Designing Your Visions!

By: Anne Palumbo

Press releases are an integral part of marketing integrity. Without these
monthly announcements your business may as well be a decorative door stop. Customers and competitors DO want to know about your company's success. The age old adage still holds true that no one wants to be associated with or buy from a loser. So,


Not having marketing funds is no excuse! There are a cornucopia of avenues to choose that will get your business recognized in the right circles! Many publications are looking to fill in their copy with interesting stories. Many of the online e-zines have a forms or comments page for this purpose.

Before you write your release, think about the time crunch editors are up against. Help yourself by making the editor's job easy. Follow all of the instructions of the publications' print requirements. Call the editor to make sure that your idea or topic is relevant to the publication. Then, mail a hard copy of your press release on your 81/2" x 11" letterhead stationary. Overnight deliveries and packages have the best opportunity of being viewed. If possible, you can email your press release with the appropriate type mode attached. Some publications ask for ascii or .txt or .doc formats. But, check with the editor to confirm that email is acceptable. After the story has been completed, send a thank-you note, letter or card to the editor.

Many of the changes that your company makes IS newsworthy. The spin you put on your press release is what makes your story appealing.

Your headline will determine whether your reader wants to have you for lunch or treat you to a meal! If you're having trouble designing your headline, take a look at some online banner ads. These ads have little room to throw that punch. The customer must be made to feel that sting! You want to make your reader unconsciously stroke where it tingles while making a mental note of where your company is located for that very next purchase!

Think about what products or services your company is advertising.
These headlines are examples that may just magnetize your audience!

  • Entrepreneur Draws the World in Neon
  • A.Palumbo Consultants Just Made the Web Smaller
  • America's People Connect Weaves a Wicked Web of Design!
  • A.Palumbo Consultants Designs the Legends That Connect America's People!

  • Where appropriate, use shock or fear tactics. I'm not joking! According to studies on human behavior regarding action and reaction, readers are more apt to read what makes their emotions stretch outside of their social norm. Be brave with your headline! Predominately, you want your reader to react! Play on their hedonistic predilections - help them to believe that your company is way-too-cool-to-miss-being-a-part-of!

    The body of your press release contains the entree. Add anecdotes to illustrate your point. Include any products that illustrate your company's mission. Tell your readers you supply contracts, discounts, monthly specials. Don't forget to add in the date, contact name and a phone number, and "For Immediate Release" at the top of your press release. Adding your byline at the end of your press release tells your readers what else you have written and where to find them. Center # # #'s across the bottom of the page to indicate the end of the release.

    OK, you now have a relevant piece of news with an interesting twist. Take off your writing beanie and smooth out your hair! It's time to SELL! What? I"ll bet your emotions just got stretched outside the social norm!

    Your goal is to establish and reinforce name recognition. Selling this goal to your local newspapers, relevant magazines and even those online e-zines can vaporize the better sense of your sanity. I know, been there, done that, every month! But, thankfully, it is the last leg of press-release-itis.

    Ask your customers what magazines or newspapers they read. Based on the theory of 'birds of a feather', the next time you visit a friend, associate, or client, check out what publications they have on their tables, desks or waiting areas. These are the publications you want all your press information to appear - on a regular, monthly basis. Equally important is talking to those that are in the position to publish your press release. When talking to the editor, make him believe he wouldn't want his readers to miss your release. The first press release is always the hardest. Subsequent releases will already have a template, and contacts!

    The success of the publication is relevant to your writing style, credibility, and timing. Not all of the information you release will make it to the press. In fact, most editors do what they do best, edit. But, if you don't add this information to your press release, your chances dwindle to that decorative door stop status!

    ...And getting more business by including copies of your press releases with your marketing material to other prospects is a coup in your visibility beanie. Write a handwritten note explaining you wrote an article for so-and-so company on how to 'yada-yada-yada'. Add a line that says: "I think you'll find this information well worth incorporating into your own marketing strategies." Offer a discount, coupon, special offer if they choose your company as a partner, affiliate, associate or a service your company offers.

      Don't forget about bartering your services!
      ...which is another story!
    *** Anne Palumbo is a consultant for business web designs. She is noted for her articles on marketing, design, and developer tricks and tips.
    ** As a web developer/programmer, she designs original graphics, site layout configurations, provides Perl/CGI, PHP database and script programming & integration, and writes company content.
    * You can find some of her work at: A.Palumbo Consultants
    * You can also drop Anne a note - she'd be pleased to hear from you.

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