Even with a great story, you may not get the call from your local TV station or Forbes because your website, while optimized for your customer leaves the media cold. Back in the day, PR pros would spend days writing and preparing materials for a press kit which would include bios, background on the organization, key facts and even specific stories they could speak to. Press kits were then handed out at events or mailed out to press to support announcements.
The days of the press kit are (thankfully) long gone, and now your website is your press kit. When the media come knocking, you want them to know – in only a couple clicks – that you can deliver. They need to feel confident in your expertise and quickly understand what you can discuss.
If you are already doing media outreach, or gearing up to do so, you need to make sure your web site is ready for the big time.
Here are 5 fixes you can make to your site to help you land coveted media appearances…
1. Your About Page Should Have a Formal Bio
There are many schools of thought regarding about pages. Generally these are going to be written to address the needs of your prospects and customers. However, you want to consider that if the media is checking you out, your about page is likely one of their first stops. Ensure your about page is not full of jargon or geek-speak and try to avoid being overly clever. You want them to be able to know what you do at a glance.
Include a formal bio at the end of your about page which:
- Is concise. Two to three paragraphs maximum.
- Showcases who you are, what you do and why you are uniquely qualified to do it.
- Boast about your accomplishments – if you grew the bottom line 3,000% then say so.
- Share industry recognition or awards.
- Detail professional designations.
2. Create a Page to Showcase Your Media & Speaking Experience
Once you are established in your industry, you want to upgrade from your about page and make sure you have a media/speaking page. You may simply call it media or as featured on, but the key is that this information is included on your site. (If you have ample experience with media and speaking, you can even separate them into two pages.)
This page is a core building block for your PR efforts as you can use it as a link to showcase your experience and establish your specific areas of expertise.
On your expert page, include:
- Your professional bio.
- Photos of you.
- Videos of you (speaking sessions or media appearances are ideal).
- Details of past media coverage, guest posts and speaking gigs.
- How to best contact you.
Another inclusion for this page is your signature stories. These are your key 3 to 5 topics you can discuss with media or deliver at speaking engagements. They should have catchy titles and then include a few lines outlining the key points. These should be short but with enough content to tease media and show organizers.
3. Build Street Cred with Social Proof
Proof, proof and more proof, are the name of the game. You want people, when they come to your site to instantly feel that you are a legitimate expert.
You definitely want a handful of customer testimonials on your site, not only for your prospects, but for the media. Knowing that customers are happy and trust you goes a long way as social proof. If you are just getting started, seek out quotes from former co-workers, mentors or experts in your field that you have a relationship with.
People tend to appreciate it when you make giving a testimonial as easy for them as possible. So try to take a little of the work off of their plate.
If you’ve received a complimentary email from someone – ask if you can quote from it. Alternatively, you can try drafting up a few sentences, and asking your contact if they would agree to endorse you for it.
If you don’t have an email on hand, and aren’t comfortable providing text – then just make sure to be as specific as possible when you are asking for your testimonial. Say what it’s for, who might see it, what you need them to know and how long you need it to be.
4. Killer Blog Content with Media Principles in Mind
When it comes to media, the content on your site matters, especially your blog. If you are suggesting you write a guest post or article for a trade magazine, they are definitely going to check out your blog to gauge your writing style.
Media, when preparing a story and looking to use you as an expert, may use blog content as background information, so you need to start thinking more like a journalist and create content media will love:
- Write Great Headlines. Skip the titles, write headlines that pull readers in.
- Use Facts to Make Your Point. Opinions are all well and good, but facts matter. Use facts, surveys, quotes and infographics to back-up your assertions. (Just not all in one post.)
- Work with an Editor. Even the best writers need a good editor. Make sure you take the time to have a second set of eyes review your work.
5. Make it Dead Easy to Contact You
Sometimes the simplest things can turn out to be a deal breaker with media. If you want to work with the media, you need to make a point of being accessible. Don’t pitch a round of stories the day before you take off for two weeks for fun in the sun. The same thing goes with your contact information. Ensure they can easily find an email or phone number for you on your website. If you don’t quickly respond to email, have emails from media go to your assistant or someone who will be able to get back to them in a timely fashion.
Working with the media can do amazing things for your business from positioning you as an expert to bringing new customers in the door. The key is ensuring you have the right pieces in place so there’s absolutely no question that you are the right person for them to work with. Making small changes to your website now can reap big rewards when you get your big break with your dream media outlet.
Who’s your dream media outlet and what website fix are you going to make now so you are ready for their call? Share in the comments below.