With so much emphasis on new social tools, platforms and outreach strategies, we thought it high time to take a step back and explore some PR fundamentals. Whether you make it digital, printable, stick it in a glossy folder, CD or memory stick, the foundation of many a successful PR campaign begins with one helluva press kit. The press kit (or media kit) is often the media's first in-depth experience of a brand, so it is essential that it express the brand identity while delivering all the essential information.
The great news is that while the contents may be the same - founder bios, seasonal line sheets, company fact sheet, an online press kit not only saves paper, cuts costs, and allows editors easy access to information when *they* want it, you can be much more creative when you explore the possibilities of a virtual kit. That said, don't discount the other approach completely. Have the ability to put together a physical kit for the old school journalist, or that editor you want to send something special. The tactile impression of a particular paper, the use of ribbon, scent and fabric, ink, etc can all be used to create a memorable impression.
The key elements of a great press kit are:
- A traditional press release or feature-style article about the brand/collection
- An interesting interview, Q&A of fun-facts type content piece about the brand founder
- Breathtaking images that tell a visual story about the brand/collection
- The Who, What, Where, How and Why delivered in clear, simple language
- Product images and logo available at high and low resolution
- A season-driven, embeddable short video (under 2 mins)
- Recent, noteworthy press less than 6 months old
- Social media links
- Require a media login - this allows you to make the connection when they request access
- Include an email sign-up for media to easily join your media list. Provide a line where they can let you know the types of stories they cover
- Figure out how to surprise and delight the media - maybe it's with your navigation, making the fact sheet interactive or the fact that images are embeddable
- More and more people are accessing content on their mobile phones or tablets - don't forget to design your press kit for mobile and tablet viewing
Staci Levine, Owner of SnL Communications has been in business for over 25 years. She had this to share:
I haven’t seen a printed press kit in ages [but] if you’re sending something as opposed to emailing it, put your digital press kit on something cute and eye catching like a colorful and creative flash drive. Make the press kit easy to navigate; use separate folders. For example, “Media Highlights” should be a spattering of your best and greatest and current placements. Include recent and meaningful press release (don’t include a press release about hiring a new sales rep), include high res images of key products (don’t put your entire line), company bio, executive bio if relevant, and lifestyle images if available. Keep it simple, keep it current and full of only the most relevant information. And by all means, don’t forget contact information.
Don’t forget, everyone has a very short attention span. If what you’re reading/looking at doesn’t get you excited, it certainly won't capture the interest of an editor.