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NEWS OR SNOOZE: Will Your Press Release be a Doosie or a Dud?

A press release can be an ... weapon in the fight for mediaand public ... In fact, many ... don't ... twice before writing or ordering a press release, ...

A press release can be an effective weapon in the fight for media
and public attention. In fact, many businesspeople don't even
think twice before writing or ordering a press release, correctly
assuming that a release can provide the necessary publicity to
boost sales.

As much as a well-written press release can do for your image,
you need to be sure that your business or product is appropriate
for a release. Believe it or not, a press release that isn't
truly newsworthy can easily end up sounding like a sales pitch,
which can do irreparable damage to your company's image.

A press release should make an announcement about a new product
or service, an event, or a change in the way a product or
service is marketed. If your company has changed management,
released or upgraded a product, or is staging an important event,
you have material for a solid release.

Also, any little-known business or service can make a good
release if it serves the needs of the public in an interesting
way. For example, I just wrote a release for a gentleman who
provides a service that allows homeowners to pay off their
mortgages years sooner, without making larger payments or
refinancing their current loans. With mortgage rates falling and
the real estate market picking up, that kind of material made a
very good release.

So, a story that surrounds current events and peaks public
interest usually makes good release material. Now, let's talk
about what doesn't.

If your business is, for example, an MLM that hundreds of other
people are taking part in and marketing on their own, chances are
that the media has already heard about it and won't pick up your
story. I'm not saying that MLMs are automatic losers in the
media department, because a brand-new or extremely unique program
may still be newsworthy. In most cases, however, people trying
to market an MLM should rely mainly on classified ads or
informative articles that dance around their business, then
reveal the contact information at the end.

Similarly, if you belong to an affiliate program along with lots
of other people who are using their own marketing techniques, a
press release probably isn't the way to go. Media people are
extremely busy, and easily get overrun with press releases.
Again, in this situation a classified ad or well-written article
is probably a better use of your time and money.

A clever writer can take almost any subject and turn it into a
press release without sounding like a sales letter. As great a
talent as that is, however, media professionals will easily see
through it. An effective press release doesn't just SOUND
newsworthy, it IS newsworthy. A sales letter in disguise does
not make a good release.

Above all, keep in mind that the last thing an editor wants to
read is a sales pitch; sending them this kind of material will
only get you blackballed in the media. If you're not sure your
material is appropriate for a press release, ask an expert.
Before ordering your release from an outside source, for example,
call them or send them an email, tell them about your business,
and ask them if they think a release is the right tool for you.
If it's not, chances are they can recommend something that will
serve you better.

Article Tags: Press Release

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Meredith Pond is editor and manager of DrNunley's She has written hundreds of successful
press releases. See her complete publicity and copy writing
packages for students, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Reach
Meredith at or 801-328-9006.

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