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About Red Wagon Writing

Megan Tsai is a content specialist providing marketing copywriting and consulting services for clients across the nation. 

Services include:
Audio interviews
Web sites
Press releases and press kits
Case studies
Trade and feature articles
Catalog descriptions and articles
White papers
Brochures and booklets
Direct mail
Video and CD-ROM scripting
Corporate image pieces

Contact Megan Tsai
Copywriter & Content Specialist
Owner, Red Wagon Writing
3265 Streamside Dr.
Greenwood, IN 46143
(317) 422-1974
Red Wagon Writing
September Newsletter

Marketing Tip of the Month
The Anatomy of a Press Room

For most organizations and business, positive media coverage is like the Holy Grail: often talked about but never seen.  The lure of free exposure to local or even national audiences is undeniable.  But achieving that exposure can be extremely difficult.  That's why when a member of the media does bite on your press release or simply pops onto your website for a visit, you need to be ready to reel them in.  That's where your press room comes in.

A press room is more than a collection of your organization's press releases.  A good press room has a complete set of information and materials to assist reporters with any story they might be researching.  And even if it doesn’t end up containing the exact information the reporter is looking for, a well-stocked press room shows the reporter you're ready to help.  This can often make the difference between a reporter picking up the phone and calling or moving on to another, more helpful resource.

So, what makes up a good press room?
  1. News releases.  Make sure your press releases do more than just promote your company.  Good press releases should help reporters generate story ideas and learn what types of stories you can help with.  Types of news releases to consider are those covering trends, reporting new statistics, lists of tips related to your business and those tying in to recent news stories.
  2. Media contacts.  You should always have direct contact information for someone who is readily available to help reporters with what they need.  Ideally, you would provide an office line, cell phone and email address for this person.  Most reporters are thoughtful about when to use a cell number, so don't be overly concerned about being bombarded with non-urgent cell phone calls.
  3. Photos.  Consider having professional photographs taken of your business and its operations, then secure a release for publication.  Make the photos available for high-resolution download in your press room.
  4. Executive biographies.  Learning about the background and experience of your executive staff can help reporters determine if your executives might make good expert interviews for a story they're working on.
  5. Videos.  If your organization has a visual element to it (for example, if you make goods on an assembly line) have a professional videographer shoot and edit a short video of your operations and make it available to the media.  You can post the video in your press room streaming from a site like You Tube, along with a note stating that the high-resolution video is available upon request.
  6. Fact sheets.  Include as many facts and figures about your organization as possible.  How many employees do you have?  How many offices?  What do you make and how much?  Include relevant industry information as well.
  7. Company history.  Provide a history in either a narrative or timeline format.
  8. Press kit.  Compile all your company's information (bios, fact sheets, history, photos, media contacts, etc.) in one PDF document available for download as a "press kit".  This is great for a reporter heading out into the field to review on-the-go.

Writing Tip of the Month
A Simple Rule for Semicolons

Like the tuxedo of punctuation, a semicolon, when used properly, can be both sophisticated and elegant.  But deciding when to use them can seem tricky; after all, no one wants to wear a tuxedo when the rest of the crowd is wearing shorts.

The simple rule for semicolons is this: you should be able to replace your semicolon with a period.  If you can't, use a comma or a dash.

Why use a semicolon?  When two sentences are related, they benefit from joining:

The woman gazed into the pond.  She studied her own reflection.

The most common way to join sentences is with a comma and a conjunction:

The woman gazed into the pond, and she studied her own reflection.

But this often seems clunky, especially when used repeatedly.  In this case, a semicolon is the more elegant solution.

The woman gazed into the pond; she studied her own reflection.

So next time you need to join two ideas, don't be afraid to don your punctuation tuxedo by dressing your sentence up with a semicolon.
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Red Wagon Writing
Megan Tsai
3265 Streamside Dr.
Greenwood, IN 46143

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