the survey, my deadline had passed, and I had turned in the article without that great information.

If you don't have an online press center, put that on your to-do list. If you have one, take a few minutes to review it and see how it can be improved for the press. The good news is that prospects, potential partners, and investors could be persuaded to do business with you based on this information.

You probably don't want to optimize your online press center for the spiders because these pages aren't likely the most relevant landing pages for your site. A landing page is often the first point of entry into your site. First-time visitors could bebetterserved by landingon yourhome pageor an evenmorerelevant site page that better matches their keyword search. Still, if your online press center gets some press in the organic search results, that's not so bad.

As you'll see from WebTrends' "Success Story," broadcasting the right message at the right time generates big buzz on the Web. This requires a little planning, which is well worth the effort.

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