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What moonshine and mountains taught me about marketing

Hiking in the Tennessee mountains with my husband was a lesson in taglines. I just returned from one of those quintessential vacations – a 12-hour car ride that involved my family, overstuffed suitcases and the singing of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” We eventually made it to our destination, a resort in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. After a week of sleeping late, eating out, seeing the sights and hiking the mountain paths, we made the long trek home again.

To pass the time while traveling, I scoped out the license plates of the cars and trucks around us. I also looked for license plates when we stopped at look-out points or tourist attractions, like the aquarium we visited and the salt and pepper shaker museum. Now I can say I’ve seen some of the wildest salt and pepper shakers imaginable – 20,000 pairs altogether.

Reading along the route 

As we traveled from state to state, the license plates changed. The Welcome signs changed, too, as we crossed the borders. “America’s Dairyland” (Wisconsin) led us to the “Land of Lincoln” (Illinois) to “The Crossroads of America” (Indiana) and eventually to “The Volunteer State” (Tennessee).

Taglines were also paired with city names, like “Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains” for Gatlinburg, Tenn., and “The Center of Fun in the Smokies” for Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Potent taglines

License plates and Welcome signs make me think about the power of words and specifically, how short phrases can pack a big punch. Like the moonshine recipe we heard about on our tour, taglines are composed of a few simple ingredients. With just a few sips of moonshine, you’re feeling the effects. Don’t you want a tagline to be just as potent?

A well-conceived tagline should be descriptive and memorable. For example, as Writer to the Rescue, I’m the “Wonder Writer” who is “Saving the World One Word at a Time.” My title and motto match the superhero image of my logo and the above-and-beyond writing services I strive to provide to clients. The various themes are integrated together, and the message is clear.

What makes a strong tagline?

I believe that brainstorming is the key to developing your best tagline. Begin by listing the attributes, features and benefits of your business. Ask yourself questions like “What image do I want to portray?”  “What words will connect with my audience?” and “What is the vision I have for my company?”

Your unique brand deserves a strong tagline and well-developed marketing presence. That’s where Writer to the Rescue can help by assisting with website content, blog articles, news releases and other written communication. Send an email to joan@writertotherescue and we’ll get started.

Taglines example of the Museum of Salt & Pepper Shakers

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Newsletter sample

Oconto Falls School District Community Newsletter March 2017
Click on image to view PDF of newsletter.

During the 2016-17 school year the Oconto Falls School District conducted a three-day conference called Destination Education. The conference brought together business owners, community leaders, parents, students, teachers and administrators in order to plot a path for the school district for the next 10 years.


Communication is key

One of the top take-aways from Destination Education was the need for better communication and a closer connection between the school district and its residents. Quarterly newsletters strive to achieve those goals. Newsletters allow the school district to effectively connect with people in the community, while sharing important news and information plus highlights of what’s going on in the schools.
The school district utilizes the newsletter to reach residents who don’t have children enrolled in the schools and residents who are less likely to go online to the district’s website and social media platforms.


Educating voters

To kick off this new form of communication, the district focused on a pending referendum. The goal was to help district voters understand the financial needs of the district and learn about specific projects and initiatives, their benefits and the tax impact associated with an $11.5 million, five-year referendum proposal. The referendum was not only successful, it passed by a higher margin than expected.
The newsletter will continue to be an effective communication tool and serve to improve personal contact between the district and its residents.


Style elements

Highlights of the newsletter include the following:
 The information is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand format
 The font and style of the type make it easy to read
 The full-color design and graphic layout appeal to the eye
 The photos give readers an inside look into the schools
 The newsletter is integrated with the district’s new district website,


Best of all, the district has a new way to reach out to the community and share the pride of its accomplishments.

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13 Tips for Writing Superpowerful News Releases To Get Your Audience’s Attention

Hi,
This is Writer to the Rescue with a powerful promotional idea for business owners and organizational leaders.

News releaseBefore I start “saving the world one word at a time” by telling about the superpowers of a news release, I’d like to talk numbers. As a mild-mannered newspaper editor – my alter-ego for the last 7-plus years – I touched 70-90 articles/photos a week. Included in those files were press releases of all sorts.

According to my calculations, I’ve processed nearly 8,000 news releases in my lifetime. I’ve read plenty of really good news releases, and some, well, let’s just say they fell short of their mission.
Let me offer these 13 tips about what makes a good news release:
1. Be Newsworthy: Choosing your topic is a good first step. Write a news release when you have an announcement to make like a milestone anniversary, new acquisition, open house, etc.
2. Be Timely: Distribute your news release within 2 weeks of the event or date you’re recognizing. Know and follow the publication schedules of your news outlets.
3. Be Courteous: Address editors by name and write a short note explaining your purpose for sending the news release. For a time-sensitive news release, suggest an ideal time for publication. Thank the editors for their consideration. Attach the news release as a Word Document and photos as .jpg or .png images.
4. Be Thorough: Make sure to include all important details, like name, address, email and phone number. For events, use the formula of time, date, then place for consistency and simplicity.
5. Be Readable: Ask yourself what your audience wants to know, then answer those questions. Keep the news release under 400 words, and check it closely for grammatical and spelling errors before you submit it to news outlets. Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
6. Be Conversational: You can use templates to provide a structure for your news release, but put the information in your own words. Otherwise, the news release sounds “canned.”
7. Be Visual: Include 1-2 photos with the news release. Write a caption explaining what each photo is about. Identify people in photos by first and last name, left to right. Identify them by title, too.
8. Be Promotional: It’s OK to blow your horn! A great way to do this is by quoting someone who has something positive to say. Quotes are great because they let people tell their own stories. Plus, the reader’s eyes are attracted to quotes.
9. Be Informational: As an addendum to your news release, include an “About Us” paragraph describing your business or organization. It’s your last chance to leave an impact on the editor, so make it professional and descriptive, but brief.
10. Be Patient: Write it. Edit it. Share it with colleagues. Tweak it. Sleep on it. Then submit it.
11. Be Careful: When you submit a news release to media outlets, be sure you attach the correct document and photograph. This prevents embarrassing follow-up emails to correct your mistake.
12. Be Knowledgeable: Do some research to determine the best media outlets for your announcement. Use the correct email for the media outlet or the submission process that is standard for the media outlet.
13. Be Smart: Consider partnering with a professional like Writer to the Rescue to prepare your news release. What’s your specialty? Chances are, it may not be writing news releases! It happens to be a specialty of mine. To get started, contact Joan@writertotherescue.com.

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