Sony Europe : Pressing the self-service option
A well-developed and executed strategy provides a truly useful press officer service for news journalists.
The Welcome message on the home page of consumer electronics group Sony’s Europe website includes a specific referral to its Press Centre. Within the section two features are built into the content area of the page template: a press release search and the sign-up for ‘e-News alert’, an e-mail press release service.
Press releases are searchable by date and any or all of 12 subject/product categories. The same topics are presented as a menu at the second stage of the e-News Alert sign up, after an e-mail address has been entered in the universal sign-up panel. Journalists can again select their ‘categories of interest’.
Press release searches and e-mail news alerts are fairly standard features of organisation websites. Sony Europe’s deployment of them, though, reveals a well-developed and executed strategy for its web-based media service that is much rarer.
Essentially, Sony Europe is setting out its Press Centre to be a virtual press officer for basic news journalist enquiries. So, not only can reporters search current and archived press releases by date they are also offered a comprehensive menu of specialist categories. These in turn are mirrored in the category selection for the e-News Alert service. The accessibility of both features from all Press Centre pages, including those carrying the press releases themselves, is a further clear sign that the company is persistently pushing journalists toward using the site for self-service or as a first line of enquiry rather than making contact with a live press officer.
Other features such as the home page referral and a preference for giving e-mail addresses rather than telephone numbers in the contact details of individual press officers emphasise Sony Europe’s commitment to exploiting the resource-saving potential of the web.http://www.sony-europe.com
First published on 29 September, 2005