Five Keys To Leaner And Meaner CopywritingWritten by Robert Warren
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Reduce it to a single sentence. Do you really know what you want to say? You might be surprised - try phrasing your entire piece into one simple sentence. Can you do it, or are you insisting that your message is too in-depth? Taking your point down to a single statement can give your copy new focus and clarity.
One thought per sentence. Sentences and paragraphs are different things. Avoid long, complex sentences built up of multiple thoughts. Keep your sentences to one thought each, keep them short and simple, and use your paragraphs for complex ideas.
When in doubt, cut it out. Every writer has written perfect sentence that just doesn't play along well with others. Hemingway was right - kill your darlings. If you can't figure out how to ease that bit of poetry in with rest of your marketing piece, cut it completely and don't look back. Be merciless. You'll be surprised how often that's best solution.
Robert Warren (www.rswarren.com) is a freelance copywriter in the Orlando, Florida area, specializing in providing for the marketing and communications needs of the independent professional private practice.
The Power of the Press Release - Generating Effective Media Coverage ResultsWritten by Mel-Lynda Andersen
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STEP TWO – PACKAGING & DISTRIBUTION After you have finally produced what you think is a strong, effective press release, then what do you do with it? How do you distribute it? Where and to whom should you send it? How can you ensure that all right people – not just your target customers but newspaper and magazine editors, as well as radio and TV show producers – will not only read it but do something to help spread word? 1. Packaging. Compile a professional media support package to accompany your release. Include some or all of following: a. A collection of best-quality images you have b. Company backgrounder or profile outlining history of your company, products and services c. Customer testimonials that underscore quality and effectiveness of your product or service d. A product sample. Everyone likes a freebie, and editors and producers are no exception. Remember, your new product or service could be published in a New Products section or it could receive front-page coverage! The more professional and complete your package more likely you are to receive maximum exposure. 2. Distribution. Take time to research market you want to reach. List all of relevant publications, newsletters, newspapers, TV and radio shows that address that market. Track down addresses, e-mail addresses, web site addresses, and find right person to send your package to. This may mean some online research or even picking up phone and calling media outlet to find out name of right person; and connecting with right person at outset will help you by alerting him or her to your incoming release package. 3. Select your distribution method. a. E-mail – This is cheapest and easiest method of distributing your media release, and it can be very effective. Remember, though, how easy it is to press “Delete”. If you’ve sent your release to wrong person who doesn’t feel like forwarding it on, all your hard work and effort will be trashed before it even reaches a person who can provide you with effective coverage. Another limitation with e-mail is you are assuming editor will take extra step of printing out or copying your information to working files for issue/show-in-progress. If you choose to distribute your release via e-mail, remember to include all of your press release and photos in body of your e-mail. DO NOT send unsolicited attachments, as they will be deleted before they’re even opened. b. Fax – Another cost-effective distribution method, faxes can sometimes be misdirected to wrong person in an organization, or they can be trashed before they find their way to editor’s desk. Another limitation with faxes is that you cannot send photos or product samples with your press release. c. Mail/Courier – While these methods are both most expensive means of distributing your press release, there is nothing better than experiencing real thing. If you send your release via mail, you can include good-quality images, lots of background information, and even product samples, thus ensuring best possible and most positive exposure to your product or service. STEP THREE – FOLLOW-UP It’s one thing to write a strong press release and distribute it to all right people who address your target audience; ensuring these people will publish or broadcast your information, giving your new products and services best possible exposure, is another thing entirely. 1. Pick up phone. Wait until several days after editor/producer has received your press release package, then call that individual to ensure that he or she has received it. Ask if there are any questions, or if you can supply him or her with anything else. Ask if he or she knows whether or not your product will get into next issue or onto an upcoming show. Ask if there is anything else you can do to help process along. 2. Do not be a pest, but keep yourself at forefront of editor’s/producer’s thoughts. If more than a month will pass between your sending along press release package and next issue/show being published or produced, then send a friendly e-mail (or call again if you feel comfortable doing so), reminding them about your new product and asking if they know about whether or not information about product will be published/broadcast. Always be polite, do not take up too much time, and always thank them for their time and assistance. 3. Call back and offer your sincere thanks for a job well done when you do receive coverage. Pave way for sending this person future press release packages.
Mel-Lynda Andersen is a Communications Strategist and a principal of INCOMPAS Communications. INCOMPAS offers strategic, innovative approaches to communications and marketing initiatives to a broad spectrum of private and public sector organizations from initial concept and abstract idea through to completion. Subscribe to INCOMPAS’s newsletter, eNEWS, for more original articles. Copyright © 1999-2004 INCOMPAS. www.incompas.com