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Effective PR Web Sites

Wondering how to create one? Do what your users do! By G.A. "Andy" Marken

Want An Effective PR Web Site?  Do What Your Users Do!

Sit down this evening at your computer?do a competitive round-up article with news, comparisons, illustrations.  And youre on a short deadline!!

We just completed a detailed analysis of the reports we received on global editorial traffic to one of our clients press kits that were posted on Virtual Press Office following a recent trade show.  Since we have known the founders for years we asked for some additional analysis access numbers by press release in the on-line kit.  We liked what we saw from the perspective of quality, quantity and global reach.  But what happened after they read the releases?  Did they get everything they needed photos, information?  Did they do an article? 

Some called or emailed us so we know they were taken care of.  Did those who didnt contact us go to the clients web site for more information?  Did others simply not go any further because?well just because?  

VPO is a good service but it is only part of the solution for serving members of the media 24x7, around the globe.  The PR web site as Shel Holtz, author of Public Relations on the Net, points out in his book is or should be an even more vital tool in your PR program. 

With the VPO access report in hand, we email surveyed 180 of the editors/reporters we know in Europe, the Pacific Basin and the Americas who had accessed the online press kit.  We asked them if they recalled using the online kit.

Every editor/reporter had used some of the information from the VPO on-line kits. 

We asked them if they had also visited company PR web sites our clients and others that were at the show to obtain more information.  We also asked them what they expected from a PR web site.

Everyone had his or her list of what a PR web site should contain.  Everyone had his or her list of press friendly, ?unfriendly and abrasive sites. 

PR Site Checklist
What company PR web sites need isnt brain surgery?its journalism 101:
? Contact information real names, phone numbers (office, cell), email addresses, not press@company.com.  Forget those forms we often see that requires reporters to fill in with their query and someone, sometime will get back to them.  Clearly written PR policy commitment to get back to the editor, reporter, analyst in at least 24 hours (faster if possible).  If the company has PR people responsible for various product or company areas list contacts so the press doesnt have to practice the email shuffle or play phone tag
? Current news releases as word documents, not HTML or a month-long data stream.  List them by most current date and release summary with a live link to the complete release
? Company and product background
? Technical/application white papers
? Product Q&As, FAQs, product data sheets
? How-to pieces and customer case studies
? Stock and in-use, environment type product shots they can download immediately without having to jump through hoops low and high resolution
? Key executive photos and bios
? Industry and financial analyst contact information
? Screen shots and PowerPoint presentations
? Demos of products/services
? Executive speeches with approval to quote freely with direct PR access for added information or assistance
? If you want the product reviewed by the media; have a fast, easy method for the reporter, analyst, editor to request evaluation product?then deliver immediately after they have been qualified (you do know most of the journalists in your space right?)
? Prices company stock and product (suggested retail and street)

We received mixed signals from the responding journalists about PR sites that request members of the media to register for access to the web site and the content.  Some were concerned about being inundates with ?news from the company.  Others thought it was okay to register if they could select the areas of information they were interested in receiving.  Others said they never registered for the PR web sites and got their information either from VPO or by doing subject searches using Google, Yahoo and other search engines. 

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Related Keywords:Virtual Press Office, trade show, analysis, press release, on-line kit, quality, quantity, global reach, photos, information, article, PR, Andy Marken, VPO, PR Web sites, create

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