Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why News Releases Fail

Sorry about my otaku with this issue (otaku = more than a hobby, a little less than an obsession).
Many of you may know me, since I run Imediafax, the Internet to Media Fax Service. I send out over a million news releases a year for people via fax and email. You probably think that I've got news releases failing on me day in and day out.
Actually, I don't. The news releases I write and send out for people do quite well. My clients are quite happy with me because they are successful with their outreach efforts.
It's the draft news releases that people send to me that are my problem.
Fixing the problems I see in the news releases people send me takes forever. It is also very painful.
I've seen a lot of news release failure over the years, and I now know what the key problems look like and how to fix them.
My plight as a publicist is that I spend a lot of time educating my clients trying to get them to understand the psychology of dealing with the media.
The rubber meets the road in the news release because this single sheet of paper is the key nexus for all communications with the media. The importance of the copy on a news release cannot be overstated. It has to be free of negative issues or factors that will reduce or eliminate media interest and response. One fatal error and it's all over.
So identifying the problems and revising the news releases is crucial. I spend a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to avoid sending out news releases with problems still in them.
The issue is that when people send me news releases, it often takes a long, long time to identify and communicate the problems, and then more time again to explain and negotiate all the word changes with the clients, and more time still to finalize the news release and have it ready and approved for transmittal.
Honestly - it can be very painful for all involved. I'm quite brutal on my clients, since their success is all that matters. I don't pull any punches. My comment process can bruise a lot of highly inflated egos of some otherwise very accomplished people, on the way to a problem free news release that maximizes the chances of success when finally sent. Lots of people think they can write a news release. Very few of them can do it very well.
They simply haven't followed the media response to enough news releases to learn the errors that are made when they write news releases. They haven't yet learned what the mistakes are, so there is no learning from continuous improvement.
This is where the blood, sweat and tears of the copywriting business is truly found. It gets even tougher when another professional publicist wrote the news release for the client. Now the client is getting opposing advice from two professionals. One says "Make it Hot" and the other says "Cool it". What's a publicist to do?
So my motivations for doing this article are really quite selfish. I want to spend less time doing this. My life will be significantly improved if my clients send me news releases that take less time and energy to fix. Very simply, for each and every news release that comes in and doesn't have these problems, I'll free myself to spend more time doing things that are more profitable for my clients and me.
The issues listed here have all been identified as reasons for the failure of a news release. This is based on over 20 years of experience in dealing with the aftermath - the actual number and quality of responses generated from the transmittal of a news release.
So here are the most common reasons why news releases fail:
1. You wrote an advertisement. It's not a news release at all. It sells product. It fails to offer solid news of real tangible interest, value-added information, education or entertainment.
2. You wrote for a minority, not for a majority of people in the audience. You simply won't compete with other news releases that clearly are written for a larger demographic of the media audience.
3. You are the center of attention, not the media audience. You focus on your business and your marketing, instead of things the editor and his or her audience will be interested in.
4. You forgot to put the five W's up front. (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED). You didn't clearly and succinctly tell the media why the audience would be interested in this.
5. You are too wordy and text dense. You focused on details and minutia, instead of the most important ideas, issues, factors, facts, and news angles. You fail to address the real significant impacts your story has on people.
6. You place too much information on one page - the one page news release has a font size so small an editor needs a magnifying glass to read it.
7. You included corporate logos and other non-persuasive low value added graphics that distract the editor from your key message. You may have also used an unusual fancy font or a file format that turns to gobbledygook when it goes through a fax machine.
8. You wrote a personally biased article for the media to publish, instead of pitching the idea to the media and the objective reasons why the media audience will be interested.
9. You wrote about features and facts, and forgot to explain what it means to real people. Tell a story about real people. Add in real life human interest.
10. You wrote about how your news ties in to someone else's fame and glory. Forget it. Never stand in the shadow of someone else. Make your own light. Tell your own story.
11. Your news release responds to something that just happened. You're too late. You're behind the eight ball. Forget it. Get out in front of the news.
12. You included too much hype, self-laudatory praise, pithy quotes, useless testimonials, jargon or gobbledygook. Get rid of it.
13. You may have also identified prior media coverage, which indicates it's no longer a new issue. Get rid of it. Let each news release stand on it's own two feet.
14. You tried to impress and be clever or innovative but you come off naïve, less than expert, biased, flippant, arrogant, or crazy. Tone it down. Get straight.
15. You made vague and unsubstantiated claims, or wild and outrageous claims, or you included a statement that simply rubs the media the wrong way. Get rid of them.
16. You are trying to be different, just for the sake of it, but you come off eccentric. Forget it. Don't create a false or inflated image. Be yourself.
17. You wrote a rant and rave, worthy of a letter to the editor, instead of a problem solving tips article, worthy of a feature story. Decide what you want, put your best effort into it.
18. You are simply not credible. It could be your ideas are simply not well thought out, or that you've offered old well-worn material, or that you are too extreme or controversial, or not qualified. You may not be expert enough, or sufficiently qualified, to make the statements, compared to others in your field. You need to present information that qualifies you properly and adequately.
19. You provided poor contact information. You need to identify the best single point of contact and the correct phone number so interested media can reach you and get the best possible attention and response from you to meet their needs. One key person, one phone, no fax, one email address, and one URL (with no long string addresses).
20. You did not include a clear media call for action. You didn't tell the media what you want them to do with your news release. You need to tell them what you are asking for or suggesting or offering. Then you need to offer the media incentives value-added reasons to do so, like free review copies, free test samples, interview questions and answers, media kits with story angles and stats and data, relevant photographs, etc.
21. You did not incorporate and integrate a primary response mechanism. You need to include a value-added reason, which motivates the editor to publish or mention your contact information, which will generate calls, traffic, interviews, or requests for more information. This usually means something unique and of special value to the audience, that the editor feels good about mentioning. Use an offer for a free problem solving report.
22. You sent the release to the wrong media. Target the media that your clients read, watch and listen to when they are in the right mood, that is, receptive to hearing about your news, and willing to take action when they get your message. Work with your publicist to target the right media.
23. You rely on a single fax or an email to produce an avalanche of media calls. You conduct no follow up. Get real. Follow up properly and you can triple or quadruple your media response rate. Better still, you can ask the editors "what can I give you to support a feature story and meet your needs".
Finally, the biggest reason for news release failure is one of attitude. How do you define success or failure? It's called unrealistic expectations.
Get real. You won't get rich off one news release. You're chances of getting famous are just about as slim.
You might be able to break even.
Look at your investment and compare it to what you need to break even on your investment. If you need to sell 100 books to cover the costs of a $500 outreach effort, you need ten articles because each article only produces ten sales. So that's your breakeven goal. More books per article, means less articles will satisfy your needs.
You may simply have to be realistic and understand that while you are wildly interested in the topic, it may not have the broad general public interest that you have for the subject. If you wrote an article that has local interest and you expect national media to pay attention, think again.
If you want to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show, then you'd better pray because chances of doing it off one news release are very slim, near zero in fact. Get real. If she calls, then congratulations are in order. But don't count on it.
If you wrote an advertisement and wanted a feature story and interviews, don't be surprised if the only media to call is the advertising manager offering you a package deal. You get what you ask for. What you offer is often times what you will get.
Even if you do get publicity, it may not come out exactly the way you want it. More often than not, the bigger the media, the less likely they are to run contact information.
Often times, the quality may be there while the numbers are not.
One or two quality media responses may be what you want or need. If you get that, it's a success.
One article in USA Today may out perform ten articles in small dailies and weeklies in the mid-west.
On the other hand, it may not. The small high quality articles may outperform the small mention in the big media.
Similarly, one quality 30-minute interview on a well-liked talk show on a radio station in the middle of nowhere out in the mid-west, will likely outsell a five-minute interview on an Arbitron rated radio station in the middle of the morning talk show in a major metropolitan area. You can't tell the listening quality of the audience.
So when you write a news release please review it against these criteria to see if you've made any of these errors. Then fix each and every one of them yourself, and when you are done, feel free to send me your final draft. I'll be happy to take a look at it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Proposition and Bilingual Education

In the months leading up to the public vote, between January 2000 and November 2000, the two largest newspapers in the state, the East Valley Tribune and the Arizona Republic, produced a combined 73 articles that directly focused on Proposition 203 and/or bilingual education. An examination of these newspaper articles reveals certain stylistic and rhetorical features that were brought to bear on this controversial issue in favor of the ballot measure.
It is possible to discuss the potential influence of newspapers by looking at this specific context from multiple vantage points. Factors such as the slant of an article, the wording of a headline, the specific text in an article, and inherent variations between newspapers play a significant role in the construction of social opinion. Some brief examples of these features will demonstrate the complexity of their relationship in the portrayal of bilingual education and language minority students.
Reading an article with a critical eye allows researchers to discern whether the information is being presented in a straightforward manner or whether there is a particular slant either for or against the issue at hand. This is most obvious when comparing news stories with editorials. Articles that convey basic information (e.g., dates, times, locations) are generally straightforward or politically neutral.
Even in news stories, however, journalists may include their own opinions or value-laden statements. At this point, the news article starts to take on the characteristics of an editorial even though it was slated to be a news story. Out of the 73 articles involved in the Proposition 203 campaign, only 9, or 12%, could be considered neutral by researchers (i.e., they did not place value on either side of the debate).
It was found that the remaining 64 articles had a clear slant. With a total of 48, or 66%, the vast majority of the articles took on a negative slant (i.e., denigrating the opposition's perspective). The remaining 16, or 22%, conveyed a positive message concerning either the value of bilingual education or English immersion. When the slanted articles are broken down according to their portrayal of bilingual education, it is easy to see the potential impact on public opinion: Of the 64 slanted articles identified, 41, or 64%, contained negative depictions of bilingual education.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get the 10 Questions Right Below or You Will Lose At Forex Trading

Below you will find 10 questions if you can answer them all correctly you have had good forex education and could join the elite 5% of traders who make big profits - get any of them wrong and you need to continue your forex education! So let's look at the questions below.
1. Forex day trading is a good way to make money
The answer is no - your 100% guaranteed to lose as all short term volatility is random you can't get the odds in your favour and you will lose.
2. Forex markets move to scientific theory
The answer is no of course they don't. If they did then we would all know the answer in advance and there would be no market. A market price moves by its very nature due to uncertainty.
3. Buying Dips To Moving Averages Is a Great Strategy
Buying dips to a moving average is a great way to lose money - it's a lagging not a leading indicator and should never be used in isolation
4. Everything about trading is learned anyone can do it
The correct answer is yes. Anyone can learn to trade if they get the right Forex education and learn the correct knowledge and skills to succeed. Of course most traders fail to do this and lose.
5 Simple Forex Trading Systems Work Better Than Complicated Ones
As a general rule the correct answer is yes, as they are more robust in the face of brutal ever changing market conditions. If a system is to complicated it collapses, as there are too many elements to break.
Most of the world's top trading systems are simple.
6. I Don't Need To Work Hard To Make a Lot Of Money
The correct answer is yes. You don't need to work hard, as there is no correlation between the effort you put in and the reward you get out of forex trading.
You only get paid for being right, nothing else and the amount of effort you make does NOT make any difference to your currency trading success.
The trick is to work smart not hard.
7. Buy low sell high is the best way to make money
The correct answer is no. The best way to make money is not to try and buy lows but buy new highs. The fact is the biggest market moves tend to start form new market HIGHS Not market lows.
If you want to catch the big trends, then aim for these breaks at new market highs and trade them.
8. The more news sources I consult the better
The correct answer is no. News sources don't help you make money, in fact they normally help you lose - as you run with the pack and let your emotions get involved.
News is stories and the people giving them are not traders follow the news and you will lose.
9. I have a system that works I Don't need any more education
The correct answer is yes. Many traders think they have to keep learning for ever but if you have a system that works you don't need to spend any more time studying you can simply spend your time applying it and making money.
10. My risk per trade is my expected profit divided by my stop
The answer is obviously no as this is simply an opinion you hold and has no relation to what the odds of success are. Many people say its high return low risk based upon their opinion and that's not the way to trade forex.
If you answered the above 10 questions correctly, you are on your way to being a winner - if you got any wrong, then its time to keep studying and improving your forex education.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Math Education Checklist

You need a math education. You want to enroll in an online school to get that education out of the way. The good news is that, in general, most of the mathematics courses that you will need to take are available to you on the web. The other bit of good news is that you can find a variety of schools providing a variety of educational curriculum for you to study. The bad news is that you still have to do the math work that goes along with learning this type of education. Nevertheless, one of the most important things you need to do before you enroll in this type of program is to know what to look for in a school providing you with your math education.
The following is a checklist of qualifications you want to look for in a school to ensure that you can achieve the goals that you have.
1.    Is the school accredited? It should be state wide or nationally accredited to provide the best level of education for you.
2.    Does the math education taught to you in this program fulfill any type of need that you have in another program? Do you need a specific type of math education and if so, does the school you are considering offer it?
3.    IS online education available from the school? If so, find out the process works as well as who teaches the education.
When it comes down to it, getting a math education on the web makes sense and it is quite possible to do. However, most students will need to ensure that the school they choose is going to provide them with the right level of education for however they plan to use it. There is a different from one school to the next and every student needs to understand what their options really are.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

6 Resources for Business Intelligence News and Information

Despite Business Intelligence becoming an increasingly widespread practice, there appears to be relatively little to choose from in terms of good quality news and information resources. From monitoring several discussions on LinkedIn, we saw the same names tended to crop up over and over again.
1. Perhaps the most widely recognized for BI content was The Data Warehousing Institute™ provides education, training, certification, news, and research for executives and IT professionals across the world. Founded 15 years ago, TDWI is the premier educational institute for business intelligence and data warehousing. Home to Wayne's World Blog, written by Wayne W. Eckerson, the director of research and services, it provides readers with anything from online conferences, to whitepaper downloads, to industry reports.
2. Frequently cited by several LinkedIn members, Information Management was another popular resource people turned to for BI news. It claims to be "the educated reader's choice for the latest news, commentary and feature content serving the information technology and business community", and with its relaunch last year, it offers original reporting, online radio programming, informative Web seminar programming, white paper resources and online education to professionals in the field of IT. Providing daily informative newsletters on a variety of content, it is understandable why has carved a strong position in the BI domain.
3. The BeyeNETWORK™ provides global coverage of the BI ecosystem. It supplies industry coverage and resources on business intelligence, performance management, data warehousing, data integration and data quality. B-Eye-Network also includes BeyeUNIVERSITY, a comprehensive curriculum covering all areas of the business intelligence ecosystem. These certificate programs are taught by experts who are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and best of all, are completely free!
4. The name Ralph Kimball cropped up on more than one occasion, although perhaps not soley in reference to BI. He is known worldwide as an innovator, writer, educator, speaker and consultant in the field of data warehousing. He has maintained his long-term conviction that data warehouses must be designed to be understandable and fast. His books on dimensional design techniques have become best sellers in data warehousing. To date Ralph has written more than 100 articles and columns for Intelligent Enterprise and its predecessors, winning the Readers' Choice Award five years in a row. Some of his books include "The Kimball Group Reader: Relentlessly Practical Tools for Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence" and "The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Extracting, Cleaning, Conforming, and Delivering Data".
5. Similarly to Ralph Kimball, Bill Inmon was another name that graced discussions quite regularly. Inmon, a world-renowned expert, speaker and author on data warehousing, is widely recognized as the "Father of Data Warehousing". In addition to authoring more than 50 books and 650 articles, Bill has been a monthly columnist with the Business Intelligence Network, EIM Institute and Data Management Review. In 2007, Bill was named by Computerworld as one of the "Ten IT People Who Mattered in the Last 40 Years" of the computer profession.
6. Howard Dresner is an industry acclaimed expert, noted author, thought leader and lecturer for Business Intelligence, and Enterprise Performance Management. He spent 13 years at Gartner, where he served as lead analyst for Business Intelligence. Today as President and Founder of Dresner Advisory Services, he focuses his energy on creating and sharing thought leadership for Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) and speaks at forums around the globe. He has written two books: "The Performance Management Revolution: Business Results Through Insight and Action" and "Profiles in Performance: Business Intelligence Journeys and The Roadmap for Change".

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bilingual Education in the Press

In today's society, the distribution of information is controlled largely by the print and electronic media. Directly and indirectly, media affect the way in which people learn about their world and form opinions on the salient topics of the day, heavily influencing the process of social relations and the slant or spin applied to the news. This becomes most apparent when one analyzes the ways in which the media guide people's relationships with social institutions (e.g., educational, religious, governmental).
Lacking the time and ability to interact personally with every social institution, individuals depend on the media for information about a variety of issues. Media may not always be largely responsible for public opinion, but there are many documented cases in which this has occurred.
When the bulk of collective knowledge of a given issue is determined by the news media, the press becomes a major factor in the formation of social attitudes and beliefs. According to David Fan, has it been suggested not only that media shape public views of political issues but that they also mold opinion within specific agenda items. Michael Herzfeld maintains it is no exaggeration to say that in the United States, media are a major force in society: They create as much as they reflect the events taking place in the nation.
While individual, seemingly insignificant messages conveyed in the media might appear to have minimal effect, they may accrue over time and form long-term trends of public opinion that affect the outcome of public debate. This entry examines the portrayal by media of the relationship between bilingual education and immigration and provides a context for it in the broader dynamic of society and the press.
Given that media play an important role in the construction of public opinion and have the potential to directly affect the political process, it is important to understand the impact that individual media forms have and how they are consumed by the public. There are special characteristics of newspapers that help to shape public opinion. While many people elect to watch television and/or listen to the radio for their news and information, the printed format of newspapers offers specific advantages.
Newspapers are not limited by time. Readers can afford to devote more time to read and review print news and editorializing and to choose when and where they will do so. This lack of time constraint also allows newspapers to present many more stories than broadcast news on radio or television. This entry focuses on print media in one state and how it influenced the public's view of a ballot initiative to abolish bilingual education in that state.
Sally has been writing articles quite a long time. Come visit her latest website over at  which helps people find the best Kitchen Trash Bags  and information they are looking for.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here's Why You Need Good Technical Analysis Education For Trading Stocks

Technical analysis education is the key to successful stock trading. While a number of long-term investors focus primarily on fundamentals, as traders we know that the price movement reflects most accurately what the market thinks of the stock, so we make our decisions based on the technical analysis of price movement. Technical analysis is critical. Without it, you don't stand a chance at trading profitably.
So it should go without saying that good technical analysis education is the foundation of a profit-producing trader. Some fundamentals of good technical analysis are pivot points, volume shifting and stochastics, moving averages, and trends. Here today, I'd like to focus on trends. I'm sure you've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again, "The Trend is Your Friend".
If you ignore trends, they'll smack you on the side of the head with as many losses as it takes to get your attention. But if you take the time to get to know the trend, understanding its movements, its strengths and weaknesses, you can use its leverage to your advantage. Get to know the market trend.
Before going any further, I'd like to point out the difference between the market trend and current price movement. Pretty basic stuff, but it's important and so foundational to successful trading. Here's the distinction:
A trend can be moving in one direction, while the current price movement fluctuates up and down. For example, the trend can be moving up, but that price at any given moment may be moving down. The price might be going down for a short time, but the overall trend is still pointing up.
So what does that mean to us as traders? Well, think of the trend as a magnet that's pulling the stock in a certain direction. Sure, the stock price is untamed, moving up and down, seemingly at whim. But the larger trend is clearly pulling the stock in a certain direction. So the probability of the stock going with the trend is always greater than the stock moving against the trend. This means that if a stock is moving in a downward trend, it's always a safer bet to open a position as the price movement also trends down.
Therefore, in technical analysis education, the first rule of the trend is to open trading positions when trend and price movement match.
And how do we recognize trends? Well, there are a number of stock trading tools to identify trends, such as moving averages and trend lines, but I'd like to focus on size: bigger usually carries the most weight.
What I mean is that if you're looking to enter and exit a trade in one day, you should take a step back so you can see several days or a couple weeks of action on that stock. Or if you're looking to enter a position for a few days or couple weeks, look back at the past month or two to spot a larger trend.
The bigger the trend, the more weight it carries. If you see a three-month trend reaching its boundary, be very careful to trust a single day's trend heading in the other direction. Large trends get to push around small trends and price movements, so always give them the most respect.
That sounds pretty simple, but can we always trust trends? Well, put your technical analysis education to good use and watch out for these:
1) News- Know that if news on a company or major stock market news are due to come out, this may cause the trend to be completely ignored, at least temporarily. So watch out for the news.
2) Seasonal or time fluctuations- The volume of stock trading can change drastically with certain seasons or days of the week, weakening a trend. It's important to learn the rhythm of the market.
3) Trend boundaries- I mentioned this a little bit before, but it's worth mentioning again. If a trend is reaching some point where the market has shown to be stubborn, the trend may bounce back and reverse trend for a while. It's important to use trend lines and other analytics to know where these points are.
4) And last but not least, the Unknown- the market is always allowed to do something completely unexpected and irrational. That's why it's absolutely critical to have a good stock trading plan and money management strategy with risk vs. reward ratios firmly in place.
Spotting trends and moving with price movements takes a good deal of practice and quality technical analysis education. So don't skimp on your learning. Spend the time, and when necessary the money, to prepare yourself to be a successful trader. Below are a few great sources that will educate you via. demo trading and back testing.
Here's to profitable trading.