Whether you’re a PR professional, a business owner, a journalist (or, for that matter a cat with a snap-happy owner), you’ll surely have noticed that over the last five years, traditional media has evolved significantly with the digital revolution.
With so many new and innovative ways to connect with your target audience, many people are forgetting about their websites. Today, we want to discuss the importance of going back to basics and using your website to communicate your purpose and set the foundation for your business.
The first place people go when they want to research a company is the internet, and – if you have one – your website. It’s not just your customers, peers and competitors that learn about you from your website, its media too!
Results of a recent survey conducted among a group of 100 journalists confirms that 97% of Journalists use a company website as their primary source of information when researching a story.
So essentially, there is a huge opportunity for companies to position themselves in and engage with the media by presenting the information that a journalist is looking for on their website. This doesn’t mean just having a media section on your site – although that is a good place to start – but it means actually writing your website content as though it were a virtual press release.
The first step for PR professionals:
Encourage your clients to invest time and money in updating their website and discuss re-writing their content, as you would construct a generic press release about the company. Be sure to include newsworthy developments or company announcements on the homepage as they happen – to stay current.
Converting website content into newsworthy content:
• Use reverse pyramid style-Include the most important information at the top of the homepage and be short and succinct.
• Headlines aren’t just for newspapers - Use catchy informative headings for your pages and blocks of text.
• A picture says a thousand words - Use professional images of employees or a CEO that make a personal connection.
• Become a news source - Include statistics and information that proves why the company fills a void in the market or meets demand in the industry. (Make sure you keep them updated.)
• Give them more - Include links to relevant sources for media – i.e. industry bodies or latest research surveys that back up your purpose.
• Create your quotes - Make official statements pertaining to recent developments within the company or news within your industry.
• Put a face to a name - Include names of each of the key staff members with a recent photo and detailed biography on the site – journalists may use this information to get background info on their subject.
Stay current …
It is important to continually update the information and images on your website. If a website is stagnant or filled with old information and images, journalists won’t trust that the information is current or useful. You wouldn’t send out a press release that is two years old so why would you offer old information to media on your website.
Get the word out…
Now that your website is ready to handle the influx of media attention… You’ve got to get the word out. Now it’s time for you to be interactive and get on forums, blogs and social media, posting links to your website. Keep in mind you need to engage with these mediums and create a two way flow of information in order for this to be effective. More on this soon…
Something to think about…Any thoughts?