Tag Archive for: writing

The Ugliest Story Ever

My fiancé is a fish biologist and I have to admit there are occasions when it’s difficult for me to keep up with her day-to-day activities, which could include “ion regulation,” “Parr-Smolt transformation,” or “Leptocephali.” (I think that’s how it’s spelled.)

One day, though, she started describing a local sustainability movement to save this ugly looking fish called the burbot and it definitely made sense to my scientifically challenged brain. The story was incredible! Ice fishing in frigid February temperatures; orgy balls of breeding fish; and a myriad of government agencies in two countries all trying to bring back the population of a creature that is definitely not as endearing as a baby spotted owl.

I pitched the idea to Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine (which just won Western Canada’s Magazine of the Year award) and they too were smitten with the story of the ugliest fish in BC and its return from the brink of extinction. And so was born this latest piece, which just came out in the recent KMC.

Don’t let appearances fool you: this one may be the ugliest ever, but it’s pretty good reading. (If I do say so myself.) Long live the Kootenay burbot!

Read the entire story here: KMC 26 Burbot.

5 Steps to a Perfect Press Release

For Immediate Release – In response to recent questions about how to write effective press releases, the staff at Wonow Media Ltd. in Nelson, BC, have decided to divulge five important secrets that will help any business produce material guaranteed to be read by publication editors.

“The word has gotten out that we write excellent press releases and so people have been asking what our secret is,” says Vince Hempsall, co-owner of Wonow Media. “My immediate response was, ‘Would you ask a surgeon how to perform a tonsillectomy at home?’ But then I realized that, as a magazine editor for the past 16 years, I know what my colleagues are looking for and it’s time to share some secrets.”

Wonow Media has created the “5 Steps to a Perfect Press Release” guide and it includes the following:

STEP #1: Making Contact. Collect the contact information of as many media people as possible and then send your press release to all of them. Even if you’re a small business in the arctic circle, don’t assume The Globe and Mail won’t be interested in your news because most editors are always looking for good stories outside of main city centers. Of course, there are thousands of publications in North America so you’ll want to get started now collecting their contact details…or hire Wonow Media because the company already has them all.

STEP #2: Lose the ego. Editors are not interested in helping you sell more product or lasso you more customers. They want stories that will be interesting to their readers. Which means your press release needs to present an objective view of your company’s exciting news. Stick to standard reporter prose and avoid “I” and “We” except in quotes.

STEP #3: Just the facts. As with all news articles, the lead (ie: first) paragraph of your press release should stick to the facts. Save the hype and the “sell, sell, sell” for your ads and provide the information that will not only catch an editor’s eye but will also sum up the entire point of the press release in 50 words or less.

STEP #4: Short and sweet. The perfect press release is one page. You could waste time writing more but take it from a busy editor, we won’t read anything beyond one page.

Step #5: Making Contact Part II. The last paragraph of a press release should always include the phrase: “For more information contact…” and list your phone number and e-mail address. Following that paragraph, there should appear four characters that will ensure an editor will take the press release seriously. Want to know what those characters are? Hire Wonow Media and find out.

For more information, contact Vince Hempsall at Wonow Media Ltd., 250-352-0921, info@wonowmedia [dot] com.