What Goes in it and Why?
A press kit seems like a very typical and old school PR tactic, but it is essential for you to have one for easy media access. Ever-changing technology and communication techniques often keep us feeling that we have to invent something new and flashy to get media attention.
The truth, though, is that the press kit is still largely the same for the industry. The contents may differ depending on what you do, and the delivery method is much faster than it was a couple decades ago, but the essential elements of a press kit never change. Here are the five must-haves for a good press kit.
The best way to pull this together is to think about what you would want to have access to if you were writing an article about your own company. That may not be a bad exercise to do either. Put yourself in the journalists shoes and see if you can build resources for a “newsworthy” article that would generate traffic and interest for your target audiences.
Your brand’s background information should be one page or less. Remember that it is not a press release! Your backgrounder – sometimes called a one-pager – introduced the brand and its key elements. You don’t need to include every moment from the company’s conception to present day. Instead, give a clear yet concise review of the company’s history, key data and statistics, and general product information if needed.
Executive Bios & Headshots
While executives may be briefly mentioned in the backgrounder, you should also include executive bios and headshots separately. It’s best to include both high and low resolution headshots so the media has options for print or digital media. You may also include multiple bios for executives if desired: a two-sentence bio that can appear at the end of an article; a paragraph or two for longer articles; and a one-page bio to provide journalists with more in-depth information.
When reviewing a product, the media will want to see specifications. This is critical information that helps in the research and review process. If you are releasing a physical product, dimensions, weight, and manufacturing details. If your product is software, include which platforms it works on, user interface details, user experience information, etc.While your PR pro can likely help you craft backgrounders and executive bios, it’s best to work with your product designers and tech team to create product specs.
Although some images may be included on your spec sheets or other collateral, provide the media with separate product shots to use in articles. Include a mixture of standalone & lifestyle shots so they can clearly communicate how the product is used and what it looks like in real-world application settings. Make sure these images are 300 dpi. You can always make images smaller but bigger is tricky.
Whether you have one press release or dozens, it’s good for journalists to have access to them. Previous press releases can help the media build a better story, and can answer questions about the company, previous product versions, and more. The simplest way to share your press releases is to post them to a media page on your company’s website.
Sharing your media kit
Because most media kits are now digital, there are a few ways to disseminate the information. Keep in mind that journalists get dozens of pitches per day, and they often have attachment limits for incoming files. Rather than emailing a bulky file, send reporters a download link. We typically use Dropbox or Google Drive and set up the files that way. We recommend against creating a downloadable zip or PDF, not easy access for anyone.
We recommend our clients create a shareable media folder on Google Drive or Dropbox, and share the press kit this way. If you wish to keep the link semi-private, you can send it to the media as needed. Or, you can create a media / press kit page on your company’s website with all relevant information plus a link to the downloadable press kit.
Keep it Simple
Don’t fall for the belief that you have to reinvent the wheel to have a great press kit. Keep it simple and stick to what has worked for PR practitioners and the media for decades. By including these key elements, you’re more likely to garner both media attention and respect from journalists. Want to deep-dive into the finer elements of public relations? You can check out The PR Playbook on Amazon, or schedule a call with us to discuss your PR strategy.