What on Earth is a Backgrounder?

What on earth is a Backgrounder?

Subject Line: What on earth is a Backgrounder?

The Write Market Release
Vol. 3. Issue 7
What on earth is a Backgrounder?

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. Donations and Help
2. How to Build an Online Press Center- Part II: The Backgrounder
a. Example of a Company Backgrounder
b. Example of a Product Backgrounder
3. Letter from Lynne Elder
4. What’s New at The Write Market
5. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
6. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Hello Everyone,

Hello, We received so many nice letters and words of encouragement after our last issue. We’re publishing a letter by Lynne Elder, you will find it at the end of this issue.

Also, Anne Holland from http://www.marketingsherpa.com wrote this:

“Love your ezine — but you should be aware that the term “Media kit” refers specifically to advertising information for media buyers.”

“If you are referring to a site area for the press, then that should be called a media center, press area, press center, about us, or something else.”

I’m not sure that our choice of names was dead wrong. In fact, some of the articles (by other authors) that we’ve been publishing on our web site use the term “media kit” rather than “press kit.” Here: http://www.thewritemarket.com/article

However, we’ve taken Anne’s advice and changed the name of the tutorial to, “How to Build an Online Press Center.” (The old name was, “How to Build an Online Media Kit.”) As per Anne’s advice, we feel that “Press Center” is a better name because there is just no way that you can infer that “Press Center” would refer to media buying information.

We will still be covering the same topics. This month, we are focusing on the “Backgrounder.”

Terry and I have been going crazy this month, as usual. We are redesigning one of our web sites and we are in the midst of writing our second book.

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall foliage (what’s left of it). My yard is now deluged with leaves. This week, I have to force myself to go out there and start the raking. Last year, we gathered over 30 big brown sacks of leaves. At one point, I paid a few of the neighborhood kids to help rake. The next day, the yard was again full of leaves. The leaves just kept falling and falling and falling. I guess that’s why they call it Fall. Oh duh!

I’ll see you in December!

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
rkennedy@thewritemarket.com

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SPONSOR MESSAGE

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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 **We’re HERE **
3. History
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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INTRODUCTION

The purpose of an Online Press Center, may be quite different than that of a printed Press Kit. A traditional printed Press Kit is a package, usually contained in a nice folder that you would send out to press contacts or that you would hand out at a press conference.

An Online Press Center can also function to provide information for the press. However, your customers and other visitors to your site may also read your online Press Center.

I’d like to clarify that The Write Market is not a professional advertising agency in the traditional sense of sending out press releases and developing traditional press kits. You could call us a web advertising agency. We specialize in writing and graphics that sell on the web.

Therefore, the following tutorial will be focused on writing a press center that will be web based. If you are considering using the material to develop an offline press kit, you may also need to consider hiring an agency to do the writing and the press campaign for you.

Unfortunately, hiring an agency, can be way out of reach for a small business budget. Thus, we will give you examples and explain the elements of a press center, in order that you may be able to accomplish writing some of it yourself.

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THE BACKGROUNDER

Definition: A document that explains the history of a company or product.

The Backgrounder will be a description of specific products or services. You may also need a backgrounder for your company, as a whole. Here are some aspects you may want to include in your product and company backgrounders:

1. Product Backgrounder:
a. What your field or industry did before your product came along.
b. Explanation of any scientific terms or jargon of the industry.
c. The problems your industry or field has had.
d. What your company discovered – results of that discovery.
e. What your specific product can do, how it can resolve previously unresolved problems.
f. Your products advantages over existing products.
g. What the future holds for your product or where your product may lead the industry.

2. Company Backgrounder:
a. Where your company is located, when company started, why company started.
b. Explanation of your product.
c. The kind of company that you have and what the company does.
d. Information about the key people in your company.
e. Information about your industry.
f. The accomplishments of your company.
g. Any “firsts” your company has achieved. Meaning, was your company the first to achieve recognition for a product or service in your field?
h. The future of your company.

Go to your favorite search engine and do a search for “backgrounder.” You will be able to read many examples of various types of backgrounders. The more that you read, the more you will begin to get a feel for what you should include for your specific product or company.

You will find that some are very complex and contain a great deal of information. Others are more down-to-earth and contain easily readable information.

You will need to consider your product and your company and determine the “mood” or the “image” that you are trying to convey. If you are developing an Online Press Center, people other than the media are going to read your backgrounder. If you are developing a Press Kit to send to the media, you may want to get into more specific details and industry jargon.

The following backgrounders are simple and very clear and can be understood by people that are both within and outside the industry. These would be good for an Online Press Center.

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EXAMPLE OF A PRODUCT BACKGROUNDER

Backgrounder
The NutriCounter: http://www.nutricounter.com

Poor diet is a leading cause of many health problems for millions of Americans. Currently, the weight loss/gain industry is saturated with gimmicks, fads, and nutritional supplements that confuse individuals and can complicate health risks.

If an individual seeks out professional help for their diet issues, they may be given a pamphlet on nutrition, they may also be given various prescription medications to lower cholesterol, fight diabetes, manage heart-related problems, or even to lose weight. However, it is up to the individual to monitor and follow a regimen of good eating habits.

The NutriCounter is based on sound ethical principles of weight management. It is a tool that can be used by an individual to easily track daily consumption of essential nutrients and ensure a lifestyle commitment to optimum nutrition.

The NutriCounter has been shown to over 500 health professionals. They all agreed that the NutriCounter is an exceptional tool for anyone wishing to improve their overall health — be it weight loss, lowering cholesterol or blood pressure, or any other particular dieting concern.

The NutriCounter is truly unique. The unit is designed to look familiar and be extremely easy to use. However, the NutriCounter will do nine separate functions simultaneously including calculating the average daily consumption, setting goals for individual nutrients, finding out the balance left for a days consumption, and changing the portion size to match what is being eating.

It tracks and stores the following daily intakes: calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, and protein.

There are many opportunities to use this device. It may be used to teach individuals how to monitor their diet. It can also be used to help Cardiac Rehabilitation patients, diabetics, chronic lung disease and congestive heart failure patients. It is designed for weight loss, personal training, and for people just interested in overall health maintenance.

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EXAMPLE OF A COMPANY BACKGROUNDER

Backgrounder
The Write Market: http://www.thewritemarket.com

Headquartered in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia, The Write Market was created in 1998 to develop and market web sites. The Write Market is a “mom and pop” company whose primary goal is to research and understand the ways that the Web can be used as a marketing medium.

The Write Market’s flagship site, thewritemarket.com, is an archive of marketing resources free for public use. It includes tutorials, tools, books, graphics, and links which surround the topic of Internet marketing. This site is a direct reflection of the ongoing research required to understand and apply Internet marketing strategy.

The Write Market also offers web design and development services. The Company works with carefully selected consultants to offer a wide range of services, including graphic design, web copy writing, web design, scripting and Internet promotion services.

The Internet is still in a fledgling stage. There are numerous strategies to sell products and services using Internet technologies. It is the Company’s goal to research, apply and determine which technologies work the best for web marketing. Those discoveries are passed on to the Company’s clients and to the public through The Write Market web site.

It is not enough to know HTML in order to develop a successful web site. It is a complex process to know which marketing strategies and technology will work best in order to sell a particular product or service.

The Write Market’s success is based on the vision, research and knowledge of its partners. Renee Kennedy’s focus is on researching and applying web marketing and navigation strategies that will achieve sales results. Terry Kent researches and applies the technologies that make the graphic design elements perform at optimal capacity in a cross-platform environment.

Currently, The Write Market has published a book on search engine optimization and placement. This book is focused on one of the primary strategies that a web site should use to advertise products and/or services. The book is written for a beginner and includes worksheets to guide the process of search engine promotion.

The Write Market’s future plans are to continue developing sites, and to publish a book on the topic of “How to Write for the Web” in December 2001.

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SPONSOR MESSAGE

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LETTER FROM LYNNE ELDER

I live in the UK and want you to know that our hearts are with you, too. As you know, the UK feels that there is a special relationship with our friends in the US and I am sure that you have seen our Prime Minister, Tony Blair, standing shoulder to shoulder with George Bush.

We all need to stand together to get through this nightmarish situation…

I want to let you know that we in the UK have seen our share of suffering through terrorism……people and places bombed… lives shattered….economy taken to the brink. You get through it. Within days (like, the day after) a major bombing, say of sections of our financial district in London, the people are back at work, determined not to let the terrorists defeat them totally.

You will get through it and hopefully, with us all focussing on defeating terrorism, we will go from strength to strength.

Please, one major request…..please could you do your bit to let folk know that if they contribute to the IRA or other Irish funds, however innocent they seem, that the money is often used to buy explosives and arms for terrorism in the UK and Ireland. Most often folks don’t know where the money ends up….sorry…that’s me doing my bit in the war on terrorism!!

Respect and peace!

Lynne Elder

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

We’ve decreased the price of our web design and marketing course and we’ve spread the class over 10 weeks. The course will teach you how to design a web site that sells. You will learn everything you need to know to develop, update, and promote your own web site. Check it out: http://www.thewritemarket.com/tutorials/

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

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GET YOUR AD IN THIS EZINE

Get an ad into TWM Release:

Contact: webmaster@thewritemarket.com

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