Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Help Make A Reporter's Life Easier!

The press release is a time-honored marketing strategy to capture free publicity for your business. Publishers of daily newspapers, ezines, and newsletters are especially in need of vast quantities of information to fill up space and provide "newsworthy" and interesting information for their patrons. Much of a reporter's time is spend just trying to find stories to tell that are compelling and will interest the readers.

And you've got a story to tell. Did your business donate money, time, products, or services to a worthy cause? Is your administrative assistant a part-time disc jockey from Hong Kong, who speaks nine languages, plays the tuba, and rescues animals in her neighborhood? Why is your service or product unique from all others? Find something, however small, that makes your business interesting and out of the ordinary.

Then get to the business of writing it.

1. Use an attention-grabbing headline.

2. In the first paragraph, answer: Who, What, When, Where, & Why.

3. Slant your press release to your audience--make it important and "newsworthy" to them.

4. Focus on the benefits your business offers.

5. Don't use big words, slang, "legalese" (which few people will understand), or overused phrases.

6. Quote statistics whenever possible.

It should be short - not more than 2-3 consise paragraphs. At the end, reiterate what makes your business unique, or this story unique. Remember that reporters are actively looking for things to write about. Make it easy for them to find and use your article!

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