Sunday, January 7, 2007

How to Obtain Free or Cheap Advertising - Part 1

Press releases are an important tool for gaining free publicity from the media. They are a brief one page description which explains to the media why you or your business warrants media exposure immediately. Some reasons for creating a press release include
  • New products being added to you company line
  • New services being offered
  • The debut of your website
  • New management or representatives joining the company
  • A new partnership or affiliated business arrangement has been formed
  • The company is sponsoring a seminar or convention

There are certain pieces of key information that your press release should contain:

  • Contact information including Company Name, Representative Name, Address, Phone Number and email or website address.
  • An eye catching headline
  • The first paragraph should contain the basic facts regarding the topic in your headline. Be sure to answer the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why.
  • It is generally a good idea to have an important quote for paragraph 2.
  • Elaborate on the basic facts in paragraph 3.
  • End with the important details in paragraph 4 (prices, dates, addresses, anything you really want the reader to remember.) Most readers best remember the very last thing they read.

Finally, please be honest with yourself. If you are a poor writer, have someone else write the release for you. There is nothing worse than bad PR and a poorly written article will have your readers thinking your company is run as poorly as the article is written. A good place to find writers looking for some freelance work is your local writers group. Many times these will be sponsored or held at your local library. Another place to look for writers who many not ask for a lot of money is your local high school or college newspaper. But please speak to the teacher involved with the organization first. They can tell you who has the most talent and responsible demeanor.

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