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News Flash: An Online Press Kit is Vital
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By Domenick Cilea

Public relations plays a pivotal role in your organization's marketing efforts, and the Internet is key tool. It is a highly flexible and cost-effective way to communicate your company’s value proposition and inform current customers, members of the media, analysts and prospects of the availability of a new product, service and other important events. The creation and distribution of press releases is a key component of the PR process.

Press releases offer a chronological snapshot of your company’s milestones. Among the many landing pages within a Web site, the news section is one of the most visited areas – by customers and prospects as well as reporters. Maintaining an online press kit section is a valuable interactive communications vehicle to highlight company news, product and service developments and other milestones and achievements, such as customer wins.

To convey a fresh perspective on your company, it is imperative to consistently update your Web site with the latest press releases and media coverage. It is equally important to post product information such as technical specs, screenshot or photos, company logos and biographical information about company executives.

The Internet has evolved into the preferred medium for accessing information electronically, especially by the press. Reporters are very busy and typically on deadline. An organized and updated news section can serve as an ideal resource for reporters. If information can be accessed quickly and easily, the chances are higher that the company will receive media coverage.

The advent of audio and video streaming and other Internet technologies has made it easier to enhance a company’s site, including the news section. This has the side benefit of reducing printing and shipping costs associated with paper press kits.

It is important to have a dedicated media contact or spokesperson named on the site so reporters can easily phone or email a live person for information. Believe it or not, lacking a media contact on a website can be the difference between a reporter using your company or a competitor for an article. If the reporter contacts your spokesperson, make sure he or she responds quickly.

Taking the online news section up a notch, you should offer media the capability to sign up and receive automatic email updates. This establishes a direct relationship with reporters and keeps them constantly “in the know” on your company events or products.

Maintaining an online press kit ensures that you are providing fresh information to the media, customers and prospects. In doing so your company news and other relevant materials are easily accessible and can significantly improve the company’s press opportunities. This adds muscle to your sales and marketing initiatives.

Domenick Cilea is the president and founder of Springboard Public Relations.
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