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HOW TO: write a press release

by Christy Petterson

Man, your latest purse rocks! And that boutique downtown agreed to carry your line. Things are really bumpin' along. It's time to get the word out. Before you invest any of your hard earned cash into advertising see if you can get some press. With a little leg work this can prove to be a great way to let others know what you're up to. How do you let the media know all about it? Send them a press release.

Don't let the formality of the release intimidate you. It can be short and direct. Make sure you include all the essential information. Start off with some sort of angle. Don't just introduce your line; make it clear why this release is timely - a new store picked up your line and it is a great time of year to start purchasing holiday gifts. Cover all the most pertinent information in the first paragraph. Editors and reporters are extremely busy, and they get tons of releases every day. Make sure you put all the most important details in the beginning. Keep in mind they might not read past the first paragraph - so you have to grab them while you can!

Give background information in the second paragraph. How did you get started? What inspires you? What kind of materials do you use? Are you selling in other shops too? You can include a quote. "Her purses complete all my favorite outfits," says Shopper Susie. Don't get too gushy or fluffy. Keep it to the point.

Wrap it up at the end and restate what is most important, like what date will the boutique start selling your line. Last, make sure your contact information - name, phone number, email & website - are clearly stated at the end. You want people to contact you so make it as easy as possible for them.

Now you should spend some time looking through publications and figuring out two things. 1) Does my news relate to this magazine or newspaper? If their main focus is technology, they don't care about your purses. 2) Who is the correct person to send this to? You can find the editor listed toward the beginning of the publication, but also keep an eye out for specific writers and reporters who seem to cover this kind of topic. Try to build relationships with them over time.

Once you get the hang of writing releases set some goals for yourself. Maybe you want to send a release out every other month or four times a year. Always be on the lookout for reasons to write a release: you are collaborating with another crafter, you have a show coming up, you are traveling to several shows this fall, you have added a new product to your line, you have a special offer this season. Create a special look for your releases. You can include your logo at the top and even a tagline at the bottom. Don't make it too busy, but something that will catch a reporter's eye is fun.

Here's a sample - Now go get 'em!

Indie Craft Experience Announces Summertime Show
(Atlanta-April 14, 2006) The quintessential event in Atlanta that brings together the best of indie craft and fashion recently announced the date of their summer show. The Indie Craft Experience will take place on June 10, 2006 at the Defoor Centre located on Defoor Avenue off Howell Mill Road. This will be the 2nd Annual summertime Indie Craft Experience and the third Indie Craft Experience event after a successful holiday show in December.

Organized by the I.C.E. Collective, the Indie Craft Experience is a craft market and fashion show featuring non-traditional crafts and styles created by young, bold and irreverent designers from across the country. Last summer's event boasted participants from CA, NY, CT, every single state in the Southeast and many Atlanta participants as well. Applications to participate in the event will be accepted until April 20. The vendor list will be announced April 27.

The event will include music from local Atlanta bands The Orphins (www.theorphins.com) and dp3 (www.dp3online.com) and South Carolina band Tiger in the Grass (www.myspace.com/tigerinthegrass). While enjoying the live music attendees will be able to peruse the craft market, which will showcase 50 crafters selling everything from jewelry to bath products to unique clothing and purses, all with a unique twist. Attendees can stop by the Defoor Centre's Reading Room Cafe and Bar for a relaxing break. The lively fashion show featuring 20 young designers will start at 10 p.m.

In addition to an opportunity to show off up and coming talent, the event is also a fundraiser for Hagar's House, a shelter for women and children located in Decatur. A portion of the door fee will go directly to Hagar's House for their programming and operational costs. The Indie Craft Experience is proud to raise money for Hagar's House for a second time.

The Indie Craft Experience was inspired by crafty events taking place in other cities such as the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and Brooklyn, Stitch in Austin, and the DIY Trunk Show and depart-ment both in Chicago. As of January 2005, when planning began for the first I.C.E. event, there hadn�t been anything like these events taking place in the Southeast. Atlanta can now be considered a Southeastern hub of the larger DIY community.

The I.C.E. Collective is comprised of three young designers located in Atlanta: Shannon Mulkey of Revamp Designs (www.revampdesigns.com), Susan Voelker of TROW (www.droptrow.com) and Christy Petterson of a bardis (www.abardis.com).

When: Saturday, June 10, 2006�4 p.m. to midnight
Where: Defoor Centre, 1710 Defoor Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 www.defoorcentre.com
Admission: $10

For further information please contact:
Christy Petterson