Generate Free Publicity

By: homebusinessreview
Local newspapers love to write articles about home-based entrepreneurs. In fact, if you wait long enough, a beat reporter will probably track you down. But why wait? Make the reporter's job easier and score some free publicity for your business by sending the newspaper a press release.

Why Would Newspapers Care About My Business?
Almost everyone has fantasized about storming into their boss's office and saying, "Take this job and shove it!" When newspaper subscribers read about home-based business owners, they're able to live vicariously through your success. "You see, Marge, this guy did it - so can we!" Of course, Marge and her husband will probably never take the plunge into home-based business ownership, but that's beside the point. The point is that newspapers love to run articles about businesses just like yours - and reporters would love it if you made their jobs easier by sending them press releases.

A word of caution: If your home-based business is located in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, or even a "smaller" town like Green Bay or Portland, your odds of getting newspaper coverage are greatly diminished. Chances are, your home-based business will not be featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a shot. Better yet, you can send your press releases to smaller publications specific to your industry.

How Do I Format My Press Release?
Begin by using company letterhead. If you don't have any, now would be a fine time to make a minimal investment in the professionalism of your business's image. Or, if you prefer, you can create your own letterhead in a simple program like Microsoft Word. The result can be just as good if you're a skilled computer user.

Next, create an attention-grabbing headline for your press release. Just imagine what your dream headline would be if it could appear as written in the newspaper. Make sure your headline will really catch the editor's eye - newspaper editors get bombarded with dozens of press releases every day, so you have to make sure yours stands out. One good way to do this is to leave the reader wanting to find out more. Don't give away the whole story in your headline, just give them enough to catch their interest.

Your headline should be in a larger, bold-faced font. You can put a longer sub-title underneath it, more thoroughly explaining the purpose of the press release, but that's optional.

Next, you'll want to begin the actual body of the press release. Start with a dateline, such as Ann Arbor, MI (09/14/2006)--, all italicized as shown. Then make sure you write the most important information in the first paragraph, as many times editors will give up on a press release if it doesn't interest them in the first few sentences. You need to hook the reader in!

Some Final Tips on Crafting a Successful Press Release
Your press release should be a maximum of one page. There are two reasons for this: 1) Editors are busy and unlikely to read anything longer than a page. And 2) the shorter your press release, the more likely it is to be published in verbatim. That's right, many times busy editors and reporters simply take a well-written press release and slap it into the next edition, so be sure that your article is well-written and error-free. If you're not a good writer, consider hiring an English major from the local university, or perhaps a freelance writer from the internet. There are several sites on the web where press release writers can be hired at affordable prices.

Finally, don't give up. If your first press release isn't gobbled up by the newspapers, send another - and another, and another. Make sure your press releases are actually newsworthy or would serve as interesting human interest stories, and send no more than one per month. Eventually, your persistence should pay off. Either you'll finally win over the editor, or he'll give in just to get you to stop sending the press releases! Either way, a newspaper story about your home-based business can spread the word more efficiently and economically than almost any form of paid advertising. The time and energy you put into crafting and submitting the press releases will be well worth the effort.
Home Businesses
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Home Businesses
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles