Creating a press kit requires not only putting together a message you want the public to read or hear, but also presenting it in a way that increases the chances your information will be communicated correctly. This requires organizing your information in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand way for media outlets to use.
What a Press Kit Is
Press kits are packets of information created to give reporters, editors and other members of the news media information on a business, product, event or organization. Press kits are sometimes called media kits, since they are given to members of the media. But in advertising circles, a media kit is also the term for a packet of information created for potential advertisers.
Craft Your Message
List the information you want people to receive. While your press kit goes to the media, your ultimate audience is your potential customers. The message your press kit should send should focus on your benefit, making it more likely that a media outlet will run your story. Media outlets want to serve their audiences, not you, so your message should serve people by helping them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. This could include saving money or eating healthier for consumers, or decreasing costs, improving productivity or increasing sales for businesses.
Gather Your Information
Divide what you want to say into smaller messages so each stands out. Your press kit should include a sheet that provides an overview of the benefits of your product or service. Include case studies of satisfied customers, showing how your product or service improved their lives or businesses. Provide industry statistics from a trade association, government agency or university to support your claims. Another sheet should list the technical details of what you offer. Provide a background sheet on your company, its history and key staff members. Include your company newsletter and annual report, if you have one.
How To Present It
You can deliver your message using printed sheets, colorful illustrations and DVDs or CDs. Decide if your product or service is best explained using a visual demonstration or if you can deliver your message on paper. Many press kits include a folder with pockets that hold brochures, press releases, price sheets and other information. Include reprints of other media coverage you’ve received to show that other media outlets have found you newsworthy. In addition to your hard-copy media kit, consider creating an online version that members of the media can download or read online.
Write Your Copy
Write the copy for each print and video piece you’ll include. Your message should not begin by talking about your product, service or company. Start your message by discussing a problem or opportunity that consumers or businesses have. Discuss the implications these situations can have. Give a solution for consumers or businesses and explain how you provide the best product or service to deliver the solution. Write a cover letter that will accompany your media kit, teasing editors with a problem or opportunity their readers or viewers have. This will make them see a potential story and entice them to look through your media kit to learn more.
Create the Final Kit
Decide on how you will physically produce your media kit. If you have no budget for a graphic designer or printing company, start with glossy folders you purchase at an office supply store. Use your desktop printer to create an image you can affix to the folder's cover. The cover image can be as simple as your company name, logo and slogan. Choose a folder with pockets to hold your materials. Use a high-quality paper stock for the materials and use color printing if your printer allows you to create professional-looking pages. If you have a bigger budget, meet with a graphic artist or a quick-print shop. Discuss with them your concept and how you want your information presented. You might send a request for proposal to several contractors, asking them to provide ideas for executing the media kit, including samples of kits they’ve done for other businesses.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.