I've often written about the online media room as a terrific form of marketing to reach your buyers directly. The online media room (sometimes called a press room or press page) is the part of your organization's Web site that you create specifically for the media. However, smart organizations understand that all kinds of people visit your online media room, not just journalists, and specifically create media rooms as a marketing tool to reach buyers directly.
When news releases are posted in the online media room on your site, search engine crawlers will find the content, index it, and rank it based on words, phrases, and other factors. Because news release pages update more often than any other part of a typical organization's Web site, search engine algorithms (tuned to pay attention to pages that update frequently) tend to rank news release pages among the highest on your site, driving traffic there first.
As part of my upcoming book The New Rules of Marketing & PR, I interviewed Dee Rambeau, an expert in online media rooms. Rambeau works with PR Newswire on MediaRoom, an outsourced online media room used by professional communicators in companies and non-profit organizations.
"There’s no question that a well organized media room often has higher search results and drives more traffic because of the way the search engines work," says Rambeau. "A news release dynamically builds out a new set of content in your online media room, with each news release generating its own indexable page, which the search engines all capture. Google and the other search engines love fresh content that relates back to similar content on the other pages of the site. Aggressive companies take advantage of this by sending news releases frequently to get high rankings from the search engines. Frequency has a great deal to do with search engine rankings—if you do ten news releases, that's great, twenty is better, and one hundred is better still."
Great advice, Dee. Too bad that so many organizations still think of news releases as only for journalists.