You don’t win hide and seek with the media

If you have a press site on your website, and you should, then please put your press contacts on there. Common sense, right? Apparently not.

As a journalist the internet is my best friend. It’s the first thing I wake up to and the last thing I say goodnight to, it is attached to my phone, my tablet, my computer and my laptop and I use it religiously.

Tracking down press contacts should be easy for a journalist. If you are a business wanting editorial then you should make it easy because if you don’t then the journalist looking for you will just start looking for someone else. That’s a lost opportunity you didn’t even know you had.

Tourism companies may complain about the number of illegitimate requests they get for ‘free hotel beds’ or ‘free adventure activities’ or ‘free flights’ and that may be the reason they don’t put their contacts on the site – but that’s the job of the in house PR person, to vet the legitimate journalists from the free loaders. You won’t know either if we can’t find you.

There is nothing more frustrating than a game of internet maze. While perusing a hotel website recently I clicked on ‘press’ and was taken not to the individual press page for that hotel but to the main page for the hotel brand. From there I had to click another press page where there were no press contact details.

Right, so how do I know who to talk to? I clicked on a press release listed on this page only to find the press release had no contact details either. What are they trying to hide?

Another similar site had a generic contact “Director of Corporate Communications” with no name and a generic PR@xxx.com address.

There is nothing worse than a PR sending a journalist an email starting with “Dear Media Friend” or similar, the inference being they don’t know my name, don’t know who they are pitching to and don’t know my publication. Do they expect the same rudeness in return?

Dear mystery PR person at the generic office (no doubt read by the work experience minion employed to vet emails from media she doesn’t know or care about) can you please respond to my email.

Needless to say I went searching in another direction to another hotel where to my delight I found not just a press page but a list of appropriate contacts with name, email address and phone number for the global regions and for each hotel.

I don’t have to tell you who got the editorial.

Why make it hard for a journalist to find you? Yes, I may want something from you – a quote from your CEO on a media related topic, an image for a story or even a night in your hotel, all requests that help you. But if you make it too hard then you lose out.

So please, help us help you for a win win.

 

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One Comment

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  1. Well said. This really is an all-too-common problem. Another is being directed to a hotel website to download images for a magazine, only to go through an enrolment rigamarole then find that all the images are low-res.

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