A strong press page is your way of making friends with the media. It is your way of saying I see you, I know what you are dealing with, and I am going to make your life as easy as possible. Because that’s just the kind of helpful person I am. And if I double my coverage in the meantime, well, who’s complaining? Below we are going to look at everything you'll need to make a winning press page.
- What is a press page?
- The benefits of having a press page
- Measurable results of having a press page
- Examples of good press pages
- Ingredients of a strong press page
- Press page success factors
- Build or buy a press page
What is a press page?
Your press page is the public face of your brand. But unlike other news coverage, you control the narrative. It is the beating (well-curated) heart of your company. It is where journalists, customers and other Curious Georges go for the inside scoop. With a good press page, you make it ridiculously easy for the world to find your company news. In no time at all, they should be able to find out what you do, and why you do it.
Why do you need a press page?
Imagine this: a journalist is thinking of doing a story on your product. Like anyone, they want to find the information as quickly as possible, without a lengthy email exchange, or an endless Google search. They head to your press page. The press page is so easy to find and use, and the information on it is so clear, that they track down everything they need in record time.
They go away feeling like a champ. You have just made their lives easier: your site looked professional, they understand you better in the context of your brand, and they can get back to their job. This process is worth its weight in gold.
By having a professional-looking, straightforward press page, that’s easily found on a search engine, both you and your audience will stop wasting valuable time. Your press page is the glue that holds lasting relationships with the media together. With it, you can get the wide coverage you need, without having to chase journalists down. This is what is called ‘Inbound PR’. With style.
‘Outbound PR’ on the other hand, is the process of pitching your news to the media. An essential part of Outbound PR is having a flawless press page to support your pitch. The links included in your campaign should direct media to your shiny happy press page. Like Aladdin's cave, it should be full every asset they could possibly dream of. In neatly categorised boxes, of course.
The numbers don’t lie
Beautiful, sweet, inbound PR. Having a journalist actually want to promote your brand for you. Is there any greater pleasure in life? Don’t answer that. We might love PR a bit too much.
If you have a substandard press page, or worse, you don’t have one at all, chances are your PR results are going to slump. You’ll be happy to hear, however, that if your press page is good, you will see a return on investment quickly.
One anecdotal example is one of our clients who invested in press pages for six of their local markets and crunched the numbers a year later. Here’s what they found:
- Twenty articles covering their brand without direct contact with the media
- Ten quality press contacts found them independently and are now considered good company friends
Not only this, but a newsroom is one of, if not the main way to get traffic to your site. With journalists lining the internet with your links like breadcrumbs, more people will follow the trail. Your SEO gets a boost and traffic will be directed towards you, instead of your competitors.
If you want to learn more about why you should focus on findability instead of pitching, read these helpful tips from SEO expert Arnout Hellemans.
Examples of good press pages
Your press page is not going to bear much fruit if no one can find it, it has no actual information, or it's hard to navigate. If a journalist can’t find what they want they want quickly, they are out of there before the ink is dry.
Your brand is a promise, and that promise is one that can be kept by being consistent. A good press page is part of that promise. Here are some brands nailing it:
VanMoof's branding is strong and so is it's imagery. Their press page includes an extensive media kit section with strong visuals for each campaign and product launch.
WeTransfer uses its clean branding to convey key information in a few seconds. Company bio, spokesperson contact details, latest releases: a journalist has everything they could need, fast.
Dolby's comprehensive press page can be split into separate news for their multiple products. They also have an extensive resource section for journalists and investors alike.
Titleist is one of the world's biggest golf brands and it shows in their product range. They offer multiple images and videos for each product, nicely categorised in their press page.
Ingredients of a strong press page
Your press page is like a hotel (stay with me here) and every window, brick and door adds up to an irresistible stay for your guests. If you’re missing a window, the guests (read: journalists) are going to get cold, and they will abandon ship without paying. They will leave you bad reviews in all CAPS. Here are 11 things your press page needs to stop them being so antisocial:
1. News articles
You guessed it, your press page is going to need some press. This is where you showcase your press announcements so your audience can keep up with your latest news.
2. Press kit
Your press kit spoon feeds all the elements of your product or story, in one tidy, digestible package. You can add images, PDFs, documents, reports; whatever it is that is going to make your story sing.
3. Image bank
Stop telling your story in a thousand words, instead sit back and let your high-quality images do the talking. Journalists can swoop in, download the images they want, and have the story written up by lunch time.
4. Contact Info
Journalists aren’t so antisocial after all. Sometimes they want a quote from an expert, or a follow up on a story. Short of having a flashing neon sign pointing to your comms team, make it as easy as possible for them to find you.
5. About us
With a killer About section, all your brand news makes sense in the context of your strong brand narrative. Journalists find it easier to write stories if they truly understand who they are writing about, and what value they bring.
6. Clippings or ‘In the News’
Give your audience a bit of context and showcase your wins. A good Clippings section will give visitors an insight into the wider brand narrative, and may even provide some inspiration for a story.
7. Social media friendly
Social sharing buttons, eye-catching press releases: make it as easy as possible for your story to spread like wildfire, whatever the social platform.
8. Follower functionality
Your audience can subscribe to future news directly from your press page. That way, they stay in the loop, and you can sleep soundly knowing your press has a wider reach.
If you want to get information to your visitor that little bit faster, a search bar is the key to their heart. Save them the task of trawling through your press releases.
10. SEO Optimisation
Your press page should be generating as much traffic for your company as possible. Making it SEO-proof, independent of your digital marketing teams, is going to save you time, and probably a few white hairs.
Everyone knows the sweet satisfaction of a webpage that loads instantly. Your newsroom needs to be quick, so your audience is not stuck staring at the Spinning Beach Ball of Death. And your satisfaction gets even sweeter when you realise that a fast newsroom helps with your SEO.
Quality is rarely an accident. If you include the above in your press page you can elevate your brand to a level of professionalism that generates news. Big news. By making your press room as attractive and user-friendly as possible, your media relationships will blossom. Remember: a journalist is for life, not just for Christmas.
Press page success factors
Your press page is just the attractive, well-organised tip of the iceberg: underneath the surface, there are three other components that guarantee its success. Pull up a chair, let’s dive into all four.
1. Killer journalist press page
By now, with all the above, you should be fast friends with the media. You should be going on coffee dates and recommending Netflix series. They respect the professionalism your brand brings, and they turn to you for a good story. But the public-facing press page is just the front end of the news, what about the software behind?
2. Intuitive publishing software
With the right software, your team becomes a well-oiled, news-making machine. You’ll need a straightforward, comprehensive Content Management System (CMS) for your press releases. Can you collaborate and approve campaigns easily? Can you manage roles, access and permissions for agencies? Can you collaborate efficiently with colleagues abroad? Is it easy to format it with rich media (infographics, video, hi-res images)? Are press releases so clear that your journalist friends can pick out information, terminator style?
3. Watertight CRM Software
You are also going to need a watertight system to keep track of all the new journalist friends you have made. Those coffee dates aren’t going to make themselves. With grouping, tagging, and filtering systems you can send the right campaigns, to the right people, at the right time. Being stuck in the Bermuda triangle of Excel documents doesn’t really cut it in the modern day. Plus you won’t be winning many GDPR brownie points.
4. Vital support and maintenance
An often overlooked but vital part of press page success is support. Let’s face it, sometimes things break. You might need someone to save the day when you accidentally delete your campaign (no judgment, these things happen). You then might want to embargo part it. Who you gonna call? Well, normally that would be your IT department. But your IT department is Very Popular. They have things to do, people to see.
But what if you could have your own dedicated IT team helping you with your PR software? That would give you the peace of mind that even if things go wrong, someone has your back.
Moreover, you’ve probably noticed the PR landscape is changing. Our audience is changing, and so are we. There are more platforms than ever before to reach your audience, and comms teams are constantly navigating new digital challenges. We need to adapt, to survive. You are going to need someone to constantly update your software and future-proof your PR efforts.
Build vs buy consideration
Some of you may be weighing up whether to build your press page in-house, or buy one off-the-shelf. The decision is going to be different for every company, depending on your unique situation. To make the right choice, you’ll first need to understand the functional requirements of a press page, and how much it’s going to cost. To shed some more light on the topic, we have made an easy-to-read build vs buy whitepaper, covering just that.