Web sites have many different uses today. One potential use — and one that is mistakenly ignored or downplayed by many companies — is the online press room, or press center. This is the part of the Web site that is specifically targeted to media. Although usually open to everyone, its purpose is to provide the media with accurate, up-to-date information on the company. If your company has an active media relations program at any level, make sure your Web site supports this effort. Some points to keep in mind:

  • Post your news releases the same day of release, whenever possible. Keep the older releases easily retrievable in archives.

  • Post a list of articles written about your company, with links or full texts if approval has been given.

  • Enable the media to download your complete media kit from your Web site, ideally through a PDF file.

  • Post your most recent annual report in the press room (this also would go on the Investor Relations page). Again, a PDF file is best.

  • Create a photo library for editors. These can be low-resolution for viewing purposes only. Increasingly, editors are asking for JPEGS which they can download when high-resolution is required but some still request prints or slides once they identify the shots they need.

  • Post a corporate fact sheet that provides a view of the company "at a glance" for reporters in a hurry.

  • Always include PR contacts, both inside the company and at the PR agency. Include phone and email.

  • If corporate strategy has shifted since you originally developed your Web site, don’t postpone making changes to the site. Your Web site — particularly the part dedicated to the media — should reflect the most up-to-date snapshot of your company and should coincide with all printed materials.

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