A website is one of the single most important tools for sales and marketing for any business owner. It serves as a way to communicate your brand story to ideal clients and present a case for how you can make their lives easier. However, it’s not just for attracting (and converting) clients — it can also be a highly powerful hub to share important assets with media contacts.
Picture this: You send out an email pitch to a new-to-you media outlet. You don’t hear back and, now, you’re left wondering why. Was it a bad idea? Did you present it wrong? In some cases, it might be that an editor clicked over to your website, found nothing of interest, and moved onto the next email. Editors and writers are notoriously busy; if you want to earn valuable press, you need to deliver your package on a silver platter.
In PR terms, that silver platter is your media page.
You see, PR never slows down — even when you’re busy with double-booked weekends and back-to-back client meetings. If you’re not the one chiming in with insight, it will be someone else (likely a competitor). While you may not be able to be attentive to your PR efforts on a 24/7 basis, you can be proactive by establishing a landing page for journalists.
This is especially vital for the event pros that are ranking high on the first page. Reporters are searching Google for sources that can help; if your website is showing up to them, you need to harness this opportunity by ensuring your website is resourceful and media-friendly. Like all of us, the media is overworked. They are always on a deadline, so it’s in your best interest to be ready at all times to provide them with what they need. Otherwise, they will move on to the next best source.
Here are the key elements you must implement to have a welcoming, media-friendly website.
Regularly updated information
Your website houses a lot of permanent information that you may not revisit often. Still, it’s smart for business owners to check up on their web copy to ensure everything is accurate and make necessary updates. For example, your bio—and those of your team—should always be timely with up-to-date photos. You don’t want an editor to land on your website and see a throwback headshot and a bio that speaks about a “recent” recognition in 2014.
Set a housekeeping appointment with yourself every quarter to scour your website for areas that need updating. If you won a new award, join an industry association, or were featured in some exciting press, add that into your profile. Up-to-date information will build trust with the media as they see you are active and involved in your outreach. Additionally, regular website updates are great for SEO, which helps to put you front-and-center with the media (and potential clients!).
A fleshed-out contact page
Let me start by stating that I’m a huge fan of contact forms. They help you to collect as much information as possible and fosters more productive conversations with prospects. However, they are not enough. A media contact isn’t going to stick around to fill out a contact form with questions about ideal wedding dates and expected guest counts. In addition to your client-facing contact form, you must have your phone number and email listed. Give journalists an easy way to reach you. If you’re inclined, you may consider having a dedicated email address for media like firstname.lastname@example.org to keep your PR inquiries separate and organized.
A press page
If you have at least three good press pickups, you need to have a press page. It’s that simple. The point of a press page is to build social proof. You’re establishing third-party credibility by demonstrating that you’ve been recognized as an expert. How you design your press page is up to your preference. You can include logos, screenshots, or photos; the important part is to make sure that each item you display links to the actual feature and opens in a new window. You don’t want to send visitors off-site, but you want to make it easy for them to scan your press.
Pro tip: Be very mindful of the press featured on the first row of your press page. The rest of the page can run chronologically, but people will click on those in the top row first, so they should be notable and timely. In terms of press, quality is more impressive than quantity.
In addition to the actual press, be sure to include a call-to-action with your email address to make it easy to reach out. Remember: Media folks are stressed and busy; saving them the extra click to your contact page can make a difference.
An “As Seen In” section
While a dedicated press page is invaluable, it also helps to include an attention-grabbing “As Seen In” section on your homepage with a few impressive media outlets. This is where you put in logos for Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Green Wedding Shoes — essentially, you want to highlight those excellent features that fill up the top line on your press page. Keep it within the last three to four years to remain relevant.
In addition to building credibility with clients, this also shows editors and journalists that you are media-savvy. It will set the expectations for your relationship, as they’ll know you’ve been through the motions already. It tells them that your business is established and you’re not just some new wedding pro with a fancy website — you’ve earned your stripes.
Setting yourself up for media success takes time and effort, but it will put you on the path to building a robust press portfolio. When your website is optimized for PR, you can feel more comfortable letting it run on auto-pilot a bit, as you’ll know that visitors to your website can find exactly what they need and connect with you when ready. These four elements will help you build trust, establish yourself as an authority, tell your story, and make it easy for the media to contact you. That’s all it takes to kickstart your media relations and begin earning the press your brand deserves.