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May We Have Your Attention?

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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 01:42 AM

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Gain exposure by using the power of the press.

Business is booming . . . We're opening a second location. . . We'restaying open later to accommodate the crowds.Want to hear yourself sayingthose words? Wonder if yourcompany's 15 minutes of fame will ever come? Itcould happensooner than you think, says Alan Caruba, PR guru and author ofthehandheld guide Getting Famous: How to Write a Successful NewsRelease(The Caruba Organization, $5, 973-763-6392). Carubaknows plenty about grabbingthe spotlight: He's also founder ofthe hype-driven Boring Institute, a mediaspoof known for its annuallist of the 10 most boring celebrities.

Fame is elusive, and it's no wonder some businesses gocompletely unnoticed intheir communities, says the Maplewood, NewJersey, PR expert. What start-upentrepreneurs don't know aboutthe power of a good canhurt them--andthat's no laughing matter. To start with, Caruba pointsout,it's called a release, so it's got to containnews.

Exactly who should be in the know about your company? Create amedia list--a"who's who" of area newspapers, newsshows and the names of the media peoplewhose recognition you wantto cultivate. (Take a trip to the library to culladdresses andphone and fax numbers.)

Next, send one news release a month--and don't be surprisedif it's sixmonths before you get any attention, says Caruba.Media contacts need to getcomfortable with seeing a regular releasefrom you before they'll act.

Ready to get famous? Sample the essential elements of asuccessful newsrelease, below. (We asked Caruba to use an imaginarygraphic design firm as hismodel.)

1. An eye-catching headline that uses action words(e.g.,"reveals" or "exposes"): DesignDetermines Success or Failure.

2. A subheadline that tells who you are: Miles Cameron ofSupreme GraphicsReveals Design Secrets.

3. A lead paragraph containing a strong quote or statement abouta matter ofgeneral interest: Graphic designer Miles Cameron ofSupreme Graphics says,"Without strong design elements today,any product, publication or project isat a significantdisadvantage." A survey by Supreme Graphics on the linkbetweengraphics and success produced surprises.

4. A second paragraph offering key information about thelocation and nature ofyour company: Supreme Graphics ofSummerdale, California, is offering areport on its recent survey tolocal businesses and organizations.

5. An easy-to-comprehend third paragraph with conciseinformation on the reasonfor the release: Find out how graphicdesign can make a difference in yourbottom line, from increasingrepeat business to a higher referral rate.

6. A strong closing quote or statement: In print, ontelevision and on theInternet, an investment in graphic design hasbecome an essential factor ofsuccess in today's competitivevisual era.

7. A reinforced key word (such as "success") thatappears in the beginning,middle and end of the release.

8. Name and phone and fax numbers of the contact person.

9. One page in length only.

Still intimidated? Don't be. "If you can write a goodletter, you can write agood news release," promises Caruba.And if you can't? Pay a professional to doit for you." is essential, no matter how much moneyyou'respending on advertising," Caruba says.

Need a jumpstart? Check out Caruba's Web site(http://www.caruba.com) torequest a copy of GettingFamous.

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