Creating a Publicity-Friendly Retail Website
This post is contributed by Margie Zable Fisher, president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, which specializes in e-commerce and product P.R. and publicity. Her company offers free publicity opportunities and tips here.
Throughout my years in business, I have worked with many online and offline retailers. Their primary goal in receiving editorial coverage was to drive traffic to their sites, and get sales. Once I spent time on their websites, however, I often realized that changes needed to be made, so that their sites would be more “publicity friendly.” Here are three of the most common changes I suggested:
1. Make sure the home page is uncluttered and professional-looking. Pitches to the media must include a website address where products can be purchased. If the media is interested in your pitch, they will almost always take a look at your website. They want to see if the home page looks clean and professional, has no spelling or grammar errors, and if it looks polished enough to send readers and viewers to. Fact: More than one member of the media has told me that a website being pitched is not professional enough to be considered.
2. Use professional-quality, colorful photographs. If a member of the media doesn’t have your product in his or her hand to look at, you need to make sure that the product photo on your website is terrific. Colorful photographs are more attractive to the media, as they prefer to include colorful items in a feature. High-quality photos also add to the professionalism of your website. Many editorial coverage decisions are made on a first impression, which is generally a photo of your product on your website. Bottom line: spend the money to get professional photos taken.
3. Temporarily take down mentions of major national media coverage. If there’s one thing the media hates, it’s covering something that’s already gotten major coverage somewhere else. So while it’s important to your sales efforts to mention major publicity coverage, during an active publicity campaign, take down your Press Page and press coverage announcements on your website. Yes, the media may conduct a search and find that your product has already gotten coverage, but since the first place a media person looks at is your website, why turn him or her off right away?
These tips will lead to a more successful publicity campaign. Here’s to great publicity placements and sales!