October 17, 2002
Published by The
George McKenzie, Editor

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Here are the headlines (also known in the news biz as

*** Double, double, toil and trouble. Okay, so it's not
exactly what the witches mumbled in MacBeth. But do you
really need to go through the toil and trouble of double-
spacing your press releases? The answer lies not in the
stars...but below...

*** Top o' the mornin' to you...in amongst the soaps and the
game shows, "lifestyle" programs give you a great
opportunity to put yourself on the media map--and score
thousands of dollars worth of free publicity...

*** Can computers help lower the unemployment rate? One
subscriber is convinced they can. But he needs some help
spreading the word.

*** Plus, guest articles and recommended resources...

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Online but off-base?

Subscriber Jan Holloway of http://www.hollowayhams.com would
like to know how other readers have fared with online press
release writing/distribution services.

I suspect a lot of you would also be interested.

I hear good and bad reports about these companies. Like so
many others spawned in the cyber-boom, some come and go
quickly, and perform inconsistently while they're still in

Tell me your experiences and I'll pass them along to
Jan--and anyone else who's interested--via a special web
page in the near future.

Email me at mailto:george@get-free-publicity.com

Seeing Double?

After I answered a question three weeks ago about datelines
on a press release (I think most journalists never even
notice them), Harry Husted of http://www.writeformedia.com
asked follow-up question about double-spacing.

Harry noticed that the press release templates in my
Instant Press Release Toolkit were not double-spaced.

Good catch Harry.

He wanted to know how important it was to follow the double-
spacing "rule," which is generally taught in every
journalism class on the planet.

Personally -- and this is an opinion based on 30 years of
my own experience reading releases -- I think that the whole
double-spacing thing is way overblown.

Do it if you can, but the important thing is not the double-
spacing itself.

The important thing is making the release easy to read--and
making sure the news value of the release is clear at a

If you're using the templates in The Instant Press Release
Toolkit, feel free to double-space the copy. But don't feel
compelled to do it because you heard someone say "That's the
way it HAS to be."

It doesn't.

Remember, only a fraction of press releases get more than a
glance from journalists. They get tossed because

1) they flunk the "instant eyeball test,"
2) they flunk the "headline test," and
3) they read more like an advertising flyer than a newspaper

To learn to avoid mistakes like these and create compelling
press releases that get noticed by reporters, producers, and
editors.. visit

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Help! I need somebody's help...

Last week I sought the collective wisdom of our 4800
subscribers in brainstorming ideas to help people get free
publicity for their businesses.

There were a number of responses offering general marketing
advice, but none that detailed specifics for using the media
to get exposure.

I'm not discouraged though. I'll continue to try to help
subscribers by seeking answers to their publicity problems
from other readers.

Here are a couple more "cases" for you to consider -- and
please -- limit your responses to techniques that involve
using the media.

To offer thoughts and possibilities, simply email me at

From Bobbie Collingwood, Canyon Lake, TX
Southwest items including specialty items for men, women and
children. Jewelry and uniquely crafted household and garden
novelty gifts.

From Don Bailie beatlejuice89@hhotmail.com
I have been brainstorming ways to try and help people that
are unemployed by getting them a computer, and getting them
on the internet.

From Harry Husted, http://www.writeformedia.com
I have a Web site where I am selling an instructional tape
and manual and a work at home book. The instructional tape
and manual focus on helping people who suffered or are
suffering from post-9/11 symptoms.

Please contribute ideas by emailing me directly at

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"Soft News" shows offer hot publicity opportunities

My grandmother used to say, "You can ask for anything if
you're not afraid to take no for an answer."

Grandmother wasn't talking about asking the media for free
publicity, but she could have been.

As I said several weeks ago, cable penetration and the
internet have caused massive cuts in news operations all
over America (I can't speak for other countries), and with
fewer people doing more work, you can score some big
publicity coups simply by making yourself available.

This is especially true with "soft news" or "lifestyle"
programs in small-to-medium size TV markets.

These are shows that generally appear in the mid-morning,
and focus on medical, travel, consumer, legal and financial
topics rather than murder, mayhem, and traffic accidents
(which tend to show up on evening or "hard news" programs).

I recently picked a Tuesday morning and watched "San Antonio
Living," a one hour program airing each weekday at 10:00 AM
on my local NBC affiliate.

They did a little hard news and some weather, of course.
But the rest of the how seemed like non-stop unpaid
commercials for a number of businesses.

Here's the lineup:

10:06 Guest appearance by designer Carolina Herrera,
including models wearing some of her fashions. A full
screen graphic with Herrera’s name and phone number closed
the segment. 13 minutes

10:21 Live remote with a reporter at a new store called
"TreefrogEd," which sells educational materials for
kids. Full screen graphic with name and phone number
included. 8 minutes.

10:30 An appearance by a food specialist from a local
supermarket. Live interview on the set. 7 minutes. Once
again, a full screen graphic was included at the end of the

10:40 Interview with Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of "Lick The
Sugar Habit." Dr. Appleton not only got seven minutes of
airtime, but the station promoted the book throughout the
show during teases. Dr. Appleton (wisely) managed to
mention her web site and the fact that she would be giving
away several free copies of the book at a seminar that

10:51 A segment about a charity drive kickoff scheduled for
the next day at a local homebuilder’s showroom. The
builder, KB Home, had a spokesperson and a banner on the

10:57 A quick return to the reporter at TreefrogEd,
including another short interview with the store owner and
more shots of products sold at the store.

Again, this was a typical Tuesday morning picked at random.
People who appeared did not have to buy advertising as part
of the deal. The exposure was totally free.

You can do it too. All it takes is a decent press release
sent to the producer of the show. Stress the benefit their
audience will get by watching (avoid mentioning specific
products at this stage).

Will you get the air time you're looking for? Maybe. Maybe

But as my grandmother would tell you, you'll never know
unless you ask.


For help constructing your press release so it has maximum
appeal to the media, go to

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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
the copy.

This week's selections:

Your website is online and you're proud of it.
Unfortunately, no one else seems to be taking notice. David
Frey of http://www.MarketingBestPractices.com reveals how to
build your online presence with some free/low-cost offline
ideas. mailto:george2-27393@sendtheinfo.com

Are you looking for middle-aged prospects who own Siamese
cats born on the second Tuesday of months starting with "J?"
Marketing is becoming more and more "niche-oriented." Kevin
Nunley and Ron Sathoff offer some ideas for finding
those highly targeted prospects so you can "scratch that

If a little is good, is a lot be better? Probably not -- at
least if you're talking about a press release. But a media
kit is something else. Ana Ventura of
http://www.fullservicepr.com/ spells it out for you.

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I'm not big on recommending traffic-building programs, but
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success lately with LoopTraffic. You can check it out
at http://www.get-free-publicity.com/looptraffic.html

Success Stories Needed

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In doing so you grant permission for your story to be used
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You'll receive an email offering you a choice of audio
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Tried more businesses, but you know what they say. You have
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Best thing that ever happened to him.

Frank Garon realized before most other folks that the
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Now his internet business generates more than $100,000 a
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Recommended Resources

These are some of the resources that have been most helpful
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Terry Dean's "NetBreakthroughs." Terry tracks all his
advertising campaigns and gives specifics on what works and
what doesn't. I don't know of anyone else who's doing
anything like it.

"Click" by Tom Antion. EBook. A "gotta-have-it" guide for
internet marketers. Great book for beginners who want to
learn a lot of material in a little time.

Internet Marketing Course-Cory Rudl. Rudl is the
acknowledged guru of gurus. First person ever to
publish an ebook.

"The Amazing Formula" by Marlon Sanders. If Marlon isn't
the most successful marketer in internet history, he's no
lower than 1a. The "Amazing Formula" has made millions for
him because people who use it get results.

But THE ONE RESOURCE that has made the biggest impact on our

A shopping cart and automation system so simple even I
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We have many articles available for reprint in your
publication, company newsletter, etc. You may use
articles that you see in this ezine. Back issues
can be viewed at



October 17, 2002
Editor: George McKenzie
Copyright 2002 by George McKenzie

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