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The press pack is chasing you - give them room - pr

 

There's good news for civic relations execs, marketing professionals and even one-man-band entrepreneurs: journalists are surfing your sites looking for news.

It's true - while some PR colonize spend months difficult to win over cynical correspondents in order to altercation a ballet company profile or CEO interview (and get nowhere), an army of journalists are proactively hunting for facts, facts and interview candidates.

Now the bad news: these same journalists say most online press rooms suck. Big time. If you're idea to yourself: 'Uh-oh, we don't have a press room,' probability are you're gone out on important media opportunities. If you're thinking: 'What's a press room?' you need to act fast.

In an ideal world, a press room is a vibrant, constantly updated section of your corporate website counting company backgrounders, executive profiles, news releases (with a comprehensive, searchable archive), media mailing list and - perhaps most notably - clear and concise call information if journalists need to get in touch.

Want to see a great press room? As usual, Google pulls it off by keeping clothes nice and simple:

http://www. google. com/intl/en/press/index. html

If you haven't got the time or funds to put at once a world-class press room like that, here are a fasten of strategies that can help you in the short-term. But keep in mind these are suggested as acting procedures - an accessible, professional press room is no longer a luxury for a circle that considers itself professional, it's an conclusive necessity.

? Blog It!

Sign up for a blog at one of the big free providers such as Blogger (http://www. blogger. com). These military are template based and you can have their average layouts look and feel like your own site in a jiffy. To be honest, even if you use the standard template, adjust the title and give it the odd tweak here and there you've still enclosed the critical bases.

Then place a link on your corporate website to the new blog (perhaps label it as 'News Blog' or plain old 'News Room' or 'Press Room') and you're ready to promote your news. Be sure to include full associate fine points in the blog's bio bit - remember, journalists are all the time on one deadline or a different and they want your input NOW! If you're concerned about spambots gathering your email address, consist of them as 'name domain dot com'. If a journalist can't work that out you maybe don't want to hear from them anyway!

Once your blog is up and running, turn it over to one or two key members of your staff. Have them post news releases - and shorter news updates - to the blog as often as possible. The beauty of this answer is that you get free XML/RSS feeds terrified in via the Blogger engine. If you don't go for Blogger, be sure to check on XML/RSS feeds ahead of you cliquey a as it should be service.

? The Single-Click Press Room

Even if your corporate website is a few pages of plain HTML a friend knocked at once as a favour and you're unwilling to make any dire changes to it in order to add a press room, you can still afford visitors with a full list of your press releases with the addendum of a free link to your main site.

First of all, make certain you're assembly full use of one of the free press announcement delivery services. For the sake of this example I hope insignificant person items if I use our own, ClickPress (http://www. clickpress. com).

Enter your band name in quotation marks as a hunt term - for example: "Vegetarian Society". Hit explore and you will be presented with the results: press releases about or including references to your company. Click on the link below for a live example using "Vegetarian Society":

http://www. clickpress. com/cgi-bin/releases/search. cgi?query=% 22Vegetarian+Society%22

A examination for "Your Company" will look a touch like this:

http://www. clickpress. com/cgi-bin/releases/search. cgi?query=% 22Your +Company%22

Copy that URL (with your own company's name, of course) and there you have it. Well, almost, you still need to add it to your site. Add a link to the URL, label the link 'Recent Press Releases' and every time you add a new press circulate to the news distribution site it will be incorporated in the dynamic hunt - you've got an automatic, single-click press room.

? Contacts, Contacts, Contacts

Perhaps the most conventional assessment made by web-savvy journalists is a lack of media commerce info on most corporate sites. If you do nobody else to your site you must add a few lines explaining who journalists must associate at your circle and how they be supposed to do it.

If you're bothered about spam, encrypt email addresses as explained above or comprise them as a decorative instead than a hot link. Bestow a landline add up to and clarify connecting what hours someone will be free to take calls (and be sure to include your time zone, but for you're happy to field calls at three in the break of day from a journalist half way about the world).

There are a wealth of bonus cost-free additions you could make to your site to make it media forthcoming (a press release mailing list hosted by Yahoo! Groups or Topica perhaps), so be sure to check out what other companies are doing.

Best place to find them? In the consequences of a news hunt engine, because they're the ones who have maybe available media coverage thanks to a apt press room.

Copyright © 2005 George Hopkin

George Hopkin is a self-employed journalist and CEO of ClickPress (http://www. clickpress. com), a free press delivery distribution service which distributes comfortable to some of the world's most influential news and web explore engines. ClickPress is a propery of Pressventures, a bringer of free and fee-based air force to PR professionals.


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