Imagine you have a large event on the horizon. The office is buzzing and the marketing team is going through their regular checklists: Twitter, blog post, Facebook, email. Sure, this may be enough, but maybe it’s time to take your promotions just a little bit farther. Read our tips below on how to create a press kit that is sure to impress publicity circles and give you a better chance at getting noticed.
What is a Press Kit?
Before you learn how to create a press kit, let’s look at what it actually is. A press kit is your company’s calling card for the media and any other publicity outlets you’re looking to pursue (ex. Influencer blogs). The best time to send out a press kit is during a product or service launch, or other major event you want to promote.
Remember that just like all other PR material, the press kit needs to be targeted to the intended recipient. This is not the time to blindly send 100 copies of the same package. You’re trying to stand out, so the kit needs to be as personalized as possible. Not every element needs to be changed, but definitely the pitch letter and press release at the bare minimum.
Use the pitch letter to introduce yourself and the company, as well as WHY you’re sending the kit. Did you notice something on their website that would indicate they would be interested? Is their audience the same as yours? Do you know the recipient personally or were you referred by a mutual acquaintance? Don’t be shy to name drop if it’s relevant. If you’re not sure who to send it to, you can usually find the masthead online, or just give them a call. The front desk will be more than happy to send you in the right direction. Don’t know where to start? There is a great media list at mediajobsearchcanada.com.
The next chapter should cover the company history, starting from the beginning. The key here is to hit all the major milestones that shaped the company into what it is today, but not to ramble on. Consider this the appetizer, not the main course. The main course is, of course, the Press Release.
The press release is the meat and potatoes of any press kit. This is the reason you’re sending the kit in the first place. Your press release should outline what the promotion is about and include a quote from a higher up director.
Not only should you include this most recent press release, but it’s good practice to also add in a few past releases as well. Don’t include all of them, maybe just 3 or 4 of the most interesting ones, and make sure they are fairly recent. The media doesn’t need to know about something from 10 years ago.
High Quality Photos
The photos contained in the press kit need to be professional quality. Now is not the time to try your hand with your new camera phone. If you don’t have a suitable candidate in house, get in touch with a professional photographer or someone who can point you in the right direction.
Include photos of the senior staff and directors, a great company shot, interesting company events and even shots of the building itself if it is an impressive or overly creative space. Photos of charity events would also work.
The bio section of the press kit shouldn’t be too long, but encapsulate the staff’s expertise and why they make their company great. Include just the top directors, but if the company is small (and everyone is important), you can include short blurbs for all staff,
If you’ve been becoming a real media darling recently, don’t forget to include a page with press mentions and all awards. Press mentions from other media sources can give serious weight to your press kit (nobody wants to be last to the party). Include links to interviews, TV and radio appearances or mentions, or even a podcast the company was a guest on. Don’t forget to also link to your own podcast!
Publication writers are busy people, so they appreciate it when most of the work is done for them. Adding high quality logo files is a smart idea. That way if the publication wants to include you they have all of the files needed without chasing you. Include different sizes and file types as well, just in case.
This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised how easy it is completely leave out the contact information page or include it incomplete. The contact page should include important phone numbers, email addresses and all social media addresses and handles including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the blog.
Don’t forget to mention the point of contact for interviews and 2 or more ways to reach them. As mentioned above, the less time the journalist has to take to track down the needed information, the better.
Once all the pieces are put together, it’s time to decide on a delivery method. There are really three ways to get your message out there; print, email and online. Definitely have a few hard copy kits ready to go. However, electronic packages (just by email) are easy and quick to send out, and an online press kit is a possibility as well.
Although a tangible press kit seems dusty and old fashioned, they can really create a buzz with the right creative flair. Check out the award-winning press kit for Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones” event on A&E. Now is the time to get your team together and let your imaginations run wild.
If you’re looking to promote that great new idea and boost your audience reach, a creative press kit is an imperative piece of the PR puzzle. If your company doesn’t have one, it’s time to get to work. You never know when opportunity will strike!