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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Press releases are a timeless, yet current public relations avenue for communicating news, events, and updates regarding your business or organization to media outlets. These brief, informative writing pieces have managed to weather the test of time, with millions being emailed to newspapers, TV outlets, and radio stations every single day.

The media loves press releases. They’re like tiny bundles of news stories dropped on reporter’s laps. Given that the media cycle is in constant need of content, you should be taking advantage of press releases with every opportunity possible.

Here are a few basic tips for writing a good press release:

  • Brevity. Reporters don’t have time to comb through 2-pages of your business announcement. It’s recommended to keep the release between 300 to 500-words, effectively communicating your message without boring the reader.
  • Catchy Title. In order to catch the reader’s interest, you need a one-of-a-kind news-spun title that isn’t also over-the-top.
  • No Sales Language. A press release is about communicating the news. It’s not a time to promote your sales and services in an obvious way.
  • Don’t Try Too Hard. A press release isn’t a creative column submission with the local opinion editor. It’s a news announcement. Treat it as such.
  • Quotes. Including quotes from the business owner or spokesperson is a great way to humanize a press release. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity, including 1-2 quotes from someone important at your business.

Posting The Release

Once your release is done, you have two options: you can either email or call it out to local news media personnel, or you can submit it to syndication platforms like PRWeb.com and Newswire.com. The two aren’t mutually exclusive – for a wide variety of coverage, consider doing both, provided there’s value in spending money on doing so.

February 20th, 2018

Posted In: Business

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Once upon a time, practically everyone who chatted on the internets used… AOL. Even people that didn’t pay for AOL. Because in a brilliant business move, AOL made their messaging platform free. And it brought a lot of people into instant, online communication. And it was way easier (and prettier) than the predecessors. But it was mostly on computers, not mobile devices. And with constant emoji being added, features being needed, and apps required to make it work on devices, it’s time for AIM to finally be no more.

Sunsetting products is never easy. Especially one as legendary as AIM. So why do it? Text messaging, Signal, Kik, WhatsApp, and even Snapchat replaced AIM. That’s an extremely fragmented industry and I don’t think it matches the image of a media company that the post-merger AOL-Yahoo (Oath) wants to be. But it is the end of an era.

Actually, it’s being shuttered because that era ended years and years ago. And someone finally decided to let the product go. And I’d say they did so with plenty of notice, and provided copious amounts of documentation on what users can do to retain their data. End-to-end a graceful product end of line, as AIM deserves. 

If you happen to still use AIM, or want to go back and export some stuff, check out 

https://help.aol.com/articles/aim-discontinued


December 15th, 2017

Posted In: Business

My latest @Inc article is now online at 

https://www.inc.com/charles-edge/complacency-is-a-curse-heres-how-to-avoid-it.html. This piece focuses on what to do when things are going really good in an organization: more work! 

It starts a little like this:

Running a company can be really hard. But when everything lines up just right, you hit a stride.

The business feels like a well-oiled machine and almost seems to run itself. This is true not just for startup entrepreneurs but also for people who lead departments in larger organizations.

But of course, business is never really easy. Just when you’re riding the wave, a crash always lurks up ahead.

So if you’re fortunate enough to be in a positive place with your business, understand that this is the very time to become uncomfortable and take a hard look at every aspect of the operation.

A business should always be thinking about how to reinvent, even when the revenue is rolling in and morale is high.

September 13th, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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My latest Inc Post, 6 Things Every Boss Must Do to Help Employees Stay Calm Amidst Change, is up at https://www.inc.com/charles-edge/6-ways-to-keep-your-cool-when-change-hits-your-com.html It starts off like this:
I once spent hundreds of hours creating a training program and corresponding curriculum. It turned into a lesson on how quickly things change in the technology industry — the program was out of date within two years. The experience also was frustrating in another way. We had too many rules at the company about how things were created, so changing the program was a tougher bureaucratic slog than it should have been.

August 3rd, 2017

Posted In: Business

Tags: , ,

My latest Inc.com piece is up and available at https://www.inc.com/charles-edge/5-ways-your-it-staff-can-make-your-business-more-tech-savvy.html. It starts a bit like this (or totally like this as the case may be):
Remember Nick Burns, the “company computer guy” played by Jimmy Fallon on “Saturday Night Live”? IT people have long been fixtures in the office (though hopefully seldom as grumpy as Nick). However, their jobs have been radically changed by two trends — the cloud and consumerization.
To read more…

June 3rd, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

Tags: ,

My latest Inc.com piece is about collaborating on documents was just published.
Collaboration is a huge business buzzword these days. And nowhere does that feel more real than when teams work together on written materials. Whether it’s a sales brochure or an internal proposal, teams must work well together to produce high-quality assets. This can be a challenge if the team members work in different locations. Good habits in creating and editing documents can foster collaboration, save time and reduce headaches.
If this is the kind of thing you’re interested in, check it out at https://www.inc.com/charles-edge/how-to-collaborate-without-driving-the-rest-of-your-team-crazy.html.

May 2nd, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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My latest Huffington Post article is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58c2eeeee4b0c3276fb7845c and starts off as follows:
Whether establishing a business agreement with a client, buying a car, or purchasing services at work, negotiating contracts is an inevitable part of life. Most negotiation advice dispensed online or in books falls far short of the mark, and some of it can actually backfire. Pretending that you have another, better potential deal in the wings or being too aggressive, for example, both shut down the possibility of forming a real connection with the other party—thereby making them less willing to cut you a good deal. In other words, a lot of the traditional tools out there are just inauthentic. A few strategies help set the record straight when it comes to contract negotiation, allowing you to get the best deal possible:
To read more, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58c2eeeee4b0c3276fb7845c.

March 10th, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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My latest @inc piece is up, at http://www.inc.com/charles-edge/work-from-home-here-are-6-things-you-should-do-every-day.html?cid=search. It starts like this:
Telecommuting is on the rise. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 37 percent of U.S. workers say they have telecommuted at one point or another– four times greater than in 1995. But working remotely can be a challenge. Not only can telecommuters feel disconnected from the organization, the organization can also feel disconnected from them.
If you’re into it, read the rest of the article here. Telecommute and have other tips, comment below? 🙂

March 7th, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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My latest article for Inc, on building a management transition team (since you know, transition teams aren’t just for presidents) is available at http://www.inc.com/charles-edge/when-managers-change-tips-for-the-new-boss.html. It starts like this:
“The only thing that never changes is that everything changes,” author Louis L’Amour wrote. Nowhere is this truer than in business. Managers leaveget promoted or are transferred to different jobs. As an incoming manager, you face a special challenge when taking the reins from someone who may have led the team for a long time. As the “new kids in town” you owe it to yourself, your new reports and the organization not to get caught flat-footed during the transition.
Click here to read more!

February 22nd, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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My latest article for Inc Magazine is now available, called “8 Ways to Deal with Disappointment in Business”
It starts off a bit like this:
Disappointment is inevitable in business. Everything can’t go your way all the time. Maybe you didn’t close that one sale you wanted. Maybe your budget didn’t get the increase you wanted. Maybe you got passed over for that promotion. So how you deal with disappointment is as important a business skill as understanding finance or being a good leader. It keeps you steady when times get tough, it strengthens you to stay in the game for great opportunities in the future.
Read more at http://www.inc.com/charles-edge/8-ways-to-deal-with-disappointment-in-business.html.
 

February 8th, 2017

Posted In: Articles and Books, Business

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