Creating An Online Press Room

Now that you have starting learning how to generate PR and publicity for your start up business or even if you have a successful business and you’re only just putting your toe in the PR water, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about PR and finding PR resources to get media attention.

When you start developing a publicity plan, you’ll need to find out how to deal with journalists and more importantly how to work with journalists. They are also human beings! Find out how to respond to enquiries or media alerts from journalists and then set up an online newsroom to handle the PR.

Your online newsroom will send a clear message to the media, they will know you are serious about your PR, your press coverage and when you’re making media contacts with journalists they can see all the info they need without worrying you. Some websites might also call this news, press room or media centre.

Now that you have starting learning how to generate PR and publicity for your start up business

By adding all the information the media would need, you are showing how important and valuable they are to your site and that you are serious about marketing your business. In a nutshell, this will include your bio, high-resolution photos and photos of your products or event.

Creating an online newsroom is a great way of allowing journalists and editors to write about your business without an interview from you. Of course, an interview is the preferred way to go but your online news room could have a standard interview from you at the ready, which then gives the journalist all the information they need. And more than likely they will give you a buzz for more.

It also gives them access to this information around the clock. Often journalists are given a story at the last minute and during their late night research they can hunt through your online news room to find what they need.
    
 
Your media centre or press room is another great place for optimisation and for search engines to find you with all the rich keyword content that oozes out of this online room.

Demonstrate that you’re a true PR professional business start up to both the media and any visitors who want more info on you before buying from you’re your newsroom now serves two important purposes.

Journalists like to see samples, case studies, statistics in a press kit, and someone available on the end of a phone 24/7.

Remember that seeing a list of press releases or news clippings establishes that you are trustworthy and that you will deliver your promise (this is for your new business customers or clients). Show off broadcasts, podcasts or videos and quotes from your digital marketing campaigns. You can even suggest ideas for stories if you want to share them.

What Your Media Room Should Contain

Fill your news room with the following ammo so you're primed and ready when a journalist answers one of your press releases.

1. Bio

Give a brief bio similar to your article resource box and editor’s notes.

2. History or Stats

The history of your website or quick summary on the background to setting up the site along with any research or related stats should be included.

3. Key People

Do remember to include all your key management or people involved with the site by adding a quick paragraph and image of them.

4. Image Gallery

Images of you or your product are essential so find a good  photographer who will do some headshots of you and possibly a whole photo shoot of your products. When you do submit pictures, ensure you offer the best quality cropped images you have. If your budget is stretched try using a student photographer or a freelancer.

If you do end up having lots of products or images that are necessary to show off to the media, you should consider an image gallery in your online media centre. I have done lots of work for hotels and restaurants and if they don’t have any good shots, I always recommend a photo shoot and add the beautiful photography to the newsroom so journalists and editors can access them at their leisure.

If a journalist likes your story and the human interest, they'll ask for anything afterwards so get your online news room primed and ready.

5. Releases

Show off your press releases in your newsroom. They more you have, the more there is for potential customers and journalists to read about how wonderful you are. A simple link will suffice.

6. Clippings

Don’t forget your press clippings or online news coverage links. If you attract lots of media attention you should proudly show this off to everyone who comes along.

7. Events

If you have events, or if you exhibit at shows and run conferences, the media may be interested in attending.

8. Reviews

Journalists will be interested in what you have to offer your customers so why not create special demonstrations or trials for a journalist to test your products. You can even go one further and include a registration form for the media. Or add a button or link for them to receive a product in return for a review.

Newsworthy items are essential for an online newsroom. Not old stories just there to fill inwhite space.

9. News Coverage

It is important to show how newsworthy you are, by including all your clips and media links. Create a separate page for News Coverage and include a link in you media room so journalists can see what other publications are saying about you.

10. Case Studies

Journalists love case studies so if you have any on your site, include links to them in your press room.

11. Contact

Lastly, but certainly not least, don't forget to add your contact details,, including your mobile number. If you are determined to get into the media as an industry expert, you need to be at the media’s beck and call. The media works all hours of the day and so should your Press Kit!

Online Press Kits

With the media working all hours, you can consider using a press kit tool like PressKit 24/7, which keeps your information and press details organized by providing links that can be accessed 24/7.

InstantMediaKit is another service that doesn't take long at all to load your online media kit with all of the marketing materials you need to make a great impression. Have a look at PressKit247.com, instantmediakit.com and mediaroom.com. They do charge so decide if you can do this yourself or if their service is superior.

Photo Call

A photo call is generally only used if you have an event, a product launch (in my case a book launch) or another major reason why journalists should show up to take photos of you. Nowadays, though, with digital photography so advanced, most publications will ask you to provide a good head and shoulders shot or a high resolution image of the event.

Interviews

If you get an press interview, be ready with your pitch, but also prep yourself with suggested questions they can ask you during the interview. This is where your Q & A comes in handy, but be sure you can answer all of them with clarity and focus.

No bumbling allowed!

If you get an interview, practise sound bites or keywords in the mirror or on your own, but best done in front of your partner or family member who can give you good feedback.

If you are dead keen and can’t wait for an interview to come along, go after them. Find the host or producer of a radio show or journalist doing similar stories and get in touch with them. Firstly, acknowledge their work to show you have done your homework and give them your best pitch.

Be skilful about working your name, website or business title into the interview conversation, without being obvious about it.  Always refer to the name of your site or product instead of just saying (especially in a radio interview) 'my site' or 'my book', for example. This way you reinforce your hard-working brand.

Press Release Image Top Tips

Crop images up close and personal, preferably a head-and-shoulder shot cropped tight to remove unnecessary background. Blur it out if your camera has the ability to do this or zoom in on the people.

 

  • Avoid busy backgrounds, mirrors, windows and glass which cause reflections.
  • Hone in on the action in the image – remember ‘humans’ are the centre focus.
  • With firewalls so tough on spam today, you have to find a way to allow these images to get to the right media.
  • If you have stunning products or places to show off,  don’t scrimp on this area

Remember, an online press room (or news room as you may call it) is an ideal way to respond to media requests from journalists. You don't even need to be around - your online press room does the work for you.

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