I know, I know, you don’t have much money for advertising. But… surely you are interested in it if it’s free?

Don’t underestimate the value of press releases for your business. In fact, you should set a goal of issuing one by-monthly, no less than four times a year. It’s easy and costs almost nothing.

Look for things to announce: new products, employee promotions, a new service you’re offering, a business contribution or awards your business has won. You must make sure your release is focused on the reader, consumer or customer, promoting products that will benefit them. If the release focuses on promoting your business, it won’t get published.

You can write your own press releases. I always did and as a result have been written up in many newspapers and trade journals, including Inc. Magazine twice!

Writing my own press releases has been a huge boon to my business. I recently issued a press release about my free, monthly, auto-recycling E-newsletter and got over 100 registrants in just a few days. And it can be a boon for you also.

For mailings, use Microsoft Word. Go to the Labels section (under Tools) where you can create and save a template of the addresses of your chosen media. Don’t forget to include your banker to receive the press releases. Include other media of interest as you discover magazines that might be appropriate to your industry, trade journals and even newsletters that may relate to your business, such as one put out by your association. My media list grew to well over 400 in just a few years. When a press release is ready, I print out the mailing list on labels, and they go in the mail in no time. The technology and services are available to make this important task easy. You can also release through a wire service (I use PR Newswire) to area media, newswires and the web for about a hundred dollars.

The key to placing press releases successfully is to make them about the benefits to consumers or customers who subscribe to your target publication. It won’t be published if it simply promotes your business.

Next month: More good stuff from Chapter 5 of “Salvaging Millions”.

Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, (best) or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.