Whether you’re a service based company, a personal brand or selling a product, PR is likely to be a part of your business plan. You’ve probably got someone on staff or on call who can whip out a press release for you, and when they do you want that information to be published as widely as possible.

But can your website hurt or help you when it comes to getting your big news published? Simply put, yes.

A senior editor at a US-based business to business magazine gave us the breakdown one day:

“We get a ton of press releases daily, and we read every one, but you can bet if I don’t know the company, one of the first things I’m doing is going to their website. The better their layout, copywriting, content, social are…the more likely they are to make the cut.”

It sounds judgmental—and it is, which is why the editor declined to be named—but it’s also the reality in a world where search engine rankings are tied to every inbound and outbound link on a publication’s website. Remember, newspapers and magazines are getting savvy to the online game and those stats represent dollar figures for their advertisers.

Plus, according to our source, “there’s a ton of pressure to build and link to sites that are mobile friendly. TV stations are pushing a two-screen experience and print media are trying to grab web traffic anytime you sit down.”

So what are some things you can do to own a PR-friendly website?

  • One of the biggest assets in your corner could be responsive design. That simply means your site is a shape-shifter—it’s coded from the bottom up to scale and rescale to whichever size display it’s being viewed on. Editors aren’t always checking you out on a desktop. Fortunately, we know a firm who specialises in responsive (ahem).
  • Another key? A clean presentation. The quicker someone can understand who you are and what you do, the better. A clean presentation doesn’t just help your consumers, it helps time crunched media professionals as well.
  • Be personable. “Editors are just people too. If I haven’t heard from you before, take two seconds to introduce yourself in an email or on Twitter so I can get a feel for what you’re about,” says our source, “even if I can’t get back right away, I will appreciate the gesture.”

At the end of the day, a world-class website won’t make up for a bad release. You should still be sending out concise, well-written materials with quality imagery. But having a clean, responsive and search engine friendly website could put the cherry on top for the next truly juicy press release your company send outs.

That could get you published. And that could add up to some tasty revenue for your brand.