Tuesday, January 29, 2008

February 4, 2008


Press releases are used to disseminate information to a variety of news organizations that can broadcast your message to your customers, neighbors, friends, and potential clients. The three steps include:

  1. DEVELOP A CONTACT LIST - prior to releasing your press release, develop a data base of people who may be interested in receiving news about your business. This should include:

    • Members of the press - including the major newspapers and community publications, along with the trade press, if pertinent.

    • Local television, radio, and cable operators (cable systems like to broadcast local announcements).

    • Web Masters of web sites specializing in local news.

    • Pertinent trade groups with newsletters and web sites.

    • Customers - although you will normally want to broadcast such news to your customers via a newsletter or web site, you may also want to broadcast a press release to your customers for the broadest possible coverage.

    A good mailing list and e-mail address book can be very useful for developing a contact list. One last note in this regard, please remember e-mail is not infallible. To assure your e-mail goes through to the designated receiver, you should use the "Return Receipt" option which electronically acknowledges receipt of your message.

    Free Internet Press Release Distribution Outlets

    In addition to the press contacts mentioned above, there are many venues on the Internet to distribute press releases, some requiring a processing or membership fee. However, there are some free ones on the web you should definitely check out:

  2. COMPOSITION - Compose the text for your press release carefully. Remember, most editors will simply copy your text and print it as you gave it to them. Therefore, write it as if you were the editor.

    There are three parts for composing the press release:

    1. Headline - keep it snappy or catchy. Always print it in upper case letters.

    2. Body - begin the body with a dateline; e.g., TAMPA, FL (May 1, 2008). Write your text tightly (do not ramble, get to the point and move on). It is very important your text convey the 5-W's (Who, did What, When, Where, and Why). Avoid jargon an editor would find confusing. Also, do not include any HTML code unless your contact specifically requests it. And by all means, make it newsworthy.

    3. For further info - be sure to clearly define who should be contacted for additional information. If you have a web site, be sure to include the URL web address (e.g., http://www....).

    In all likelihood you will be preparing the press release with a word processor; in this event, be sure to check the spelling and grammar. There is nothing more embarrassing than sending out a press release with typographical errors in it.

    For more tips on how to write a press release, see:


    Whenever possible, the press release should be accompanied with a photo, either printed or digitized (JPG is the preferred format, although GIF and TIF are still widely used). When using digital photography, provide the photograph as is (with color) and allow the Editor to crop and touchup the photo (including converting it to black and white). In other words, leave it to the professionals to handle.

  3. DISTRIBUTION - Although press releases distributed on paper are certainly accepted by the press, the preferred format today is by e-mail, hence the need to have an effective e-mail address book. It is easier to copy and edit text from an e-mail than to transcribe a paper press release. In fact, your chances of having the press release printed are better if you use e-mail instead of paper. E-mail is simply faster and more convenient to use.

    If you want to attach a text file to your e-mail, be sure it is in a plain text format (ASCII) as opposed to a specific format for a word processor, e.g., MS Word. Not everyone will have the same word processor you have, but everyone will be able to read a plain ASCII text file.

    Press releases can also be distributed by fax packages but this is becoming rare as e-mail has become the distribution channel of choice.

    Try to personalize each press release by including a friendly note to the editor; for example: "Bob - I thought you would find the enclosed press release of particular interest to your readers. Let me know. Regards, Jim." Developing a rapport with your press contacts is important and improves your chances for having your news published.


Although writing the content of a press release hasn't really changed in many years, the method for distributing them is radically different than years past. In fact, you now have a better chance of having your release published if you send it electronically than through the post office. With a little imagination, a good word processor and the Internet, you can work miracles for your organization.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is... "We write to communicate, not to put people to sleep."


Friends, we have just published a new book entitled, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life.

Bonnie Wooding, the President-elect of the Toronto Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) said, "Many of our members are just starting their careers and I will be recommending that they read this book, especially Chapter 3, Professional Development - a primer for business skills and filled with basic common sense advice that is simple, easy to follow and extraordinarily practical; and Chapter 5, Do’s and Don’ts of the Workplace, an excellent resource for those questions you are too embarrassed to ask for fear of looking foolish."

The Miami Hurricane recently reviewed it (10/22/2007) and said,

"the abundance of information the book provides is a good start for anyone about to take the first step into the real world. Though the concept of adulthood may seem intimidating, it's comforting to know that someone has at least written a guidebook for it."

Reviewer Bill Petrey praised it by saying, "Every young person entering the workplace for the first time should be given a copy of this book."

The book includes chapters to describe how a young person should organize themselves, how to adapt to the corporate culture, develop their career, and improve themselves professionally and socially. Basically, its 208 pages of good sound advice to jump start the young person into the work force. Corporate Human Resource departments will also find this book useful for setting new hires on the right track in their career. It not only reinforces the many formal rules as contained in corporate policy manuals, but also includes the subtle unwritten rules we must all observe while working with others. The book lists for $25 and can be ordered online through MBA or your local book store. Complementing the book is a one day seminar of the same name which can be purchased separately for $4,000.00 (U.S.) plus instructor travel expenses. For more information on both the book and the seminar, visit our corporate web site at:
ISBN: 978-0-9786182-5-4


I cringe when I hear someone say, "A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind." I don't know who invented this little gem, some say Albert Einstein, but I can't seem to find any record of it. More likely, it was some slob who got called up on the carpet by his boss for running a pigpen.

It has always been tough to run an organized and efficient office, but this seems to have been compounded in recent times when PC's started to pop-up on desks and we allowed employees to eat at their desks. Now it is not uncommon to see a number of wires running everywhere, overloaded electrical sockets, and empty fast food bags and cups laying around. We used to complain about ashtrays, but this appears to be a thing of the past. Instead, we find cigarette butts on the ground just outside of the office or outdoor ashtrays overflowing with them. Very professional.

Since I believe our work is an extension of our personal lives, I tend to think of the office as our home away from home. This makes me wonder what we might find if we visited some employees homes. Are they as big a slobs at home as they are at work? If not, why do they find it necessary to trash their office as opposed to their homes?

Office clutter is indicative of management's organization and a part of the corporate culture. Some believe the sloppier they look the more they give the appearance that are hard at work. Not necessarily. More likely, sloppiness is indicative that the person is trying to hide something and is actually quite lazy.

The military understands the need for organization and keeps their facilities spotless; you are expected to either work on something, file it, or throw it away. If you need new file cabinets, buy them. Your work is obviously not important if you keep the same clutter on your desk all of the time. In fact, such clutter will grow over time. For example, have you ever seen someone with a plastic tray on their desk? Theoretically, such trays are used for work in progress. But you'll notice the trays never empty and, if anything, the paperwork grows. Every now and then you have to simply throw the contents in the plastic tray into the garbage can.

Programmers typically like to keep a cluttered desk. To overcome this problem we warned our programmers to clean up their desks or they might find the debris in the trash. At first, they thought this was a hallow warning. They found we were serious when they came in one day and found their desks spotless (and their paperwork in the garbage). We didn't have a problem with office clutter after doing this a couple of times.

Office clutter is a reflection of a person's professionalism and, as mentioned, a part of the corporate culture. It can be remedied if management is so inclined to do so. I admire an office that is well run and organized. It tells me the people are serious about their work and a company I want to do business with. Just remember, a cluttered desk is the sign of a lazy mind, not a brilliant one.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.


Folks, a couple of years ago I started to include my "Pet Peeve of the Week" in these "Management Visions" podcasts. They have become so popular that I now syndicate them through the Internet and they are available for republication in other media. To this end, I have created a separate web page for my writings which you can find at Look for the section, "The Bryce is Right!" Hope you enjoy them.


I received the following e-mails from my "Pet Peeve" on "Buying Personal Hygiene Items":

An S.S. in Riceville, Iowa wrote...

"I was waiting for a prescription just yesterday and was standing near the shelves stocked with contraceptives. A young man came up to them and started looking, I think I made him nervous as he left without anything. Gee whiz, I didn't say a thing to him."

A B.F. in Oklahoma writes...

"When I have to go out and get such things, I like to add some really odd items to the mix, just to see how people react... (like contraceptives, band aids, bananas, a kid's toy, and perhaps something seasonal)."

An H.T. in Lansing, Michigan wrote...

"Personally, I think a pharmacy is a more appropriate place than getting my 'feminine napkins' at the grocery story, and placing them next to the chocolate ice cream. Maybe it's just me?"

I received the following e-mails regarding my "Pet Peeve" on "Bureaucrats":

An S.T. in Tampa, Florida wrote...

"This is a circular argument. All bureaucrats are created and maintained by the officials that we elect, the laws that are passed on our behalf and the taxes we pay. Shame on us for allowing bureaucracy to become a burden rather than service. The corporate world often complains of similar ogres in fiefdoms such as HR and Accounting."

A T.L. in Oak Ridge, North Carolina wrote...

"Remember too that some civil servants are handcuffed by the bureaucrats they work under. It’s all a product of the individual organization and the quality, focus and efficiency of that organization. As a civil servant for the last 28 years of my life I can tell you that I’ve seen both the good and the not-so-good. So the next time you’re frustrated with a civil servant, and feel the need to blurt out the infamous 'I help pay your salary,' remember that this civil servant is probably feeling the same frustration only for them it may come from the shackles placed on them from above. They deal with it every day!"

Thanks for your comments. For these and other comments, please visit my "Bryce is Right!" web site.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

MBA is an international management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management. We offer training, consulting, and writing services in the areas of Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Data Base Engineering, Project Management, Methodologies and Repositories. For information, call us at 727/786-4567.

Our corporate web page is at:

Management Visions is a presentation of M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. The program is produced on a weekly basis and updated on Sundays. It is available in versions for RealPlayer, Microsoft Media Player, and MP3 suitable for Podcasting. See our web site for details. You'll find our broadcast listed in several Podcast and Internet Search engines, as well as Apples' iTunes.

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Copyright © 2008 by M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. All rights reserved. "PRIDE" is the registered trademark of M&JB Investment Company.

This is Tim Bryce reporting.

Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."




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