Back in the day we stuffed hundreds of press kits – folders with backgrounders, press releases, company founder biographies, photos to accompany the articles the reporters were writing. We brought boxes of them to trade shows and events, mailed them to reporters and analysts and carried them on press tours. As our technology use increased, we started putting press kits on CDs. Today, we’re killing far fewer trees because everything in that press kit is now online, emailed and downloadable in a “press room” on your website.
Those downloads can happen any time of night or day because website deadlines are pretty much any time. And freelancers in particular (of which there are more and more) often write outside business hours. Make sure writers can easily access any background information on your website they might need, at any time (no passwords or hidden pages please!) Things you may wish to include:
- A company backgrounder
- A technology backgrounder
- A product backgrounder
- Biographies of the founders and management team
- An FAQ
- An archive of press releases and statements
- A link to your blog, pointing out any key statements you may have made
- White papers
- Analyst reports
- Your press contact’s name, phone number (office and cell), email, Twitter user name and address (helpful for judging time zones)
Photos, logos and other images are particularly important to have on your website. Often your inclusion in an article depends on the writer’s ability to get images to go with an article or populate a slide show. A really spectacular image can get you included in an article you might otherwise not make.
There are many ways to make high-resolution images easily accessible. If you can’t easily create downloads on your website – see my rant on websites you can’t control — consider Flickr where it is easy to include descriptions, keywords and photo credit information. Or, a link to a Dropbox with different images and descriptions.
You worked hard for that coverage and you have some terrific stories written about your company. Those articles build your credibility, and show prospective customers and partners many different aspects of your products and company. Now what? If you are like most companies, you’ll probably want to display that coverage on your website. Here’s how:
- This is copyrighted material. Please don’t just blithely copy it and dump it on your site, unless you have paid for reprint rights. Make a link.
- Consider a short introduction or quote from the article to give the reader the flavor of it. Fair use allows limited and reasonable uses of copyrighted material. According to the US Copyright Office, “There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”
- Most media have a symbol or logo you can use to identify articles with
- Organize chronologically with the most recent articles first.
- By all means, if you have a stellar article, that tells your story well, highlight it.
- Some companies mix their press releases in with the coverage but we recommend making the two sortable. (See only the press releases. See only the coverage.)
- Don’t include the online databases or wire pick-ups of your releases in your coverage on your website. Many media sites run press releases as a feed from the wire services. This isn’t coverage. Everyone knows you didn’t get a unique story. It is just endless reruns of your press release.
- There are times in every company’s media relations cycle when you don’t get much coverage. Too busy working on a new product. Too busy servicing great new customers. Whatever the reason, your coverage dries up. If people looking at the list of coverage start to wonder whether you are still in business, get busy. Time for a press release? Time to give an update to the top reporter in your space? Maybe place a customer success story in an industry publication? The press page is often one of the first places a savvy market watcher checks.