Answer: The winning press release is…..

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The above blog asked which press release (one that piggy backed on Katrina by telling story of entrepreneur who is rebuilding his business using my services; one that is plain vanilla about the product: ).

Your posts were insightful; thanks! Personally, as you could tell from blog, I was hoping the Katrina story would be picked up. And it was, with a Reuters story (published) for one and some interest from a Wall Street Journal reporter. Unfortunately, the press focused on the entrepreneur and his struggles, not on my service! Not one local paper/media picked up the story here in Sarasota FL.

Meanwhile, the vanilla release about the service got me some actual customers. It was picked up locally in Sarasota FL publications (local press in smaller markets likes to announce new businesses and services), and response from prospects has been good — especially given a $0 investment.

Here are some lessons from this:

1. First, you never know when a press release will be picked up or by whom. The idea is to keep on trying, with a series of newsworthy articles and tips.

2. Build relations with targeted media. That’s the best way to get your release noticed. In this case, the vanilla product release was picked up by a media outlet where I know the publisher and have had releases picked up before. Build relations carefully, without begging. Contact editors and journalists and tell them in 30 seconds why their readers want to read your story.

3. Targeted markets are best. The publication that picked up my release focuses on technology, new companies, and my local Sarasota market. My “vanilla” release hit on all three of these. The more focused your release, the more you can focus on select media, and build relations with editors and journalists while writing content that will be interesting to their readers.

4. In contrast to #2 and #3, blast emails and faxes don’t work nearly as well as personal contacts, if at all. Editors are jammed with this kind of junk, and it costs you lots of money to use these services.

No trick questions this time, right?

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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