Communications professionals typically have such a heavy workload that exploring media websites can seem like a waste of time. But occasionally examining the websites of media outlets can pay off; sifting through web pages can unearth tools and information that can help you in your PR efforts.
Below are a few of the things you can find:
- Business Directories – If the website is targeted toward a particular profession or industry, you can find potential business leads in these directories.
- Calendar of Events/Conferences – Some websites have forms so you can make their visitors aware of your special events.
- Contact Information/Forms for Press Releases – Email addresses or forms on the sites allow you to send your material straight to the appropriate journalists.
- Contests – Media-sponsored contests can be a promotional opportunity. E.g., the magazine Fast Company holds a “Fast 50” contest for the most innovative business leaders and their success stories.
- Editorial Calendars – These schedules will help you plan your media relations efforts in accordance with the publication’s needs.
- Email Newsletters Focusing on Case Histories or Specific Industry Areas – These newsletters can be an opportunity to get your information/information before readers.
- Guidelines for Letters to the Editor, Op-Eds, Personal Essays and Articles – Information on proper submission formats and editors’ preferences will help you increase your chances of being published.
- Information on Advertorials – Some online publications offer opportunities for you to place “paid editorials” on their pages.
- Lists of Current “Most Popular” Articles – It’s good to read past articles in a publication. It’s even better when a list of the articles that readers liked best is provided. You’ll have a great idea of what will work in the publication.
- Online Chat/Community Forums – Sharing knowledge on a particular subject can build your credibility and influence online. You may even be able to build a such strong enough relationship that you’ll get featured as a special guest.
- Readership Profiles – Profiles help you determine which publications will enable you to reach your target market.
- Reprint and Linking Information – If you need content for your own publications or Web site, find out what’s allowed, if there’s a cost involved, and who to contact.
- Special Reports on Specific Industries/Regions – These reports can be an opportunity for either learning more about your industry or possibly providing further input that the editors will appreciate.
- Staff Directories and Bios – Learning about journalists’ backgrounds can help you understand what is most likely to get their interest. Plus, the staff directory keeps you up to date on reporters and their beats.
Most sites won’t have everything listed here, but you’ll never know what you’ll find until you look. Happy digging!