Obviously, some of the larger newspapers had well-designed websites with easy to find contact information. However, I was surprised to find that many newspaper websites were difficult to navigate and I had to drill down a few levels to even find the staff information. After a few lengthy searches, I found myself searching Google to find some newsroom staff directories and contact information.
Here is an example of the Chicago Tribune’s website, one of the best websites with clear navigation and easy to find contact information.
The Chicago Tribune has one of the most well-designed newspaper websites and easy to find contact information. At the bottom of the home page, they have a simple “Connect with Us” statement. Brilliant. A clear message with one click to the full contact directory and newsroom staff listing.
After you click, there is a clear page with Chicago Tribune addresses, phone numbers and a newsroom staff list with titles.
Then when you click on the contact’s name, you see a full biography with a picture, contact information, social media links and email address and even recent tweets.
Another great website is Asbury Park Press. They have a link on their home page titled Newsroom Contacts. They also have a Contact Us page. That saves a step and gives communications professionals direct information to their entire staff.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution website has room for improvement. It has a link for Staff Contacts, but when you click it, it goes to its Customer Care page (there is also a link for Customer Care on the page). Once there, you have to scroll down the page to a link for the Newsroom Staff. It goes to a page that lists contacts, but has no titles. So you have to click on each name to get a profile and their beat list, then click another link for an email form to send an email to that journalist.
I couldn’t find a Contact link on the home page of The Sun-Sentinel. It has a lot of news information, but trying to locate the contact information is difficult. After searching the entire page, the Questions and Comments link at the bottom of the page offers some information.
Hide and Seek
While the majority of journalists prefer to be contacted via email, it can be a frustrating and time consuming task trying to locate an email address if it’s hidden layers deep on a website.
In this internet age, it is important for businesses and media websites to have easy to find contact information, including social networks, so people can contact the right people at any given time. How easy is your website to navigate?
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