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Creating Your Own Voice: Building Your Press Kit

February 6, 2018 - Marketing, Share of voice - , , , , ,
By: Meredith Rutland Bauer

Every healthy business needs to build a press kit—especially technology businesses that deal with jargon-laden terms and complicated subjects.

What is a press kit? A press kit is a packet of information presented physically or digitally that gives an overview of your company, access to approved images (your logo, executive headshots, etc), access to recent press releases, and an itemized list of go-to media contacts.

A press kit is great for reporters working on routine assignments, but where it really shines is during breaking news. There are times when I’ve found myself scrambling for a decent vertical photo to go with a quick wire story about a company announcement, and the press kit had a clear and free image I could pull. Or when a controversy broke, and I needed to know which media representative handled the West Coast market for that company—the press kit clearly articulated the information I needed.

If you have a press kit, you’ll make your life and reporters’ lives a lot easier.

How to Make a Press Kit

The press kit answers the simple questions and the logistical questions reporters will want to know. As with writing a press release, it’s best to start with the Five W’s and an H: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?

Who runs your company? What do you do? Where are you based? When were you founded? When was your most recent product launched? Why did you make certain decisions? Why did you choose that industry? How do you make your money?

Those are just some of the answers you can provide in a press kit.

Importance of Media Contacts

Be sure to include email addresses and phone numbers of go-to media representatives who can answer questions in a crisis or on a tight deadline, and add their expertise. Hospitals and laboratories often group PR reps by category, and having an idea of who handles what subject area is invaluable on deadline.

Logistics

Include your press kit online and either on the website itself or as a PDF. Requiring special downloads or only offering it in paper form won’t help most reporters.

Make sure to offer photos! I cannot stress how important photos are. High-resolution is best, and horizontal is better than vertical (it matches better with more companies’ CMSes). Include photos of your building, photos of your team posed, photos of customers interacting with your staff—whatever you want.

Non-posed photos (or at least posed photos that don’t *look* like they’re posed) are much more likely to be picked up, but definitely include headshot photos of your senior leadership. Sometimes reporters need those pictures for filler inside the article. If you’re going to have a non-posed photo, I personally recommend you hire a professional photographer to shoot the pictures. Reporters often have photography experience, and can tell when photographs were done by a hobbyist.

The Takeaway

A press kit will elevate your connection with news reporters because you’re doing the busy work ahead of time. Reporters will be able to research your company’s mission on their own while reading other background pieces on you, and you’ll be able to jump into more nuanced conversations when they interview you. Reporters like press kits because they make their jobs easier. You should like press kits for the same reason.


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Meredith Rutland Bauer is a freelance technology and environmental reporter in the San Francisco East Bay. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Audubon, Fox News Tech, The Atlantic verticals and Vice Motherboard, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @merebauer