Press Kits for Entrepreneurs 101
- By Ysmay -
- Jul 12, 2012
When you're developing a new company there are so many things going on that occupy not just your time but your thoughts. In the early stages of a company it is very easy to overlook things that don't seem important just yet. Like your press kit, here's a guest blog on how to compile the perfect one...
Your press kit - or lack thereof - is vital to the success (or failure) of your new venture. The only thing worse than bad press is no press, and if you have a sloppy or mismanaged press kit, no press is exactly what you're going to get. Being media-friendly will improve your visibility, not only with your target audience, but with potential employees and investors.
What the heck is a press kit anyway and why is it important?
Reporters are very busy people and they are always working under tight deadlines. Reporters do not have the time to run around and look for information. Press kits make their lives much easier by packaging up all the relevant information in one easy to access spot, and this is exactly why they are important. The last thing you want to do is alienate the press.
What should be in a press kit?
Your press kit should be dynamic, not static. The components of your company's press kit will evolve over time. You'll add some things and take out some things that are no longer relevant, but there are some essentials that you should always have:
The press often needs photos of high resolution and high quality. Some images to include are of the key people in the company, your logo, and of your product or service. Photo captions should include the photographer's name for legal purposes unless you have a signed release.
Photos and your logo should look as good in black and white as they do in colour.
Short biographies for you and your company
"Short" being the keyword here. Biographies that are too long will likely be skimmed and ignored. Strunk and White said it best in their book The Elements of Style: "Eliminate needless words."
The ideal biography will be concise and catchy. This is as good for you as it is for the reporter because you want to reduce the risk that something will be taken out of context. The easier it is for the reporter to get the key information, the happier they will be. Additionally, humans have an exceptionally short attention span, and reporters are no exception. It's essential you get the relevant information across as concisely and efficiently as possible.
Your personal biography should be in the third person, and should be a narrated version of your resume. Here is a handy media-friendly formula for your bio:
3 sentences (at most): sum up who you are and what you do.
3 sentences (or less): sum up your proudest accomplishments.
3 sentences (or less): sum up your education, and relevant geographical information.
Your company's biography should also be in the third person, and should answer these questions:
Who Are We?
What Do We Do?
Why Are We Here?
Have you been in the media before? Include it in your press kit. If you haven't, don't fret too much. After all, you're just getting your company off the ground.
Your previous press should be in a list with the name of the publication, and the name of the article. If possible, include a link.
You may not be ready for press releases just yet, but if you are, they go in your press kit. Press releases should be written for when you are launching your new service, when you're expanding, or anytime something big happens in your company.
That's it! These few simple things will get you started with a great press kit for your new venture, and will make your media relations much easier.
Image from Flickr
This guest blog complies to Virgin.com terms & conditions.