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Promoting Your Website Through a Press Release

By George McKenzie

Have you ever gotten one of those letters from your local
property tax appraiser, informing you that your tax bill is
going up about 20 percent?

I got one of those recently, so I took it to my friend
Joe Gross in San Antonio. He appeals property tax assessments
for a living.

"Man," he said. "I've never seen assessments shoot up like
they have this year."

My "news antennae" shot up. Then when he showed me his new
web site, which gave property owners a chance to look up
appraisals of other homes in their neighborhood, I told
him, "Joe, you've got write a press release about this new

I helped Joe put together a press release and distribute it
to local radio and TV stations. A few nights later, there
was Joe, on the evening news, describing his web site to
tens of thousands of viewers.

Could it happen to your website? You bet, if you remember
a couple of basics--and write an attention-grabbing press

***Learn to spot opportunities. When you see, hear or
read something that relates to your field, call the reporter
who did the story and offer "another angle" or a "follow-
up." Reporters are often judged on their ability to
"enterprise" their own stories and ideas, and if you help
make THEIR job easier...guess what they're likely to do for

Recently the San Antonio Express News ran a story about
some new software. Darrin Schroeder, VP of a San Antonio
company that had just rolled out a similar product, called
the reporter and offered a "follow-up." Result: front page
story, with color picture, several days later.

***Don't be afraid to ask. Listening to a pitch is part of
every reporter's job. And keep this in mind: because they
work on deadline, they don't always have much time to talk.
So sometimes "No" just means "Not now." It's okay to try
again another time.

***Talk high touch more than high tech. A high tech feature
is great...but only if it results in a high touch benefit
that makes life simpler, easier, more enjoyable, or more
interesting. Pitch how it saves time or money and cuts down
aggravation. Humanize it as much as possible, and if you
know of someone who legitimately loves and uses your site,
offer them as a possible interviewee.

Writing a press release to promote your website isn't
nearly as hard as you probably think. It will cost you
some time and energy, but it doesn't have to cost you cash.
You WILL get results if you keep trying, and the rewards
will far outweigh the effort.

Just ask Joe Gross.

To see the entire press release I wrote for Joe, along with
a line-by-line explanation of why I wrote it the way I did,
go to

About the author:
Award winning TV anchor George McKenzie
offers a free 7-part email "Publicity Crash Course" at
http://www.write-a-press-release.netDuring his 33-year
broadcasting career, George's work appeared on ABC, NBC,

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