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Press Pass

By Julia Miller

Let's say you want to get the word out about your great new product or service but don't have a lot of money to spend on advertising. Launching a press release campaign is an easy way to target editors and their thousands of readers, suggests Ira S. Kalb, author of Zero Budget Marketing (K&A Press).

According to Kalb, press releases have several advantages, such as generating increased sales and name recognition for your company. Best of all, they cost a fraction of the price of ad space. Most publications print press releases either as a stand-alone write-up or combined with other releases.

The trick, says Kalb, is to write a release that makes the editor believe your product will interest the reader and to submit something that will not involve a lot of rewriting. You can increase your chances of getting published by getting the editors excited about your product or service and by following these steps:

Start with your letterhead.

1. Type "For Immediate Release."

2. Include the name and phone number of the person whom the editor should contact for more information.

3. Create a headline. This is the most important sentence in the entire press release: a bold one-liner that appears above your release and pinpoints your product's key benefit.

4. Write the body of the press release. Keep it short and snappy.

5. Close the press release with the name and address you're using for your sales leads.

Some additional hints: Keep it uncomplicated; a headline like "Bigger Is Smaller" will get your press release instant delivery into editors' wastebaskets. When you use first-class mail, you're telling the editors what you think about your product. When you use bulk mail, you're also telling the editors what you think about your product.

Be sure to go after small regional and specialty publications; spending 50 cents to deliver your message to 30,000 prospects is a real bargain.

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