Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
Online public relations is something any company can add to its marketing mix. Public relations isn’t just about showcasing your organization’s media accolades. It’s a way to educate target customers and the media about what is going on at your organization. This article will examine ways to incorporate a press page into your web marketing mix.
“Multitasking marketing” means using one effort in multiple ways — to get more mileage out of your marketing. For example, content, such as an online press release, can boost your credibility and also rank highly search results, giving you more visibility. Or a blog post about company news may increase your social media visibility while also getting a journalist to cover your company in the news. One of the easiest and must-have steps in online PR is publishing your press releases and media coverage on a page of your website.
The following addresses steps for an effective press page.
Choose Your Online Press Page Items
Deciding on your press page items will help you design it efficiently, saving both time and money. First, you will need to decide where this page will reside on your website and what to call it. Some organizations have these pages in their top-level navigation. Some add it as a dropdown under their navigation under an “about” page or in the footer of a website. Some organizations use their blogs to help serve as press page.
In short, the name of the press page will vary and often that name dictates the focus. Common names include “Press,” “News,” “Media,” “In the News.” Choose a title that makes the most sense for your organization. Think about what you want on the page — and the purpose of it — to help you name it.
Press Page Examples
CastCoverz! is one of my company’s clients — it designs cast covers and orthopedic accessories. Its press page has a focus on showcasing press coverage so it call the page “Press.”
Another client, Tax Resolution Services, Inc. is lead by a CEO who is an educator in the tax resolution industry. The company’s press page is appropriately called “Media” because it was designed as a hub for journalists to pull the CEO’s expert quotes and self-educate as they write articles about tax issues.
Explore Ecology, an environmental education and art discovery company my company donates to, calls its press page “News” and has two dropdowns for its “Hot off the Press” media updates and for educational “Press Releases.”
What to Include on a Press Page
After you decide on a name, choose the other critical items to add to the page. These may include things like the title of the page, additional press pages, media contact, press releases, media coverage photos, social media links, and videos.
The Explore Ecology Press Page has a focus on news – sharing when it is in the news and also educating the community and donors about what was happening at the organization. Its page has a clear headline to describe it: Explore Ecology in the News.
This page has a “Hot off the Press!” section displayed prominently at the top of the page that links to a full page full of news coverage. You can name these sections anything that fits — “Recent Media Coverage,” “Recent News,” or whatever you want. If you have been in the news before, gather that information as well as any web links to link to. News coverage can include your organization in newspapers, interviewed on radio, web articles that you have been quoted in, articles you have authored on other blogs, mentions of you or your organization on other websites, speaking engagements, and more. Think creatively about ways your organization has been in the news. If your web designer can add logos next to the press coverage, that can add more credibility and visual interest.
Some press pages have so much news that they segment their pages into a main press page then link to sub-pages to manage all the content. This helps eliminate scrolling and improves usability. On the Explore Ecology News page, they also have a page that links to all “Hot of the Press” stories as well as a “See all press releases” link to help manage the growing content of this page.
Besides media coverage and press releases, you may also have assets like videos or headshots that you may want to include. Explore Ecology’s press page has a video about the organization so the media or donors can easily watch and learn about the great work they do. Adding a media contact is also a press page must — it makes it very easy for a potential journalist to reach out to them if they need more information.
Some press pages have founders’ headshots or photos, like company logos, that are easily downloadable — saving time from having to otherwise email them. Don’t forget about incorporating social media links or icons into your press page to help increase interactivity.
Here is an example of the second half of the Tax Resolution Services media page. To help organize all the various subsections, buttons were designed to help the media easily find where they need to go. Logos of prominent recognitions are also shown on the page. There is also a “View Media Kit” option that takes a visitor to an online press kit with a welcome letter, recent press releases, and educational information. If your organization has a press kit, publishing it online can get the kit more visibility, while also boosting your online credibility.
Content, Content, Content
Now that I have brainstormed items to add to your press page, it’s time to gather the content. Creating compelling content is the nucleus of online PR.
To help you build or optimize your online press page, here’s a list of eight items to consider.
1. Page Location. Where will the page go? On the main navigation? Under another area of the site? Once you decide this, you may need to document it to help direct your web designer or the person at your company who manages your website.
2. Page Name. What are you going to call the press page? Example names include Press, News, Media, News/Press. The name of the page can dictate its emphasis. A page called “Media” is usually created for the media and customers may be less likely to visit. If the page is to appeal to customers and the media, consider having a term like “News” as the title.
If you plan an online press page that links to other pages like “Hot off the Press” and a page full of press releases, then you will need to have names for the subpages and an idea of how to design them. Here is a link to my company’s press page. You will see how we have two sub-pages named “Hot off the Press!” and “Press Releases and Company Announcements.”
3. Press Page Title/Headline and Introductory Text. The headline and initial content of a press page is important not just for usability — so people know what the content is about — but it can also multitask for search visibility. The title of my company’s press page just says “Press,” which directly reinforces to a website visitor that they are on the press page.
4. Press or Media Contact. An easy piece of contact to add is a “Press or Media Contact”. You usually bold the line “Media Contact:” and have:
- Phone number;
- Email address.
5. Press Releases and Media Kit. A press page needs press releases. You can post releases you wrote in the past as well as new ones. A press page that has your press releases easily accessible can further multitask to help the media write about you. These days, the easier you make it for a journalist to write a story, the better. Well-written press releases help feed a writer a story with spin, quotes and facts. The easier you make it for a writer to write about you, the more likely you are to get your news in the news!
See “How to Write an Online Press Release,” my previous article, that outlines best practices and gives examples on how to create compelling content for both the media and prospective customers. Be sure to reference that educational piece and start creating compelling press releases.
If your company has a media kit, this is a great place to include it as a PDF or adding an Online Media Kit page with all of the content available for download.
6. Media Coverage. Content on a press page can include when your organization was featured in the news. If your organization hasn’t been featured in the news, don’t fret. You can skip right to adding press releases, or you can take some time to brainstorm things that are “press worthy” to add, such as your company’s CEO speaking at a local event. If you wrote a post on a blog other than one you own, that could go under an “In the News” section. Any awards or recognitions that your firm or company leaders have apply as well. Articles that people at your company have written apply. Take time to brainstorm and organize the news. Content in this section is best shared in chronological order. Some online press pages have the exact dates listed and some just have the month. The Business Therapist’s website, for example, has the exact dates of where and when the owner is in the press.
7. Social Media. If you are on social media, use your press page to share links to your social media channels to connect with customers. This includes:
- LinkedIn (personal or company page);
8. Photos, Videos, and Credibility Logos. If you have videos, photos or logos of associations that boost your company’s credibility, this is a good place to show them.
Remember that content isn’t just text; it can be visuals. Logos of agency associations you are connected with, logos of publications you have been mentioned in, websites you were featured on, photos, and videos are all PR-worthy.