Winning Through Effective Self Promotion Part 5: Get Publicity!

by Brad Isaac on July 7, 2007

Promote_Yourself_publicityHopefully by now you are excited with the idea of self promotion. You’ve built a strong AIDA formula. You’ve networked with your friends and family and now you’re ready to take it to the next level. You want to get some major publicity for your services.

In this article I’ll show you how to approach the press and get news and media coverage for your self promotion.

But first, if you haven’t read the first 4 parts of this series, please do so now because we will be applying those skills to this lesson. Here are the links:

Part 1: Why Promote Yourself?
Part 2: The A.I.D.A. Formula Explained
Part 3: Four Surefire Tools That Grab Attention
Part 4: Big Returns From Low Pressure Networking

So you’ve decided you would like to increase your exposure. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a position where what you are offering can benefit not only one but many people. If that’s the case, then getting publicity is a good next step.

Why Seek Publicity?

There are 4 main benefits from seeking publicity.

  1. The editors of the TV show, newspaper or magazine know their audience. They know how to tell your story so it satisfies the most number of their readers.
  2. The amount of work you have to do is minimal.
  3. Since your message would be in front of so many people, the odds of reaching the right people who need what you offer is far greater than if you had to call them one at a time.
  4. Publicity, unlike marketing costs virtually nothing. Some can be done through web links.   But at most, for the price of an envelope and stamp you can put your story in front of a magazine or news editor.

Here are the insider tips to getting this type of exposure for what you are promoting. Get ready, it’s going to be a wild ride…

Once you break through the publicity game, the sky is the limit. You’ve succeeded at self promotion.

The #1 Way to Bust Through The Gatekeepers

The standard vehicle you’ll use to talk to editors and news producers, journalists is the standard press release. It isn’t that exciting, but we’ll fix that.

Look inside an editor’s mind to see what makes him accept or deny your press release.

But what you say next is crucial.

Having been a news editor for a huge Pocket PC news website, I got thousands of the standard press releases. I always liked getting press releases, because they made my job easier. It’s easier to have the news come to you instead of going out and find it. Put another way, editors NEED YOU and your story.

I found there were basically 4 flavors of news releases – I’ll go through each one in detail below.

1. The Standard dry press release
2. The informal but entertaining press release
3. The sir spams alot press release.
4. The informal but informative press release

The dry press release

Starting from the top, the dry press release although very informative – but difficult to read. They were too bland, focusing on features and math equasions, standards and analysis. But the main drawback was these dry press releases weren’t written in a human style.

The sender of this type of release never quite realized they were sending this to a human being who could either act on this 2000 word article or trash it.

Knowing that I had on any one day 10 or more releases to sift through, what do you think I did? Of course, I trashed em.

They might have had valuable info, it might have been something where if I read to the bottom they agreed to send me a check for $10,000 I’d never know because I got a headache in the first paragraph – which was usually 8 or more long sentences.

The entertaining informal press release

The next type of release I got was the informal and entertaining release. These were the ones I liked. They were easy to read and understand. But sometimes they didn’t answer all the questions. For instance many would tell a great story about a product but never leave a link on how to find it or a person I could contact for more information! :)

The sir spams alot press release

3rd type of press release was the sir spams alot release. This type of person might have an entertaining writing style, and do everything else right, but they submit simply too often. A release such as “We changed our website theme”. If you knew how many releases I got that were over non-news, non important things you’d never stop throwing up.

Sure, they might have been nice guys. They might have good products, sbut they submitted way too often.

The informal but informative press release

Much like the entertaining informal press release, this one has my attention. It’s written in a human style and tells a good story. It’s newsworthy and will please readers. PLUS, it answers 5 critical questions; 1. who, 2. what, 3. when, 4. where and 5. how. If I had a question, their contact info was right there..

The main advantage? Usually, I could simply cut and paste their release as-is and have an article for my site… with the least effort possible.

Let me repeat that. With the least effort possible, I could copy and paste their story into the site! So what does that mean for you? To get the best results from your press release, write the story for the editors the way they would write it. Everyone likes a break now and again. It’s the path of least resistance. If it takes 5 minutes for me to publish yours versus something else that takes 2 hours of research, I’ll go with yours. It’s just that simple.

So like Goldilocks, we’ll assume there are 4 different press formulas. We aren’t going to be too hard like the dry release, too soft like the casual release, or too spammy like the spam alot release. We want to be just right. Right where the editor is grabbed from the first second and entertained and informed through the rest of the message. Plus, we’ll add in a bonus of doing the job for the editor so he or she gets to make the easy decision of being lazy and just pasting in your release word-for-word.

How to craft a killer press release

So now that we know we want a release that isn’t too dry, too soft or too annyong where do we begin?

The first step is we must learn the standards.

1. A strong Title
2. A “release date”
3. Contact information
4. An interesting and informative story. Ready to be published


Starting with the headline. If we go back to the 3nd article in this series you’d use the AIDA formula to get attention. You want to grab attention. Make the reader’s jaw drop. If you give the headline to your spouse and he or she says “you’re kidding?!!” then you are on the right track.

You don’t see many headlines in your paper that read “Bush Likes grapes” No, no they are far more compelling. “Bush Accused of Ignoring Greenhouse Gases – Possible Poisonings May Occur.”

See the difference? You have to grab attention with your headline.

For Immediate Release?

The next step is obvious. You will ALWAYS want your release to be FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

I used to hate getting releases that said “For release January 7, 2010″ or some other future date.

bahhh! I don’t have time to schedule that. Those would get trashed immediately.

So unless you are APPLE or Microsoft only put “for immediate release.”

For Whom The PR Tolls

Include your contact information and relevant links. We’ve all made the mistake once of sending out a release with no contact info. Usually you do this only once. But considering an editor may have a question like “Hey, can I have a demo to look at? This is cool.” The contact info is of most importance.

Keeping at it

Fact is, you won’t have every single press release accepted by all of the editors out there. Sometimes your message is slightly off from what they are covering that week. Sometimes it’s just not good timing. So your press release doesn’t make the cut.

When you see that your PR effort was rejected, no need to take it personal or beat yourself up. Again, I ask so what if you get rejected? Try again. Eventually you’ll get through.

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July 8, 2007 at 8:23 am

Thank’s so much for visiting my site. The more I thought about your comment, the more I realized that you are correct. I should have a plan. I’ll work on that.

Thanks for the advice, and I hope you will drop in from time to time and point me in the right direction. I could sure use tips from people like you. I’ll make sure and check back often.


Brad Isaac July 8, 2007 at 9:56 am

Hi Bryan, happy to do it. A good place to start would be to download Yaro Starack’s Blog Profit’s Blueprint. There is a ton of info in there for both new and old bloggers.

Brad Isaac July 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm

For bloggers out there, Shoemoney has a good How to write a press release for bloggers article posted.

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