Press kits come in handy for a variety of business purposes including product launches, news conferences, and other major company events.
Many people mistakenly associate press kits with large, corporate marketing departments, but in reality no business is too small to invest time and energy in the creation of prepackaged content for media outlets.
Ideally, every press kit you distribute would be tailored to the media outlet and the message you're trying to communicate. But since most companies don't have time to tailor every media kit they hand out, they rely on a standard, updated kit that can be supplemented with additional content related to specific messaging.
Small businesses often make the mistake of including too much information in their press kits. In general, you want to provide enough content to be informative, but not so much that it overwhelms the recipient or makes it difficult for them to discern your primary message. With that in mind, here are some of the elements you would expect to see in a first-rate corporate kit.
- Cover letter. The cover letter is the gateway for the rest of the press kit. It's both an introduction and an invitation for the recipient to look at the rest of the material in the kit. Blow it here and your kit will collect dust in a forgotten corner of the newsroom.
- Company background. Press kits typically contain company background information including company history, a company profile, and possibly even bio sheets for the leadership team.
- Product sheets. You don't need to include product sheets for every item in your catalog. But it doesn't hurt to include product data for recent rollouts or big sellers, and product sheets are essential if your primary message is a new product release.
- Press releases. Recent press releases can provide media contacts with information about current developments and can potentially provide ideas for additional stories later on.
- Press clippings. Press clippings are valuable because they indicate that other news sources consider your company and products to be newsworthy. Reporters aren't above basing their interest in your company on the interest expressed by other media outlets.
- Sample news stories. One or two sample (unpublished) news stories give reporters an easy resource to use when they are in a pinch. Some outlets may even publish sample articles "as is".
- Multimedia. Be sure to include ample photos and videos (with B-roll) in your press kit. Reporters are attracted to story ideas that include visuals and multimedia components.