How to Write a History of Your Business

How to Write a History of Your Business

Subject Line: How to Write a History of Your Business

The Write Market Release
Vol. 3. Issue 8
How to Write a History of Your Business

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. How to Build an Online Press Center- Part III:
How to Write a History of Your Business
3. What’s New at The Write Market
4. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
5. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Hello,

December already! It hasn’t snowed one little bit here in Southern Pennsylvania. I’m not complaining. Hey, we may have to rake a lot of leaves, but at least we don’t have to shovel a lot of snow.

Still, it doesn’t quite feel like December, yet, except in the traditional way that I annoy my husband. In our house, we’re not allowed to start decorating for the holidays until after my son’s birthday on December 14th. Every year, around December 1st, I start to nag my husband to get the Christmas lights up. And every year, he says the same thing… “You know that I don’t put up lights until after Conor’s Birthday. Why do you do nag me every year?”

This year I had a good response, “Why should I quit nagging you now and break tradition?”

From holiday tradition, let me segue into business tradition. Does your business have traditions or stories? Every business has a story of how it came into being or of how it developed into what it is now. Share that story in your online press center. This is the stuff that makes good press. This month, our tutorial focuses on some strategies that will help you write your History.

Last month, Anne Holland from MarketingSherpa at http://www.marketingsherpa.com brought up the point that the term “Media Kit” refers to a kit of information for people that want to buy advertising. (I was using the term to refer to a kit of information you would send to reporters and press contacts.)

Alexis Chontos from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh at http://www.aip.aii.edu/ reinforces Anne’s statements from last month, “Anne is right. I worked at a magazine, and I can assure you that the term “Media kit” refers specifically to advertising information for media buyers.”

I did some Internet research on the two terms because it is not a great leap to think that “Media” implies “Press.” However, the official terminology is:

“Media Kit” – advertising information for people that want to buy advertising.

“Press Center” or “Press Kit” – information that you provide to the press so that the press will write stories about you. (Our tutorial focuses on this one!)

Enjoy December, folks, and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
[email protected]

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ELEMENTS OF A PRESS CENTER

(This is a quick review to show you where we’re at and where we’re going.)

1. Table of Contents
2. Backgrounder
3. History **We’re HERE **
4. The People Behind Your Business
5. Projects, Clients, Partners and/or Works
6. Testimonials
7. Press Releases
8. Sample News Story
9. Articles by Other Sources
10. Contact Information

For more details on the elements of your Press Center see: http://www.thewritemarket.com/press

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HOW TO WRITE A HISTORY OF YOUR BUSINESS

The “History” of your business is exactly what the title implies. It is an explanation of where your business came from or how it began. Like the Backgrounder, you can have a fairly complicated history or something simple and easy to read. For an Online Press Center, we recommend a simple format for easy web reading.

Elements that you may consider including in the History:

1. Inspiration that started your business.
2. Major accomplishments during the life of your business.
3. Short biography of the founder of the business.
4. Where you plan to take your business or future plans for your business.

Strategies to write your History:

1. Chronological order.
List events of your business in chronological order. Use important dates throughout the life of your business to highlight your accomplishments.
Example:
http://www.shec-labs.com/

2. Tell a story.
This is more informal, more fun to write, and probably more interesting to read. Just start at the beginning and explain the inspiration behind your business, what made you choose your particular business, and where you think your business is headed.

3. Chronological order with Humor.
List the events of your business in chronological order with a twist. Use humor or “bloopers” to highlight events. The whole point of the history is to get the press to take up your story and publish it. Using humor makes the History more interesting and more likely that the person reading it will read it through to the end.
http://www.microsoft.com

4. Highlight the founder of the company.
If your business is based on the name of one person, this is the perfect strategy for your History. A short biography of the founder and then an explanation of how the product or business came into being as a result of the founder.
http://www.hawkslim.com/

Although the above Histories are a good place to begin, it is much more helpful to search out Histories that are similar to your own business. The best way to learn how to write in a particular format, is to read several documents in that format.

To find Histories:
1. Go to http://www.Yahoo.com (or any directory you prefer)
2. Find a category where your business would belong.
3. Start clicking on sites.
4. Look for the “about us” or “press kit” sections on those sites.
5. Find “Company History” or “History.”

It can be difficult to find these “about us” sections. They are becoming more popular, but many sites still don’t have them. Many times, you will find that the History is the first page of the Online Press Center.

In your online travels, if you find a particularly good history, or if you decide to write one for your own business, please email the web address to mailto:[email protected] It would be neat if we could start a list of examples.

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

New articles in Public Relations: http://www.thewritemarket.com/articles.

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