For those of you expecting a December 31 issues, your wait will be endless, as we did not publish this week. But we will be back in full force on January 7 in full force. Your competitors will likely be spending next week shaking the languor out of their heads, so it’s to your benefit to pitch us news/story ideas. Happy holidays.
We released our Book of Lists on Monday. This year, we dropped the movie and 15 minutes of fame categories replaced then with agency Web sites we liked and didn’t like, and corporate blogs we liked and didn’t like.
We went through a lot of agency Web sites and, in our opinion, found most were average, some were very bad, and few were really good. This should be disheartening to the industry. Here are some of the most troubling elements that you might want to fix up, if your Web site is guilty of having (or not having) these.
In somewhat of a particular order.
1) RSS feed. PR agencies are in the message disseminating business. More than a few of your audience members prefer to get their information this way. It’s not difficult or expensive to set up.
2) Boring or poorly created homepage. If your homepage doesn’t resonate with your brand, it has failed. If it is not sharp-looking, with proper white space, clean aesthetics, and simple navigation, you are risking a terrible first impression.
3) Avatars. In the words of those irascible , DO NOT WANT. Web sites with one take forever to load, and the avatars are either annoying or engage in terrible attempts at humor.
4) Thought leadership. If your Web site just features static content, you are not giving anyone a reason to return to your site, you are not increasing your results in Google, and you are not positioning your agency as a thought leader.
5) Flash and PDF news releases. See above. Google does not read Flash and PDFs well, if at all. Make sure the site is all HTML with meta tags and optimization. Otherwise, your rankings will suffer.
If you have more examples of bad sites - or more rules to follow, please do so in the comments.
As you might suspect, we have a number of Op-Ed submissions every week. While we try to sort through them and publish in a timely basis, sometimes it takes a while for them to run.
We always accept Op-Eds that deal with an important communications message, but here’s a hint for quicker placement: try to tailor your Op-Ed to a specific feature or issue. The best way to figure this out is to look at our editorial calendar here. I would suggest pitching an Op-Ed up to three weeks in advance (making note of what issue you’re targeting) and submit it 10 days before the publication date.