Putting together a Press Kit can be a great marketing tool to use to bring more exposure to you and your business.
There are a lot of myths about Press Kits like:
"I must have written a book to use a press kit ..."
"Press Kits are only for established businesses ..."
"I have to be ready to go on Oprah before I use a Press Kit ... "
"Press Kits aren't really able to be an authentic representation of me and my business ..."
Any of these thoughts ring a bell?
The truth is a Press Kit is an awesome way to bring more exposure to you and your business AND get you noticed! To help YOU prepare the best Press Kit I went to Deborah Schwartz, founder of Bethesda, Maryland, communications firm Media Relations Inc., to get the scoop on how an entrepreneur can put together a press kit and really create a "Wow" presence.
Be very clear about who will be receiving your press kit. Nothing is more frustrating for a news writer/producer/radio host than getting a detailed press kit that has nothing to do with what their column/segment/show focuses on. It'll only takes a bit of research to find out who does what in which department - do your homework ahead of time about who is receiving your kit, and your press kit has a better chance of being read.
Here are five tips (along with some of my own observations) on how to be authentic with your press kit and wow 'em
EnergyRICH® Press Kit Tip #1:
Include short background info on your business: the who, what, when, where, why and how of your business venture. Also include a brief bio. "I don't think people care too much about all the different places you went to school, but more what your background is and how it fits in to what you're pitching," says Schwartz. So unless you're pitching to the alumni press, you'll probably want to stay mum on your 12 post-graduate degrees. You also can hold off listing you're the many talents/awards/etc. you have that don't directly connect to your business (bowling captain in 8th grade ...) Brief is better.
EnergyRICH® Press Kit Tip #2:
When deciding what to include in your kit, be your own harshest critic. As great as your company is, you don't want to overwhelm a reporter with too much clutter (i.e., every clip that's ever been written about you). You're trying to whet their appetite and get them to call you asking for more-why would they write about you if every publication in North America has already done it? What's a juicy-true-to-you bit that you can share with them?
EnergyRICH® Press Kit Tip #3:
Make it current.
If you plan to include a press release in your kit, make it as topical as you can. "If you can relate it to something topical, something going on in the world, and you can fit your [business] in there, that's going to be an easier sell than just trying to toot your horn about your [business]," says Schwartz. If you can tie your company into industry trends or current events, reporters will be more receptive (and more likely to pick up the story).
EnergyRICH® Press Kit Tip #4:
Schwartz notes that some of her most successful campaigns were the ones with a visual element. Promoting an orthodontist client to the press, for example, she included colored rubber bands (like the ones his young patients were wearing) in the press kit. For a story about a Santa Claus taking photos with pets at the mall, Schwartz included a small dog biscuit in the kit. "You've got to be clever," she says. "Do something that will get noticed." Consider how you can have your kit speak to the 5 senses ...
EnergyRICH® Press Kit Tip #5:
Do it online.
Consider an online press kit as an inexpensive (and increasingly popular - especially for solopreneurs) alternative to paper press kits. To get reporters to come to your site, e-mail them a simple press release with a
to the press kit. Important note here: Most reporters don't want attachments. With the ever-present threat of viruses, they're not likely to open any attachments from sources they don't know (and yup, that means you). If you really want to send the info, cut and paste into the body of the e-mail.
Places to submit a press release on-line:
Your EnergyRICH® Call To Action
1) Brainstorm a list of everything going on in your business right now that you could announce to the world with a press release. Nothing is too small - really!
2) Think of how you could add a creative-out-of-the-box approach to your announcement.
3) Send out your announcement easy-breezy using on-line services
Isn't it time you amped up all of your marketing to be an authentic, powerful match to YOU?