From Dick Selwood of EE Journal:

“A few weeks or so ago I  was working on a round-up article for EE Journal and wanted product information from a major company. On their web site were some undated press releases, but no contact information. Using Google, I managed to find their PR company, emailed its MD and then everything went smoothly.

A very major player in the semiconductor industry has no press contact details at all on their website, only a contact form. I completed the form, and thirty seconds later had an email bounce to tell me that the address [email protected] does not exist. I presume that personal_name was the person to whom the contact form was meant to go, and who has left the company: I still have no way to get in touch with them.

Now I know that the last thing companies want is for journalists to actually use your press releases. After all they are only there for the financial analysts, aren’t they? But just for a few minutes, can you pretend that you do want to be helpful? When you put your releases on the web site, I am not interested in a an elegant pdf with your letterhead, logo etc, I just want the information. If I download a release for future use, it would be really very convenient if it had a date on it – I download it because I don’t want to go back to the website and look in the press room and then find the right month in the archive to see the date on the index. And I do want a contact name – either in-house or from a knowledgeable technical PR agency. Please?

The companies that make life easier, and so are more likely to be cited, have on-line press rooms, either on their main site or on their PR agency’s site. The press room has a set of contact names, including people outside the US, who can respond to my email. There are also the product launch press packs, with the backgrounders and presentations, and releases with dates and contacts and links to white papers and product brochures. Such press rooms do exist. Does your  company have one of them?

Perhaps we hacks should run an awards ceremony for the best on-line press rooms?”

Dick Selwood went grey working in PR for nearly thirty years. He switched to the editorial side eight years ago, and amongst other roles, is Europe Editor for Techfocus Media, writing on FPGAs, IC Design and Verification and Embedded Technology. He is happy to receive press releases at [email protected].