Business 101: Are You Media-Friendly? How to Build an Online Media Room
Not too long ago, your media kit (or press kit) was most likely housed in a printed folder with your company’s logo emblazoned on the front – that is if you even had one at all!
With the onset of digital marketing, social media and refined search functions, it is now important to maintain an online media kit so that journalists, bloggers and even potential customers can easily find what they need to know about your company.
Why Do You Need A Media Room?
When you consider traditional media, online publications, bloggers and social media – the definition of who exactly is “the press” can easily be blurred. There is no confusion, however, that this group of people has a lot of influence when it comes to how your business is perceived online.
A positive review on a well-read blog or a mention in a national magazine can easily boost your sales and increase your market share. A media room makes it easy for them to find and include you in their story.
How is a Media Room Different From A Media Kit?
Your media kit is an introduction to your company. It usually contains background information about its history, mission, personnel, products, awards, etc. Online media kits are the foundation of an effective media room.
The key difference is a true media room takes the information one step further – including latest news, story ideas, downloadable images, audio recordings of interviews, video interviews and presentations, and other key information that can sell an interviewer on why you’re the right expert to contact.
The goal is to arm journalists with all the information they need when writing a story or searching online for a source. You want to make it easy for them to find the information they are seeking or to spark an idea for a good angle or story. The last thing you want is for a journalist to get frustrated trying to find the information they need in order to include you in a story.
Key Components to a Successful Online Media Room:
#1: About Page
This is different from the ‘about’ page on your website because you are writing with your audience in mind – the media. Make sure you provide them with background information that is useful and relevant to what is newsworthy right now. Too often generic background pages leave journalists feeling uninspired.
#2: Bios of Key Players
Who are the important players within your company and what expertise do they bring to the table? A journalist reading the bios in your media room should be able to easily determine your expertise and for which topics you could be used as a source. Make it easy to contact you by including direct email addresses in each bio as well.
#3: Downloadable Photos or Graphics
An online story or blog post has a lot more punch when a graphic is included. Make it easy for journalists to include your images by making them available in your media room. Include a high-res jpeg of your logo, photo of your main product, headshot of your CEO or spokesperson and any other images that are newsworthy.
#4: Latest News
It is helpful to include links to your latest press releases in your media room so journalists can see them all in one place.
#5: Audio or Video Clips
Like images, sound bites or video clips make it easier for bloggers or journalists to use your information in a story. If you have videos or MP3 files/interviews then be sure to include them!
A pressroom is a place to keep clips or links to your recent appearances in the news. These are not YOUR press releases, rather they are links to publications or blogs that recently used you as a source or featured your company in some way.
#7: Guidelines or Glossary
If you have a highly technical industry, it may be beneficial to include a glossary in your media room so that you can ensure that your product or business will be written about correctly. Likewise, if you have a preference for how your company name is written in print, logo usage, etc. it can also be beneficial to include these guidelines to lessen the likelihood that something will be misprinted or misused.
#8: Story Ideas
It is a good idea to provide journalists and bloggers with a list of at least ten story ideas pertaining to your industry. The list may just help spark an idea – and you would be in a prime position to be a credible source! In addition, it can be beneficial to include ready-made quotes that journalists can use if they are on a tight deadline.
#9: Contact Information
The goal is to get the attention of the media and make it easy for them to contact you. A media room provides some shortcuts, but most likely the journalist or writer will need to speak directly with a company representative. Prominently display the contact information of your media representative!
Not every business is going to need to include all of these sections. If you haven’t received any press yet, obviously you wouldn’t include an empty pressroom section! Likewise, if your industry is not overly technical, you can skip the glossary.
In fact, when piecing your media room together, keep in mind the time restraints that most members of the media operate under. Keep sections clean and concise. This is not the place for over-the-top sales language or pages of fluff.
The key to getting interviews from media, bloggers, and podcasters is to show, not just tell, that you’re a leading voice in your industry. You’re probably doing many of these things anyway – now you just need to tell the world!
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