AOH :: HOWTO233.TXT|
The inside secrets of free publicity for your business
THE INSIDE SECRETS OF FREE PUBLICITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Product publicity is the "secret pathway" to business success
everyone wants. In simple terms, product publicity is a kind of
advertising that costs you nothing, yet brings in the orders for
Regardless of what kind of business you are operating, you should
want, and strive for, as much publicity for your business and your
products or services, as possible. After all, it's "free
advertising" that is essential to the growth of your business.
However, your publicity efforts should be well thought out, and
pre-planned for maximum results.
The first, and basic form of obtaining publicity is through what is
known as the press or news release. This is generally a one page
story about your business, your product/service or an event
happening related to your business that is about to, or has recently
occurred. These publicity stories are generally "shotgunned" to all
the various media: local newspapers, radio and TV, and trade
Problem number one is getting the people to whom you've sent these
publicity stories, to use them, publish or broadcast them. And this
leads us back to the "right way" of writing them and sending them
In every case, send a short cover letter addressed to the person you
want your material to be considered by... This means that you send
your story to the city editor of the newspapers' the news directors
of the radio & TV stations: and the managing editors of the various
trade publications. It will do you no good whatsoever, to send your
material to the advertising, circulation or business managers -
describing how you're a longtime advertiser, subscriber or listener.
The most important thing is that you make contact with the person
who has the final say as to what is to be published or; broadcast,
and at the bottom line - this person's use of - your material will
somehow make him a "hero" to his or her readers, viewers or
The cover letter should be a short note. Go to a paper supplier -
tell them you want a hundred or so sheets of good bond paper - 8
1/2" by 11" preferably in a pastel color such as blue or ivory -
and that you want this paper cut into quarters, giving you a grand
total of 400 sheets of note paper "From the desk of..." note sheets
are too elaborate until the people you're contacting get to know you
- first time around, and until they use your material, don't use
these semi-formal note sheets...
On this note sheet, begin with the date across the top - skip a
couple of spaces and then quickly tell the recipient of the note,
the attached material is new and should be of real interest to his
readers, viewers or listeners. If, for example, you had a booklet
called MONEY MAKING MAGIC - a publication for serious wealth
builders and extra income seekers - you might send the following
note to the editors and news directors of the media in your area:
"Here's something that's new, and for a change, truly helpful, to
people trying to cope with inflation - the soaring costs of living -
and those engaged in building extra income businesses of their own.
Should be of real value - interest - to your readers. Please take a
look - any questions, or if you need more info, give me a call at:
(555) 123-4567..." Then, of course, you skip about four spaces,
type your name, your business name, and your address - sign your
name above where you've typed it, and staple this note in the upper
right hand corner of your news release. This note should be typed
So now, you've got a cover letter, and you know who to send it to...
We type up one such note, and take it to a nearby quick-print shop.
They xerox the note 4 times, paste these 4 copies onto one sheet of
paper, print 50 to 100 copies, and cut the paper into individual
notes, all for less than $10... Do not try to save money by
photocopying or xeroxing - a photocopy is a photocopy is a
photocopy, and will not do the job for you...
Now you need the actual publicity release, which also must be
"properly" written if you expect it to be used by the media. Above
all else, there's a proper form or style to use, plus the fact that
it must be typed, double-spaced, and short - about a half page in
About an inch from the top of the paper, with an inch and a half
margin on each side of the paper; from the left hand margin, type in
all capital letters: PRESS RELEASE: Then, underline these words.
Immediately following the colon, but not in all capital letters, put
in the date. Always set the date forward by at least one day after
the day you intend to mail the release.
On the same line, but on the right hand side of the page, and in all
capital letters, write the words, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Underline
this, and immediately below, but not in all capital letters, type -
your name - your phone number - and your address...
Skip a couple of spaces, then in all capital letters - centered
between the margins - type a story headline, and underline it...
Skip a couple of spaces, and from the left hand margin, all in
capital letters, type the words, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: From there
on, it's the news or publicity story itself.
You can write the headline before the, story, and then a story to
fit the headline - or the story before the headline, and then a
headline to fit the story - either way, it's basically the same as
writing a space ad or a sales letter... You attract attention and
interest with the headline and fill in the details with your story.
Here's an example of the headlines that could be used on publicity
blurbs for MONEY MAKING MAGIC:
HELP IN MAKING ENDS MEET
NEW PUBLICATION FOR EXTRA INCOME SEEKERS
Notice how we continue to sell or involve the editor - His readers
are always looking for better ways to make ends meet, and he's
specifically interested as to what our promise involves... He wants
his readers to "think well" of him for enlightening them with this
source of help, so he reads into the story to find out who, what and
Suffice it to say that your headline, and the story you present to
the editor, must sell him on the benefits of your product or service
to his readers. Unless it specifically does this, he'll not use it.
You must sell the first person receiving your materials. Keep this
fact uppermost in your mind as you write it. The person you send
your press or publicity release to, must quickly see and understand
how your product or service will benefit his readers - thereby
making him a hero to them - and he must be assured it will do what
you promise in your headline.
Come right to the point and say your product is lower in price, more
convenient to use or in what way your product or service is useful
to the people in general. It's also a good idea to include a
complimentary sample of your product or an opportunity for him to
sample your services.
Remember, the editors receiving your information are fully aware of
your purposes - Free Advertising! They are not in the least
interested in you or your credentials - If you've sold them on the
benefits of your business to the readers, and they want background
details, they'll call you. That's why you list your telephone
number and address...
These people are busy people. They don't have the time nor the
interest in reading about your trials and tribulations or plans for
the future. They want only "a flag" that alerts them to something
new and of probable real interest to their readers.
Sell the editor first. Convince him that you've found the better
mousetrap. Show him that your product or service - that your
business - fills a need and/or will interest a large segment of his
readers, his viewers or listeners.
When an editor uses your publicity release, always follow-up with a
short thank you note. Never, but never send a publicity release to
an editor and then call or write demanding to know why he didn't use
it, use it as you wrote it, or only gave you a quick mention. Do
this once, and that particular media will "round-file" any further
material received from you, unopened! If your first effort is not
used, then you should review the story itself, perhaps write it from
a different angle ; make sure you're sending it to the proper person
- and try again!
As stated earlier, these people are busy, with hundreds of publicity
releases passing across their desks every day - They only have so
much space or time - therefore, your material has to stand out and
in some way, fit in with the information they - the editors- want to
pass along to their readers, viewers or listeners. Regardless of
your business, product, or service, you must build your press
release - write it - around that particular angle or feature that
makes it beneficial or interesting to the readers, viewers or
listeners of the media you want to run your press release. Without
this special ingredient, you're lost before you begin.
The timing of your press release is always important. Try to
associate your press release with current events in the news. A
story on job layoffs and increased unemployment carried in the
newspapers, on TV and radio would prompt us to get a publicity
release out to all the media on the help and opportunity offered by
MONEY MAKING MAGIC! Say there's a deluge of chain letters and
pyramid schemes making the rounds - the media picks up on it and
attempts to warn the people to beware... Within 5 days, we would
get a publicity release out, explaining the availability of our
report on chain letters and pyramid schemes - a report that explains
everything from A to Z - who are the winners and who are the real
There's another kind of timing also to keep in mind... Publication
Deadlines... For best results, always try to time it so your
material reaches the editor in time for the Sunday paper. This is
because that's when the papers have their greatest circulation; the
most space is available, and the people, the most time to read the
For articles you'd like to appear in the Sunday paper, you'll
generally have to get your releases in at least nine days prior to
the date of publication. If you're in doubt, call and ask about the
Choose the media most likely to carry your press release. Select
those that carry similar write-ups on a regular basis.
Always use a cover letter of some kind. It pays to call ahead to
find out the name of the person you should be sending your press
Use the proper press release form, complete with a headline that
will interest the man deciding whether or not to use your item.
Be sure your press release is letter perfect - no typo's nor
misspelled words - and don't photo-copy - always have each letter or
press release individually typed or printed.
When your item is used, send a thank you note and/or call the
editor on the phone and thank him for using your press release.
Never, but never call or write an editor demanding to know why he
didn't use your press release, why he had it rewritten or cut it
short - just try, and try again!
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