What Is a Press Kit and Why Do You Need One?A press kit, often referred to as a media kit in business environments, is a pre-packaged set of promotional materials of a person, company, or organization distributed to members of the media for promotional use. They are often distributed to announce a release or for a news conference.
A press kit is like a resume for your company. In it is a collection of company information and articles put together to address questions from the media, investors, potential clients and others. The goal of the press kit is the same as all other marketing that a company does. It should grab the reader's attention, make a lasting impression and create enough interest that they will contact you for more information.
Press kits are commonly used for:
New company launch
Mergers and acquisitions
Large events / Industry trade shows
Backgrounder with historical information on the company or individual.
Fact sheet listing specific features, statistics, or benefits.
Biographies of key executives, individuals, artists, etc.
Past press coverage
Photos or other images (high resolution) of key executives, logos, products, etc.
A press release detailing the current news the media kit is sent in reference to
Media contact information (usually of a public relations department or spokesperson)
A CD, DVD, software title, video, etc. as appropriate for the sender of the release
Collateral advertising material, such as: postcard, flier, newspaper ad, etc.
What to include in your press kit?
1. Letter of introduction: Sometimes referred to as the pitch letter, this first impression item is where you will grab or lose the reader's interest. Tell them upfront why they should care about what you're telling them. Provide a table of contents or a brief description of the items enclosed in the actual press kit. Let them know you are available for follow-up interviews and questions. Also make sure to include your contact information in this letter.
2. Information on the company: This includes your company's history, a company profile, and profiles of the chief officers, senior management and ownership. Include bio sheets, if appropriate.
3. Product and service information, including a product, service or performance review: This will let editors see what others are saying about you or help the editor write his own review. This should also be supported with product or service fact sheets, sell sheets or company brochures that are specific to your product or service.
4. Recent press publications and articles: Copies of recent press coverage is very appropriate for a press kit. After all, what other media have done will be of interest to current media targets. This can include article reprints and printouts of online press that a company might have received.
5. Press releases: Many times, these are what instigated and caused the printing of the articles described above.
6. Audio and video files of radio or TV interviews, speeches, performances and any other media-covered event: Hard copies will suffice if the actual media is not available. Today, some companies are now putting online audio clips on their Web pages and in online media kits.
7. A sample news story: This is your chance to guide the media or your reader. Some editors will even print it verbatim, as they view ready-to-print articles as an easy way to fill up space with little effort on their part. They do, of course, usually edit these stories, so be prepared.
8. Since many media kits are put together for investors, any news related to the industry, financial statements or any other investor-related news is very appropriate for the press kit.
9. List of frequently asked questions: This helps the editor determine what questions to ask you in an interview or what to include in the article.
10. Other items to include:
Nonprofit and community-service involvement
Photos (if appropriate)
Factual background material and/or white papers
Specific information and schedules of upcoming promotions and events
Significant statistics specific to your industry, demographics and target audiences
Feature article material, such as articles written by company officers or senior management
Missions, goals and objectives
Samples or examples
Camera-ready logo art
An order form
The Key to Getting Noticed
Busy editors sort through piles of press kits each day. Getting your press kit noticed is the key to publication and action! Remember, getting attention is important not only with audiences, but also with editors. Package your materials in a unique way and make sure the materials are presented professionally.
It's also crucial to follow up to make sure your intended recipient received your press kit. Plus, follow-up calls provide the perfect opportunity for editors to ask questions or schedule an interview. Use this opportunity to build relationships with editors--in fact, doing so will improve your chances of publication or acceptance by your intended audience. But because the distribution of media kits can get a little expensive, you've got to make relationship-building a part of your marketing strategy.
The best thing to do right now is to start assembling part of your press kit, based on available materials. Then, add to it as you see fit and develop new materials. You don't want to create a press kit at the last minute for the editor, investor or potential client who requests one.
The challenge is to put it together on paper, electronically or both. There is a trend now toward online media kits. A lot of these items can be developed for online distribution; it's just a matter of putting what you already have online or onto letterhead and fact sheets.
In order to save time and money, there is a service that can provide fast and high quality press kit for only a few minutes.
Online Press Kit 24/7 acts as your virtual publicist around the clock. It gathers all the information about you that the media might need in one neatly organised space, and shows it to them when they need it. Links, images, files, videos, etc. Journalists from Yahoo!News, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Associated Press, Time Magazine, Glamour, InsideBusiness, Woman’s Day among others use Online PressKit 24/7 system to find quality informations and helps them find what they are looking for. Having all the information laid out neatly and easily accessible at all times for the media is like candy to a child.
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