A press kit is a collection of images, fact sheets, logos, videos and other assets along with factual information about your business. It provides everything a journalist might need as background information to write a story about your business.
As the name suggests, a press kit — sometimes called a media kit — is helpful to journalists and the media. And it’s an essential part of your public relations outreach and a helpful aid to get your business in the media. But what elements make the perfect press kit to get your small business the publicity you need for success?
Format of Your Press Kit
Your media kit consists of information and today that information is mostly provided in electronic format. It can also be a printed packet, but print is more unusual today.
For an electronic press kit:
- Most companies provide information and links on their website to logos, videos, photos, fact sheets, management bios, other press coverage and additional items.
- The press kit links and assets are assembled on a Press page, Media Center or About page on the company website.
- The web page or section is public, so visitors and journalists can find and download what they need.
Of course, you can always email out information in the form of a PowerPoint slide deck or PDF, upon request. Or simply send files like your logo, product images and documents if requested. Some large enterprises have private press centers requiring a password which is provided only after a journalist contacts them.
For most small businesses, it’s best to make your press kit be as self-serve as possible. This means, load a good selection of press kit materials online and have them be accessible on a public web page or section of your website — no password required. Update your press kit every six months (or sooner) to keep materials fresh.
Making information publicly accessible online is more efficient for you. Think of how much time it would take to assemble items individually for each media request, over and over. Also, having the information be readily available on your website 24/7 is an easy way to increase the chances that your business gets media coverage. For all you know, a reporter, YouTuber, Instagrammer or blogger is looking for facts about your company right this minute — without ever contacting you. Make sure they can find it!
Buffer has a good example of an online media kit suitable for a small business to emulate.
10 Things Your Press Kit Must Have
Press kits need multiple components to be effective. Basically, your media kit should include everything that reporters may need to cover your business. Since every story is different, this may encompass a wide array of categories. Here are some important elements to tell a powerful brand story that may interest any media outlet or content creator you plan to work with.
1. Company Background
Your press kit should make it easy for media outlets to find basic info about your organization. Include your company history, mission statement, funding sources, and any other company information that would be relevant to potential media coverage. This is often used to fill in background information about your company toward the end of an article or feature.
2. Team Bios
Your team may also be relevant to potential press stories. This is especially true if any of them plan to give interviews about your company or trending topics in your industry. Basically, these bios should add credibility by offering their qualifications and accomplishments in one small blurb. Include executive bios of your founder or co-founder, board of directors, and leadership team. You can also include contact information for media relations staff.
3. Important Press Releases
You likely send out a press release each time a new product launches or something changes in your company. In addition to sending them directly to members of the press and/or on on press release distribution sites, you should still include a selection of them in your press kit. They can be full documents or in PDF format. Include any press release that highlights your company’s values, goods, services, or leadership team. Give special consideration to any media release with content that has made a major impact on your company’s trajectory. Make sure to include the email address, social media profiles, and other contact information for your PR team.
4. Product or Service Fact Sheets
There’s a good chance that any media contact you send your press kit to will be interested in the products or services you offer. A simple fact sheet should give them all the background they need to cover your offerings. For example, if your company sells a software program, bullet points should include the launch date, features, price, and value proposition. If your company sells a service like market research, include how the process works and any pricing info on your fact sheet.
5. Case Studies
Case studies can provide social proof to media contacts about how your product or service helps customers. This section should explain the customer’s problem, explain how your product or service helped, and then lay out the outcome. For example, a business consultant could explain how they helped clients grow their operations. Or a lead generation service could explain how their leads increased revenue for specific clients. Add a handful to its own section of your media kit to make it easy for reporters to weave them into a story.
6. Press Coverage
Press coverage is another way to provide social proof in your public relations materials. Include links, screenshots, videos, or high resolution images that feature stories about your company. Be sure to include press releases and articles that feature your products, services, or leadership team. However, you can also include newsjacking examples that show how your team can offer expertise to media stories about other subjects. Following relevant public relations tips can help you increase your press coverage to fill out this section.
7. Awards and Achievements
Over the years, your business may have stockpiled some awards or honors. This offers proof of your company’s accomplishments and can serve as valuable background info. Perhaps your product has received recognition from a consumer group, or your company won an award from an industry organization. Include award announcements and links, along with a press release explaining each one.
8. High Resolution Images and Videos
Media outlets are likely to need photos and videos to include with stories about your business. This makes it easier for these outlets to get everything they need to feature your business. These media assets should include high resolution photos of your products or services, company logo, and leadership team. You can also include video interviews with team members, behind the scenes tours, and coverage from events you’ve hosted.
9. Contact Information
Media kits should also make it easy for press outlets to cover your business. That means making it easy to reach out with questions. Include names, addresses, and phone numbers of those on your public relations team. You should also include an email address and potentially even social media handles to make it easy for people to contact you online. Include a full list in your press kit. And outline which representatives should be contacted in specific instances. For example, you might have a team member to facilitate interviews with your leadership team. And another may offer info about products or service.
10. Quote Sheet and FAQ
Press kits should also include quotes and answers to frequently asked questions. Quotes from executives and team members make it easy for outlets to add commentary to stories. And an FAQ section helps them avoid lengthy interviews that cover the same points over and over again. For example, if you’re launching a new product, your press kit may contain two or three quotes about how the item will improve usability for customers. Then your FAQs may contain things like: In which store or stores will the product be available? What problem does it solve? How much will it cost? Think of this as a one stop shop for everything a press outlet may need to cover your business.
What is the difference between a press kit and a marketing kit?
A press kit is designed with members of the media in mind. It aims to help facilitate coverage about your brand in print and online media. So all of the items should be newsworthy and relevant to press stories in some way. A marketing kit is aimed at customers. So it should contain information that is relevant for helping people make buying decisions.
Are press kits still relevant?
Even with the changes in media in recent years, press kits still serve an important purpose. They don’t all need to be aimed at print media. In fact, today’s press kits are often electronic and aimed more at online publications like blogs. These may include things like online videos to embed in a news story, images optimized for online use, links, and social media profiles.