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  1. #1
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    How do you gain media recognition?

    So I was reading today's SitePoint Tribune and I came across this by Co-Founder Matt Mickiewicz:
    Building credibility builds trust. Trust leads to sales. So how can you build credibility on the Web? Name dropping is a favourite technique. Mention any well-known magazines, newspapers or TV shows which have featured your site. Even if you only got a one-sentence mention in USA Today, you can still say "As seen in USA Today" without lying. If you haven't gotten any major mentions yet, perhaps it's time to brush up on your publicity skills?
    I whole-heartedly agree with Matt here, however, that last sentece spark my attention and I wanted to post here to gather some tips on how I can get my site mentioned and/or featured in the media. Being able to boast about such mentions makes your site a lot more valuable. Advertisers want to advertise on sites that are often mentioned in the media and visitors will trust those sites more.

    I have exchanged links, partnered with sites, I'm ranked high in most search engines, and I'm doing pretty good, but I need to take the next step. That means trying to get the media's attention.

    For those of you reading this, I would love to hear some tips on how I can get my site noticed. I don't have money in my pockets to throw away, keep that in mind.

    I understand this won't happen overnight, are there any books that teach you how to be a master in publicity skills?
    Last edited by mjames; Aug 23, 2001 at 18:36.

  2. #2
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    We have a local television show dedicated to sports for a half-hour every Sunday night, after the 10:00 news. Do you have something similar in your area? Try contacting them and let them know of your website.

    What about the local newspaper? It surely has a sports section.

    How about the local DJ's on the radio? I'm sure they're into sports.

    I know these are only suggestions for your local area, but you may want to try them anyway. You never know, an ESPN anchor could be in town for the weekend.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    If you are talking to media outlets, don't forget to inform them of your age. They love stories about teenagers making Websites, for some reason or another. Here in Chicago we get around one 'computer whiz-kid' story in either of our main newspapers, per month.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast toddstep's Avatar
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    <shameless plug of Marty>

    Here's a tip for you that I learned from another member here at Sitepoint - Marty Winston!

    I just finished the design on a Bed and Breakfast website for innkeepers only and was battling the same thing you are now facing, how to let ppl know about it. I did several things and some of them worked and some of them didn't.

    The one thing that Marty suggested that is going to pay of the most is contacting magazine publishers. Now granted, there is only ONE magazine out there that was ported specifically for innkeepers, but I contacted the editor and she decided to do a press release for me in the magazine FREE OF CHARGE! This magazine has a circulation of 35K. To me, that is a great deal! The Magazine with my press release mails TODAY (08/24/01). I will let you know the first of next week what kind of traffic comes in because of it!

    If I were you, I would write a press release and send it to all of the sports magazines you can find. If your story could get picked up by just a few of them, you are in better standings than you were...

    Marty would most likely charge you to write a press release for you, but It would be worth every penny IMHO...

    </shameless plug of Marty>

    Todd Stephens
    Founder - www.my-innkeeper.com

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Todd -

    I'm blushing!

    Thanks for the plug - but guys, not to put too fine a point on it, not many of you can afford my rates - there are cheaper places and cheaper ways to get press releases written.

    For that matter, don't worry too much about it "looking like" a press release. Cover the basics, making sure to say what's different and cool, include your contact info, and double check your spelling and grammar.

    I use a different format myself - a single paragraph-length item. With the indulgence of our hosts, I'll show you the lead item from my latest issue:


    "SCUM" MEANS SITE RAPES & WEBMASTERS ARE UP IN ARMS
    They call it "scum" (officially, "contextual advertising") & we
    call it site rape. Key words on a site are highlighted & linked
    to third parties who don't pay the site or even ask permission.
    Google & Goto & Zmedia & Advertising.Com, religious sites & more
    have all been hit. The places where Webmasters hang out, like
    Steve's Geek/Talk Forums, are taking this up as a major issue.
    Check out the Stop Scum site & talk to Steve. Contact: Steve
    Shubitz, GEEK/TALK FORUMS (San Diego, CA) 858-546-9309x1,
    mailto:webmaster@stopscum.com http://www.stopscum.com

    All it does is give the journalist a reason to be interested and a way to respond if that happens.

    And take it from the one guy who's been doing computer industry PR longer than anybody - that's all you need!
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I've gotten one media mention, US News and World Report. I was their site of the week.

    How did I get it? Blind luck.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    I have 3 paperback books on how to prepare a press release and I just write soemthing up that would be considered "NEWS" not advertising....similar to what Marty wrote above. That's genius, Marty!

    I have recieved much publicity for both businesses that I have owned and now my websites, as well. I have been in all the major national newspapers, and as a result of that I got on a few morning talkshows (for 5 minute interviews) and as a guest on the Sally Jesse Rapheal show (back in '92 when it wasn't as much of a smut show!), a Spanish national network show (they translated for me), and Faith Daniels show. Recently, I have been in the local paper about my web sites and designing them a couple times and featured in Woman' Own and FHM magazines, excellent exposure!

    I really don't find it that hard to do. You must be persisitant though. You may send out 50 press releases (And that is not too much) and only 1 will bite, but if it is a national publication, that will get the ball rolling and you will get an avalanche of others which, of course leads to BUSINESS for you! You have to be very persistant and stick to your guns.

    When I am actively seeking publicity, I ususally shoot for 10 releases a month ( you could do many more) and every once in a while, some one bites. Change your release as you come up with new story angles and keep current.

    Good Luck!
    Stephanie

  8. #8
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    Wow, that's great. Congratulations Stephanie!

    What are the names of those books? I wouldn't mind picking up a copy...
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    Lessseee...*as I mosey on over to my bookshelf*

    I've got "Guerrilla P.R." by Michael Levine
    "6 Steps to Free Publicity" by Marcia Yudkin

    I know I have others but I cannot find them right now. I have also just checked out various books from the library on how to write a press release.

    I recently had a reporter ask me if I had hired a PR firm b/c my press release was very professional. I laughed and told her that I just followed the instructions right out of a book and she said she wished others people would take the time to do that bfore sending some of the junk that she recieves.

  10. #10
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I know press releases can be a good way to submit your site, but I was looking for ways I can get noticed by national sources and magazines. I guess, like aspen, just keep promoting and it's blind luck? I knew about PRs already and I was wondering if there were other ways.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    Hi mjames,

    Most of my publicity has been NATIONAL and the way I got it was press releases. The other ways to get national exposure is blind luck and other methods which would be too few and far between.

    You want exposure, then you have to be willing to go out there and get it

  12. #12
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    maybe one of you should write a press release article for sitepoint.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  13. #13
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    Thanks Steph and Marty for those ideas. Great stuff

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    Hi Icehouse!!

    Icehouse is the <B> master</>Thank you, thank you, thank you again!!

    Stephanie

  15. #15
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    I understand. Looks like you can't get around writing press releases, although it was always my understanding press releases are written for some event or something going on, not just about a site.

    I agree with aspen - an article explaining how to write press releases would be great. You can never read too many tips or suggestions.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    Yes, mjames. That is exactly what I am saying, you cannot just write a press release about a website, no one cares about that...that is not really news.

    So, you have to learn the art of creating news. Sponsor an interesting contest, open a new divison, do a poll and keep detailed information about the answers you get and write an article about your findings. If you've won an award recently, that's news. You have to brainstorm.

    Get the books I've mentioned above, they will help you come up with some ideas and teach you how to do this. Or you could always hire someone to do it for you.

    Stephanie

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Model News Release

    Contact: Martin Winston (440) 338-8400

    Month, 1999

    F O R - I M M E D I A T E - R E L E A S E

    Newstips announces new model news release; 1- to 2-line headline
    gives editor a capsule; the decision to continue or discard.

    Newstips, Inc. (Novelty, OH) announces a model news release in which the lead line hooks the editor's interest in the story's news value. The next sentence elucidates the theme, and offers a capsule of supporting information. There may be another sentence or so in the middle of the first paragraph, if exposition or positioning require it; in no case should one sentence occupy more than three lines of type, top to bottom. Try to avoid using the trademark name of the product until the "price line" at the end of the first paragraph; before then, describe the product generically, or by its function. Then say the Trademark(TM) Product Name is available for $whatever (all prices suggested US resale at participating dealers; dealer inquiries are invited).

    The second paragraph continues the job of the first by fleshing out the most significant attributes of the subject of the announcement. For example, we could note that for a more newsy-sounding lead sentence, always use the active voice and choose a present (or occasionally future, but never past) tense verb. The choice of voice is important.

    The third paragraph and most of the middle of the release continue to cover your subject, with more important things always coming before less important things. We could say put more important things first (active voice), or we may say more important things should be placed first by the writer (passive voice). You act in the active voice, you are acted upon in the passive.

    "If appropriate," says Newstips publicist Martin Winston, "you can include quotes in this section of a release to help express the tone or opinions or attitude of a company about whatever it is you're announcing.

    "Continuing with less important items, we note that there is a date at the top of the first page. Many important opinion gatekeepers (editors, analysts and others) discipline themselves to purge their files monthly, and throw away releases more than a few months old; they immediately discard any release that arrives with no date. By using a monthly date at the top of the page - usually the month after the month of the mailing - the release stays "young" longer.

    The contact line can help a release become a more immediate story, or a bigger one. If the press release triggers a journalist's interest in getting yet more information, or arranging an interview or a hands-on product review, a simple news release can outperform form itself.

    Most news releases reach news media, but few result in coverage in the news sections of these media; most become new-products items, or background material for future feature or round-up articles."That's why a tight headline and quick delivery within the first paragraph's lead sentences can be so important," Winston says.

    The end of a release for a technical product (and some others) may include a paragraph on relevant product specifications. A company capsule may follow, then a contact paragraph (for the ultimate reader of the release; the contact line at the top is for the editor). Some demarcation - we prefer a centered set of three number signs - should indicate the end of the "story" section of the release. Several things may appear below this, including trademarks or marca registradas and additional contact information for the editor.

    Minimum system requirements for a human writer include paper or electronic display, a method of recording, at least limited literacy and consciousness.

    The penultimate paragraph may include a stock "blurb" about the company. Newstips is a publicity and marketing communications consulting firm, founded in 1993, specializing in a national an often international clientele in microcomputing, business products and consumer and office electronics.


    For more information contact Newstips, Inc., 13830 Braeburn Lane,
    Novelty, OH 44072; (440) 338-8400; fax 440-338-3480.


    # # #


    Trademark(TM) is a trademark and Marca Registrada(R) is a registered trademark of whatever company owns the mark.


    EDITORS ONLY: Contact Martin Winston, Newstips, Inc.
    13830 Braeburn Lane Novelty, OH 44072 (440) 338-8400.
    Reviewers: Please submit letter or e-mail request.


    Copyright 1996, Newstips, Inc. All rights reserved.
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston

  18. #18
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Stephanie and everyone else, thanks. I'm going to get that "6 Steps to Free Publicity" book on Amazon.

  19. #19
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    LOL Steph your too much. Thanks to everyone again for posting these great thoughts.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    marc - choose one of the other books - my experience with Yudkin leads me to mistrust the quality of her advice.
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston

  21. #21
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MartyWinston
    marc - choose one of the other books - my experience with Yudkin leads me to mistrust the quality of her advice.
    Thanks for the words of warning... what do you recommend? I don't want some super-advanced book, just something suitable for someone starting out with studying marketing.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru phanie12.geo's Avatar
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    The advice for writing press release and coming up with ideas for "Creating news" is pretty much the same in many of these types of books, in my experience.

    mjames, just go down to your library and check out 3 or 4 of them and take a look at all of them. You are bound to learn a lot of useful information.

    Stephanie

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    You might want to start at the library, indeed. Also, read through the files section (or ask questions) at http://go.compuserve.com/mediapro
    _____/\/\arty \/\/inston


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