GET FREE PUBLICITY EZINE
August 22, 2002
George McKenzie, Editor
See the bottom of this newsletter for
Here are the headlines (also known in the news biz as
*** Time flies when you're having fun, right? But if you're
a journalist on deadline, time also flies when you're NOT
having fun -- a fact anyone pitching a story can't afford to
ignore. See the Advanced Media Marketing Article below.
*** Beauty is only skin deep, they say. But a lot of
"beautiful" media kits get UNDER the skin of working
reporters, producers, and editors. See this edition's Quick
Media Marketing Tip.
*** Does your brain lock when someone starts talking tax
law? Do your eyes glaze over when you see stories about
401(k)s, 529s, 503(b)s, etc? See our "Press Release
Critique of the Week" for an example of how one company took
a dull and sometimes complicated subject and turned it into
a pretty good pitch for free publicity.
FREE MARKETING EBOOK - "Six Deadly Small Business Marketing
Mistakes (and How to Fix Them!)"
Quick Media Marketing Tip:
Packed-and-Pretty Media Kits = Money For Nuthin'
By George McKenzie
In the last edition of Get Free Publicity, I described the
difference between a press release and a media kit.
And...I promised I'd share my thoughts on how much money you
should spend creating a slick, glossy, and fully-packed
Well, here's my opinion: None.
Or at best, very little.
Iíve seen people and companies spend a fortune producing
large, glossy, media kits with 20 pages of information,
knock-out graphics, a beautiful folder, and so on and so on.
I suspect folks who send these kits believe that a big,
beautiful package will impress journalists and raise their
chances of getting coverage.
Itís been my experience though, that most media kits wind up
in the trash.
First of all, hardly anyone has space to space to store
And more importantly, few journalists have time to read them
(see the week's Advanced Media Marketing Article below for
If you dump a lot of dough into trying to impress
journalists with a fancy media kit, you probably won't get
anything near your investment in return. To borrow a line
from a Dire Straits song, you'll wind up spending a lot of
"Money For Nuthin.'"
Media kits CAN be useful to journalists.
They just don't have to cost a fortune.
To learn how to assemble a boffo media package
inexpensively, check out Joan Stewartís Special Report #8-
Media Kits On A Shoestring: How To Create Them Without
Spending A Bundle
Joan also has an excellent Special Report on how to build an
online media room. See Special Report #22-How To Create An
Online Media Room And Keep The Media Coming Back
Both are available for $7.00 each at
For more quick but powerful media marketing tips, get
our "Going Public" Fast Track audio cassette.
It's a full hour of bits and bites with veteran broadcasters
and editors who give you the "scoop" on how to get free
publicity that's more believable, powerful, productive, and
profitable than any advertising you can buy at any price.
Advanced Media Marketing Article:
Help Reporters "Beat the Clock" and
They'll Help You "Beat the Drum"
By George McKenzie
Imagine that you had lunch with an important client or
prospect. You thought you had plenty of time, but the
client/prospect got chatty, the restaurant was jammed and
service was slow.
Itís now about 1:45 and youíre due back at the office for an
important 2:00 oíclock meeting. You canít afford to be
late. If you hit the traffic lights just right, youíll walk
into the conference room right on time.
But you donít hit the first couple of lights just right, and
youíre starting to sweat.
Then at 1:55, half a mile from the office, you see the
blocking arms coming down just as youíre pulling up to a the
train crossing. A freight train lumbers into view.
Now youíre really sweating about being late.
Ever had that feeling? Not fun, huh?
Thatís the feeling most people in the news business live
with. Not just once in a while either.
Unless youíve been through it, you canít imagine the gut-
wrenching and hand-wringing that goes on as a deadline
approaches and youíre battling to get your column written,
your radio report ready, or your TV live shot on the air.
There are constant challenges --
Journalistic: Is my information accurate? Have I confirmed
it? Is there anything important Iím leaving out? Will my
competition have something I donít?
Human: there are other people screwing up their jobs all
around you, but you still have to get yours done as if
everything and everyone performed flawlessly.
Technical: Computers crash, cameras and tape recorders
donít work, tires go flat. Technological advances in
newsgathering have been breathtaking since I got into the
business. But one thing hasnít changed: Murphyís Law.
Throw all these challenges together, and simply doing your
job everyday can get fairly uncomfortable.
For an interesting insight into what I mean here, go to
It's the story of a near-disaster I experienced shortly
after I had done an interview with former President Gerald
Iím not asking for sympathy here. If youíre in the
business, you know thatís how it is and you accept it. Itís
part of the job description. It "comes with the territory."
Iím describing it to you, however, so you know the normal
mental state, the mindset of the people youíll be dealing
with when you're trying to get free publicity for yourself
or your business.
And the mindset is "get to the point, tell me what I need to
know, and donít waste my time with anything unnecessary."
When I was doing a weeknight sportscast at KMOL TV in San
Antonio, I used to hang a sign on my office door every night
at "crunch time," which was 60 minutes or so before I went
on the air.
The sign read:
"If itís important, say it fast.
If itís not, say it later."
As you send your press releases to people in the media, keep
that in mind. Nothing will hurt your chances of getting
publicity from them as much as wasting their time with non-
Help them "beat the clock," and they'll be more likely to
help you "beat the drum" by giving you thousands of dollars
worth of coverage -- and free publicity.
***Excerpted from George McKenzie's soon-to-be-published
ebook, "Start Spreading The News." See future editions of
this ezine for publication details.
Joan Stewart has authored a series of 39 "Special Reports"
that are a "must have" for anyone seeking free publicity
from the media. These reports are single-spaced, at least
five pages long, and go into incredible depth on each
topic. $7.00 each. Learn more by going to
Press Release "Critique of the Week:"
In every issue, we'll offer you a lengthy evaluation of a
genuine news release that was recently sent to a working
We'll look at it the ways a media decision maker would,
using the following criteria (among others)
The Instant Eyeball Test: What's the overall "look" of the
release? You'd be amazed at how important this is.
The Headline Test: Does it make the reader want to keep
going to find out more about the story?
The Hot Button Test: Does it legitimately offer
information people need to know or would like to know?
For this week's critique, go to:
You'll see how investment firm took one of the world's most
boring subjects -- tax regulations -- and turned it into an
interesting and relevant story possibility for journalists.
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Email your stories directly to me at
In doing so you grant permission for your story to be used
in an upcoming edition of this ezine or in a free ebook to
be offered to readers upon compilation.
You'll receive an email offering you a choice of audio
seminars within 24 hours after you send in your story.
Get a free weekly marketing tip directly from Marlon
Sanders. Sign up at
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Terry Dean's NetBreakthroughs...
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FREE ARTICLES FOR YOUR PUBLICATIONS
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articles that you see in this ezine. Back issues
can be viewed at
GET FREE PUBLICITY
August 22, 2002
Editor: George McKenzie
Copyright 2002 by George McKenzie
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