Here’s a secret: journalists often look for one of three links when they visit a website. Can you guess what they are?

The key thing for a writer is to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If they cannot find the answers online then they’ll need to quickly find some media contacts to call, or email.

As such, journalists typically scan the page for one of the following links…

The first link is 'About'. The About (or About Us) page should be a one-stop shop for links to company information. It can help writers flesh out articles, providing background details and some insight on what the company is all about. The About page should also contain contact emails and telephone numbers, or a links to these details.

The second link is 'Press'. This should contain more recent information on the company, news releases, media contacts and links to (positive) mentions of the company / brands / executives in the press. RSS feeds for company news are a great idea, as are video, images, and press kits. If a company is listed then a link to investor information should be prominent.

Writers tend to aim for Press rather than Contact Us for specific contacts and phone numbers / emails, rather than a generic customer service number.

Sometimes this page is labelled 'Media' or 'News', or some variation thereof.

The third link is 'Blog'. Keep in mind that blogging hasn’t been adopted by a large number of major brands, although it is now commonplace among web / tech companies, but journos will look for a company blog to get the inside track straight from the horse’s mouth (where horse = company blogger).

Blogs often contain links to author profiles, and sometimes these contain email addresses. This is especially handy if the authors are company executives as direct contact always beats going through the PR department.

Blogs also provide writers with behind-the-scenes insight, and – for the braver company bloggers – reader comments.

Which companies are excelling in this area?

We here at E-consultancy Towers are busy crafting a brand new website for your viewing pleasure, and one of the things I want to put right is our media centre. So, I’m looking for some pointers and suggestions on the companies that are doing good things in this area.

Probably the best example I have seen so far is Benetton's online press room, which is superb. It is very easy to use and it contains everything a writer might need, such as press releases, press kits, an events calendar, video and image galleries, RSS feeds, clippings, and a list of global press contacts. I reckon that just about covers it...

Can you suggest any other examples?

Chris Lake

Published 22 September, 2008 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (1)


Pauline Christie

At ://CORPORACT we have been developing press office software and creating bespoke online media centres for corporates for many years now. Pretty much any functionality can be created but, in most cases, an online media centre will live or die by its content. Often the content simply isn't there and never will be. The content manager (or PRO) may lack know-how or resource and great functionality can be so let down when your media centre becomes just another cluster of web pages that provide a list of press releases (that aren't SEO optimised and that everyone has already received), a couple of out-dated downloadable documents, and a place where sales people or job seekers can find a telephone number or email address. #

(# I am sure that this won't apply in your case, Chris)

Do consider who your audience really is for the information that will be published in your media centre too. Is it really a "press" office for journalists only? Will journalists find story ideas there?

We recommend clients view these online information repositories for a wide range of online consituents and other stakeholder groups. This usually focuses the mind on what you need to deliver in terms of information, functionality and features.

You may find a few useful points to add to this at:

Hope it helps and good luck with your upgrade.

almost 10 years ago

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