When a Journalist Comes to Visit–Have an Online Media Room That Works

If a reporter was writing a story about you and your company and she
visited your website, could she find anything useful and interesting
about you to use in her story? And could she find it quickly? Or
would she immediately abandon your site and look for one of your
competitors to write about?

Every website today should have a “Media Room” (also known as an
online press room) with everything a reporter needs to write a story
quickly. Not only should you include information about your company
history, the management team and owners, your products and services,
and so on, but today you should also provide links to industry trade
groups, information about industry trends, and maybe even a list of
your competitors.

Why would you include your competitors, you ask?

Because just like you, a reporter is very busy and often overwhelmed.
If you were the reporter and you visited a website that handed you
the perfect story and all the sources to write an objective article
about widgets (which just happened to be something your publication’s
readers, and more importantly your boss, would love to read),
wouldn’t you be thrilled? Of course you would. And so would I.

Besides, every time a prospect searches for your competitors’
products and services, YOUR website will come up in the search, too.
Maybe the prospect will click on your website link instead of your

So let’s consider what you should include in your new website Media
Room. Here’s a list to get you started; each of these would be a
separate “sublink” within your media room:

==> Owners and management team bios (one short and one long bio for
each person)

==> Photos: downloadable, scalable, in 300 dpi (suitable for print
publications) and 72 dpi (for online outlets), named/labeled, one for
each member of the management team and any products you promote

==> Company description and history, including dates, facts and sales
figures (or percentage of growth by year)

==> A list of products or services and brief descriptions of each one

==> Customer demographics

==> List and description of any awards you or your company have won

==> List of story ideas with 4 to 6 talking points for each one

==> Audio and video clips with sound bytes about important issues

==> List of media experience for key company players

==> Issues and opinions page, including position papers, articles you
have written, whitepapers, quotes, links to industry resources for
both sides of the opinions (all opening in a new browser window, of

==> Industry trends and news

==> Calendar of relevant trade shows and industry events

==> List of your key competitors and links to outside sites that may
contain opposing or even negative views (opening in new browser
windows, of course!)

==> Company and product news (with all your releases
listed/summarized and linking to the full story)

==> In the news (links to actual published articles, opening in new
browser windows)

==> Contact information for key company players: day, night, cell
phone, pager, fax, email (make it easy for the reporter to get in
touch with you!)

==> Email alert service to notify reporters of news

==> Forms for reporters to order videos, photos, samples

==> Ability to search the site for information, keywords, topics, etc.

And don’t forget to put an obvious link to your Media Room, right on
your home page … and every page. Don’t worry if you can’t do all of
this immediately. Just keep chipping away at it, and soon you’ll have
a terrific Media Room. Then watch how your publicity grows.

Lois Carter Fay’s brainy ideas and resources can help you get better results from your marketing. She is the author of Marketing Plan Essentials: Online
& Off and co-author with Jim Wilson of 52 Ready-to-Go Sales Meetings: 52 Ways to Help Your Salespeople (and Yourself) Win at the Game of Sales. Her
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