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Promoting Your Website Through a Press Release

Have you ever gotten one of those letters from your localproperty tax appraiser, informing you that your tax bill isgoing up about 20 percent?

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

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

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

I helped Joe put together a press release and distribute itto local radio and TV stations. A few nights later, therewas Joe, on the evening news, describing his web site totens 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 release

***Learn to spot opportunities. When you see, hear orread something that relates to your field, call the reporterwho 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 helpmake THEIR job easier...guess what they're likely to do forYOU?

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

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

***Talk high touch more than high tech. A high tech featureis great...but only if it results in a high touch benefitthat makes life simpler, easier, more enjoyable, or moreinteresting. Pitch how it saves time or money and cuts downaggravation. Humanize it as much as possible, and if youknow 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 witha 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 During his 33-year broadcasting career, George's work appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, and CNN.

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