Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ExTra, ExTra Read All About It--------------How I made it into the Paper

So, Mr. Carson, a newspaper editor for our local paper PCNH just made my day!

After a few failed attempts he has graciously chosen to run a story about the “going ons” of my business "Paper Perfections"

My journey to the paper started when I stumbled upon a thread in the etsy business topics forum on the subject of “press release.

Curious to what it even was I read on. I quickly learned that a press release may be used to inform your local community on any fresh news going on with your business and the best part, If your story is accepted, the publishing it of this positive publicity is free!

I began researching all I could on the subject. From tips to standing out amongst other submitted releases to proper sequence in your write up. The best tips were given to me by a fellow etsy shop owner (OzKnits) who currently works for her local newspaper. I have attached her advice below:
A well written release will get looked at. It should be double-spaced, as brief and to the point as possible, and no third person quotes.
Call to get the name of the editor before submitting so that you can address your release to the appropriate person. We have only one person open the snail mail and another open the email. I get only what is addressed to me. Everything else goes to a person whose job is to decipher where all the unaddressed mail goes. She gets buried and behind a lot. Don't email a press release without asking first if it's okay.
To be honest, you have a better shot at having a release run if you mail or drop off a hard copy. We work on priority levels and email is very low priority.
Don't worry about putting a headline on a release. That's the editor's job. And unless it has a timeliness to it, don't expect to see it run right away.
Again, they are page fillers so they really aren't a priority. When we scour which ones to run, we go with short, concise releases (the less time we have to spend editing, the better). Don't send sample products to a newspaper. Most have rules against reporters and editors taking freebies so it's likely to get thrown out. I wish we could keep them because I'd have about 300 music cd's by now!If you need any help, just convo.
Notice that the first sentence of my example covers the who, what, where, when and why. That's what an editor wants to see. Here's an example of a good press release:From: Jane Doe, contact person, 222-222-2222

To: Editor John Doe, The newspaper or magazineDec. 1, 2009Re: Store opening (photos available upon request)For Immediate ReleaseThe Jane Doe shop will be holding a grand opening Jan. 1, 2009 from 9 am through 10 pm at its new location, such and such a street, city and state.The store will feature handmade all-occasion cards made by Jane Doe. Each card is hand-cut with a surgical blade and all designs are created in freehand style. The shop specializes in victorian-themed cards with a multi-dimensional facet.Ms. Doe holds an associate degree in art from the John Doe college in city, state. Previous to opening her shop, Ms. Doe served as the vice-president of the Arty arts council.The store will be open Monday-Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm and will be closed Sunday's.
Fore more information call 33333333. For those unable to attend the grand opening, Ms. Doe's work can be seen at her website store, ###

Perhaps it is because I am more of a visual learner or perhaps my timing was off? Whatever the reason, my first attempt was shot down. I then did a bit more research on the subject and found this website:

It helped me to see the format all broken down and laid out the way it is. It’s kind of silly, but I went line by line reading over the advice then writing an appropriate sentence or two. At the end I had to go back and touch it up to flow a bit better but I felt confident in the layout in which I described the events happening. Once it was all said and done this is what I ended up with:

Panama City, Florida

Paper Perfections spotlight on local customers

Starting In January 2009 Paper Perfections, a delightful online shop made up of modern greeting cards, invitations and paper accessories, is going local. This unique shop will be concentrating its efforts to provide its services to the Bay County community. Since there are an assortment of individuals intended to benefit from competitive prices on all celebratory trimmings for functions ranging from corporate events to weddings to showers; Paper Perfections has decided to focus the majority of its efforts towards you.
Mrs. Stahl, owner and sole proprietor of Paper Perfections has been promoting and selling custom invitations and the like all over the country as well as internationally for the past twelve months. Since some areas of the country are struggling a bit more than others, during this turbulent time, Paper Perfections wanted to offer an alternative on some of these supplies.
All paper products created are made with high quality cardstock (110lb) often with accents using designer scrapbooking paper. Full printing, designs, embellishments and samples are included in all standard fees, which are a fraction of the cost you will find from most competitors.
As always each design is exclusively handmade by Mrs. Stahl and are customizable to fit your particular taste and need. Feel free to email me for a standard pricing list.
Just imagine what I can create for you.
2912 B Beacon Beach Rd
Tyndall AFB, Fl 32403

Here I find myself, this morning, with a phone call from Mr. Carson not only wanting to publish my press release but do a full blown news story on all aspects of my business. How I make it work, the ways in which I share my learned info and how I have, resourcefully, learned to be successful in the current economy.

It is scheduled to run on this Saturday!

For all of you who try it: I can’t wait to hear how this works for you!


Meekiyu said...

this is a great post... glad I found it on the etsy forums =D
congrats too!!

Sara said...

That is SO exciting!! Congratulations!

Tea said...

Oh this is awesome! Great information, and congratulations!

Sygnet Creations said...

You did a great job! Thanks for showing the process. I found it interesting at how fast it all worked out!! Congrats

Julie Jones said...

Thank you for sharing this, I am very excited for saturday for you. Let us all know how this helps your business. great job!

Boutique By Bonnie said...

It's always good to see someone taking some knowledge and running with it! We have lots of small free papers that I'm sure are always looking for filler.

Emily of Ella-Bear Bowtique said...

Very helpful post! I was able to get a news article about my shop in our last cities paper but have since moved and might try again with your advice. Thanks!