Learn about Media Rooms for your website incl what they are, why you may want one & how to create one.

Episode 339


Media Rooms for Your Website

Sandro: [00:00:05] Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We’re the podcast that gives you guidance on all things digital marketing, including social media, email marketing and more, all to help your small business grow. Today Liz is going to tell us how and why to build a media room on your website.

Liz: [00:00:20] That’s right. So let’s first define what this is and then I will explain what makes a really good media room. A media room is a press or media page on your website. It’s intended to house resources that a journalist will find helpful when they are reporting on your company or your organization. These resources could include fact sheets, press releases, multimedia files. I’ll get more into those specifics in a few minutes.


Why Have a Media Room?


Liz: [00:00:53] But the intent here is to make a reporter’s job easy. They might be writing a story about your company or organization at the last minute and having all of these resources in one place is really helpful. It could minimize back and forth over email. It’s just a good, good thing to have. These are very common with nonprofits. So if you are a nonprofit or perhaps you consult with nonprofits, this might be something you should start discussing and start building if you don’t have a media room. They are also very common for large corporations and publicly traded companies.

Liz: [00:01:25] But I do think that small and middle market companies can benefit from, well for one, having a media relations strategy. Reaching out to reporters in your industry on a consistent basis. And if that is something you are going to start doing, then having a media room and having all of this information in one place is very important. Now, I want to make a distinction between the media room and an ‘In The News’ section or an ‘As Seen In’ section. I think those are very important at building credibility with different audiences and stakeholders. But this is completely separate from that. You know that ‘In The News’ section might be somewhere on your home page. And it could just be like a scrolling carousel of logos saying that you’ve got coverage in The Wall Street Journal and on the Today show, you know whatever it is.

Sandro: [00:02:18] I’ve seen those, yeah.


Not Intended to Highlight Media Coverage


Liz: [00:02:19] Yes. Those are fantastic again, like I said at building credibility. But what I’m talking about, it’s not intended to highlight media coverage. Again it’s, this is really for helping reporters and editors that are reporting on your organization. So let’s get into key items that you should include. This is going, some this is going to seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised. Make sure you include media contact information and have it be a real person.

Sandro: [00:02:47] Someone in your organization.

Liz: [00:02:49] Yes. Or if you work with an agency you might have an internal contact and an agency contact. Both would be appropriate. But this is not the time to just do info at so-and-so dot com or media at so-and-so. Like this is intended to, you know, when a reporter wants to physically pick up the phone and call you, you need to have an actual person, an e-mail, a phone number. That’s very, very important. It’s also a good idea to include some general background information about your company or nonprofits. Maybe your history, your executives, maybe some annual reports. Again, this will vary depending on your company or nonprofit and what is most important to the company, but yeah, some general background information is good to include.


Include Recent Press Releases & Multimedia Files


Liz: [00:03:36] I also think it’s a good idea to include recent press releases. Again, we’re not highlighting coverage here but we are listing past releases that you have released to the media. You know, some people would argue that maybe this isn’t quite as relevant as it used to be, particularly in the age of social media. But I think it’s good to show that you have experience publishing and submitting press releases. I think showing that you have some skills in this area is always a good thing.

Liz: [00:03:53]The other thing I recommend would be multimedia files, which could include logos, spokesperson headshots, perhaps some B roll footage. Again, this is going to vary depending on your company or organization. But you know, actually so when we were prepping for this episode we were talking about you know, the film fest here in Cleveland. They have probably a pretty robust media room on their website. They partner with a lot of different organizations and the media as well so having their logo files available right there probably makes things a heck of a lot easier for them.


Small Towns & Suburbs Could Improve


Sandro: [00:04:52] Absolutely. And there’s a few organizations that don’t do this really well. We built a website for a realtor and she wants to focus on four or five communities here in Northeast Ohio. And I went to each of those communities’ pages and holy cow, some of these city pages are horrible. Like the logos are pixilated or each town has its own little saying like, “We’re the Progress City,” or something and you gotta dig through to get to that. Things haven’t been updated since it says 2017. Like how are you going to get, you move to the city and suddenly you want some emergency information, some senior citizen meet up information, city council information. Horrible. And if you’re a member of the media…

Liz: [00:05:36] Or, if you’re a member of the media and there’s some breaking news about whatever city…

Sandro: [00:05:40] And you’re at ‘Hello@…’.

Liz: [00:05:41] [laugh] Right, yeah. Yeah, I mean it’s just, it’s good to have all of this information collected in one place. The final recommendation I will have would be including all of this information in a downloadable media kit. Which, that will definitely require some effort to put together. But sometimes those are handy. So…


What Businesses Need a Media Room?


Sandro: [00:06:04] What businesses need a media room?

Liz: [00:06:07] Like I said, definitely non-profit. And I again, if you are a smaller business and you want to pursue a media relations strategy, having all of this information is a good thing. Because as I work with reporters to coordinate coverage for clients, I might be attaching a headshot or a bio or a logo. You know, that kind of makes my job easier too.

Liz: [00:06:53] If you start working with an agency in some capacity, I hope one of the first steps is, “Hey, let’s start to compile all of these pieces and parts. And let’s have a goal. In three months let’s launch our media room so it’s all there. I’ve been in situations where I’m haphazardly attaching things to emails. And it would be a heck of a lot easier if I could just say, “Here’s the answer to your question. And oh, all of the other information you asked for is available at our media room, click here. It’s all there.”


Dropbox as a Media Room?


Sandro: [00:07:07] Would, even at a bare minimum what I’m seeing more and more is, at least our cinema clients, movie theaters and movie distributors are sending us links to Dropboxes. They’re saying, “Here is all the information you need on the film.” Some recent reviews. Some 15 second clips for Instagram stories. A few 60 second clips for Instagram feeds, and photos, things you can use, pre-written Instagram and Facebook posts. We’re seeing more and more of that, just you click the link to their Dropbox and inside are various folders, videos, photos, copy. Does that work?

Liz: [00:07:44] I’m not opposed to that, particularly for the multimedia files. I think it would be totally acceptable to say, “Here’s a link to our public Dropbox folder with…”.

Sandro: [00:07:53] Logos or….

Liz: [00:07:53] Yeah exactly. Yeah I think that would be fine. I mean, people know Dropbox. They trust it. Yeah. And I guess I say that because I studied journalism. I was in school at a time where I was still learning about traditional ways of getting a press release in the hands of a reporter. Like, well don’t attach a press release to an email because they might think it’s, you know a virus or something. Like, no one thinks that anymore. You know. If someone sees a link to Dropbox, they’re going to be probably pretty welcoming of it. Now, as you are compiling a list of things that might be helpful, you might also realize that a lot of this exists in other places on your website. And I think it’s okay to link to those places as well.


Intention Is to Help Journalists


Liz: [00:08:53] Remember, this is intended to be helpful for journalists to find information really quickly. So you might have your media room, your media page kind of summarize things and you know, ‘click here to view all of our annual reports’ or ‘click here to view more.’ I think that would be totally acceptable. I’m certainly not recommending that we reinvent the wheel here and rebuild everything. That would also from a duplicate content perspective not be smart. So yeah, I’m okay with linking to other places within your website. You know, just do it mindfully you know and just make sure that the quick hitting information is readily available and link to more information or Dropbox as needed.

Sandro: [00:09:21] This is great stuff Liz, things I would not even think about. But you’re right. It’s easily accessible information and things I wish this week that the small cities here in Northeast Ohio had thought of or had. Thanks so much. Thank you for listening. If you have any questions, if you have any ideas or examples of ways that you implemented a media room or a Dropbox media room, let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Give you a shout out and a link back to your site. You’ll find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We’ll leave our email address in the show notes. Thanks again for joining us. See you next time.