The Press and The Ways of the Present

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The new media have significantly changed conventional press and public relations work. With them, another channel was added to which communication managers in companies, institutions and agencies must pay special attention. The combination of push and pull media opened up a variety of ways to address journalists as a core target group and to enter into a continuous dialogue with them.

Huge Potential Ahead

To this day, however, a lot of potential remains untapped, and the needs of media representatives are only insufficiently taken into account. The criticism from journalists is varied: The press area can only be reached online after a lot of searching, the image material cannot be printed, the materials poorly prepared, the press releases outdated. The reactions to e-mail inquiries are too slow, unsolicited media mailings with megabyte-sized attachments end up in the e-mail inboxes. It’s a shame about these missed opportunities. Presently, for press release submission the options have changed.

In media work on the internet, there are rules and challenges that must be observed for successful communication with journalists. This is all the more true as the importance of online media in editorial work will continue to increase. But how should a professional press center be set up on the Internet? What information do journalists attach particular importance to when researching? How can the press officers be reached effectively? How do you use email, press mailing services and online monitoring for your own press work?

The Online Press Area: Opportunities on the Net

The media study from 2000 had already made it clear that the websites of companies for search engines and online publications of the media are the most important websites for journalists. Since then, their importance has increased further. This is proven, for example, by a survey conducted by the PR agency in August 2006 among a hundred editors in the IT and industrial press. According to this, 95 percent consider the Internet to be the main tool in their research. Personal contact does not follow until 90 percent. At the same time, they are not very happy with the company’s online press areas. More than fifty of the hundred journalists surveyed are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the quality of the information presented. The internet pages hardly meet the requirements

A study by the PR agency adds that many companies have not yet done their homework when it comes to media-appropriate websites. An analysis of the websites of one hundred automotive suppliers in November 2006 revealed that only around forty percent of the websites examined have a press section at all. Only a handful of companies could speak of a professional media center. The rest showed some serious weaknesses such as a confusing structure, missing contact persons, bad press releases and non-printable photos.

Basics for the Online Press Area

Anyone interested in communicating with the media must clearly communicate this via a professional online press area as a PR platform. This is the prerequisite for media representatives to be able to find out more about the company in an uncomplicated way, regardless of time and place, for a contribution or a conversation. For this purpose, this area must be designed in such a way that every journalist can easily find their way around and find the desired content immediately prepared for the media. Nevertheless, surprisingly few companies still take advantage of this opportunity. Usually there is already a problem with the conceptual basis of this link between journalists and PR managers.

A clear structure is essential for press and public relations work. Already on the homepage of the website and thus on the first level there is a clearly recognizable link “Press” or “Media”, which shows the direct route to the press area. No journalist has to laboriously search for him via the sitemap, if available. The press area also has its own address, and sub-items such as press information, press contact, press reviews, press photos and services make navigation easier. All documents are available in media-appropriate formats. The contact person is immediately visible and can be contacted.