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The Inside Secrets of Free Publicity
For Your Business

Product publicity is the highroad to business success everyone wants. In simple terms, product publicity is advertising that costs you nothing, yet substantially increases the number of orders you receive. Regardless of what type of business you operate, you should look for as much publicity for your business, products, or services as possible. After all, it's advertising that is essential to the growth of your business. And no advertising is a better buy than that which comes absolutely free! However, your publicity efforts should be well-planned for maximum results.

The best form of publicity is press or news releases. Generally, a press release is a one page story about your business, product, service, or a related event that has recently occurred or is soon to happen in your business or industry. These publicity stories are
sent out to all the various media: local newspapers, radio, television, and trade publications.

The greatest challenge is getting the people to whom you've sent these publicity stories to actually publish or broadcast them. This leads us to the correct method of writing press releases and sending them out to the media.

In every case, send a short cover letter addressed to the person by whom you want your material to be considered. Send your story directly and personally to the city editor of the newspapers, the news directors of the radio and television 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 of these media, describing how you're a long-time 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. Find out their name and a little about them. Design your release to appeal to the director's personal needs - how his use of your material will somehow make him a "hero" to his readers, viewers, listeners, and especially, his
boss.

The cover letter should be a short note. Go to a paper supplier, and tell them you want a hundred or so sheets of a good quality bond paper, preferably in a pastel color such as blue or ivory. Notes printed with a title such as "From the desk of..." are too personal
until the people you're contacting get to know you. For your first time around, and until they use your material, don't use these informal note sheets.

Cut one sheet into four quarters. On one sheet (and only with a high quality typewriter or letter-quality computer printer) place the date on the first line (you may first include a bold headline if you wish). Skip a couple of spaces and then begin writing, telling the recipient of the note that the attached material is new and should be of real interest to his audience. Your note should look something like the example below:

For Immediate Release
DATE -
Here's something that's new - and for a change - truly helpful to people trying to cope with ravaging inflation, and those engaged in building extra income in a home business of their own. This should be of real value and interest to your readers. Please take a look. Any questions, or if you need more info, give me a call at: (555) 111-2222.

Your Name
Business Name
Address

[related book]

Now that you have the copy for your cover letter and you know to whom it should be sent, photocopy three additional copies, and paste these four copies onto a single sheet of paper. At your local print shop have fifty to one hundred copies printed up one your good quality paper. Have the paper cut into quarters, giving you a grand total of 400 sheets of note paper. Now, all the notes to accompany your press release are ready. Staple this note in the upper right hand corner of your release. This note should be typed and double-spaced, never handwritten.

You next need to develop the actual publicity release, which also must be properly written if you expect it to be used by the media. Attention must be given to the content of the press release, as well as the impression the release will make on the reader. Proper style should be used, carefully laying out the one-half to one page statement in a manner that will assure its being read by the recipient.

About an inch from the top of the paper, with an inch and a half margin on each side, type in all capital letters: PRESS RELEASE. You may either underline, boldface, or italicize these words. On the right hand side of the page and in all capital letters write
the words FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. Highlight this phrase, and immediately
below set your name, telephone number, and address.

Skip a couple of spaces and place the date. Always set the date forward by at least one day from the day you intend to mail the release. Then in all capital letters and centered between the margins, type a story headline and highlight it. Skip a couple of spaces, and in the left hand margin, 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.

Look at the example below. Notice how the story continues to develop from the beginning, always adding a new piece of information. If the release is sent to the editor of your local newspaper, how will it affect him? The editor of the local newspaper knows that his audience is always looking for better ways to make ends meet, and he's specifically interested in what your 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 how.

For Immediate
Release
PRESS RELEASE:

Date.

NEW CREDIT RULING MAKES YOU DEBT FREE!

Direct from Washington D.C. comes news that many Americans have waited a long time to hear: "Your debts have been totally cleared from the records."

A new and little-known legal ruling can help you become debt free - almost overnight! This well-kept secret has been hidden from the public in an attempt by powerful members of the Senate Select Committee on Finance to keep the wealth in their corner - but no longer. A new book from Bismark Publications entitled, "Bye-Bye Debt" is turning America on to the good news of financial freedom.

This priceless publication is now available to the general public - for a limited time and in limited quantities. Bismark Publications has opened a toll-free hotline to take orders for this fantastic guide to freeing Americans from their debts.

For only $24.95 this new book can set all American citizens on the road to freedom. That number, available beginning today is 1-800-NO-DEBTS...

Suffice 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 your release. 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. 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 general public. It's also a good idea to include a complimentary sample of your product or an opportunity for him to
sample your services.

Sell the editor first. Convince him that you've invented the proverbial better mousetrap. Show him that your product, service, or business fills a need or will interest a large segment of his audience. 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 can sell them on the benefits of your business to their readers, and make them hungry for additional background details, they'll contact you. That's why you list your telephone number and address. These people are extremely busy, with little time to pour over your release. They do not have the time nor the interest in reading about your trials, tribulations, or plans for the future. They want only a flag that alerts them to something new and of probable interest to their readers.

When an editor uses your publicity release, always follow-up with a short thank you note. 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 throw away any further material received from you - unopened! If your first effort is not used, then review the story itself. Perhaps write it from a different angle. Make sure you're sending it to the proper person - and try again!

Your material has to stand out and in some way, and fit in with the information that editors want to pass along to their readers, viewers, or listeners. Regardless of your business, product, or service, you must build your press release around that particular angle or feature that makes it beneficial or interesting to the audience 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 lay-offs and increased unemployment carried in the newspapers, on television and radio might prompt you to get a publicity release out to all the media on the help and opportunity offered by a new
book on money-making opportunities at home. If there's a deluge of chain letters and pyramid schemes making the rounds and the media picks up on it and attempts to warn the people to beware - within five days get a publicity release out explaining the availability of your report on chain letters and pyramid schemes - a report that explains everything from A to Z. Who wins and who really loses.


There's another type of timing 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 edition of the newspaper. This is the issue with the greatest circulation. More space is available
in the Sunday paper, and more people have the time to read the entire newspaper. 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 deadline date.

Always choose the medium most likely to carry your press release. Select one or a few that carry similar write-ups on a regular basis. Always use a cover letter of some sort. It also pays to call ahead to find out the name of the person to whom you should be sending your press release. Use the proper press release form, complete with a headline that will interest the person deciding whether or not to use your item. Be sure your press release is letter perfect - no typographic mistakes or misspelled words. And don't photocopy, always have each letter or press release individually typed or printed. When your item is used, send a thank you note or call the editor on the phone and thank him for using your press release. Never, call or write demanding to know why your press release was not run. Just try, try, try - and try again! Good Luck.

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