What do reporters really want from an online press room?

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In PR, we are always looking for attention- attention from our clients, attention from the media and sometimes we’re looking for simple recognition for a job well done.

To achieve the attention we so desperately crave, we develop newsworthy pitches, make valiant attempts to create viral videos and secure media opportunities that position our clients as thought leaders in their respective industries.

And with all the materials we create to attract the interest from target audiences, it would be downright foolish for us to keep those juicy pieces of content hidden behind an email inbox or a private YouTube channel. In the vast online ocean, web surfers are looking for information that is useful, informative and engaging. This is why content is still King (Neptune, if you will), but it easily drowns if it isn’t noticeable.

There’s that attention we seek again- and usually, want the content to be noticed by reporters and producers. However, reporters are no different than every day online readers- they’re looking for the most relevant information, and in a timely manner. According to a recent article in Forbes; “Online readers are a different breed and notoriously fickle. Their attention spans are short. Their modes of access to information are varied. And they are looking for real-time sound bites, not a newspaper article continued on page A17.”

As PR pros, it’s our job to appeal to this need, and we frequently recommend our clients host an interactive press/content hub on their company websites. The online press room, if used properly, can be a valuable tool used to engage new audiences. However, a press room cannot be created blindly; there are a few must-haves to consider before launching the page.
3 Things Your Online Press Room Must Have:

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High Resolution Images: It’s no secret people are sharing stories through images these days (as noted by the popularity of Pinterest), so it’s important to ensure imagery (like head shots, infographics and event photos) are ready to be published as they are. If a journalist has to wait for a publicist to send a “web ready” file, they’ll probably move on.
Important Background Information: Reporters like to vet their sources, and if a PR pro has just sent a pitch, chances are the reporter is usually fact checking to make sure the source is reliable. It’s simple; include important information (like fact sheets, past press releases, and updated bios) in your press room so reporters know they’re dealing with a reputable industry leader.
•“Snackable” Content: Make sure your content is displayed in way that’s easily navigated and includes a quick description prompting readers to click through. It’s a content jungle out there- and to make sure your client’s content is digested by reporters and potential clients, you have to be smart. Set up the videos, articles and whitepapers so that their added value is communicated clearly and gets to the point immediately.

When building an online press room, it’s important to remember that all organizations are seeking traffic to their websites. The bottom line PR professionals must consider is, we should always be pleasing reporters by having a press page that is simplistic and efficient.

PR friends, have you seen an online press room that you’ve admired? Let us know @ebben_zall

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