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A recent survey of 32 journalists by nngroup revealed that they failed to find the information they were looking for on company websites 30% of the time. The top five reasons journalists visited a company website were:

  • To find a PR contact
  • To check basic company facts (spelling of an executive’s name, age, HQ location).
  • Discover the company’s own spin on events.
  • Check financial information.
  • Download images.

After having a difficult time on a site, one journalist said, “I would be reluctant to go back to the site. If I had a choice to write about something else, then I would write about something else.”

Another journalist described what he’d do when he could not find any of the facts he needed for his story: “Better not to write it than to get it wrong. I might avoid the subject altogether.”

It certainly encouraged me to put together a small press section on e3internet. Although we don’t make the press much in the UK/US, it has already come in handy for reporters over here in Russia. Last Friday we hosted the first ever Opera conference in Russia (pictures) and I could point them to the new page.

So remember, be kind to journalists and give them a special area on your site (or your client’s). As Nina Shariff writes, if you want reporters to use your site, start thinking like they already do!

Hat tip to Furlong PR and their newsletter for pointing me to this study

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Lead SEO, Group Optimisation at Vodafone. Founder at E3 Business Incubator, a consultancy group helping enterprises and start-ups. Digital strategist and veteran SEO/SEM. Views are my own and not representative of my employer (more).

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