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ON ADVERTISING WD On Advertising is published by Wesley Day Advertising


Packaging is just as important in selling a news release as in selling a product. Every release should start by answering the basics: who, what, where, when, and how. However, journalists are looking for the why. In particular, why is it newsworthy? How does it impact their readers? That’s where packaging comes into play. Set an objective: Before you start writing your release, step back and ask yourself these questions: 1. Who do I want to read this? 2. What media outlets do my target audience frequent? 3. What is my objective with this release -- creating familiarity, establishing position, building brand, or making a call to action? What three points should my audience take away from reading this story? See the big picture: How does your product revolutionize your industry or reshape how leading brands do business? Most important, how does it tap into broader business or cultural trends? Sell your company: Set yourself apart. If warranted, outline how large you are in terms of employees, capital, global presence, and industry influence. Drop names: Using a phrase like “serves Fortune 1000 clients” is one thing. Listing names like Coca-Cola or General Electric is another. Similarly, solicit quotes from respected officials from recognized

companies, along with experts like industry analysts, association leaders, and academics. Punch up the headline: Separate your release from the pack. Keep your verbiage short and give every word punch. Provide hard numbers: Stats grab attention. They bring your proposition to life and give you added authority. Cater to reporters: When you post your release, consider including an accompanying company fact sheet and pictures to help journalists fill in the blanks. The less work that journalists have to do, the less likely they are to deviate from your message. Don’t forget the basics: • Include the critical information (who, what, where, when, how, and why) in the first paragraph. • Keep paragraphs short – no more than four or five lines. • Always have someone proof and edit your release. • Provide contact information, including press contact, address, phone, e-mail, and Web site. • Include your logo. • Keep quotes succinct. Remember, your first objective is to get read and picked up by the editor.



Here are more tips for using snail mail to generate qualified business-to-business leads. 1. Understand the “hot buttons.” CEOs are often more concerned about their time than about saving a few dollars – focus quickly on payback and don’t waste time with wordy, overly detailed mailers. Of course, CFOs have different needs and “hot buttons,” as do directors of IT or HR managers. Middle managers are typically more concerned about preservation (of their jobs) and about making a safe, unquestionable choice than saving either time or money. 2. Focus on the letter. Talk one to one to your prospects about their problems or about opportunities to improve

their operations. Aside from brochures being impersonal, they put you into competition with companies that can outspend you. 3. Let your prospects tell you how serious they are. Checking off a single box on a reply card doesn’t necessarily make the responder a real prospect. Ask your prospects to fill in just a few lines of information, and allow several options on your response form – ranging from “Have your representative call me immediately” to “No interest now. Call me in six months.” Watch for more direct mail tips in upcoming issues. Read previous tips at Three Trends in Loyalty Strategy.

1. Customer networks Smart marketers are going beyond dialogue with customers to building communities of customers bound by geography, lifestyle, and other factors. That means moving beyond two-way communications to enable customers to connect with each other, share insights, and exchange relevant information. Example: sponsoring users, clubs and on-line forums. 2. Data analysis Basic ROI analysis is no longer the end game. Progressive retailers are leveraging loyalty data to drive their brand’s core value proposition. Example: enhancing your customers’ buying experience based on loyalty data. 3. Convergence Some convergence is driven by company acquisitions, with the corresponding customer databases growing more astounding every day. Another is CRM convergence in which technology helps these same companies organize every aspect of their businesses around customer segments. The third trend is point-of-sale convergence in which complementary businesses combine efforts to the benefit of all. Example: membership rewards programs where airlines, rental car companies, and motels pool their points in their battle for share of mind.

Web site analytics CAN’T measure media effectiveness.

Web site analytics tools: • Rely only on the referring URL for media measurement. This is a fundamental flaw that causes significant errors in attribution and optimization. • Measure just the eventual conversion instead of the entire sales funnel. • Lack the essential media impression data needed to adequately integrate digital and traditional media. At best, Web site analytics measure only a slice of the overall media landscape and can be misleading for determining media mix and optimization.

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WD On Advertising – March 2003  

Monthly newsletter of advertising and marketing tips published by Wesley Day Advertising, West Des Moines, Iowa. March 2008 issue.