Issue #847 Aug. 30, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- How to Pass the Telephone Test
- Make Your Writing Easy to Read
- Inside Publicity Secrets
- Hound Photos of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
I love the blues. And it’s been a gorgeous summer here in Wisconsin. How appropriate, then, that I’ll be hanging out with friends at a local blues festival this weekend, one of the last hurrahs of summer. I want this weather to last forever. Luckily, I can get out of here in January for the “Publishing at Sea” cruise I’m co-hosting to the eastern Caribbean. As of today, we have only a few cabins left. Read about how you can join me for a glorious week on the high seas and learn how to publish a best- selling book. Save $300 if you book by Sept. 15.
1. How to Pass the Telephone Test
In 1994, the story goes, a young investment banker named Jeff Bezos had the idea for an ecommerce company that sold books.
He’d call it Cadabra, short for Abracadabra.
When he called his attorney to discuss it, the attorney couldn’t believe what he thought he had heard.
“Cadaver???” repeated the attorney in astonishment.
That’s all Bezos needed to hear. He ditched the name and, instead, chose Amazon.
Marcia Yudkin uses that example to illustrate what she calls The Telephone Test. Can people understand the name of your company or product or service when it’s pronounced all by itself on the telephone?
Sounds that come through less clearly on the phone aren’t the only problem. Foreign names can be difficult to understand, too.
If you’re starting a new business or renaming an old one, put it through the telephone test first.
Marcia offers more tips for names in the guest post she wrote for my blog. See “Renaming Your Business? Why it must pass the telephone test.”
2. Make Your Writing Easy to Read
During a coaching session this week with a woman in my mentor program, I dissected a blog post she wrote. She learned how to turn that uninviting mass of gray type into an easy-to-read piece.
Before I discussed her writing, I shared five tips that you can use to improve the look of your articles, press releases, email pitches, marketing copy and digital products:
–Write short paragraphs. I try to limit most to three sentences.
–Write short sentences.
–Use a lot of white space. If you’re using a list like this one, insert a line of white space between each item so they don’t run together.
–Use sub-heads. They help scanners who are looking for visual clues about whether your copy is important.
–Use bold type to emphasize important words and phrases. It’s more effective than all capital letters, which make it look like you’re screaming.
–At the end of everything you write, use a call to action. Tell the reader exactly what to do. Here’s mine:
Make this the year you improve your writing and learn how to create quality content quickly. When you join my mentor program, use me as your personal writing coach. I will help you turn blah copy into copy that convinces, sells and entertains. Best of all, I make writing fun.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for the program. Read more about my commitment to you and, if money is tight right now, my convenient payment plan for The Publicity Hound Mentor Program.
3. Inside Publicity Secrets
Three things you might not have known:
–If you want to be booked on a big TV talk show, having previous experience on TV helps, but it isn’t mandatory. Sometimes a killer YouTube channel can give producers an idea of how well you’ll perform on their shows.
–If you have a book, that helps, too. But it isn’t a deal-breaker. A CEO of a very unglamorous businesses found himself on the CBS Evening News–without a book.
–When you pitch, you can tell your story in such a way that it makes editors and journalists, say, “Wow! I love it!”
Those are three of seven secrets you’ll learn when you join Steve Harrison for a free webcast at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Even though this training is free, I am one of Steve’s affiliates and earn a commission if you buy anything from him down the road.
4. Hound Photos of the Week