How To Get
$1,000 Worth of Advertising for $90
By Jeffrey Dobkin
Jeffrey Dobkin, author of How To Market A Product For Under $500!, and Uncommon Marketing Techniques, is a specialist in direct response copywriting. Mr. Dobkin is a speaker and a direct marketing consultant. He can be reached at: 610-642-1000 or visit him at www.dobkin.com
A press release is a single page of information about your product or service that is sent to a magazine or a newspaper. If selected to be published, it's printed as a short story, and appears as if the magazine or newspaper wrote it. There is no charge for having your press release published by a magazine or newspaper.
There are certain criteria for having your press release published, no matter who writes it.
First, it cant sound like an ad for your product or service. Nope, no adjectives. If it sounds like an ad, itll be tossed out. While most editors will make minor corrections so a press release will fit their editorial style, few to none will rewrite your release just to get it in.
Second, your press release must conform to the standard layout style of press releases. This tells the editor that you know what youre doing in media relations, and hopefully your everyday business practices follow suit. Correct layout style means a big header stating: Press Release at the top, followed by a contact name and phone number, so editors can get more information. Next it needs a kill date, after which the press release shouldnt run.
The headline of your release is centered and in bold. Write your headline with care; its this line that will make or break your release. Use the Jeff Dobkin 100 to 1 rule: Write 100 headlines, then go back and pick your very best one.
The body of the release follows. Double space, allowing an editor to easily make corrections between the lines. Make it look easy to read, even if it isn't. Write in a newspaper style of writing - short descriptive sentences without fluff or excess verbiage. Use a pyramid style of writing - the most important parts in the first paragraph or two - because editors cut from the bottom.
How's this: Suppose you arent a strong writer, or youre too busy with other activities to write your own release. What do you do? Call the newspaper and ask to speak with a reporter. Ask if they know of any reporters whod like an additional easy writing assignment and would consider writing a press release - for pay. Go over your product information with the reporter, so they can write a quality release. They'll recommend several different angles and what they think their very best pitch would be. Ask their hourly rate (usually about $20/hour). Your release should take about two to three hours of writing time, if that - and should cost $60 - $90.
Now for the best part. Your reporter submits your release to the editor for you: the papers own reporter writes a press release in the newspapers exact style of writing - and then hands it to the editor with his own personal recommendation. Nice! So without writing a stitch, you get the release written, then handed over to the editor on a silver platter by a trusted staff member. Your chances of getting it published are· you guessed it. When its printed, you just received $1,000 worth of advertising for $90. As promised.
Copyright ©1999 Jeffrey Dobkin