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Does Free Pr Work?

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28 replies to this topic

#16 Jill


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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:14 PM

Welcome, Minerva! :)

Oh yes, phone definitely rang off the hook. In fact, I picked up at least two big named clients from that article (Raytheon and Norman). Possibly some more down the line.

There is a big difference between a mention in the WSJ and something like Inc. Magazine. That I can tell you for sure!


#17 dragonlady7


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Posted 05 August 2003 - 10:30 AM

I just found this link on press releases in a newsletter I get. It'll become subscription-only after some time, so I'll summarize it.

I'm not affiliated with these people in any way but i thought the article was a really good basic primer on press releases.

The article was written by Jerry Fireman of Structured Information and was provided for the Marketing Professionals Newsletter (MarketingProfs.com), and I thought it made some really good points.
So a quick summary which I hope doesn't violate anyone's copyright:
Collect and organize the facts before you start-- making sure that the actual news value of the release is clear.
Make sure the release is ready to publish before you send it, as they're not going to spend the time to edit it themselves. (Not just spellchecking and the like, but more. Example: use facts, not superlatives.)
Do research and get together a thorough list of publications on and off-line who may be interested in your products-- think of absolutely everyone who'd be interested. (The article has some good insights into horizontal and vertical markets.)
If they have a question about your release, respond ASAP with a complete answer. (The article has a good list of frequently-asked questions editors have about your releases.)
Follow up-- but unobtrusively. Politely, and only for very important releases, to the most important publications, contact them once to follow up if they haven't responded. It increases your chances of getting published without alienating anyone.

I think you can view articles on the site for about a month before they become members-only. I haven't bothered becoming a member yet, so I wouldn't really know.

#18 Minerva


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Posted 05 August 2003 - 08:05 PM


Would you mind talking a little more about prleads.com? I'm trying to decide if it would be a good investment for a client of mine who authored a business book.

Did you get your WSJ mention through them? What other results have you had and how long have you used them?


#19 Jill


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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:35 PM

Sure, Andrea. I've used PRLeads for over a year now. You usually sign up for a year's subscription, although I think you might be able to do it for less time.

You basically tell Dan Janal, the guy that runs it, your interests and your specialties and then he sends you the leads each day on those topics. A number of reporters and freelancers send out their article/story ideas, and any that might apply to you, you get by email.

They generally have a time period to respond by, as most of the reporters are working on deadlines. Basically, you just respond to their query personally, by email, telling them a bit of the information they asked for, and giving them your contact info if they would like to speak further.

Dan will tell you if he doesn't think he gets enough leads in your particular business specialty to make it worth your while. For instance, he didn't think there would really be enough in the search engine marketing field for it to be worth my money, but I decided to try it anyway. I put in for personal catetories like Parenting, etc., also, and often answer those kinds of leads when I have time. In fact, I just heard from a teacher at my son's school who recently had a baby. She was reading a copy of Parent's magazine and there I was quoted in there!

The WSJ mention did not come from PRLeads, however. I'm at a point in my career where I get many of these kinds of inquiries anyway. Generally if reporters are searching for info on SEO or SEM, my name comes up one way or another.

But there are often business leads I can speak to. My problem is finding the time to answer them all. I have often saved a lead that I want to come back and send an answer to, but by the time I get back to it, the due date has come and gone.

The cool thing is that the more you get quoted, the more chances you'll get for being quoted in the future.

Check out the PR LEADS site and talk to Dan. He'll let you know if he thinks it would be a good fit for your client. I would imagine it would be. The writers are always looking for experts who wrote books!

Good luck!


#20 toprank


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Posted 23 August 2003 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for the heads up on PR Leads Jill, turns out Dan is right here in our "back yard" - in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

#21 Minerva


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 04:32 PM

If you do manage to get quoted in a major publication, you can definitely get business out of it. My phone rang off the hook after my quotes in the Wall Street Journal, and I did sign some deals. Nothing like the WSJ for instant credibility!

Well, I had the experience of being quoted in the WSJ last month, and it did nothing for my business. Maybe that's because I was quoted discussing creepy office Christmas parties and I sounded like a credible grinch. Mentioning my profession and the name of my business was definitely not on the writer's agenda. Not that I mind - it was all in fun and I knew that he only does tongue-in-cheek articles. If you can't get quoted as a business expert, maybe you can be quoted as a grinch.

#22 Diniz


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Posted 01 February 2004 - 11:50 AM

Please forgive me for this one, but personally I could not think of anything that would undermine my credibility more than having the wall street tabloid propagandists agreeing with something i say! :lol:

#23 webstream


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Posted 22 February 2004 - 06:06 PM

Just to chime in...

I have had the good fortune of writing a column for a major trade magazine which is owned by major national publication. It has brought me new business over the past two years and helped immensely in branding me. I also do seminars for several trade associations at trade shows and for a major manufacturer which has also helped my business (not to mention taking my family on some fun vacations).

Recently while doing a seminar a manufacturer from entirely different industry sat in on my session and afterwards asked me to do a seminar for them as well as some development work.

I personally do not make a lot of money doing seminars or writing articles, but it definitely helps build your brand awareness and brings you a lot of leads you might otherwise never have received.

My suggestion is to consider writing for traditional print publications as well as e-zines. Many big corporations may never go read an e-zine but will read the traditional print publications.


#24 crendogal


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Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:33 AM

Well, since the very first article about our company was just printed this morning (yeah!), I have no idea if it'll get us more work or not so I'll have to follow up on this later this week!

But the article is in the online version of the paper as well as the print (statesmanjournal.com business section), so I'm sending the URL around to local clients and to friends and getting good mileage out of it already (and it's only 8:30 am my time). Have to run out and grab a few copies of the paper yet this morning (for our scrapbook as well as for relatives), but plan to mention the article on our website news page and will include a photo of the printed page as well as a link to the online story. And I'll probably talk to the newspaper about getting a copy of the photo.

The reporter called and asked for an interview the afternoon after I submitted a press release -- article topic isn't what was in the press release, but the blurb about our company on the release is what got the writer's attention and why he called. So send those press releases to your local paper and to any free distribution you can because you never know....

#25 Jill


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Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:49 AM

Sounds great, Tamra! Good luck with it and let us know what happens from here.


#26 dabblingmum


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Posted 02 March 2004 - 08:24 PM

I have a few articles on writing your own press release and free distribution centers as well as paid distribution centers if you need help preparing your own PR.

The link is: thedabblingmum.com/business/pressreleases.htm

Edited by dabblingmum, 02 March 2004 - 09:32 PM.

#27 SmellieNellie


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Posted 03 March 2004 - 07:03 AM

Hi Dabblingmom :lol:

Thanks for that, that was very timely for me! I am trying desperately to think of ways to push my company into the public domain more and was just about to sit down and write a press release of some description!



#28 OldWelshGuy


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Posted 03 March 2004 - 07:37 AM

I would say it certainly does work. The other morning, I agreed to go with a friend to a breakfast meeting with regard internet stuff (technical term) Because of the snow, the speaker could not make it, so a dozen or so people were sat around with no focus.

My friend blurted out that 'I' could probably answer some questions, and what it turned into was a real grass roots Q&A session about taking a business online, and common rip offs, misunderstandings, basic essentials of getting ready to go online, and how to ensure your website intergrates into the existing business etc.

I have to say i really enjoyed this, maybe because it was unplanned, no notes, just out of my head, and only talking about that which interested those there, maybe because it was really informal, which suits my style and personality, or because I got fed and watered for free which is never a bad thing in my book :D .

The upshot was that I have had 4 requests for meetings to discuss working for these people, that are mostly along the lines of ' you are just what we need, someone who talks about business not computers'.

I think though that as I was not scheduled, and there was no barriers to be broken down, plus I gave away mountains of useful information (which I always do), I then followed up as promised with links to good resources etc by email, so was seen as someone who helped them for free and did what I said I would (apart from give them business cards as I never carry them unless I am seeing a client)

Now where have we seen that business model before JILL ;)

Based on the experience they decided that they could trust me, and they knew my personality, so decided they could work with me, and looking back, I have to say that if I had the need to tout for business, this method is perfect.

Although I also have to say that one of the attendees there thought I was totally unprofessional, and a lout, as I turned up in cords, shirt, woolen jumper, and :ale: NO TIE what is the world coming to, when people turn up for breakfast at 7am not wearing a tie? :lol:

#29 JamesW


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Posted 03 March 2004 - 05:17 PM


You forgot to mention the can of Special Brew clasped firmly in your left hand :lol:



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