How to create a press kit
Press kits can be as varied and creative as a company or individual chooses. But there are some common elements and basic components of a press kit that should be considered for inclusion. A press kit is the window into your business and a well-prepared, professional press kit can gain tremendous publicity and free marketing for your business.
Before you start throwing information into an envelope, consider the following steps in preparing a well-designed, comprehensive press kit that not only sells your products or services, but demonstrates your value to the customer.
The press kit is an extension of your business and it must be professionally prepared. Use high quality images and photos in materials. Check and double-check for accuracy and clarity of information. Make sure press kits are updated regularly to showcase the most current value you bring to the customer.
Be sure all contents are in logical order and clearly labeled. Following the order of the steps below is a guide for how to organize the contents. Since many press kit folders will have dividers on both sides, you can determine the most important things to put on the top of each side. Always keep your cover letter on top for quick, easy access.
Select the appropriate presentation for the press kit.
There are many types of things you can use to contain the press kit. Manila folders or envelopes, colored envelopes, specially designed press kit folders, and many more. The important thing is to evaluate your targeted audience and consider the image you want to portray. If you are in a creative business such as graphic design, it is very likely that your presentation format will be very different from someone who is in the field of medical technology. Browse a variety of online resources, catalogs, and office suppliers to see what’s available and then choose the best type for your business. Keep in mind that you’ll want to separate the contents of the kit so tabs, pockets, or other convenient methods of sorting are preferred.
Include company background and information.
Background and information about your company is essential. Include the highlights and most important aspects of the business. Don’t talk about products and services but discuss the value you bring to the customer through your organization. This is very similar to your «10 minute elevator speech» where you quickly get to the point about why anyone would be interested in doing business with you. History is good to include but focus on what you are doing today and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Insert biographies of company owners, executives, or others.
Even if you own a small business with few employees, bios are essential in a press kit. Include information about pertinent education or training, experience and accomplishments. Write the bios in a friendly manner and don’t take the shortcut by cutting and pasting a resume. The bio makes the business seem more real to the targeted audience and it starts the beginnings of a relationship.
Attach any press releases or recognitions for the company.
Press releases, newspaper articles, online recognition, and any other type of marketing material should be included. If your business has been highlighted in a professional journal, let people know about it. Be sure copies of this information are professionally printed and displayed.
Provide media contact information.
Easy to access media contact information is vital. Press kits go to a lot of reporters and writers and they are often on tight deadlines to get something done. They need a way to contact the right people quickly. Include a variety of contact methods such as telephone, email, and mail. Make it easy for them to find you and when they come knocking, answer them quickly.
Consider product samples.
Depending on your business, product samples can be effective. If you design and create cards, that’s easy to include. However, if you produce computer parts, that’s different. Think about how to demonstrate the quality and value of your products and if it makes sense, include samples in the kit.
Add a product catalog to the press kit.
Product catalogs can be useful in press releases. Unfortunately, many product catalogs are too large to include in the kit. But there is another way. Insert a CD with a copy of the catalogue and be sure it is clearly labeled. It will be easier for the targeted audience to transport and review later.
Take advantage of customer compliments.
Just like publicity and recognition, customer compliments can be useful in a press kit. Create a short, concise sheet of customer feedback and recommendations if available.This is testament to the quality and integrity of your business and the products or services. Keep it short though. Too much of this type of information and you’ll stop the presses.
Sell your company with a compelling cover letter.
Your cover letter is the first thing the audience will read. Once the press kit is completed, create a compelling cover letter that makes them want to look further into the content. Give them a reason to turn the page and open the next section. Make sure your cover letter is specifically geared at the audience you are targeting for this press kit. Update the letter with every release of press kits to make sure it is current. A cover letter is dynamic and is not a static piece of information in the files. Place the cover letter on top of everything else in the kit.
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