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Blogging for Publicity

Last year I was contacted by Emily Brandon, a writer for US News & World Report. She wanted my opinion on the best place for baby boomers to retire. How did she find me? She discovered a comment I wrote on a blog post about how much I liked Asheville, NC.

This brings me to a point about getting media exposure. Blogging and blog comments are great ways to be found by journalists like Emily Brandon. Some media folks don't always rely on press releases to find people to interview. They actually search and read blogs. They also read blog comments so if you're hoping to maximize your media exposure, start blogging.

Here are some tips I've shared in the past that I believe bear repeating:

1) If you like to write and have something relevant to say, then say it. Just because you don’t get any responses to your post doesn’t mean no one is reading them.

2) Share your blog with others. Let your friends, family members and email contact list know what you’re writing about and where they can find what you’ve written. I’ve discovered that my email friends will pass on my blog link to “their” friends if it’s a subject matter they think they’d be interested in.

3) Maintain a blog on your website. Make your website a one-stop-shopping kind of site where the readers can see everything you have to offer in a non-cluttered way.

4) Maintain separate blogs for separate trains of thought (optional). If you’re an author, devote one blog to your work and use other blogs to express different subject matters. You may want to use one blog to give your reaction to the news of the day and another to share something feelings, etc.

5) Visit other blogs and comment on them. Find other blogs that interest you and offer a comment from time to time. Also, invite the blogger to visit your site sometime.
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Finding a Hook For Your Media Release

Who wouldn't jump at the chance to get media exposure. We all know thirty seconds (or more) of face time on TV can generate into financial success for your business, book or product.

But first things first. You need to establish contact with the media so they can determine whether or not you would be a good interview. It starts with the press release.

Here are some tips on getting started:

1. Know your audience.
Who are you trying to reach with your message? "Everyone" is NOT a good answer. You have to target a market: baby boomers, women, work-at-home moms, etc.

2. Why should the media care?
Why should the media person reading this release care? What makes your book, business or product different than the others?

3. Why should the public care?
Why would anyone be interested in what you're offering? Figure that out and make sure you spell it out in the press release. What may seem obvious to you may not be so obvious to the person reading your press release.

4. This isn't an ad.
Nothing is a bigger turnoff than press release writing that sounds like you've put together an advertisement. Reporters want news-worthy stories and ads are not generally newsworthy.

5. Send your release to the right people.
Make certain you send your press release to the right person. If you're mass distributing your release on the internet through a distribution company, choose your target category wisely. If you're sending out releases the old fashioned way, then it pays to send it to a person rather than a generic department or news organization. The best person to send it to is the Assignment Editor in the television newsroom.
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Working with the Media

Reporters are always looking for stories to tell. While you may not be the lead story of the day, what you have to say could be a part of any newscast, provided it adds value.

If you want to have your :15 to :30 of fame with the media, here are some tips you should be aware of that will help create interest in your "news."

Does your business, product or service offer any of the following?

Topicality – Is this an issue of the day?

Relevance – Will this impact the public?

Human interest – Does the story touch an emotion or experience shared by all people? Entertainment value – Is the story funny, curious or will it stimulate imagination or passion?

Public Service: Will your story aid the community in some way?

Controversy – Does the story create debate?

If you have answered yes to any of the above, the next step is to create your press release and share it with the news decision makers.

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