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.

Advertising Your Advertising

Posted by Robert McFarland

Advertising is sales in print. To create good advertising, it’s important to think about the unique benefits your products or services offer, and then showcase them in a persuasive way by emphasizing results instead of features.

There are four major components to good advertising copy.

1. Command Attention

Command the attention of your prospect with your headline, an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products or services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits, or show how a problem can be avoided with your products or services. Remember: The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.

2. Showcase Benefits

Showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. Your prospects need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual, and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the prospect.

3. Cultivate Interest

Cultivate your prospects’ interest by showcasing compelling reasons for them to purchase your products or services. Establish credibility through past performance that you have a method to deliver what the advertisement is offering. Then create scarcity in your prospects’ minds so they feel like they have to act now.

4. Compel Action

Compel your potential customers to DO something: check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services, etc. You can offer a freebie, booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consultation, limited time price, and so on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and make them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.

Key Takeaway

Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. Think through each of these components, and then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness.

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