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The Deadly Mistake Most People Make When They Write
Press Releases

Publicity is a very popular topic on most discussion boards.  I'd like to add a little input because I've seen a lot of misinformation that could be seriously affecting your chances of getting major publicity for your products or services.

Many people seem to think getting publicity equals writing a press release.  In virtually every posting concerning publicity, the only thing mentioned is the press release.

The press release is only a small part of the whole picture.  The press release only opens the door to the media.  What you do after the door is open is what really determines how much publicity you'll get - if any.

For example:

Exactly what do you say to reporters when they want to set up an interview?

Do you know the three quizzes reporters will give you on the phone?  (You won't even know you're being quizzed!)

Do you know how to answer those three quizzes?  (If you answer them the wrong way, you will have tipped off the reporter that you don't know what you're doing.)

Do you know what else the reporters will want from you?

Do you know how to book an interview the correct way?

Do you know how to do an interview so that you have the maximum opportunity to make money?  Do you know how to get booked again?

Do you know how to get your ordering information, including toll-free number, price, etc., in just about every newspaper and magazine article?

Do you know how to run a good-sized publicity campaign for less than $10?

Focusing only on the press release when talking about publicity is like focusing only on the scalpel when talking about open heart surgery.  There's a long road between picking up a scalpel and being able to do open heart surgery.  There's also a long road between writing a press release and getting major publicity that turns into money in the bank.  But just like open heart surgery, once you're taught the right way, it's not very difficult at all.  Get a good publicity system and you can be up and running in no time.

The only purpose of getting publicity (as far as we're concerned) is putting money in the bank.  I don't care how many interviews you've done with the media.  I don't care how many times you've been in the paper.  The only thing I care about is how much money went into your bank account as a result of each and every interview you do.  If you don't know the answer to that question, you've wasted your time.  You have to track the results of your interviews just as you track the results of your ads.

So, stop focusing only on press releases.  Focus on developing your whole media campaign...and developing it in a way that the reporters will be interested.  That's the real key to getting great publicity.

Many people have asked me whether or not it's a good idea to hire someone to write a press release for you.  Journalism students, copywriters and others who offer to write releases have been suggested.

I disagree very strongly, for several reasons.

First, if you pay someone to write a press release, you have learned nothing.  You've only paid someone a couple of hundred dollars to write a release that may or may not be in the correct style - the style the media people expect to see and will respond to.

Second, you will become a slave to the person who writes your releases.  Next time you need a release, you'll have to pay them another couple of hundred dollars...and then another couple of hundred dollars and on and on like a drug habit!  This all adds up to some very serious money, very quickly.

Finally, when you pay someone to write a press release for you, all you have is a questionable release.  You have no idea what to do with it.  (Go back to the 4th paragraph - do you know how to do all of those correctly?).  You have the scalpel, but has anyone taught you how to do the surgery?

When you learn a complete, good system for getting publicity (and it's not hard!) you own that information for the rest of your life.  You don't have to pay anyone.  When you need a press release, you can write one in minutes.  You know exactly how to get that release into the hands of the media people the cheapest, easiest, most effective way possible.  You know how to book your own interviews, how to do the interviews so they produce the greatest amount of sales and how to get booked right back on that same show.  You have all the power.

Don't make any of the other common publicity mistakes either.

Don't think you need any special skill to write a press release.  You don't.  All you have to do is follow a tested formula.

Don't think you have to pay people to book interviews for you.  You don't!  You can do it all yourself, very efficiently and absolutely free.  I constantly see ads from people offering to book interviews for you.  99% of the people seeking publicity for their product or service don't need these high-priced bookers.  Save your money and learn to do it yourself.  It's a breeze!

Don't think you don't have what it takes to do the interviews with reporters.  Again, once you know how to do an interview, it's a breeze.  Thousands of people just like you are doing interviews.  Why not you?

Don't make the huge mistake of thinking that publicity won't benefit you.  In over 20 years, I've never seen a product, service, cause or issue that couldn't benefit from publicity.  Publicity can help you get a business started, expand a business beyond anything you expected, make you a celebrity, make you a center of influence, etc., etc., etc.

As many of you know, I thank publicity for giving me most of what I have in my life.  I developed a system that works and I use it over and over...as do many of my publicity students.  I've gotten many millions of dollars worth of publicity for my products and services (anyone who has seen me speak can verify that - they have seen, heard and held the proof).  My publicity students have also gotten tremendous amounts of publicity.

Well, that's my slant on this whole publicity discussion.

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