Thursday, August 26, 2004

Defining the E-zine

E-zine is short for “electronic magazine” or newsletter and typically they are sent out to subscribers who voluntarily sign-up to receive them (opt in). The main purpose of an e-zine is to inform readers about topics that are of interest to them. E-zines are niche oriented and therefore they are a great way to reach your target market with a very specific message. E-zines also help to position you as an expert in the field.

If the thought of starting your own e-zine is not appealing to you or you do not have time to invest in one, don’t worry. There are other ways to get involved, such as writing articles and submitting them to an e-zine that relates to your niche. Editors of e-zines are usually open to and interested in receiving articles from outside sources. This is largely due to the fact that many e-zine editors have other full-time jobs so they are appreciative when they receive quality articles.

Tips about E-zines:

• Provide quality content regularly
• Strive to build relationships
• Have fun with your message
• Create a persona that’s yours alone
• Allow the readers to contact you with questions or comments
• Post questions and comments when appropriate and with permission
• Be yourself because you’re the expert
• Be different
• Teach and preach benefits – based solutions
• Be resourceful

For a directory of legal e-zines, go to:

For free legal articles to add to your e-zine, go to:

For a content writer with legal background, go to:

For content that you can license, go to:

Friday, August 20, 2004

Selling Yourself in 30 Seconds

A 30-second pitch (a/k/a the elevator pitch) is a short, concise, compelling and creative summary of who you are and what you do. It is used when you meet people for the first time and they ask about your business. It is used as your outgoing voicemail message. It is used by others who refer business to you.

One of the most challenging things to do for many business professionals, however, is to produce a solid 30-second pitch. Every professional should have a 30-second pitch that you have prepared, rehearsed, and are ready to give whether you are networking, contacting the media, or talking to a prospective client or employer. The following tips will help you to prepare a 30-second pitch.

•Do remember, every word counts
•Do engage the listener, grab her attention, and get her excited
•Do think in terms of benefits to the listener (what’s in it for them)
•Do concentrate of what the listener wants and needs and tailor your pitch accordingly
•Do keep in mind your tone of voice, be enthusiastic but not salesy
•Do invest time on a regular basis to revise your pitch to keep it current and original
•Do incorporate your tagline if appropriate
•Do remember to deliver a business card for future contact
•Do keep it short – most people have a very fleeting attention span
•Do follow up

•Don’t talk all about you
•Don’t summarize your job description and call that your pitch
•Don’t use general language in your pitch, be specific
•Don’t use jargon or legalees
•Don’t speak in a monotone voice
•Don’t memorize your pitch word for word
•Don’t cross your arms and look down at the floor while speaking
•Don’t compare your company to your perceived competition
•Don’t appear rehearsed

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Photos Add Impact to Press Releases

Attaching a photo to a press release can provide a great deal of impact, not only for the readers of the publication (if it gets picked up), but also for the editor when deciding which stories to cover. If you have a good photo of a person or event that you can attach to a release you should. It cannot hurt your chances of getting coverage – it can only help.

Why attach photos to a press release:
· A press release with a photo attached is four times more likely to be read.
· Small publications generally like to receive photos with press releases because it enables them to include photos in their publication without having to send a photographer or reporter to cover it and take the pictures.
· Larger publications also like to receive photos because it helps the writer authenticate the story/event to the editor.

Tips to remember when sending a printed photo:
· At the bottom of the press release provide a “photo caption” which should provide the following information: what the photo is of, the names of people in it and where it was taken.
· Be sure to include the same caption on the back of the photo. Often the press release is separated from the photo.
· If you cannot send a photo to every publication then just send it to a few that you feel are most likely to incorporate the photo. Then for the other publication provide a caption at the bottom of the release stating that a photo is available upon request and provide them with your contact information.
· If you are sending a headshot do not forget to include the persons name, title, and company name on the back of the photo (especially if you are sending more than one photo, otherwise this can cause some confusion).

Tips to remember when sending a digital photo:
· Most publications require a 300 dpi, 5 x 7 digital photo. Make sure to use a universal format like jpeg or gif.
· Title the photo in its digital format. Do not have it saved as DVR_0001 or whatever format your camera saves it as when downloading to your computer. Use the name of your company, event, or person pictured.
· Make sure the editor or reporter accepts attachments before e-mailing, as many spam filters, and virus software programs reject attachments.