George Matyjewicz

PW: I understand that you work for a company called GAP Enterprises. Can you tell us a bit about what they do?

GM: GAP Enterprises, Ltd. is a professional firm of marketing and management Solutionists (tm) whose charter is to provide unique and innovative marketing and information solutions to owners and managers of middle market companies and to professional firms of any size. We provide direction, common sense advice and "hands on" guidance in programs designed to optimize your strategic direction.

Solutionists (tm) means that not only do we advise clients on how to market and grow their business, but we will actually roll up our sleeves and help them implement our ideas. We are published regularly (see "About Us" at ) and have organized and conducted over 350 seminars and trade shows since 1983. Some of our services including Rainmaking (lead generation for professional firms), Automated Press Releases, Seminars and Trade Shows, Web marketing, Web Makeover and more.

What differentiates GAP Enterprises, Ltd. is our understanding of the business world, and how to implement a total marketing plan. Our management team and advisory councils have held management positions at major companies, and understand that most executives have no tolerance for "techno-babble." Hence, we design our presentations and client's marketing programs from a business point of view.

PW: You also have an "Automated Press Release" program. How does that work?

GM: We have been writing press releases for over 25 years. When we tried press releases on the Net, we found the only services available distributed to computer-related publications, which is OK if that is your target. Since our clients may not sell to computer companies, that type of service was not good. Hence we developed our own service.

Now we have over 7,600 media contacts in 256 industry segments in 37 countries on 5 continents -- the largest such service on the Net. A client goes to our Automated Press Releases site and determine which groupings they need for their press release. They complete a form and tell us how they want to pay -- credit cards or by check (which we convert to a bank draft). They also submit their press release.

Within four business days, we will distribute their release to the media contacts the client has requested. If the client needs a special selection, i.e., all newspapers in selected major cities, we can also do that for them. If they need help, we can write the press release or edit their's.

At our site we have samples of successful press releases that a client can use as a guide. We also have our "Pet Peeves of the Press" guide which is a compilation of issues the press find annoying when submitting press releases (like contacting them to see when the release will be published). And their is a Frequently Asked Questions section, which answers most questions.

One the release is distributed the client can come back to our site to use our free clipping service to see if their release has been published in one of 130 publications.

The fact that I have a technology column in one of the top retail magazines and am published often in other magazines helps me guide our staff and offer assistance to our clients.

PW: That is all done online, correct? Do you recommend phone/snail mail followup?

GM: All on-line. We can also fax press releases to publications, but we don't advise it.

**NEVER** call the media for a follow up. It is the number one pet peeve of the press. They get many releases and do not have the time or patience to answer your calls or follow up correspondence.

PW: In closing, do you have any general tips as to how to get noticed by the media?

GM: What will get you published is the content of your release and what the press needs at that particular moment. Press releases are not paid display ads! They should not be blatant ads about your products or services. If that is the intent, purchase a paid ad.

With a press release, shorter is better. Keep it under 500 words -- preferably under 250 words. Make sure your message is clear and applies to that publication, i.e., don't send a release on computer graphics to a lawyer publication. The release should answer the five basic marketing questions - who, what, where, when and why. The main purpose of a press release is to draw traffic to your site.

Also, make sure your subject line reflects the contents of your release. If you are sending a press release around a trade show, put the show in the subject name. Members of the press often filter the press releases to the proper mailbox. In the body of the release, identify the target for your release, i.e., home & family, education, etc.

More often is better. If you can send a release once a month, with useful information, you stand a good chance of getting published. Be aware of lead times. If you are doing a trade show next week, don't expect the press to cover it by sending them a release this week.

**Never** include an attached file or a product demo or a picture. We will not accept a release from any company who desires to send attachments. If the press wants more information, they will contact you and ask for specific information. In your release, you can say pictures or more information is available.

If you are lucky enough to get a call from the media, make sure you know your product or service. If you are not conversant in the product, have a technical person available. Be cognizant of their time -- both the amount you take and when. A lot of media folks are virtual workers, and many work from home. If they arrange for a call at a specific time, adhere to that schedule.

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