If you’re not archiving press releases on your company’s website, you might be missing out on valuable press coverage. Reporters increasingly rely on the Internet to conduct research on the issues and industries they cover. When they reach your site, it is important that they can quickly access information to include in an article in progress, or find ideas for a new one.
Reporters already know and are comfortable with the press release, so it makes sense to use this format to your benefit. Press releases spell out the newsworthy aspects of your business, and they provide important facts, potential expert sources and background information in a concise, accurate manner. They also add an element of credibility – reporters don’t trust advertising-driven information.
The value of press releases further increases when you archive them online. Together, over time, they can provide a nearly complete profile of your company. Even reporters who have received all of your releases probably didn’t keep them. Being able to retrieve them from your site when they need to will be a welcome time saver.
One of the best things you can do for your company website in the eyes of reporters is to create an entirely separate area for them. You can simply call this new area “press room” or “newsroom.” In addition to press releases, include background information on your company, short bios of its officials, contact names, email addresses and phone numbers for reporters to make follow up calls (very important), news clippings of good press coverage you’ve received in the past, and links to related sites containing industry information. Where appropriate, you can use hyperlinks within the text of your press releases to refer reporters directly to any of this information. Potential clients may also appreciate this knowledge, so you shouldn’t require any special log-ins for the press.
Coca Cola (http://www.coca-cola.com) is one site that I think makes press releases easy to find in an area called “About Coca Cola.” The company even includes its two most recent headlines with direct links to the releases on its home page. However, once reporters access the releases, they won’t easily find any contact information for follow-up questions. This is problematic.
Tropicana’s corporate site (http://www.tropicana.com) is not, in my opinion, as effective with its placement of news releases, which have disappeared from the website. To find a press contact, a reporter has to find the Media Contacts link after they first choose the Contact Us header on the website. In addition to the missing press releases, the press contact provides only an email address and promise to delete off-topic emails.
Having an easily accessible online newsroom stocked with press releases and contact information will not only be helpful to reporters. It will save you and your employees’ time and money by cutting down the number of phone inquiries and press kit mailings.
Press releases can also increase traffic to your site, among reporters and potential clients, because they are chock full of keywords related to your business. Search engine spiders weigh the content on the page and look for this kind of keyword usage. You can’t beat free search engine optimization, which is what you are doing each time you create a new page, fill it with content (and meta tags), and submit to the engines.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.