Press officers, where are you?
by Nicole Gauger
As a press agency for IT-Companies, we sometimes receive requests from editorial offices to write articles for them. This calls for research, gathering of statements, and more. You would expect, of course, that the websites of companies offering relevant products and services would be a good source of information. But in practice, this is often not the case. The websites talk up their solutions’ professionalism, and how they can meet customers’ individual needs. They proclaim their products as the state of the art, having integrated new or upcoming technologies. And of course, each customer is individually supported by a project manager who is always available to answer questions and solve problems.
But this kind of information is not the least bit interesting to editors, journalists and bloggers, especially since these kinds of statements are basically interchangeable between sites. Rather, these groups visit websites to find recent press releases, download images and find the contact details of press officers in order to request a statement from them. Unfortunately, there are often multiple obstacles that frustrate these goals. For starters, there is the search for the press section. It might be hidden away under the heading “Resources”, “About” or “News”, the latter of which is sometimes a random mixture of customer news, internal memos and actual press releases.
Provided the writer in question does in fact find a press section, their frustration will only grow when they find out that the most recent press release came out in 2017. Meanwhile, company and product logos are the only images available for download. And the press officer’s contact details? Often enough, they are simply nowhere to be found. Instead, if anything is available at all, there may be a link to a general contact form or a request to send an email enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. These kinds of enquiries tend, obviously enough, to get lost in floods of spam and go forever unanswered.
Press officers, we beg you, help the editors of the world to do their jobs! They actively want to be a part of your reporting, to get involved with your subject matter.
Make your press area easy to find, and publish your latest press releases there. Include a large and varied image database: management portraits, screenshots, pack shots and more. Include your individual email address and telephone number. It’s not enough to put your press releases on interchangeable PR portals or to rely on your PR agency’s press section on their own website.
As a side note, our website does of course include newly published press releases from our customers. But we also manage the press sections on their own websites, provided we have the proper authorisation to do so.