A reader just emailed me with this question:
“I live in the Caribbean and am publishing a Real Estate Guide. However, there are two major dailies in my country and they are very territorial and do not want to feature my company or my magazine because we are indirect competitors.
“I sent one of the dailies a press release and it published about half of it in the newspaper but omitted the half that had the contact information such as email/phone and website address. It is still a partial win though because I thought that they wouldn’t publish anything at all.
“How can I leverage this to start the buzz for my magazine and to attract more advertisers? The magazine is scheduled for release in early March.
“P.S. I was also thinking of placing ads in the same dailies as well once the magazine is printed, Is this wrong or tacky?”
Here’s my answer:
Try sending the news release to all the lower-level publications that might not necessarily view you as competition: weeklies, business magazines, weekly shoppers, any special-interest publications you find in the supermarket or in doctors’ offices. You want real estate agents to advertise, right? Do a direct-mail piece to them. That’s your market.
As for buying an ad, even though the newspaper doesn’t want to print your press release in full, they won’t hesitate to take your money for an ad. There’s nothing wrong or tacky about buying an ad. I’d just like to see you shoot for as much free publicity as you can get.
Also, don’t forget letters to the editor of those publications. You can always write letters that comment on stories they’ve printed. Include your title in the signature of your letter.