When I work with creative brands of all stripes, one of the brands assets I recommend they develop is a Press Kit. You’ve likely heard of them, but there’s a good bit of confusion surrounding them, what they’re meant to accomplish and how to design a press kit. My LBU Alumni Coaching Group has been working on building press kits as one of our monthly projects and I wanted to share the project prospectus with you, too, in the hopes that it might provide some guidance and inspiration.
WHAT IS A PRESS KIT?
A press kit, as one piece of your brand assets, is a bundle of promotional materials provided to the media to tell the story behind a company or product. They’re sometimes called “media kits” and are designed to:
• Introduce your products to the media
• Give journalists a peek behind the brand
• Show off your achievements
• Provide journalists with content for future product features
They’re sometimes called Media Kits. Poe-tay-toe. Puh-tah-toe. It’s all semantics!
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA BEHIND A PRESS KIT?
The secret to getting traction of any kind is to make yourself easy to work with. If you’re wanting to sell wholesale, then make your brand visually compelling and blissfully easy to order from and you’ll score the accounts you’re lusting after. Want to catch the attention of editors and score free press? Do some of the legwork for them and you’re far more likely to get featured.
Must you have a media kit? Certainly not, but let’s meditate on this scenario for a moment: If an editor notices your brand alongside another in your product category and she’s equally smitten with both- what will tips the scales in your favor when she’s considering her next big feature? If you appear ready and eager to work with media professionals, if you have a story to tell, if you have brand assets at the ready so the editor needn’t create them… then who do you fancy who will ultimately land the plum editorial feature?
WHAT’S IN A PRESS KIT?
A media kit is typically a multi-page PDF document that you can either deliver digitally (park it at Dropbox + email the link to interested parties or post it online with a free service such as Issuu) or print in hardcopy format. Printed versions are lovely, indeed, as they can accompany sample mailings and be tucked into the press room at trade shows, but a digital version will eliminate printing costs while accomplishing several important goals, so please don’t let the cost of professional printing hold you back.
The core components of a press kit…
COVER SHEET: Something to capture attention + introduce the brand. Think: visual + dramatic. Include your logo + tagline.
BACKGROUNDER OR FACT SHEET: A concise, one page document detailing: the brand story, key players, sales channels, timeline of growth, achievements + company location. Essentially, this is the entire company distilled down to a single page.
BIOGRAPHY: Brief stories which provide a more well-rounded peek at key players behind the brand.
STORY ANGLES OR PRESS RELEASES: Potential story lines that you develop so that an editor can quickly + seamlessly feature your brand and/or products in their publication. Essentially, you’re doing the “thinking” for the editor. You pitch the story and they just need to flesh it out!
SOCIAL PROOF: Show them how press-worthy your brand is! Potential inclusions: past media mentions (i.e. press clippings), awards received, customer testimonials, etc.
PRODUCT IMAGES: Images should be print-ready, high-resolution images, which means a minimum of 300DPI.
Also, title images with your company + product name.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Make yourself deliciously easy to reach by including your phone, website, email, and social media handles.
Assemble those pieces, polish them up through careful editing, weave some compelling imagery into to mix and then throw the pretty on your press kit with good graphic design and you’re off at the races!
Want to see a few of my favorite press kits in action? I designed a worksheet to serve as a guide while you build your press kit. Click the image below to grab a copy and look for the fancy green hyperlinks on the second page for a peek inside the press kits of 22 creative brands in the apothecary, apparel, gourmet, paper + gift, housewares and jewelry categories.
As I mentioned, my LBU Alumni Coaching Group built press kits as part of our March monthly project and I immersed myself in designing a press kit for Lucky Break, too. Want a peek? Click the image below to be magically teleported to my press kit. One thing to keep in mind: As a service professional, I’m selling ME. I am the product. This kit was specifically built to highlight my entrepreneurial journey, communicate my expertise and provide event organizers with a list of my talks and workshops. It’s decidedly Lela-centric, because I’m the product being sold.
My “suggested story angles” are the entrepreneurial workshops mentioned on pages 10 + 11. In much the same way that a creative brand is attempting to do the thinking of an editor in order to make themselves easy to feature, I’m doing the thinking of an event organizer. Upon reading the press kit, if they feel connected to my story and decide to invite me to their next event as a speaker, then I’ve made that blissfully simple to do. They’re invited to flip to page 10, survey my entrepreneurial workshops, decide what’s a good fit for their audience and BAM! All done. The alternative? To dazzle event organizers, but then leave those same people struggling with how to work together. No bueno.
For creative, product-based brands, I recommend featuring a compelling product image on the cover and sprinkling great product photography throughout. But no mistake- your shining face needs to be in the press kit, as well. Editors and consumers alike want to connect to brands with soul, and its hard to communicate soul without putting a face on it.
Click the image below to take a stroll through my press kit. Think I’d be a good fit for your next live event? I’d love to connect with you!
Got any hot media tips to share? Burning questions about press kits? A favorite example of a press kit you’d love to share? You’ll find me in the comments below- let’s chat about it!