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Expert Interviews: Eric Ward

PW: First off, tell us about what you do. You specialize in sending out press releases, right? Can you tell us how you do that?

EW: Sending a press release is a small part of a process I do when I conduct full launch awareness campaigns for Web sites. For example many crucial news outlets don't even want press releases, because they don't create original content. They need the news in other ways to cover it. I did the launch for Amazon.com Books, Rodney Dangerfields Rodney.com, and Virtual Vineyards, to drop a couple huge names :-)

I run a service called URLWire, which Web editors, writers, reporters, news outlets, site reviewers, guide selectors and pick editors use to learn about major new content launches. Basically, they give me a private profile of there web content editorial interests, and only when I have a perfect match do they hear from me. I've been at it since 1995.

PW: You also run NetPost... what is that, exactly?

EW: This is the umbrella name for an overall launch campaign that includes submissions, news releases, seedings, site introductions, etc. Overall, I believe I have about 40 different classifications of submission outlets, from search engines, to printed web guides, to content reco services to net radio shows. In all, I have over 12,000 rated and highest quality submission outlets in about 100 topics.

PW: What do you think makes a good press release a good press release?

EW:How bout remembering to put the URL in them :) I'm kidding, but several times the larger PR firms that contact me to send their client's news have buried it in the last sentence, thinking the media folks will look that far down for it. Nope. In the headline is where it goes.

The best advice for a email based press release?

1). short lines (60 to 65 cpi)
2). don't leave out the http:// (it makes URLs unclickable)
3). short and sweet paragraphs
4). don't pretend you have news when you don't.
5). Meaningful subject lines

PW: When launching a new web site, what do you think are the most important things to keep in mind?

EW: Are your marketing objectives really going to be met with a new site, or should you maybe consider sponsoring someone else's site and launching a far smaller presence.

Don't go into it thinking you can out-source the Web marketing 100% to third parties. The most successful sites have someone working regularly in house marketing them. It's a process I call "Moment Marketing". There are certain moments in the life cycle of a Web site when it makes sense to out-source and get help. The launch is one of those moments. Sending news of a significant developement is another of those moments. So is buying banners. All these activities can be out-sourced effectively. Hoewever, the day-to-day marketing, the newsgroup and mailing list lurking and posting, the in-bound link seeking negotiation, these types of activities are best suited to in house efforts.

Over the course of the year, nobody will ever care as much about your site as you will on a day to day basis. Pick and choose what you do yourself, and what you out-source, wisely.

PW: To find out more about Eric and what he does, I highly recommend you visit his companies website, URLWire

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