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Do You Make These Press Release Mistakes?

I used to believe that you should do your own publicity and press releases.  After all, who can tell your story better than you can?

Turns out, I was wrong.

I’ve spoken to thousands of people in the past year about writing press releases during my speeches at conferences and on teleseminars and webinars. Now I am forced to admit that I was wrong.

You can’t write your own press release and you can’t do your own publicity.

From thousands of encounters, I’ve gathered these insights:

  1. You need an outside perspective. You can’t tell your own story. Many people don’t even know what their story is. They pick the dullest, least newsworthy aspect of their business and they describe it in a way that only a mother could love.
  2. They bury the lead. I saw a press release where the person didn’t mention he had written a new book until the 8th paragraph. “I didn’t want people to think I was being too self-promotional,” he said. There’s a big difference between looking like a snake-oil salesman and looking like Katie Couric.
  3. They don’t know English. If you want a good press release, don’t ask your programmer in Pakistan to write it for you. I’m not kidding. This happened. The release actually wasn’t that bad, but it didn’t look like English you’d read. It was sort of like looking at a guy with a bad toupee. You knew something wasn’t right, but you couldn’t tell right away.
  4. Formatting and style. A press release has to look like a press release just like a poem looks like a poem and a play looks like a play and a greeting card looks like a greeting card. If you don’t put in a headline, dateline, “30” and other features, then reporters know the document is the work of an amateur.
  5. Keywording is nonexistent. Today’s press releases need to be found on the search engines. Using proper keywords is a key way to get seen. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “keyword” then I’ve proved my point. You need help.
  6. One and done. If you think you are going to set the world on fire with just one press release, then you’re way off base. Successful marketing is about creating multiple impressions and getting seen anywhere and everywhere your target audience looks. If you show up to a Rotary Club meeting once, no one will remember you. You have to show up every week before people realize you are alive. Same with press releases. Plan a campaign. Don’t stop with just one.
  7. Procrastination. People have a lot on their plates these days. If you look at press releases as just one more thing to do, then it won’t get done. Press releases can do so much good for you, it is a shame people don’t take the first step to get started.
  8. Competing interests. Every entrepreneur I know juggles more balls than Randy Moss. It is hard to get focused and stay focused – especially if you don’t really know how to do publicity or write a press release. That’s even more reason to look for help.
  9. Not getting started. Given all these reasons and examples, it is easy to see why some people start to write a press release and then give up. That’s all the more reason to get help from someone who knows what they are doing. Hey, you don’t do your legal work; you hire a lawyer. You don’t do your taxes; you hire an expert. You don’t invest in your own stocks (maybe that’s another story);  you hire a personal financial advisor. Maybe the slogan should be “Friends don’t let friends write their own press releases.”

If this sounds like you, then we need to talk.

Short story: I write the release and send it out to top media for just $795.

Details: I can write your press releases. I won’t be the cheapest price on the market, but I am the best. With more the 30 years of daily newspaper writing, public relations writing and book writing, believe me, I can write a press release. Plus I can guarantee it will be printed on at least 40 media web sites.

For info, go to or email me at

Thanks for letting me get this rant off my chest. I just hate to see a good opportunity wasted.

To Your Success,

Dan Janal

How to Write a “Top Trends for 2011” Press Release

Now’s the perfect time to write a press release announcing your predictions for the coming year. Your readers and your prospects like to see what thought leaders like you think will happen in the coming year.

Here are 10 tips to write a “Top Trends to Look for in 2011” press release.

  1. List 10 trends or thoughts or ideas that you think are likely to happen.
  2. Explain why each is important.
  3. Offer a short story or anecdote that illustrates that point, if you can. You don’t need to do this for each tip, but it is a good way for people to follow your train of thought.
  4. Add a bit of humor. One humorous prediction is always relished. In fact, if you have a cool wit, the entire press release could be done with tongue in cheek. People love to pass around funny material, so this press release could go viral.
  5. Show why you are the expert to write this piece. Refer to your consulting, coaching or books. That way you subtly market your services so you can get new business.
  6. Keep the press release to 750 words or less. People don’t have a lot of time to read long pieces. We are in the midst of a period in which people have shorter and shorter attention spans. So your press releases and articles need to be shorter.
  7. Use key words in the headline and first paragraph to grab the attention of search engines. People use search engines to find companies like yours and products like yours. If you do you use the right keywords, you will have a lot more qualified prospects reading your press release and visiting your site.
  8. Put links to specific web pages into your press release. For example, you could lead people to your home page, your squeeze page, your blog or your sales page. Or all of them. Use your links wisely.
  9. If you don’t have time to write this, find someone who can. The chance for positive exposure is great.
  10. Post the press release to your blog. Share the link with your followers on LinkedIn®, Facebook and Twitter.

If you have trouble writing this press release, let me know and I’ll write it for you – as well as brainstorm if needed. Then I’ll send it to top news media outlets and vertical market reporters. I’ll even guarantee that at least 40 media websites will print the press release or I’ll give you your money back.

Want details? Please see or if you are ready to start NOW, call me at 952-380-9844.

To Your Success!

Dan Janal

Should You Write A Press Release If You Don’t Have a Web Site?

Not too long ago, I appeared on a teleseminar to talk about how to get guaranteed publicity with press releases.

Julia, a coach, asked me if a press release could help “jumpstart” her business even though she didn’t have a website.

At first, I thought she should wait until she had a website. After all, don’t we want to showcase our talents and successes to our prospects so they will hire us?

Then I thought and I realized I was getting too involved in the process and not enough involved in the outcome.

The “outcome” of any marketing activity is to inspire a phone call so you can overcome any fears or objections the person has and sign them up for your service. In today’s economy, fewer people than ever are buying services from a website without speaking to a real person.

For that reason, I think a press release would help Julia even before she has a website. Here’s why.

  1. The press release will contain her contact info, so people can call her or email her if they wish.
  2. The press release can describe the “next step” you want people to take. For some of us, that next step is to go to a website and sign up for a special report so we can identify prospects and start a relationship. But the call to action could just as easily be “to arrange for a complimentary evaluation, call me at this number or email me at this address.”
  3. Some people don’t want to read a long report or a sales letter anyway. They would much rather talk to the person who is going to help them so they can see if that’s the right match for them. Why would you want to delay that process?
  4. When you send a press release out via my service, I can guarantee it will get printed on at least 40 media websites. This helps you in several ways:
  5. People will see the press release on the media web sites, read it and some will contact you.
  6. The press release will be indexed on Google, so someone who is looking for someone like you will be more likely to find you. As I wrote earlier, they will see your phone and email address so they can contact you.
  7. You will benefit from the branding halo of the media web sites. The media gives credibility to people who are written about. You can trumpet that fact when you do talk with prospects, as in “I was written up in 40 media websites, that’s why you should hire me instead of someone else.”
  8. When you do create a website, you will have great material to post, including the press release and a list of the media sites that printed the press release.
  9. You can use the names of the publications on your marketing materials, like your business card and you emails.
  10. Your readers and your prospects will think highly of you because your press release contains useful information that helps them solve a problem. As a problem solver, you will enhance your credibility in their eyes.

Based on these 10 facts, I think you should send out a press release. I can help you write and distribute your press release, if you wish. If you need a referral to a web designer who works with coaches in the spiritual space, please let me know and I’ll be happy to refer you to him.

To Your Success,

Dan Janal

Become A Publicity Thought Leader With A “Year in Review” Press Release

Wondering what would make for a good press release at this time of year? How about writing a “Year in Review” press release for your industry?

A Year in Review press release would encapsulate the top 10 or 12 news items or trends in your field. When you write this kind of press release, you will be seen as a thought leader in your industry. It is an excellent public relations strategy.

To find the top news stories of the year, you might want to do research since most people can’t remember what happened when. I know I can’t. So I would suggest you look at the last months of magazines or newspapers in your industry. Surely they are available online.

You can simply write two or three sentences on each major news story for the month. You might even want to offer you comments or opinions on that news as well so you get even more thought leadership credit.

Next, you’ll want to make sure your followers read the article. You can post the press release on your website, blog or ezine. Then you can promote it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn®.

Then you can begin to pitch the media. Consider sending the article to reporters. You can find lists of reporters at or by tracking reporters via their Twitter accounts, their blogs, or the email addresses at the ends of their articles on their websites. You can also turn those articles into press releases and send them our via our Guaranteed Press Release Service where it will be printed in at least 40 media websites with links back to your website or you get your money back.

After the press releases are printed, be sure to let you followers know about your success. Send them an email or mention it in your ezine. Use a subject like “Jill Smith Reviews Top Trends in Our Industry and Gets Written up in 40 Magazines!” Then print the article in the email so people can benefit from your knowledge.

BONUS!  You’ll also get the warm glow of better branding as the media’s halo effect shines on you.

If you perform this marketing strategy, you’ll be seen as a thought leader in your industry and that can help you sell more services.

To Your Success!

Dan Janal

P.S. Want to get your business quoted on top media sites – guaranteed? Check out this special report: