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A great resource for finding appropriate places to send press releases is Mediafinder. This site can be searched under numerous different subject areas, geographic locations, etc. It provides Web site addresses, e-mail contacts and media kit details.
Remember when sending an e-mail press release to follow some basic rules:
* not all e-mail readers can display formatted text, so stick with plain 10pt Courier, and keep your line lengths to 60-80 characters
* be sure to include your contact e-mail address and Web site URL in a prominent place, and make sure that you have a great signature file (the piece of text that appears at end of every e-mail message). It should be brief, but contain your name, company, one line about what you offer, telephone, fax, e-mail and Web site address. Your e-mail program should help you to create this, unless you are using America Online (where you can cut and paste)
* use a "knock their socks off" subject / headline, such as "Internet Benefits For Business Discussed On Web Site Broadcast" - not just "Press release" to entice editor to read your message; and
* don't "spam" reporters (i.e. blitz your e-mails indiscriminately). Send your release to targeted and appropriate places only.
Some real world rules also apply here. Don't bombard editor with e-mails asking why your piece was not accepted. But if you do make it into "print", perhaps a real card to thank editor is a better marketing ploy than e-mail (and I don't often say that!)
Caryn Amster picks up postcards on vacation and uses them for media thank you notes. Why a postcard? Because everyone in newsroom sees it, wonders why someone is sending a card from Disney World to newsroom. One card gets a lot of mileage.
Press release Web pages
There are some major advantages to using press releases on your (or others') Web sites. You can include:
* hyperlinks to related stories, or further background information;
* sound and video clips to enhance your presentation; and
* buttons to access your release in different languages (great for international speakers!)
You can also easily track where your press releases are published and how many people read them. If they are included on your site, you can find this information from your own access logs. If you submit press releases for other publications, consider using different e-mail contact addresses for each. Often your Internet Service Provider will supply multiple e-mail boxes as part of their Web hosting service, which is a great way to quantify your responses.
There are several Web sites that allow you to submit free press releases under a number of different searchable categories. Two such sites are: PRWeb and Webwire.
Online Radio Shows
In addition to "print" publications, there is an increasing number of "online radio shows". In fact, Yahoo! has a whole category devoted to them.
The shows are generally broadcast in "Real Audio", or a similar program. This is software that is free to download and easy to install on your computer. The "streaming audio" is heard as it comes to your machine, so you don't have to wait for whole clip to download before you can hear it.
Again, these shows are looking for content and guests. The Yahoo! listing often includes each one's subject matter or focus, so you can identify appropriate targets for your message.
So Do It!
Other than an investment of time, and some research savvy, all of opportunities outlined in this article are free. You don't need to have a Web site to pursue many of them (although I believe that it enhances your visibility and credibility if you do).
Public relations is an area that most of us can take better advantage of. So venture into Cyberspace, and "PRofit from Publicity!"
Copyright, Philippa Gamse, 2000
Philippa Gamse, CyberSpeaker, is an internationally recognized e-business strategist. Check out her free tipsheet "Beyond the Search Engines" for 17 ideas to promote your Website: http://www.CyberSpeaker.com/tipsheet.html Philippa can be reached at (831) 465-0317 or mailto:pgamse@CyberSpeaker.com