Publishing and Managing Press Releases Online
A paper to assist media relations and communications professionals in using the Web to publish and manage press releases
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Cybernews: Post or Not to Post?
The Web can be a valuable addition to your company or organization’s public relations program. The Internet has become an important new media outlet, quickly equaling or overtaking some types of print media. Some reasons to consider posting your press releases on your Web site include:
- You control when and how your organization’s news is presented.
- The Web is a good place for creating an archive of past releases so that reporters or others can find information without having to ask your staff to locate and send them press releases.
- If press releases are added in a timely manner and regularly, they can serve as a source of dynamic Web site content.
Before you decide to post your press releases online, it is helpful to be aware that there are some drawbacks and considerations to address:
If you are ready to launch your press releases online, here’s is an outline to get your project on its way.
- Creating and maintaining online press releases requires some commitment of resources—a staff member’s time, planning, etc. It will not be a one-time event.
- Reporters or other visitors to your site will expect releases to be posted consistently and in a timely manner.
It may not be glamorous, but the planning stage can make or break a Web publishing project. Take a few moments and maybe gather staff members who will be involved in managing your online press releases to think through the following:
Where will you obtain your press releases?
This may seem obvious, but be sure that you have a source for your new site’s content. The most efficient solution is for the same department that writes news releases also publishes them to the web. With Estrada’s distributed model of web authorship, this is no problem since individuals can be easily granted access to a designated area of a web site, and very little technical background is needed to do web publishing using Estrada’s easy-to-learn interface.
If another department or several other departments will be providing press releases to you, it is a good idea to contact them all and let them know that you are planning to add them to the web site. You may even wish to designate individuals in other areas to help you create and maintain the site.
Where will you post the releases?
Decide where on the web site to publish press releases. This may actually be a two-part answer, since you may choose to post the releases in one part of the site, then copy or feed them so that they can be viewed elsewhere on the site. For example, let’s say that the Communications Department writes and will post the press release, but you also want to news items to appear on the home page of your site. In this case, you may wish to create a sub-site within the Communications web site and copy the press release sub-site brick to the home page. This way, when you add a new release in the Communications area, it will also appear on the home page. (Hint: you may also wish to contact your site’s template creator to discuss integrating the news releases into the home page’s graphic design.)
Timing is Everything