Want to increase exposure for a small business? Need to get noticed but not sure how to go about it? The best promotional material can sometimes be the simplest. Learn how to create a press kit to further a personal brand or expand small business marketing plans.
To be well-known in a particular field, whether as an artist, entrepreneur, or small business owner, there is nothing more important than personal branding. When the public thinks of a certain product or service, they often turn to the person or company that is synonymous with that brand. BE that brand.
The evolution of the Internet has completely transformed the news industry, so it’s only natural that PR professionals adapt their primary channels of communication too. It was once fairly common to print hundreds of ornate, neatly packaged media kits and distribute them like candy in newsrooms across the country.
This method isn’t eco-conscious, nor is it prudent for small businesses with tight budgets and limited resources. In most instances, it’s also unnecessary.
The Purpose of Press Kits
At the fundamental level, press kits provide journalists with key facts about a company’s operations, products, and/or services. They use this information to research story angles and identify expert sources.
Positive media coverage – whether it’s on paper, TV, or online – has the power to significantly boost a small business’s bottom line. From a consumer standpoint, third-party endorsement tends to hold much more credibility than other promotional tactics, such as paid advertisements.
Regular media coverage can drive growth, so it’s important for business owners and other decision-makers to develop lasting relationships with reporters. An effective press kit can serve as the foundation for such a relationship, enhancing a company’s credibility and professionalism.
Components of Electronic Press Kits
Most media prefer electronic versions of press kits, which are commonly called “online press kits.” Individual elements of the kits should be easy to distribute via e-mail. The components are also essential parts of online newsrooms.
While there are universal elements for most media kits, such as a fact sheet and biographies, some businesses with highly technical or specialized products and services may need additional documentation to iron out complexities and jargon. The components listed here should serve as a guide:
Company Fact Sheet
If applicable, this is an appropriate place to mention specific figures that demonstrate growth or market share. The business’ primary contact information should be included in addition to a designated press contact.
A “backgrounder” builds upon the fact sheet, offering a more detailed peek into business operations, services, its customer base, or turning points that shaped the mission and culture. This can include noteworthy accomplishments, challenges, or perhaps an entrepreneur’s unlikely climb to the top. Specifics will vary from company to company.
Biographies & Headshots
A biography of every employee is not necessary. Just include professional highlights of top executives and any other employee who may have regular contact with the media. Bios should include information that builds professional credibility, such as career milestones, education, awards, certifications, and community service. A professional headshot should accompany each biography.
A frequently-asked-questions section is helpful for businesses that specialize in technical or niche trades that aren’t well known to the average person. An FAQ can also shed light on company policies or a product line. Try to anticipate a reporter’s questions, and provide appropriate answers. Since this document is targeted at the media, it may differ from FAQs for clients.
An online press kit should include low and high-resolution images of the company logo, as well as specialized logos for products, anniversaries, or partnerships.
Journalists need visual elements to make their stories more engaging to readers and viewers. An online media kit should include low and high-resolution images of products that are easy to download.
Latest News & Press Releases
Company announcements, awards, accomplishments, and press releases should be categorized by date on the company Web site. A “latest news” document with headlines and summaries can be e-mailed to a reporter if requested.
Do’s and Don’ts for Online Press Kits
So small businesses need to assist journalists. However, if these documents are crafted incorrectly, the press kit can weaken a company’s credibility with reporters and editors.
Online media kits are designed to save journalists time. Many reporters work with daily or even hourly deadlines, so they need the ability to quickly scan the media kit to extract basic facts about a company, such as a list of core services, product descriptions, or the proper spelling of the CEO’s name.
The following guidelines describe the appropriate language, style, and structure for creating online press kits:
Do Create a Media Kit that is Easy for Journalists to Skim
Use short paragraphs, concise sentences, and bullet points in each document of the press kit so that it’s easy to identify key facts without reading the entire copy. Reporters and editors don’t have a lot of time to pour through dense paragraphs and complex language.
Don’t Use Internal Jargon When Communicating with the Media
Employees within a company often use slang terms and abbreviations when communicating amongst themselves. These internal communications are not always understood outside of the company or its primary audience. Avoid unfamiliar terms whenever possible. If jargon is necessary for describing a specific product or service, make sure it is clearly defined.
Do Update Online Press Kits Regularly
View the press kit as a living set of documents. It should be updated regularly as the business evolves its services and develops new products. Double-check the elements for accuracy and incorporate frequently asked questions from journalists into the copy.
Don’t Stray from the Facts When Communicating with Media
Press kits should include factual descriptors that are free from commentary and superlatives. For instance, don’t state that a company is “the best in the market.” Provide specific figures or statistics relating to its revenue or customer reach. Journalists seek out credible facts for stories.
Do Hire a Professional Photographer
The images in media kits are a reflection of the company’s brand. Hire a professional photographer to take all headshots and product shots. This will ensure that the framing, lighting, and themes are consistent and polished.
The most effective press kits are concise, factual, and current. Journalists will be more likely to reach out to companies and individual sources who cater to their needs and communicate in a way that is familiar and easy to understand.
Business Promotional Materials
Now take all of the above promotional materials and package them for email and online. The press release is like a cover letter. Underneath, leave links on each of the bulleted items. This removes the worry of opening attachments with viruses and gets more eyes to the official website.
The website should also have the full press kit available for anyone searching the internet. It should be linked to social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Once the promotional package is ready to go, the best way to distribute it is through email marketing. Compile a list of media who might be interested, send emails to friends and family who can forward the info to someone in the know (how many times is an “I-know-someone-who-knows-someone” contact better than any other connection?) and people or businesses that would be beneficial to form a relationship with.
One simple press kit can open many doors. Whether it’s an invitation to appear on a local television show or meeting with a potential client, it costs nothing but time. Now go get noticed!
How to Create a Press Kit
Stop wasting time with scattered marketing efforts and lethargic promotional materials and get simple: create a press kit based on a personal brand. It’s free and it’s effective.
#1. Write a Bio:
Keep it less than one page, stay on topic and personalize it (still keeping it relevant to the personal brand).
Professional Memberships: Make sure to include professional memberships, relevant volunteer work, and group associations that strengthen the brand.
#2. Scrap the Resumé:
Instead, write one or two paragraphs of any impressive work experience or volunteer positions, highlighting important career successes. This tactic is a bit less stuffy than a formal C.V.
#3. Press Appearances:
List any TV appearances, radio interviews, and print or online coverage. This is a surefire way to instill trust in a personal brand.
#4. Get Quotes:
Testimonials, ideally from prominent names (but it could be anyone in a relevant field), can add a lot of weight to an unknown or upstart business.
A professional photo from the shoulders up helps people identify the personal brand (this image acts as a logo). This should be realistic and not airbrushed.
#6. Press Release:
Finally, think of “Why Now?” and then compose a press release that gives journalists a solution to a problem. (Dropping literacy rates? Here’s new tutoring service. Are celebrities too self-absorbed? Introducing actor so-and-so, the genuine girl/boy next door).
About the Author!
Nicholas H. Parker is a content editor at BuyEssayClub. He used to manage the content team at the company he worked for. Currently, Nicholas writes articles to share his knowledge with others and obtain new skills. Besides, he is highly interested in the web design sphere.