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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Posts Tagged ‘bloggers’

New FTC Law Requires Bloggers to Disclose Payments for Reviews

According to a recent New York Times article(they took the link down) this CBS News article, the Federal Trade Commission has passed a law (effective December 1st), stating that any bloggers providing reviews for companies must disclose any compensation (including free products or services).

It has not yet been determined how this will affect current blog reviews and whether or not they will have to be revised. I will keep you posted as I learn more.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the actual advertising disclosure guidelines from the FTC for your reading enjoyment.

Why I unsubscribed from your blog

It’s a Friday Rant from OldSchool and while I’d love to rant about the Mayo Clinic and our disappointment in the care that they’ve given my wife, I won’t. I will stay on course and talk about good old SEO.

One of the things that REALLY annoys me is the “hey, I’m rich and I don’t have any education, but you are reading my blog, so I don’t care if I can’t spell or have poor grammar” attitude that I see in the blogosphere. I have seen this more in the affiliate marketing circles, but today I was reading an uber-bloggers blog and I just got disgusted. As a professional, it is such a turn off to think “how can this guy have this large of a following when he doesn’t respect his readers intelligence (or himself) enough to use a spell checker or a grammar checker”. It’s a little step, but it goes a long way in my opinion. Especially if you are not an A List blogger (yet); do you think a journalist would respect your work if they found it, or would they just pass it up?

And yes, the poor grammar in the title was intentional 🙂

What are your thoughts?

Why your press releases don’t work

Making the news has been a significant part of corporate marketing strategy; even long before the days of the web. The web has made this component of marketing very easy to execute by using sites such as PR Web, PR Newswire, and the like, but most people still don’t get the expected results.

Why is this? You need to ask yourself who is on your media team. For most small companies, the media team consists of the owner drafting an article, doing his or her best to make it not seem like the advertising and self glorification piece that they want it to be. This is often followed by submitting it to PR Web, paying about $120 for a mid range of services, then sitting back and waiting for a miracle that rarely comes. Why is this? I will give you a few reasons:

1. It usually is only newsworthy to the owner. My sister (a long time media professional) actually looked at one my press releases and said “next time, let me give you a hand… that’s just not a press release”. Hey, I have learned to be humble, and it does help to have family or friends in the business. But if you don’t, make sure you have a writer experienced with writing press releases help you. If what you are saying is truly newsworthy, then it is worth the money. Perhaps that should be your benchmark (would I invest marketing money to get this story out?)

2. Closely related to #1, is not having a team in place. If your team consists of you, your computer, and a web site, I have some news that you may not want to hear. You are better of spending that money driving traffic to your web site through pay per click advertising. It will give you a better return because it will be targeted traffic as opposed to another press release lost in the sea of press releases sent out that day.

So who should be on your team?

1. First, you spin doctor. This person needs to be adept in writing press worthy material. In a perfect world they would come complete with their own media contacts.

2. Media Contacts. These should be specific and not general. Specifically, if you are in the car business, you need to be establishing relationships with journalists that cover the automotive industry. How do you find them? Look everywhere. It doesn’t hurt to try and build a relationship with The Wall Street Journal, and you may just get a call or an email back (I certainly have). I would also try and build a relationship with an Guide that serves your industry.

3. Bloggers. It’s 2007 folks and blogging is here to stay. Every blogger is essentially a journalist or a voice to his or her industry, so why not get in touch with them. Unlike journalists, most are not getting paid to blog, so having someone contact them with a story is a feather in their cap.

I hope that helps you get your next PR blitz out profitably. I am also here to help and while I am currently not taking on new assignments, I can possibly refer you to some good folks that can help you.

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