According to a new survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research, 70 percent of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting, compared to the 41 percent in last year’s “Survey of Media in the Wired World.” Obviously it goes without saying that the Internet and social media is changing the way reporters work. At DRS, we understand the importance of the Web and social networking to get our clients names out there. We recently launched an Online Marketing division and one of our most successful PR strategies is our New Media Releases, which are sent out via email.

However,  you may be surprised that the number one place reporters go to learn more about your company (aside from your PR firm) is your website! According to this survey, 69 percent of respondents go to company websites to assist in their reporting. (They go to blogs 66 percent of the time, Wikipedia 51 percent of the time, to Online videos 47 percent of the time, and use Twitter or other microblogging services 30 percent of time. Podcasts and instant messaging are used 25 percent of the time.) With this information in hand, it is not hard to deduce that your website counts, BIG TIME! Keeping it updated with the correct information and your new product offerings is actually extremely important for your PR opportunities. Most times, if journalists can’t find what they’re looking for on a website, they might not include that company in their story or they may publish incorrect information about your company. Journalists repeatedly say that poor website usability could reduce or completely eliminate their press coverage of a company. But let’s not blame them, they are on deadline and looking for fact-laden quality information quickly. Keeping your website clean and easy to navigate is essential. Just as essential as having a press page on your website where you can direct reporters to your PR firm where they can get the information and images they are looking for in a timely manner.

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