Public Relations/Writing

Do You Have Questions About Contributed Articles?

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

We’re fresh off the free call hosted by Carol Tice at the Freelance Writers Den, and I understand that a lot of our listeners are not yet members of the Den.

So, if you have additional questions about contributed articles, please feel free to ask them in the comments below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

Please note, I won’t be answering too many specific questions about press releases, retainers, or public relations as these are all topics I’ll be sharing information about in the upcoming Bootcamp, which is a real steal –especially since you also get to join the den free for the first month. (And the Den is currently closed to everyone else.)





So, What can I tell you about contributed articles?  Ask away and I’ll try to help as much as I can.




Public Relations/Writing

Learn How I Get Big $$ Gigs in PR

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Learn How I Get Big $$ Gigs in PR


Carol Tice, a friend and colleague from our days at the Puget Sound Business Journal and Den Mother at the Freelance Writers Den, has asked me to teach freelance writers the ins and outs of public relations.

I’ve agreed to create and lead a 3-session bootcamp Dec. 5, 12 &19. You can check out the details by clicking on the banner above.

I will be covering how to write press releases that get results, how I land PR retainers as a writer and our special guest Karl Sakas from Agency Firebox based in North Carolina will devote a whole session on how writers can work with PR agencies.

Next Tuesday, Nov. 19, Carol is hosting me on a free conference call at 2 p.m. where I will reveal how I make $1,200 on articles that other freelancers only make $300 on.

Want to Join us on the free call? Leave a note in the comments below, and I’ll add you to my private list that will receive the call details, or shoot me an email.

On Tuesday, I’ll also have a guest post on Carol’s blog Make A Living Writing blog talking all about how I added public relations services and grew that part of my freelance businesses. (Hint: I worked with a lot of great people who have their own PR agencies.)



Public Relations

Before Sending Press Releases to the Media, Do This

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Before Sending Press Releases to the Media, Do This

It’s not easy to earn the media’s trust.

Especially not after incidents like the Ryan Holiday debacle – the guy who responded to Help A Reporter calls for sources but lied about his background and made everything up.

Reporters are naturally suspicious folks. You have to earn their trust and prove that you are worthy of a story.

Before sending out a press release – one that you hope to attract media attention  – you need to get your website in order.

Create a Press Room

Reporters will visit your site and expect to find a press or newsroom, often also called a media room. On that page, front and center, you need to have contact information for whomever will handle your press calls.

Don’t have or direct the media to a contract form. They hate those.

Provide a contact choice of a phone and an email address, or social media contact – whatever will allow the reporter to contact you instantly. Don’t make them work too hard or they will go find another company that fits their bill.

After the contact information, include background on your company. How big is it? How many employees do you have? When was it founded? By Whom? What milestone have you hit or how has the company grown and changed over time?

Include information about the founders and executive team, providing downloadable photos of key personnel.

Then include links to your press releases. (Or put them on this page after you write them.)

And then links to any media attention – articles, videos, radio audio clips – so the reporter can see what others have said about you.

If you have other content you would like to share, provide it as well.

That content might include topics your CEO can talk about, speeches he or she has given and you’ve had transcribed, articles that your company has contributed to various trade magazines, etc.

Be sure to add a link to the company blog and links to the company’s social media pages.

Examples of Simple Press Rooms 

Here are a few good examples of simple press rooms.

Each takes a slightly different approach, but all give you a good indication of the press they’ve received and most importantly who to contact.

How They Started Press Room

Gail Harker Creative Studies Center Press Room

Score More Sales News Room

BB Ranch News Room

All of this information, housed in one place, helps the reporter know that you are aware you need to make their job easier when they write about you.

It provides information they can use for fact checking later on. It also provides information on your company before you send out press releases; reporters look for companies that fit various profiles and do research your company just like customers do.

What other elements have you put on your press or media room web site pages?

Content Marketing/Public Relations/Writing

Creating Content for Three New Customers

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Creating Content for Three New Customers

copyright Lisa Harkins

Writing and creating content for customers keeps me busy and steals time from keeping this blog updated.

I’ve added three new clients in the past month or two and want to share them with you.

I’m the perfect target audience for the largest of the three, the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center.

If you’ve read my Longer bio and contact web page, you know I once thought of pursuing an art career and that I like to draw.

I first learned about Gail when I wrote about a fiber art exhibit at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum for the La Conner Weekly News.

Copyright Lisa Harkins

The Gail Harker Creative Studies Center moved to La Conner and now occupies the town’s architecturally significant barn, which was remodeled in the late 1990s.

If you’ve visited La Conner, you’ve seen it as you’ve come into town.

The center offers color, design, stitch and fiber art courses, taught by internationally known artist, author and educator Gail Harker.

Gail basically has a master’s degree in texture and fiber art as well as contemporary embroidery, also known as stitch.

More than 1,500 students have studied at the Center, which offers professional and diploma programs in design and stitch. Several of her students have gone on to win national and international acclaim.

Gail has a wonderful blog; its well written, has fabulous photos, showcases students and their art and contains lively guest posts by her students.

Copyright Jarina Moss

But only her students seem to know about the blog, and the school, so I’m helping her turn up the volume and get noticed.

First, I created a press room page for the website, and then I wrote a press release about her move to La Conner.

We leveraged the press release to pitch the media about the Center’s graduation exhibition, which helped 350 people learn more about the colorful art that takes place at the studio.

copyright Gail Harker

Now, we’re telling the world about the center’s first online course, Level 1 Color Studies.

In addition to generating interest in local newspapers and magazines, I will be looking for blogs Gail can guest post on, associations she can join or learn from.

I will also add the center to the worldwide radar screen by getting listed on education sites.

We’ll also be leveraging her base of students, and have created an email campaign that highlights content pertaining to the onlince color studies course.

And I will be pitching Gail’s story and the Center to national trade and women’s publications.

I’ll be writing about my other two new clients, Intuit’s Small Business Blog, and BB Ranch, a new Seattle butcher shop, later this week.

In the meantime, check out Gail’s blog and send me any PR ideas or suggestions you may have, or simply tell me what you like about Gail’s blog.

Bookmark it or sign up for the RSS feed – you’ll enjoy looking at the amazing art these women create.