This is What’s Preventing You from Saying that “Something Important” You Want to Let the Whole World Know

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You have something important to say. Admit it. You’re not different than anyone else. We all have something important to say. Your “something important,” though, is different than everyone else’s. Yours is unique. Yours has never been said by anyone else at any other time in history. How can this be? The answer is simple: there’s only one of you, only one of you to ever exist, to think what you think, to discover this thought, idea, solution – this “something important” – in a way no one else could have possibly done it. You are unique. That makes your “something important” unique. And that’s why it’s your obligation – your duty – to share it with the world.

The awful truth is, to let the whole world know, you need a super big megaphone. Not many of us own a megaphone, let alone a super big megaphone. Given this, who in their right mind would expect their message to be heard without this megaphone? It simply can’t be done. It’s not your fault you can’t let the whole world know your important message. You want to say that “something important.” You want to let the whole world know. You just don’t possess the super big megaphone to do it. And you can’t afford to buy one, either.

Worse, you know you could easily show people your “something important.” Between Mad Men and reruns of Bewitched, you can see the power of advertising. You’ve witnessed first-hand the seamless ease of success in major political campaigns from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. You can count the number of businesses that come from nowhere to national prominence just by getting their word out. Every “something important” can be voiced across every form of media. For a price. A price you’re not willing or not able to pay.

You wonder, with a tinge of sadness but perhaps more out of curiosity, “If there were only a way to get my message out…”

I can tell you first hand there is a way to do it – and at little to no cost. It all comes down to one task. A task you are quite capable of accomplishing. A task so obvious everyone usually overlooks it, though it’s staring them right in the face. In fact, I bet once you see what this task is, your reaction will be anywhere from “Is that all?” to “I already knew that!” Then you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it yet. And try it you will. Because it works.

How do I know it works? Because I’ve used it to go from “zero to somebody” on no less than five occasions. These five situations covered a variety of environments. These settings include school, town, metropolitan, regional, and national audiences.

So seamless was this effort, that, until writing this, I hadn’t even considered how each case represents the same exact system producing the same exact results – only on different playing fields. Certainly, you want to say your “something important” to one or more of these groups. You can do this one straight-forward task, too. You’ll be amazed the results it produces.

And here’s the best part. While you can hire a high-priced staff or expensive consultants to accomplish this task, you don’t need to. All you need is to remember a bit from your middle school English classes. Of course, if you really get excited about letting the world know about your “something important,” you may be tempted to do a little additional study – and there’s nothing wrong with that. The important thing is to complete this one task.

What’s the secret behind the consistent success of doing this one task? It’s as obvious as the article in front of your nose.

Each day, reporters discover a brilliant story idea. They call people they’ve never met to write that story. If those people can offer a view that adds to the story, the reporter will usually quote them. Ironically, this can sometimes be a Catch-22 process.

How do they discover this brilliant story idea? They read a lot, looking for hints. That can be time consuming. If there’s one thing reporters don’t have, it’s time. When reporters are under intensive deadlines and they need a quick idea for a story, they may often turn to a source they prefer not admitting they turn to: the huge pile of unsolicited press releases they receive every day.

When reporters get a story idea from a press release – or, in the rare circumstance that a random press release addresses the story the reporter is writing right then – they often feel obligated to call the person who sent that press release. Why? Sure, it’s the fair thing to do, but also because it’s easier than cold calling to dig up sources. Yes, like everyone else, reporters try to be as time-efficient as possible.

The task therefore becomes clear. If you want to let the whole world know your important message, what do you do? You send out a press release.

Aye, there’s the rub. In fact, it would surprise me if you’re thinking “Tried it. Didn’t work.” And that’s a very normal experience.

If you think the cards are stacked against your press release, you’re right. Reporters, including me, usually take one glance at a press release and toss it. Why? Reporters, by their very nature, are taught to be suspicious of any unsolicited source. They don’t trust press releases for two reasons. First, it wasn’t their idea from the get-go. Second, anyone who’s pushing a press release is selling something.

You can’t do anything about the first issue. The second item, though, presents you with an opportunity. In general, most press releases – including many written by professionals – are written like product pitches. This just confirms the reporter’s suspicions.

Worse, if you write the press release too flagrantly, you’ll paint a target on your back. And reporters are always looking for targets. Remember, reporters think it’s their duty to society to expose people who are frauds, cheats and scam artists…or at least expose people who the reporter thinks are frauds, cheats and scam artists.

No doubt you’re beginning to understand why most people see the press as an enemy. It also explains why many feel only those in the exclusive elite (i.e., the ones always being interview) are allied with the press.

This doesn’t have to be the case. You, too, can earn a spot among the “exclusive elite.” Reporters need not be seen as some sort of Praetorian Guard keeping you from telling the world your “something important.” Still, if you prefer to view them this way, that’s OK, too. Rest assured, though, no warrior wears impenetrable armor.

Every opponent has an Achilles’ Heel. There is a way to penetrate the barriers reporters put in place. How do I know? I’m one of “them.” As a journalist, I’ve seen the kinds of press releases every reporter despises. And, yes, I, too, toss them aside. But I know the kinds of press releases I like. And the kind I write stories on. And the kind I call those who have written those press releases for quotes. Not only for the story pitched in their press release. But for future stories.

But I have bigger news. I talk to other journalists. And we all discuss what we like (and don’t like) about press releases. The secret resides in the body of your press release. And that secret is this: If you want reporters to read your press release, then write it like a reporter would write it.

Do this and you can say that “something important” you want to say to the whole world.

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