Getting Back to Business

Getting Back to Business

Subject Line: Getting Back to Business

The Write Market Release
Vol. 3. Issue 5
Getting Back to Business

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. Donations and Help
3. How to Build an Online Media Kit – Part I: Elements of a Media Kit
4. Scumbags Highjack your Websites by Jim Wilson
5. What’s New at The Write Market
6. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
7. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Hello Everyone,

Our thoughts go out to the victims of the Sept. 11th terrorist attack.

Terry (my partner) and I are both located on the US east coast. Terry lives an hour from Washington, DC. I live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Terry and I consider ourselves to be lucky; our friends and family members are all safe.

This month, we are tackling a new subject: How to Build a Media Kit. Last month, I said that our new tutorial would be, “How to write and distribute a press release.” Instead, I decided to broaden the topic. However, I won’t let you down, we will still cover press releases within the media kit tutorial.

If you’re a new subscriber, each month we present one installment of the tutorial. Each tutorial lasts about 6 months. By subscribing, you get advanced copies of the tutorials. They are also published on the web. The new tutorial will be located here: http://www.thewritemarket.com/tutorials

I also want to make you aware of an insidious disease that is spreading on the internet called “scumware.” Basically, scumware are programs that change the content of your web site without your permission. If you’ve already heard the rants on scumware, you can ignore our last article. If you do not know anything about it and you own a web site, read the article.

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
[email protected]

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DONATIONS AND HELP

This article is dedicated to helping the victims and families of the terrorist attacks.

Remember, if you haven’t heard of the organization and you aren’t sure if they are legitimate, please find elsewhere to contribute. There are many scams that will happily take your money. The following are not scams:

Red Cross – To Donate by Phone: 1-800-HELP-NOW
Red Cross – To Give Blood: 1-800-GIVE-LIFE
Donate To The Red Cross Online:
http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html

The New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund:
http://www.firedonations.com

Additional Charities: http://www.libertyunite.com

More Ways To Volunteer & Help:
http://www.libertyunite.com/more_ways.adp

Resources For Coping, Parents, Teachers, & Charities:
http://www.helping.com

Go to this site to learn more about hoaxes that surround the Sept 11th tragedy:
http://www.urbanlegends.about.com/

Computer virus myths:
http://www.vmyths.com/

Help for viruses:
http://www.sarc.com/
http://vil.mcafee.com/

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ELEMENTS OF A MEDIA KIT

Your media kit or press kit contains information about your business. It will allow you to give others valuable insights into your business. You should have both an online media kit (if you have a web site) and an offline media kit. The media kit should be an integral part of your marketing plan and continually updated and developed.

The online media kit may contain the same basic information as an offline kit. Your online media kit will be seen and used by more than just the press. It may be read by potential clients and customers. Therefore, it is important that you write it in a “web-friendly” format. This includes using the general writing strategies outlined in this article: http://www.thewritemarket.com/promotion

To see an example of a media kit visit: http://www.thewritemarket.com/about.shtml

This online media kit is short and to the point. Throughout this tutorial we will give you several options for elements of your media kit. You may need to include all of the elements, you may choose to include only a select few, depending on the particular needs of your business.

Elements:

1. Table of Contents:
The Table of Contents will organize your media kit. For an online kit, you will provide links to all of the elements and a brief explanation of each page. For an offline kit, the Table of Contents will help the media quickly find the information that they need.

2. Backgrounder:
The Backgrounder will be a description of specific products or services. You may also need a backgrounder for your company, as a whole. For a product it may include what has been done in your field before you came along, the problems your field has encountered, and your resolution to those problems. A company Backgrounder will include where you’re located, when your company was created, the functions of your company, information about your products/services, and information about your industry.

3. History:
Your history will include how your business started, where you’re at and where you’re going. You can get very creative with your history. You may even choose to write it in a story-telling format – including such details as what prompted you to start your own business.

4. The People Behind Your Business:
Include pictures and biographies of the people that run your business.

5. Projects, Clients, Partners and/or Works:
This option is for businesses that have associations, partners and/or clients. Also, if you are in a field where you can present your work (i.e. writing, art, design, etc.), in your online kit, you might include links to your work. In your offline kit, you may present examples of your work or list your partners, associates or current clients.

6. Testimonials:
Testimonials are gathered from happy customers. Include their name, their title and company (if applicable) and what they said about you. Gathering testimonials is an ongoing process. Whenever something nice is said about your business, save it and ask permission to use it.

7. Press Releases:
Press releases are short explanations of what’s new at your company. They are sent out to the media. In future issues, we’ll give you several sites where you can send your release and a format of how to write a press release.

8. Sample News Story:
A sample news story is a story that you write or have written about your business. It should contain current, newsworthy information.

9. Articles by Other Sources:
Find every reference to your business by other sites and news sources that you can. Include either the full story (printed) or a brief write-up and links to the full story (online).

10. Contact Information:
Include all the ways that the media or customers may contact you – email, physical address, phone, and fax.

Throughout the next few months we will cover each of these elements in detail. We will tell you exactly how you can write the elements of your media kit.

Next month we will cover the Backgrounder and give examples.

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SPONSOR MESSAGE

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SCUMBAGS HIJACK YOUR WEB SITES
by Jim Wilson

“Imagine how powerful it could be to widen the effectiveness of search engine keyword advertising to the entire Web. This will enable you to reach millions of qualified users from every web page that contextually matches your campaign objective and your product or service keywords, anywhere on the Web.”

– eZula.com

eZula is a new Pay Per Click service and they have partnered with you to drive visitors away from your web site. You don’t get to choose about participating and the only reward you will get is.. well, actually you don’t get diddly.

You do get something, but I can’t say what in polite company.

They get to sell targeted traffic based on the content of every web page in the world without having to resort to developing any content, running a PPC search engine, or actually doing much of anything. Sounds like the Web to me.

Currently, TopText only works with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.

To back up a bit before continuing to vent my anger over this issue, the story goes something like this:

There is a new file sharing system launched in the wake of the MP3 sharing/stealing war, and the new system is called KaZaa. You download it, install it and get right back to sharing bootleg music files. KaZaa claims that almost 6 million people have downloaded and installed its system.

Unfortunately when you install KaZaa you also get at least one virus installed on your computer. I call it a virus because by most descriptions I’ve seen of the term, TopText qualifies as a virus. You don’t ask for it. It takes control of your browser and makes changes to everything you read on the Internet.

TopText operates with a browser to highlight words on every web page, inserting a yellow background behind keywords that have been purchased through their media sales company eZula, Inc. If a web user clicks on one of those yellow highlighted words on a web page, the user is whisked away to the site of the company paying the most that day for each click-through. If a user whose browser is infected with TopText visits your web site, they will be offered links to competitor’s web sites for every keyword they find on your site for which they have a buyer.

This is not much, if any, different from the Smart Tags system that Microsoft announced for their Windows XP browser. Media and webmaster pressure and outrage caused Microsoft to cancel, for now, their release of that feature.

This new invasion of our web sites is different because the media appears to care not at all. Where is their righteous indignation now? I’ll tell you. nowhere. Talking about a bunch of companies nobody has ever heard of is not glitzy enough compared to attacking Microsoft.

So, if this misuse of technology is to be beaten, you are going to have to do it.

Word was that you can send your list of sites to mailto:[email protected] and they would block their virus from operating on your pages. That turns out to be untrue but phone calls to eZula are showing some results. If all of you call in your list and follow up every day until they block it, you could probably show them a little something about how webmasters feel about companies infringing on their intellectual property rights.

Respected download web sites such as C/NET’s Download.com are actively helping this virus to spread on an unsuspecting world. I wonder why they would distribute something that would place links to competitor sites on their own web pages? After repeated attempts to enlist their help in stopping the spread of this virus, C/NET continues to defend their position of aiding the spread of this unethical program. Must really need the banner impressions.

EZula claims that they have a relationship with a major ISP which should come as no surprise keeping in mind how many ISPs are starving for income.

The MP3 file sharing software allows anyone to share files for free. Free is the only model that works for that whole industry. People don’t want to pay when they can get valuable content for free. So KaZaa had to find somewhere that they could generate profits without have to work at it. So they chose my web site and yours. If they can steal our traffic and sell it to our competitors, that should be profitable, right?

Sure it is. They can get (currently) from $.30 to $1.00 for every click through and they don’t have to share with anyone. Does anyone else see the irony in this? It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that a company built on the premise that everyone should be able to get free music and cut the musicians totally out of the system would turn to another way of stealing content and do it in a way that cuts the content developers total out of the system.

Why pay to advertise on my web site when you can pay these bozos to hack into my content and send you some cheap, stolen traffic. To add insult to injury, they deface my sites with their ugly yellow background colors.

Maybe TopText is both a virus and a hacker at the same time. Hackers find ways to change the content of your web pages. TopText does it by infecting Net user’s computers.

Hocus? VirCker? Scumbag?

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

Branding tutorial: http://www.thewritemarket.com/branding

We’ve added a new section to Articles called Media Kits: http://www.thewritemarket.com/article 

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