Friday, October 5, 2007

Make Your Web Site Media Friendly -- Please!

How easy is it for a journalist to find a media contact person on your Web site?If your site is like most of those I clicked around this week while gathering information for a magazine article assignment, you're making it harder than it should (or needs) to be. As soon as you make a journalist's job harder, you're increasing the odds that you won't get that valuable free media exposure known as publicity. Try these simple changes to increase the chances that you'll help a journalist do his or her job in a way that leads to free exposure for your business or organization:

  • Add a "media contact" name, e-mail address, and phone number to your "Contact" page. This is the person who is authorized to answer or faciliate media inquiries. When the organization is too small to have a public relations professional on staff, this is often the marketing director or, at a nonprofit, the development director.
  • Include a contact name, phone number and e-mail address on all of the press releases in your press room. It's surprising how many organizations large and small don't do this.
  • Get rid of the fill-in-the-box template for inquiries. At least give us an e-mail address. It doesn't matter how frequently you're checking the messages we type into those annoying templates -- we think they're a black hole and we don't trust them.

When I can't find the right person to contact quickly when I need answers, I give up and go to the competition's Web site. If they've done a better job of making their contact information available to me, that's who I call. And that's who gets the free exposure.

So...with just a few simple changes, you're not only helping me do my job more quickly and easily (and I will like you for that!), you're also helping your business reach its target audience through the press. There's nothing wrong with both of us coming out of this as winners.

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