GET FREE PUBLICITY EZINE
October 24, 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
*** It's conventional wisdom in marketing: there's a
fortune in the follow-up. But what's true in marketing
isn't always true when you're pitching an idea to the media.
Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, explains why
journalists will "ditch your pitch" if you use the wrong
*** "One is the loneliest number..." 3 Dog Night may have
been right--at least when you're talking about how many
pages a press release should be. It definitely depends
though, on where that press release is going.
*** While we're talking about musical groups...what do Dire
Straits and Pink Floyd have to do with the quality of your
email pitch? Jason Potash of http://www.ezineannouncer.com
has the answer.
*** All that, plus some of our "favorite things"
(recommended resources) and other features...all included in
this week's edition of "Get Free Publicity" Ezine
Sponsor Message: Video Email
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Testimonial: Press releases -- they work!
This email from Harry Husted,
http://www.writeformedia.com arrived a few days ago. It's
proof once again of the power of a well-done press release.
"I read your book and the information about press releases,
and how to talk to the media. I prepared a great, eye-
catching press release and submitted it to
www.expertclick.com. Within two days I got a call from
the National Radio Network in Seattle, WA. They wanted to
interview me over the phone for a computer spot on their
show that night. I obliged.
The interview went extremely well. They even pitched my
company and Web site. All I can say is wow! Your advice
really works. Thanks so much. I am so happy I found your
The book Harry referred to was "Instant Press Releases,"
which is part of the Instant Press Release Toolkit. Check
it out at http://www.pressreleasetoolkit.com/prtoolkit.htm
Quick Media Marketing Tip:
When follow-up is actually a BAD thing
What do they tell you in Sales 101?
Follow-up is critical, right? You have to check back with
people to make sure they got what you sent them, that they
understood what you were talking about, etc., etc.
Well, that's true for most situations. It's definitely NOT
always true when you're working with the media.
Former newspaper editor Joan Stewart printed the following
advice in her newsletter this week, and I agree.
"The two dumbest questions you can ever ask a media person
when you call or e-mail them after sending a news release or
a story pitch, are:
"Did you get my release?" and "Do you know when it will be
Of course they don't know if they got your release. They
haven't opened today's mail yet. They're 10 minutes from
deadline. And you're on the phone being a pest, blowing the
one chance you have to get your story in print or on the
Most of the time, they don't know when your news release
will be printed, either. Sometimes the answer depends on how
much advertising the newspaper or magazine has sold. The
amount of advertising in a particular edition determines the
size of the publication and whether the pages are stacked
with ads, or have room for lots of editorial copy.
Smart Publicity Hounds know how to follow up. Rather than
asking stupid questions, they tip off the reporter or
assignment editor to a specific angle of the story that
would best fit their audience. They suggest a fun
graphic or photo to go with the story. They offer other
sources, including phone numbers. They dangle a carrot in
front of the assignment editor and make the story idea so
irresistible that, within minutes, they're scheduling an
Joan offers a variety of resources designed to help cash-
conscious professionals, consultants, and business owners
"milk the media" for free promotion and publicity. Visit
her "Publicity Hound" site at
See why Rim Digest For Marketers and Small Business
owners has 32,000+ subscribers. Get free downloads,
great articles, tips & 35 free eBooks when you subscribe!
One Size Does NOT Fit All
It was just moments before 9:00 in the morning, and I was
starting to get that awful, gut-wrenching feeling that I was
about to be stood up.
THE guest for my one-hour radio program hadn't shown up, and
I was about to go on the air.
I had called the day before to remind him, and he assured me
he'd be at the station on time and would spend the entire
hour with me.
He did not assure me, however, that he would remember to set
his clock back an hour from Daylight Savings to Central
We were ten seconds into the opening theme when he suddenly
burst through the studio door, wearing shorts and a tee
shirt, unshaven, his hair uncombed. He looked like he'd
just gotten out of bed.
In fact, that was exactly what had happened.
I had dodged a bullet.
The point of the story, though, is not what you might think.
Obviously, I should have thought to reminded my guest about
the time change when I called to confirm the day before.
But the real point of the story is this.
One size does not fit all.
Shift mental gears (and mental images) for a moment and
start thinking about press releases.
You've probably heard someone say, "A press release should
never be more than one page and should always be double-
I've touched on this topic before in this ezine, but I want
to explain today why I disagree with that philosophy.
Take the story above. What I didn't tell you was this:
While I was in the control room sweating out whether my
guest would show or not, a production assistant was in the
next room sorting through press releases looking for someone
he could call to fill in at the last minute.
Someone who had given us more than a one page release to
Someone who had given us bullet points I could ask about,
even if I knew little or nothing about the subject matter.
Someone who might have included a list of frequently asked
questions I could refer to.
Someone who had given us enough biographical material that I
could have read though it quickly during a commercial break
and maybe even asked an intelligent question or two a few
minutes later on the air.
A press release is most effective when it meets the needs of
the person it's being sent to. And those needs differ
according to the person you're pitching.
So, am I saying you shouldn't use the one-page formula?
The one-page formula IS absolutely the best way to generate
media interest if you're trying to get on The Today Show,
Oprah, Larry King or any number of big city radio/TV talk
shows. It's also probably perfect for trying to get the
attention of The New York Times.
They have staffers who will call you and pre-interview you
if they think you have something their audiences would like
to know more about.
They have the luxury of developing your topic and spending
some time to make sure they (and you) present the most
intriguing or useful information to their audiences.
That kind of preparation often isn't possible in the world
of medium-market radio talk shows and TV news programs.
So if you want to shoot for the media stars, so to speak,
definitely follow the one page formula.
But if you also want to enjoy the fruits of free publicity
on local radio and TV shows, don't be afraid to offer FAQ's
and bullet points in your press release.
Definitely don't be afraid to go send two pages instead of
And when you get an invitation to be a guest on a local
radio program, or a TV talk show producer gives you a call,
there's one other thing you should definitely remember.
To set your clock back if you're supposed to.
To learn more about matching your press release to the
differing needs of media, see The Instant Press Release
Joel Christopher tripled his list of newsletter subscribers
from 10,292 to 30,903 in 99 days. He now has more than
90,000. Joel reveals how he did it -- and how you can too --
in "How To Be A Master ListBuilder,"
Hot Topics: Guest articles available by email
To receive any of the following articles free via email,
just click on the links and then click send. You do not
have to put anything in the subject line nor the body of
This week's selections:
What's the difference between an email that "rocks" and
email that "sinks like a rock" when it gets to your
prospect's inbox? Jason Potash of
http://www.EzineAnnouncer.com includes Dorothy (from the
Wizard of Oz) Dire Straits and Pink Floyd in his answer
to that question.
Is it a right-brain/left-brain thing, or what? Why do so
many online marketers ignore offline promotion? And why do
so many brick-and-mortar businesses put up websites that
fizzle? Joe Binghan of http://www.netplaynewsletters.com
explains how combining "offline and online" can be a "no-
Low tech, high touch..."small town radio" doesn't offer much
flash and pop, but when it comes to getting free publicity,
it can certainly add "sizzle" to your sales efforts. "Tune
in" Ann Marie Baugh to find out why in this guest article.
David Frey at http://www.MarketingBestPractices.com has
reported some impressive results lately with LoopTraffic.
You can check it out
Help needed for "Help Wanted"
Every once in a while, I get an idea I think is brilliant.
But then reality reveals itself. And humility follows.
A couple of weeks ago I suggested that subscribers write in
and ask for ideas from other subscribers for their various
publicity-related projects. Sort of a "Help Wanted" section
Several people sought advice, and I posted their requests.
But only a few people offered suggestions.
So I guess it's an idea whose time has not yet come.
I still think it has possibilities, though, and anyone who'd
like to ask other subscribers to help them "brainstorm"
media-related promotions is certainly welcome to write.
Send your requests to
But offering a "Help Wanted" section as a weekly feature
seems to be a "stretch" right now. So until further
notice, I'm going to back off.
Meanwhile, thanks to those of you who were kind enough to
send submissions the last two weeks. You took time and made
an effort to be helpful, and you're to be commended--even if
you didn't receive recognition in the form of a mention in
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GET FREE PUBLICITY
October 24, 2002
Editor: George McKenzie
Copyright 2002 by George McKenzie
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