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Getting Hits | Chapter 7: Producing Hits Offline

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  1. Getting Hits | Chapter 7: Producing Hits Offline
  2. Magazines
  3. Books and CDs
  4. Your Business
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Getting Hits | Chapter 7: Producing Hits Offline

URLs appear all over the place: on the sides of buses, on frozen vegetable packages, in ferry schedules. But I see them mostly in article after article in magazines. Offline references to your URL can yield a big jump in site visits, and a strong recommendation in the right place can lead to serious server strain. With the appropriate approach you can often obtain the inclusion of your URL in publications such as magazines, books, and CDs. You can also use media directly under your control, such as business cards and stationery, to get your URL into other people's hands and minds.

Step One: The Press Release

The foundation of contacting the press is the press release, which I suggested you write in Chapter 1: A Million Ways to Get Hits. Sometimes you can get a great review of your site in a publication by just sending a press release with a simple cover letter. But the press release usually represents just the starting point of a successful offline promotional campaign. You can often bolster your effort by building a personal relationship with publishers, journalists, editors, reviewers—anyone who may get your URL out to the public. Most often your success will depend on your level of effort, but not always—some magazines may just not have a place for you, even though you've befriended an editor.

You may find you have to tailor both the release and your cover letter to a particular publication and/or section within that publication. You will usually use press releases when promoting to both magazines and books, and you need to wield them correctly. You can do so if you keep the following points in mind.

Target Your Material

Nothing drives hardworking journalists mad as quickly as receiving press releases about a subject that doesn't fit their publication. Tailor your information to the particular venue: make sure your material covers what you want to say, and don't forget to include the requisite site and contact information. On the one hand, your promotional material should be concise; on the other, press releases often serve as the basis for entire reviews, so the journalist must have enough information to work with. Don't send press releases or material about minor events like promotions, office relocations, and so forth.

Take the Right Approach

Determine the appropriate contact at the publication. Don't send more than one query to a publication, unless you feel there are two areas that might use it. If so, mention in your cover letter that you sent a release to the other fellow, too. Many magazines have lead times of three months or more, so make sure you have your material in well before any event you are promoting. Here's the biggest no-no: don't make a follow up call. If journalists want to call you, they will.

Now that you have the basics of good press relations, I will look at the magazines and books that may serve as valuable promotional vehicles. Following that, I'll discuss how to promote your URL in your day-to-day business publications and activities.

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