I recently came across a Twitter post from a freelance journalist called Georgina Fuller, which politely reminded businesses to put a press contact on their website if they wanted media coverage. And it struck me, how do brands still forget to do this? And what should they do to ensure they make their press section on their website as media friendly as possible. Ultimately if a journalist wants to contact the media department of a brand for comment, and they can’t find the right details or the assets they need quickly, then it’s likely that the brand will be crossed off the list as a potential commentator. And that is a big shame.
This got me thinking, what are the five key things a brand should be doing when designing their media page and which brands are getting it right?
1. First things first, as Georgina says, make sure you include the right contact information for the person/ team handling your media enquiries. Innocent Smoothies is a good example; they include phone numbers, email addresses and social links. Sounds simple right, but you would be ever so surprised at the number of brands who fail to including this information on their websites.
2. Display your ‘about us’ or company information in an easily digestible and human format. This press page by Mapbox is a nice example. You want press visitors to be able to quickly and easily grasp what it is that your company does without any confusion or need for further clarification. Make sure the ‘about us’ copy gives the journalist all they need to know to write about the brand. Avoid all jargon and what I would call ‘consultancy speak’ and instead try to make this descriptor simple and catchy. You may also wish to include a simple visual or infographic of all your key company facts and historical information. This one from Etsy is nice.
3. Ensure that all media assets are easy to find and simple to download. Include headshot photography of all key spokespeople, as well as product photography. Again, Etsy has done this well with their photography. I would also suggest the same process for the brand’s logo just in case someone needs to use that. Ditto for screen shots if you are a tech platform for example.
4. Make sure you signpost the media to downloadable rich content such as how to documents, jargon busters, explainer videos and infographics. This will give the journalist as much information as possible on what you do and make their job easier. Ensure all written content can be copied and pasted. Because of this I personally tend to advise clients to avoid downloadable PDFs and instead stick to word documents. Saying that however, some very detailed press packs like this one from Pernod Ricard work best as a downloadable PDF document, so there may be a case for creating a more detailed pack on occasion.
5. Put all your press releases and news in one place, like Facebook has done here. Ensure simple signposting and try to make the layout easy for people to find what they are looking for quickly (either tagging releases by topic or date, or ideally doing both). Likewise make it easy for journalists to download the releases or copy and paste the content for their stories. Again, I can’t stress how time poor journalists can often be, so make their life easier.