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Genuine Concern Earns Free Publicity

Posted by Robert McFarland

The best way to reach your target market through the media is to have a genuine concern for your customers. If you really care for your customers, it will show through in your press releases.

I’m not talking about the kind of press release that is self-serving and draws attention to your company or your products and services. That’s not news to your target market. The media—and your customers—will smell a fake.

However, the media and your target market will recognize a newsworthy story as one that has their best interests in mind, where the hero of the story is not your company, but your customers.

Here are the steps to get noticed by the media:

1. Identify the angle for your story.

For the media to take interest in your story, it has to have a newsworthy angle. Think through reasons why your story would be of interest to the media and to your target market. Does your story help your customers save or make money? Does your story relate a benefit to society as a whole? Does your story champion a cause of interest to your target market? Does the story reveal new information or research of interest to your customers? Does your story tie into a larger trend from a local perspective?

2. Identify the hook(s) for your story.

Think through how you could say the main idea(s) of your story in ways that would be most interesting to your target market. Write out several potential headlines for your story, and figure out which headline would pique the most interest at the media source where you send your story.

3. Write a press release for your story.

Include your catchy headline, and a similar sub-headline. As you write your first paragraph, include the basics of the story. What is happening? Who is involved? When will it happen? Where will it take place? Why is it happening? Make sure that the information you provide would be of interest to your current or prospective customers, and include quotes from people with official status in your company or from people who your target market recognizes as an authority figure.

4. Write with your audience in mind.

While you are writing your press release with a specific agenda, make sure that what you send out is written so objectively that a news outlet could include your press release without changing a word.

5. Format your press release professionally.

Press releases should include a dateline, facts, figures, and—most importantly—contact information, as the media need to know who to contact and how to reach them. Finally, print the press release on your letterhead so that it looks official.

6. Distribute your press release.

Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forgot to send it to relevant blogs, and press release submission sites geared to industry professionals. Today online media is just as important—if not more important—as conventional media: bloggers can connect better with their audiences because they are more customized to the interests of their audience.

Key Takeaway

Addressing the needs of your target market in the products or services you offer can actually become newsworthy information. If you provide people with a solution to their problems, a way to avoid problems, or an opportunity to enhance their lives, the media and your customers will be interested in what you have to say.

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Our GUIDED TOUR can show you how to put together press releases that work! Check out how the pros do it and craft the perfect press releases for your business.


Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Posted by Robert McFarland

In this article, I’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. Because your networking self-promotion should be shameless.

Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion I’m talking about, with the dignity, class, and knowledge to back it up.

Natural self-promoters use three major strategies to build themselves and their businesses.

1. Positioning

You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself, “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider, “Who can help me meet my goals?” Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. If you reach outside your comfort zone, you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

2. Style

How are you different from your competitors and others in your industry? What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people in your networking and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

3. Repetition

Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once? Of course not. Similarly, successful self-promoters say their message as many times as they need to until they get a response. You likewise have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness.

Key Takeaway

Repetition works in concert with positioning and style. Once you develop your positioning and style to find the right people to network with, you can find hundreds more who can help add to your success.