Corporate Eye

If you build it, they will come – Media (part 3)

I’ve already discussed the basics of a corporate media section, and then how to step it up a gear. So – how do you get to the wow factor?

Bear in mind that this section will attract not only the professional media worker, but also your potential customers and investors, so it is worth some investment. I have noticed that some companies like to verify that a visitor is a genuine media worker before allowing them access to some of the pages – and haven’t really understood the benefits of this. Please don’t require people to sign up to gain access to your media features …

A great media section

The best media sections are likely to hold more interactive content and functionality than the usual media sections, and are likely to contain all of the elements already discussed as well as some of the following:

  • Corporate comment on key topics affecting the business. Controversial topics are likely to be discussed in the wider media anyway, so put your view across … perhaps more importantly, have a view.
  • Press packs covering additional topics, such as key topics related to the company’s products, or events packs (such as results packs). Like the basic company pack discussed before, collating information around a topic for easy access and download is a very helpful service. Got a product launch coming up? Create a press pack about that too.
  • Information about the market – who are the main competitors? Who are your customers? What trends do you see in the market?
  • Details of the company’s CSR activities and other awards and successes. Although you probably have a separate CSR section, point out your successes here too.
  • 3rd party news or comment on the company. This can be a useful source of information about the company – and certainly a variety of perspectives. A company has to have a certain level of self-confidence in order to collate and display (uncensored) a set of third party views about itself.
  • Make it easy to ask a question or to request an interview. If you post answers to previously asked questions, this may well help others too, as well as displaying how transparent and accessible a company you are.
  • PDA/mobile access to news. People aren’t always at their desk – many like to receive information while on the move.
  • Graphics and multimedia library that includes archived advertisements (image and video), all your company logos in a variety of formats, webcasts, podcasts, speeches and transcripts.
  • Interesting or entertaining snippets of information about the company or the products. This can help enliven a story about your company, whether in the original location on the website, or extracted and used in a story about you.
  • Corporate events calendar that can be integrated with the visitor’s calendar system. This is great – make it easy for busy people to add the time and date of that key webcast to their diary immediately. If they’ve had to scribble it on a scrap of paper before finding their diary, it’s quite likely to get forgotten or lost …
  • Corporate events calendar that is linked to the relevant pages of the website. This is very easy to do – and makes such a difference!
  • Contact information by company division, location and name. Perhaps your visitor needs to speak to someone in a plant in France, rather than to a PR person in Atlanta? Make it easy for them.
  • Alert reminders timed for 30 minutes. This is another really great function. Many sites let you set up an alert for 1 day before the event, or 2 days, or … but why not set up the alert like an alarm clock? 30 minutes to go – finish up what you’re doing, make a coffee and open up the company website for that crucial webcast …
  • If its relevant, multi-language options. If you are a large, multi-national company, you probably do this anyway, but do make sure that the multi-lingual thing goes all the way through the site, including the press releases.
  • If there’s something ‘bad’ happening to the company – don’t hide it, explain it! Give your side of the story. And here’s a related recommendation: have a ‘dark’ section already set up with basic information to help in times of crisis management. Then, when the crisis hits, enhance the content to suit the problem, and make it available online. More on crisis management another time.

No site does all these … but the Benetton site comes pretty close. Have a look and see what you think …

Nifty, isn’t it? Did you notice the calendar reminder, the links to their mobile site and the image search-by-keyword?

Earlier posts in this series:
Basics of a corporate media section
How to step it up a gear

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