Are You Making These Press Release Mistakes?

Written by Michele Pariza Wacek

You've done it. Gotten that press release written. Now you're ready to send it out to your carefully chosen list of media contacts.

But before you hit that "send" button, take a moment and run your press release through this checklist. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catchrepparttar attention of busy journalists and editors -- don't blow it over an easily corrected mistake.

Some of these may seem painfully obvious. Alas, evenrepparttar 148250 obvious gets overlooked from time to time (even from professionals I know, I've made my share of mistakes) so it's always a wise idea to take a few moments to double check that your release is up to snuff before sending it out intorepparttar 148251 world.

1. Is your release newsworthy? In other words, does it answerrepparttar 148252 question "Will this interest my readers?" Remember, media people are interested in one thing keeping their readers happy. Make sure your idea is something that will do just that.

2. Isrepparttar 148253 headline compelling? Will it encourage media people to actually readrepparttar 148254 story? Ifrepparttar 148255 headline doesn't interest them, chances are they aren't going to takerepparttar 148256 time to readrepparttar 148257 rest ofrepparttar 148258 release. And you've just missed your opportunity.

3. Isrepparttar 148259 first sentence (the lead) compelling? Likerepparttar 148260 headline, ifrepparttar 148261 first sentence doesn't grab their attention and persuade them to keep reading, chances are your release will be headed to that famous circular file. (Otherwise known asrepparttar 148262 trash can.)

How to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business

Written by Michele Pariza Wacek

Community relations is one of those marketing strategies that isn't talked about much, even though I venture to say practically everyone ends up doing it at one time or another. Basically, community relations is when you and your business become involved in your community. For instance:

* Your business donates money to nonprofit organizations. * You or your employees volunteer at a fundraising event. * You or your employees volunteer for a nonprofit organization. * You or your employees join a service club. * You or your employees network and/or volunteer at industry association meetings or business functions (such as Chamber of Commerce events). Some people might consider this networking and not community relations, but I would argue networking falls under community relations. Regardless, you getrepparttar idea.

I'm going to go throughrepparttar 148249 pros and cons of community relations in a moment, but first I want to encourage all of you to think about ways to not only add community relations to your marketing strategy but also to get better at leveraging those opportunities to grow your business. But first, let's go throughrepparttar 148250 pros and cons.

Pros: * Builds credibility for you and your business. * Builds personal relationships with customers. * Works well with advertising similar to public relations, community relations is a "soft" sell approach that can make your customers more receptive to your advertising. * Can be a stepping stone for PR. * Creates goodwill (and good karma).

Cons: * Time community relations can consume a ton of it. All that volunteering can suck up a lot of working and/or leisure hours. * Long wait to realize results like public relations, you implement a community relations plan forrepparttar 148251 long haul. And I do meanrepparttar 148252 long haul (even longer than PR). * Difficult to track I'm talking mainly aboutrepparttar 148253 non-business networking activities here. You may never be able to trace sales to community relations. Actually, chances are you probably won't. You need to trust it's working on some cosmic level and let it go. * No payoff at all this can happen if you find yourself donating time and/or money to charities that are wonderful causes but offer little advertising and/or promotional opportunities. Now, that doesn't mean I'm advocating only supporting high-visibility causes. Onrepparttar 148254 contrary, there are many good reasons to have a community relations program in place. For one,repparttar 148255 good feeling you get knowing you're supporting a worthy cause (not to mention allrepparttar 148256 good karma you build).

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