| SEVEN SECRETS OF FREE PUBLICITY
and three fatal mistakes
There is no marketing method more powerful or less costly for creating a brand name
than publicity. Good publicity starts with a news release, still one of the world's most
efficient marketing tools. But it must be done right and it often isn’t.
From my experience as a magazine publisher, I know more than 90% of all news releases
end up in the trash. Nothing annoys busy editors more than news releases that are
poorly written or misdirected. They’re a waste of time, money and resources.
Here are the 3 fatal mistakes found in most news releases:
1. The news release is a corporate ego trip that talks about your product or service too
much and user benefits too little.
2. The news release is just thinly disguised ad copy.
3. The news release is sent to the wrong media.
How can you make sure that your news release does not end up as a statistic?
Here are the seven rules you must follow.
1. Focus on the needs of the editor. She makes the ultimate decision.
2. Make the headline as big and important as possible.
3. Your news release should be about news. No news value means no editorial pick-up.
4. Tie your product or service to the news angle. Use the soft sell approach so your news
release will not be seen as an advertisement.
5. Never tell the whole story. Instead, generate editorial curiosity that must be satisfied.
6. Before you create and send out your news release, carefully select the target media and
craft messages to fit the needs of each medium.
7. Know how each editor prefers to receive press releases – direct mail? Email? Fax? – and
make sure you transmit it that way.
Remember this important point, one that’s often ignored by even the most seasoned
professionals. Publicity is not a numbers game. It's not how many copies of your
news release you broadcast at once, but how often it gets published that counts. No
matter how well-crafted the news release is it will be trashed if you send it to
the wrong media segments.