A mention in a magazine, a radio interview, or a TV appearance can definitely help your business reach the next level.
But in most cases for that to happen you need something more than a simple business card or an online portfolio.
A press kit (or media kit) is not a portfolio or resume. You give your resume or link to your portfolio/website to your potential clients, and you give your media kit to the press, to a journalist.
You want to be perceived as a professional. Someone who is driven, and is “going places“.
You can create a press kit for a special occasion (event, conference) and design it so it’ll appeal to certain people or companies. Or create a more generic one, that will be fine to give to any journalist that could be interested (provided you know exactly who to give it to, don’t just send it and pray you’ll get a call back). It all depends on the audience you’re targeting and your goals.
Doing Things Differently
I strongly believe in doing things differently. The usual press kit model is fine, but I encourage you to make it so that it reflects your character and your vision, it has to say “hey we’re unique” . Don’t be afraid to experiment, and ask for opinions. A media pack that is “out of this world” has more chances of getting the attention of the press than 10 pages of black text on a white background, although this proves to be very effective in some cases. It has to be easy on the eye and put only relevant information.
Does this piece of information serves any purpose? No? Then drop it, don’t put it in your press kit.
Contact Information and Facts
Of course, you need a page that lists your contact information and infos about your business. This page should be easy to read and reference to and should contain the following infos:
- Business name
- History or bio
- In business since…?
- Number of employees (if any)
- Products/Services Offered (not a sales pitch)
- Contact infos
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t put too much information on this page, only the questions/answers you get most often. You’ve been working in your field for months or years, so you know what questions you get a lot. Answer those questions on that page, but make sure you don’t list 174 questions, you want the journalist/press/interviewer to contact you for a meeting or phone interview. Leave out some information so you have something to say during the interview. :)
This section should contain information that will be helpful to a journalist or interviewer to better prepare an interview or article.
Samples And Promo Material
You absolutely need to include some free samples (with descriptions or specs) of your product, that’s a no-brainer. This works wonder in getting attention of the press. If you wrote a book, it makes total sense to send a copy along with your media kit. You can also include business cards, promotional pens, CD/DVDs. Anything that might be relevant and make the person go “wow“.
To ensure your press kit will get the attention it deserves you have to have some eye candy. A basic logo at the top of a every page won’t cut it anymore. You need more than that, cause in most cases it won’t work really well. You need pro pictures, an interesting design, colors, graphics. Consider hiring a professional to create your press kit.
The most interesting press kits I’ve seen all had something different and we’re designed by a professional. Of course, you can design it yourself, it’s cheaper, but your image is extremely important. Remember, if you don’t have the skills to create your own press package, hire someone to do it for you.
Always include a page where you list some great testimonials you received from your clients (ask for permission to use those testimonials though). First it looks like you’re doing a good job (you’re a professional), and second it tells the press who you have worked with. Always put the best testimonial at the top of the page (or at a really prominent spot). This page should say something like:
“see, all those people are extremely happy with my work/company”
No shameless self-promotion here, just honest testimonials from clients and people that work in your field.
What is it that you offer that makes you or your company unique? Where have you been featured? In what magazine, on what website? This can also be considered as testimonials. So if you don’t have a lot of great testimonials, you can merge those 2 pages together.
Every press kit is different and should be designed to fit you, your style, your company and give a positive image/impression. The most important thing: It needs to be unique and easy to read/scan. You’re not the only one that is sending his media package to the press, make sure it stands out. ;)