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Raising the profile of your business
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:47 pm    Post subject: Raising the profile of your business Reply with quote

I'd firstly like to thank Aaron and his team of Aardvark's for the great forums!

Secondly, I would like to pick your brains (if it's not pickled from the Christmas parties!) In 2004 I would really love to raise the profile of my business and website and would love to be featured in some of the UK's internet and holiday magazines and media.

How do I go about this? I have been told that these magazines won't even read my letters unless I am with a marketing company, this to me seems silly because why employ a company when I actually enjoy doing the marketing myself.

I was going to write to a few magazines during the Christmas period, but thought they will be concentrating more on the Christmas parties. When is it the best time to contact them, considering I am a holiday company and January is going to be a BIG month for me.

What should I include in the letter, any points I should get across? I started the business myself in February 2002 and started with advertising one holiday home.. my dad! Now I have listed around 400 holiday homes from around the world (not mine.. wish they were!

I thought it would be an interesting story for someone... what do you reckon?

Any assistance would be very much appreciated.

Have a great Christmas and a successful New Year.

Regards,
Darren
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can advertise in any magazine without an ad agency. Just ask them for a media kit to get their rates & specifications.

If you are wanting to publish an article, being an advertiser always helps. Writing a good article also helps. Be aware that some magazines have editorial content prepared several months in advance. They may not be able to fit new content in for several months even if they wanted to.

I've had mixed success with press releases. I've had some published when we were not an advertiser and I've had some not published when we were. It's pretty much a crap-shoot unless you cultivate a relationship with the magazine staff IMO.
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bernard for your response.

I was thinking of putting a press release together, are you aware of any websites which can help with this?

Also, I don't have the revenue to be advertising in magazines, it's not a cheap way to market our business, and we find more success with ppc online. Alot of the UK internet magazines are looking at Holiday websites in January, so it would be good to get a mention, but unfortunately they tend to mention the big names of the travel industry like expedia etc.

Does anyone else have any ideas or experience of this type of marketing?

Darren
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Ian Doyle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why not go for the hard hit by approaching the Sunday Financials ?

They are always after good news stories about people who have set up on there own !

Ring them up first, then put together 300-500 words about :-
creation of the idea
how this was put into practise/ financed
oh and then also add a photo of you outside one of your homes (could be your own)
also add what is different about your site compared to others
include your www site in the main text to illustrate the peice

bingo !
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=how+to+write+a+press+release

I usually just send a text only e-mail to named editors with my proposed press release. If they are interested and have space, they publish. My success rate is not terribly great, but sufficient to continue doing it.
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aaron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Bernard

How did you go about getting the names and email addresses of the editors? From the newspapers themselves or do you have an insider knowledge? Also, I'd be interested top hear whether you are targetting local or national press, or both.

Regards

Aaron
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For InterPlan Systems, we target national and world-wide themed publications for a vertical market (like refining maintenance).

Every magazine lists contact info for their editorial staff inside. Most publisher's web sites also list editorial contacts.

It pays to dig around as best you can to find the name of the editor in charge of the section/subject that you will be addressing versus just e-mailing "editor@...". I have even resorted to calling the publisher and asking who the right person is. They are generally very friendly and helpful.
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian - I'll have a look into that this week.

Bernard / Aaron - I did some "digging" around tonight, and have found a number of UK newspapers both local and national that have editorial contacts.

I'm going to have an attempt at putting a press release together, if anyone has some examples of releases I'd be grateful if you could email me them.

I'll also have a look at Google and see what I can dig up. I did write a small article about the website and how it all started last year, but it never got published. I might sound cynical but alot of the general internet media tend to mention big travel websites whenever they get the opportunity, but when it comes to the small business trying to make a success they tend to ignore them.

Anyway, I'll have a look around for further information.

Thanks for your help.

Darren
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Darren

I think I have one or two example press releases that we have done in the past on my machine at work (I'm currently at home). How about I swap some sample press releases (assuming I can find them OK) for some of the details you have managed to dig out? Wink

We have no planned press releases currently and haven't done any for a while, but that's been down to being too busy really, so maybe I ought to give it some thought and try one or two every once in a while...

Paul
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Paul - you've got a deal! Laughing

These are editors of UK newspapers and 2 internet magazines; I'll email you them tonight or during the day tomorrow.

Well I should get back to testing.. blah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing the same thing. I'm putting together a media kit for our new swimwear line. Here are a couple of web sites that will help:

PRweb let's you send out free press releases. I've have some great response from this service: http://prweb.com

Media Post is a wonderful resource for all types of media. You'll find magazine editors' names, TV producers, radio stations, ad reps, etc. http://mediapost.com

Good luck in your venture!
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Cindy! I'll give them sites a lookover soon.

Darren
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paul
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Darren

Sorry for the delay - hellishly busy. Here are some example press releases we have done. They're no great secret, so I might as well make them public to everyone. Also, note that we don't have any expertise in this area, but I am sharing with your press releases that were successful in being published. To be honest, I was surprised at how little the newspapers did with them - they pretty much published them word for word as they are.

Quote:
PRESS RELEASE - THE UGLIEST FACE IN CYBERSPACE?

The traditional Cumbrian sport of gurning has been turned on its head with the launch of the world's first on-line gurning competition. Competitors from all over the world are encouraged to e-mail pictures of themselves pulling a face. A Cumbrian beauty kit along with the title of ‘Gurner of the Month’ is up for grabs.

"It's been extremely popular so far, with people from all over the world sending in pictures. Our very first ‘Gurner of the Month’ is from Australia!" said competition organiser Dr. Paul Johnson from The Dedicated Partnership.

"The gurning competition is a small part of a much larger Web site, www.cumbria.uk.com which is all about Cumbria. We were looking for something that would catch people’s imagination and help promote the county as a whole."

The www.cumbria.uk.com Web site promotes Cumbrian towns and businesses free of charge, and already attracts over 10,000 unique visitors a month. Anyone interested in having a free page on the site, or entering the gurning competition should contact The Dedicated Partnership which has a Web site at www.dedicate.co.uk

Further details are available on request, including a photograph of TDP staff gurning and two screen shots taken from www.cumbria.uk.com
Contact: Dr. Paul Johnson, The Dedicated Partnership – tel. 01539 736677


This next one was for the local press:

Quote:
PRESS RELEASE
CUMBRIA WEB SITE GETS NATIONAL APPROVAL


A new Cumbria Web site – www.cumbria.uk.com – has been picked by ITV’s ‘The Web Review’ as one of its favourite sites.

‘The Web Review’ looks at everything from entertainment to shopping, money matters, sport through to just plain weird and whacky. The half-hour shows, presented by resident ’net experts Richard Topping and Katherine Harvey, guide us to the most interesting, informative and fun sites out of the mind-boggling 800 million or so currently on the internet.

The programme, broadcast nationwide each week, also devotes one section to its favourite sites in which www.cumbria.uk.com features.

Presenter Richard Topping said, “My favourite this week was sent in by a viewer who pointed us towards an amusing section on ‘gurning’ within this Cumbria tourist site. Gurning, of course, is the ancient art of pulling an ugly face through a horse’s collar – and no I have no idea why they do it. But here on this site is the world’s first online gurning contest where you can vote for the gurner of the month, pictures of wannabe gurning world champions sent in by visitors to the site. (For what it’s worth, Gareth gets my vote.)”

“We are delighted that www.cumbria.uk.com has achieved national recognition so soon after its launch.” added Dr. Paul Johnson of The Dedicated Partnership, the Kendal-based company behind the site. Paul also highlighted that local businesses and organisations can join the site free of charge, and encouraged more to sign up.

Further details are available on request - contact The Dedicated Partnership, 01539 736677


This one was aimed to people further afield, who might not be familiar with gurning or Cumbria:

Quote:
PRESS RELEASE - THE UGLIEST FACE IN CYBERSPACE?

IF THE INTERNET makes you screw your face up in horror, then The Dedicated Partnership has the Web site for you.

The traditional Cumbrian sport of gurning has been turned on its head with the launch of the world's first on-line gurning competition. Competitors from all over the world are encouraged to e-mail pictures of themselves pulling a face. A Cumbrian beauty kit along with the title of ‘Gurner of the Month’ is up for grabs.

"It's been extremely popular so far, with people from all over the world sending in pictures. Our first ‘Gurner of the Month’ is from Australia!" said competition organiser Dr. Paul Johnson from The Dedicated Partnership.

"The gurning competition is a small part of a much bigger Web site, www.cumbria.uk.com which is all about Cumbria. We were looking for something that would catch people’s imagination and help promote the county as a whole."

Each year the world gurning championships are held at the Egremont Crab Fair in a tradition dating back to 1266.

Further details are available on request, including a photograph of TDP staff gurning and two screen shots taken from www.cumbria.uk.com
Contact: Dr. Paul Johnson, The Dedicated Partnership – tel. 01539 736677


And finally, another for the local press:

Quote:
Cumbria site @UK achieves double success

Kendal-based company The Dedicated Partnership is revelling in a double success. For @UK - its portal for travel and tourism in the UK – has gained national recognition in two recent publications.

The site has been featured in both “The Good Web Site Guide 2001” and “The Very Best Travel Web Sites” published by Orion Publishing and Prentice Hall respectively.

The latter book features the site as “the best of the best” with the review reading: "If your travel ambitions stretch only as far as the UK, this is most definitely the site for you. Every county is featured with details of accommodation, tourist attractions and even a range of live Web cams so you can see where you're going before you get there. Splendid."

Dr. Paul Johnson of The Dedicated Partnership said “It is particularly encouraging when we see @UK being selected in preference to official national sites such as those of the British Tourist Authority which have been developed on vastly greater budgets.”

@UK now attracts in excess of 50,000 unique visitors per month and has steadily grown since its inception back in 1993.


I think the press tend to like something quirky ("15 y o makes 1 million in first year, from parents bedroom" - that kind of thing), and at least one of these has a degree of quirkiness, I like to think. Wink

Keep us posted on how you get on with this...

Paul
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I don't know about 15 yr old or 1million in first year (I wish) but the business did start off in a living room, with one property and two years later we have a few more than just the one apartment in Spain Laughing

Thanks for the releases, I'm going to work on something next week. We are "launching" our new advertisements etc next weekend so it might be a good idea to get something out the week after.. we've already got 80+ new clients eagerly waiting to sign up and that's without any marketing! Smile

Do you want me to email you the press contacts?

Let me know and I'll get on with it tomorrow (Sunday)

Darren
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paul
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wwhhomes wrote:
Well I don't know about 15 yr old or 1million in first year (I wish) but the business did start off in a living room, with one property and two years later we have a few more than just the one apartment in Spain Laughing


I started in my bedroom at my parent's house more than 10 years ago, before progressing to taking over their study and double garage, before finally getting myself sorted with premises! We all have to start somewhere. Smile

wwhhomes wrote:
Thanks for the releases, I'm going to work on something next week.


No problem - by all means share a first draft with us if you think that would help.

wwhhomes wrote:
We are "launching" our new advertisements etc next weekend so it might be a good idea to get something out the week after.. we've already got 80+ new clients eagerly waiting to sign up and that's without any marketing! Smile


Great news - is that through word of mouth? Or a mailshot? How many do you have in total now?

wwhhomes wrote:
Do you want me to email you the press contacts?

Let me know and I'll get on with it tomorrow (Sunday)


That would be great. Email or PM is fine, but there's no hurry at all. Up to my eyes in work currently.

Thanks, Darren...

Paul
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