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Business - How to Build it Using the Media

Have you ever noticed that when someone is interviewed on radio, television or in the newspapers about a particular subject, it tends to be the same people? You may even be saying - "Why don't they ever ask me?"

Well the reason is - they don't know about you. If they did know that you were an expert on a particular subject, then there's a good chance you'll be asked from time to time. There are various ways to make yourself known to the media. One way is to write a News Release. Send the media a news release when you want to announce:

A new product or service -

A new marketing campaign -

A new address -

New staff or someone being promoted -

Any other newsworthy information about you, your business or your people.

Editors, radio and TV producers receive tons of information from individuals and companies trying to get publicity for their business. However, they need information that is newsworthy, relevant and interesting for their audience.

There are guidelines for writing and laying out a news release - if you don't meet these guidelines then your release will probably get dumped immediately.

A News Release needs

A contact person - In the top left-hand corner of the first page put the name and telephone number of a person who can provide further information. If it's your name then okay, but an editor would expect to see someone else's name rather than the business owner. If you have an assistant, put their name or your partner's name - if they work with you.

Date - In the top right-hand corner. You also need to state when it can be released, if it's for immediate release then - put those words. You may want it to be released on a particular date - if so, give the details.

Headline - You need a headline that summarises the story and grabs the editor's attention. Write what you might expect to see in the particular publication or hear someone say.

The Body - Write your news release on one page if you can; two pages maximum. Up to 250 words double spaced and a maximum of four paragraphs. Always write in the "third person" not the first. Make your information exciting and human, think about what would grab the attention of the readers. Include a quotation from a customer if you can; for example - Fred Smith, Chief Executive of Apex Software said - "This is the most exciting new product to be introduced to our industry this year!"

Here are a few other points to consider when writing a news release:

It's not a sales document - This is news information, it is not an advertisement. You don't want words like - "Wonderful - Fantastic New Service. If an editor thinks you're just trying to get a free advertisement then it'll be dumped.

Think of questions - Be prepared for any questions you might be asked if an editor phones for more information; you don't want to blow it if you get to this stage.

Get a name - Find out the name of the person to send it to, if it's aimed at the business community send it to - John Brown, Business Editor, XYZ newspaper. If you can't get the name over the phone then, send it to the Business Editor or the Lifestyle Editor. You can usually find the name of the person you want from the latest edition of the publication you're sending it to. If it's for radio or TV, phone and ask - "Who should I send this to?"

Media services - There are media distribution services that'll send out your release to all the relevant people - for a fee

PR Company - You could employ a PR company who'll do the whole News Release for you. They know how to write it and who to send it to. They'll also have contacts - journalists, TV editors, producers. They can often get you an interview with these people.

Here are a couple of books that could be useful:

One Step Ahead: Publicity, Newspapers and Press Releases - by Alison Baverstock

Press Here! Managing the Media for Free Publicity - by Annie Gurton

Discover how you can generate more business without having to cold call! Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Sales without Selling" This book is packed with practical things that you can do to ? get customers to come to you . Click here now

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