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Author Topic: Using the newspaper to get free logs  (Read 2774 times)

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Offline Daren

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Using the newspaper to get free logs
« on: September 02, 2007, 09:40:07 AM »
I am not talking about paid advertisement, for me that is rarely even a break even proposition. I am talking about a "press release", an article about yourself you write and submit to the paper. I know some here like Tom have been on the other end of this deal and may be able to add something. I am just posting my experience with this subject.
First I will post a couple links for further reading on how they work and how to write them. tutorial 1 and another tutorial 2 . Those links explain better than I can, plus this post would be 1000+ words if I tried. I will just give an overview and reason for writing a press release. They don't just work for getting logs obviously, my cousin wrote one and got it published about her interior decorating business and was immediately flooded with calls. In my case it's all about the logs. Like I said newspaper ads are overlooked too easily, a 1/2 page story about you and your business is huge in all senses of the word. It instills confidence in the reader about you being a legitimate business "Hey, I read about him in the paper" and although it may only run one day/week unlike a recurring ad it speaks volumes and lets you get our message out. Here is where having a website helps even locally. Give your web address in the press release so people can read even more about you and your business.
I will link the first press release I wrote and got published here because I have written permission from the paper to use it anyway I want. my press release My original plan for this one was to promote a single product I was trying to sell, my fishing lures. The net result was surprising and it had me writing more to other papers about my "eco friendly sawmill" and my sharpening business. Ok, the first one was supposed to sell lures...I sold a total of 0, zip, nada locally !!! But the phone literally rang off the hook with people who read it and had free logs for me  smiley_idea. I was months getting them all delivered/picked up. That was over a year ago and I still get logs from readers of that one little blurb (that I wrote every word of) in the paper.

I had 2-3 hours in writing the press release (alot of thinking time  smiley_headscratch) and a postage stamp. Let's just say I got 10,000 bft of free logs given to me by people who liked my message about urban logging...not a bad investment.

You won't always get them published, or if you do it may be a month or so, but keep trying. Call and follow up with the paper, send more. Eventually you will catch them on a slow news day/week and it can really pay off.

For my purposes local papers are the best outlet, small weeklies that farmers/land and homeowners/Mayors and every word of usually  But here is a link to many more news sources that you can submit to. bunch o' stuff. It is searchable by region/state.

I am no expert in the field. I just know from experience I could either go and knock on every door in the county and give my speal and be ignored by most or write a press release and have it delivered to willing readers for their consumption.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Using the newspaper to get free logs
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2007, 01:36:16 PM »
Daren, I have really enjoyed reading your comments and looking at the photo's of your projects, etc.  Your words and business accumen are always interesting and usually downright inspiring!

Thanks for sharing.

Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Daren

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Re: Using the newspaper to get free logs
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2007, 04:44:35 PM »
The link was to my first press release. I have since done more in other papers, but have not asked for permission to reprint them anywhere so I did not link them . Make sure to give your contact info (business address, telephone #), which I did not do in the one I linked. People still took the time to call, not too hard it says Daren Nelson Lovington Illinois several times, they just looked me up. In the bigger papers I made sure to not only link my site but give good contact info, even directions if possible.
I think it is worth a shot for anyone out there wanting to "get the word out" without spending a fortune in adverts that most likely will not even pay for themselves.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Using the newspaper to get free logs
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2007, 06:35:23 PM »
Daren is absolutely dead on  with the press releases.  It is the best advertising you can get.  20 some years ago we would have the photographer come out and do a story on us custom cutting or splitting rails.  We always got phone calls.  Never a lack of work.  Competition from custom sawing was rather thin in the mid 80's.
Then in Ok the big state newspaper did a write up about our grinding cedar operation. We wouldn't let them put our phone number in the paper as we had enough.  They did the story because Aaron was invited to the state house for the satellite reconesance cedar coverage maps that we used to decide where we would put the grinder.  People called the paper to get his number.  Amazing.

Listen to Daren. 8) 8)
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Using the newspaper to get free logs
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2007, 07:52:54 AM »
I have discussed this with others maybe even Daren at some point. I have not done it because i am not ready for the response I know would come. It does work.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

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