If publicity is a significant part of your public relations strategy, you should consider developing an online media center as part of your site (Figure 16.3). The media center should be easily accessible from your navigation bar. It would include all the components a journalist needs when doing a story on your company. Journalists should be able to find pictures to include in the story and all the information necessary to do their due diligence. They should be able to send a question to the appropriate media contact within the organization with one click. The media center should include:
- A chronology of news releases distributed by the company. Make sure you put the latest news release at the top.
- The company history and background information.
- An electronic brochure.
- Links to other articles written about your operation. Make sure you have these on your site and not as a link to the magazine site that published the article.
- Links to story ideas for future articles.
- Links to pictures that can be used by journalists in their story. Perhaps have a gallery where journalists can choose the pictures they want to include in their story. Alternatively, you can provide a link to your Flickr photostream or photos on your Facebook page.
- Background information on key company personnel, along with their pictures, bios, and quotes.
- A link to your company’s media contact and all contact information.
- FAQs and answers to anticipated questions.
By having a media center on your site, you are sending a clear message to the journalist. You are saying, “You’re important to me! I want to provide you with everything you need to quickly and easily complete your story on our operation or our products and services.” With the media center you are providing all the information, in a format that journalists can use, to enable them to do the story no matter when they choose to do it.
You will want to encourage permission marketing by offering visitors the opportunity to be notified to receive your news releases “hot off the press.” Place a “Click here to join our media list and to receive notification of our news releases” link on your Web site. In addition, make it easy for visitors to send a copy of your news release to a friend. Sometimes journalists work on stories together, so give the journalist the option to send the news release to a colleague, or even to his or her editor, through viral marketing.