Q: I’ve started my home-based business last year and I would like to gain some exposure for my business, but have limited advertising dollars. I was told that I should try writing a press release, but don’t know where to begin. Can you please give me some tips on what should be included in a press release, the layout and how can I get it published.
A: A press release is a great way to get information about your company out to your target market.
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The press release should include answers to the following questions: who you are; where you are located; what you do; why you provide that product or service; when you can provide that product or service; and how you provide that product or service. It should be concise — definitely no longer than two pages — and should begin with a catchy title and sentence to grab the attention of not only the general reader, but also the editors and television producers you will likely be sending it to, if you are trying to get media coverage.
Without having the professional assistance of a publicist creating releases for you, I’d recommend you do some research online. Visit company sites similar to yours and check out what their releases look like. Take note of the layout, the inviting language, and the colours used to attract the attention of the reader.
The key with releases is that while you can send them out whenever you want, but when it comes to attracting the media for coverage, it will help you if you can attach your release to a current news item or event. For example, Father’s Day is coming up. Perhaps you can link your business and press release to that.
Also, invest in a domain for your company if you haven’t already. It looks unprofessional on a release to scroll down to the contact section and find a hotmail address. It’s even better to have a website — even if it’s only a page with some visuals and an e-mail link.
Q: I have a few problems searching for a job recently and was hoping if you could point me in the right direction. I have currently completed my 4th year of a 5 year chemical engineering program and was wondering what the best possible way to find a job would be? I have tried Monster, Workopolis, job banks and a numerous job agencies and all these seem somewhat pointless. What should I be doing?
A: The truth is for many professional opportunities in chemical engineering you’d require your degree in hand along with experience in the field. You’re best bet now might be to contact your student services department to see what connections they can help you with by way of an internship, apprenticeship or mentor in your field to help you gain experience to establish those connections. I’d also recommend you request an information interview with Professional Engineers Ontario (www.peo.on.ca) around their student membership program to find out more about opportunities you might explore there.
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