GET FREE PUBLICITY EZINE
September 26, 2002
Published by The
George McKenzie, Editor
See the bottom of this newsletter for
Here are the headlines (also known in the news biz as
*** "I've got news for you..." That's what your press
release has to say to reporters, editors, and producers.
Without "news value," your release will be "history."
*** How to cure the "Hidden Epidemic" that's has plagued
brick-and-mortar business owners who try to promote
themselves on the 'Net.
*** It's almost like reaching down between the sofa cushions
and finding a $10 bill. Here's a way to make a few cyber-
bucks selling those books you always promised yourself you'd
read -- but never have.
*** "The Press Release From Nowhere..." Do you really need
to put details like city and state-of-origin in the first
sentence of your press release?
Give It A Try
I'm not big on recommending traffic-building programs, but
my friend David Frey at
http://www.MarketingBestPractices.com has reported some
success lately with LoopTraffic. You can check it out
Datelines--Do you need them or not?
Harry Husted, who specializes in writing advertising copy at
http://www.writeformedia.com emailed last week with this
question about my Instant Press Release Toolkit templates.
"George, I notice many of your press release templates don't
have the city, state, and date included on the first line
(e.g. EDISON, NJ, September 17, 2002). So is this a
requirement or not?"
Here's the answer.
A news release definitely has to have the date of release
on it, as in:
For immediate release
For release on or before (date)
For release (date)
But this information should be in a CORNER above the
headline (I recommend the left corner, but I've seen them
placed on the right side also--it doesn't really matter as
long as it's easy to spot).
In my opinion, citing the city and state where the release
originates in the first line is no longer a "must." It's a
practice left over from the days when newspapers were the
Our world is now interconnected by radio, satellite TV, fax,
cell phones and the Internet. Information travels at the
speed of light (rather than the speed of a delivery truck),
and I believe "datelines" are no longer as important as they
used to be.
I don't know anyone who will trash a release just because it
doesn't have a dateline. As long as you make the release
timely and relevant to the audience you're trying to reach--
AND make sure your contact information is clearly visible,
It doesn't hurt to put the date and origin of the release at
the beginning of the body, but it really doesn't help much
You'll find plenty of answers to other questions about press
releases in The Instant Press Release Toolkit, available at
You'll see why you don't need to be a PR whiz with a
boatload of cash to get thousands--maybe even
hundreds of thousands--of dollars worth of free publicity.
Don't miss these learning opportunities
Most of the hints and tips you'll find in this ezine focus
on how you can use offline promotion to build your business,
but recently I've had the pleasure of partnering with two
people who are experts at using online methods to drive in
traffic and drive up sales.
Sharon Fling is the author of "How To Promote Your Local
Business On The Internet."
Sharon has the cure for what she describes as "The Hidden
Epidemic," i.e. the growing dissatisfaction and
disillusionment traditional "brick & mortar" business owners
are experiencing with the 'Net.
They try a website, and it doesn't work. So they get
frustrated and give up.
As with anything else, there's a right way and a wrong way
to promote a local business online. Sharon spells out the
right way in her low-cost, high value ebook.
Learn more about it by clicking on
Joel Christopher, the widely acknowledged "Listbuilding
Mastermind" of the internet was a guest on my radio show
Coincidentally, Joel and I live a few miles from each other
in San Antonio, and Joel is in the stretch run of two big
His wife is due to give birth to their first child any day
Joel will host his Master Listing Building Seminar in San
Antonio on October 12 & 13.
Joel tripled his list of newsletter subscribers from 10,292
to 30,903 in 99 days, and he'll share his secrets during the
He's also invited Marlon Sanders and Jimmy D. Brown -- true
heavy-hitters in the internet marketing world. A number of
other extremely successful internet marketers will be there
To sign up (and believe me, San Antonio is a splendid place
to be in mid-October), go to
By the way, Joel now has more than 90,000 subscribers.
The guy knows what he's doing.
Give them news, or they'll snooze--and you'll lose!
James Wilson of http://www.bestbusinesstactics.net
recently bought our news release review service
forwarded a draft of an upcoming release for me to look at.
James was hoping to get free publicity for a report he'd
authored about writing copy for newspaper ads.
He said he wanted to strengthen the lead sentence in the
body of the copy, which read something like:
"Newspaper ads can be a powerful and powerful part of
anyone's marketing campaign..."
That's definitely true, I pointed out...but it has ALWAYS
been true. An editor would be likely to ask, "What's new
Reporters, producers and editors are always looking for
"news value" in a press release. To get a positive
response, your release has to say "I've got news
So I suggested a slightly different approach.
Here's the revision I sent back to him:
(Headline) It all "Ads" Up--Newspaper Ads Are Back
(Subheadline) Whether youíre selling jewelry or jalopies,
classifieds are a potent promotional vehicle for small
business -- but only if theyíve got the "write stuff."
(Body) In the dash to board what looked like the "new
economy" gravy train a few years ago, millions of business
owners switched advertising dollars away from traditional
ads in newspapers.
"A lot of them now wish they hadnít," according to business
expert James Wilson.
"While many internet advertising initiatives never delivered
on expectations," Wilson adds, "the old tried-and-true
newspaper ad still seems to provide a good return on
"But," he continues, "Youíve got to make sure the ad is well
written. Advertising budgets have become so stretched, you
canít afford sloppy copy that doesnít get the results you
need." (end of revised release)
Now the copy is hitting one of the 28 "hot buttons" I
describe in my ebook, "Start Spreading The News."
I call this hot button "myth-busting."
Myth-busting occurs when evidence surfaces disputing
conventional wisdom or accepted patterns of thought.
What's the myth in this case?
The idea that the internet is going to make newspaper ads
The report James wrote "busts" that myth.
Editors, reporters, and producers love to bust myths. It's
a big hot button.
So when you're composing a release, remember--you have to
find a way to connect your release to a hot button. You've
got to give it "news value."
If you don't, you can bet your release will sail off into
history without attracting the free publicity you're hoping
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
Money For Nuthin'? Just about...
This has absolutely nothing to do with getting free
publicity, but it's just TOO GOOD not to pass along.
About three weeks ago, my wife discovered Amazon
Marketplace, where individuals can set up an account and
new-or-gently used books on the internet.
Dianne has sold five books through Amazon Marketplace since
she signed up.
She's now clearing the bookshelves...
It's a painless -- and profitable -- way to dispose of some
of the stuff I've had around for a while but have never
taken time to read--and never will.
Check it out for yourself at
PS I'm not in an affiliate program on this one, so I don't
make a dime if you take advantage of it. It's just that
Dianne's been so successful with Amazon Marketplace, I
wanted to pass it along to anyone who doesn't already know
Half.com, which is part of Ebay, also has a similar program.
For a look at theirs, go to
Success Stories Needed
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seminar (downloaded from our web site). Plus you could get
additional free publicity if we publish your story in this
Email your stories directly to me at
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GET FREE PUBLICITY
September 26, 2002
Editor: George McKenzie
Copyright 2002 by George McKenzie
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