If you’re ready to generate publicity, increase organic visibility for your local business, and land qualified leads, this is the most detailed guide for you.
We’ll show you how to create a press kit that inspires reporters, editors, bloggers, and influencers. They’ll have no other option, other than to promote your story for free.
Truly, there’s a fine line between having a good story or product and knowing how to get people’s attention.
Smart companies know how to get the word out with an engaging press kit or media kit.
No matter your business model, you know that getting publicity can be a challenge — you have a responsibility to make it easy for reporters to give you coverage and get your message across to the right audience.
The best way to be featured in the press, in addition to having a reliable marketing team, is to give media the right tools.
In the words of Sara Spiegel, “Press is a validation for your brand and what consumers have heard through word of mouth.“
The objective of designing a press kit is to motivate anyone interested in sharing your story or promoting your brand in some way.
At the end of the day, you want to generate earned media (i.e., free media). And this is very important in today’s marketing environment — since 92% of customers trust earned media over traditional ads.
As a digital marketer, you don’t need millions of dollars to run a successful PR campaign. With a bit of creativity, consistency, and plan, there are opportunities for startups and small businesses to get publicity on a small budget.
What is a Press Kit?
A press kit is a portfolio of information designed for Journalists, Editors, Bloggers, Investors, Influencers, and online consumers to promote stories, products, events, or candidates. A press kit is often referred to as a media kit — it usually contains a clear outline of who you are, what you do, resources and marketing materials, as well as other information about your brand (such as photos and contact details).
Nowadays, a press kit could be a downloadable document or a page on your company’s website that provides all the information needed by reporters and publishers.
Elements of a High-Growth Campaign
A good press kit is literally saying, “Hey, we want attention, we’ve packaged the resources you need to produce an amazing story as well as how to reach us.”
That being said, here are the 15 elements to optimize your press kit and make your PR campaign more engaging, irresistible, and relevant to the press:
1. Your Story
A captivating story is the hallmark of an effective press kit. You have a chance to introduce your company to the target audience, share your strengths, why and how you got started, and what differentiates your company from the rest.
Storytelling is an art. It enables you to describe your products and services so people listen to you (like they’d if you were telling a real story).
Learn to keep your story short and sweet. As much as possible, highlight the interesting aspects of your company and your uniqueness. Here’s a good opening story example from The Old Nurse:
For example, if you’re promoting a new event, you should include the theme, event dates, locations, target market, keynote speakers, and contact information. It’s also important to include contact information so reporters, journalists, and editors can reach you if they have questions.
Your press kit encapsulates what you’re promoting and wants other people to accept. This is also referred to as the “Company Overview.”
It should appear at the very top of your press kit. There’s no fast rule here — but crafting a 50 – 100-word description that drives your story home is recommended.
2. Collaborate with Micro-influencers
To make your press kit highly effective, you need to partner with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are individuals (e.g., journalists, bloggers, editors) that have between 1,000 to 1 million followers, fans, or audience.
If you want your press campaign to be successful, pay more attention to micro-influencers. This data from AdWeek shows you why:
As a small business owner, you have a higher chance of getting a response and possibly get them to share your story if you dare to reach out to them.
Micro-influencers drive social buzz and are 6.7x more cost-efficient. More importantly, their opinions are trusted by fans.
Macro influencers are well-known in the industry and beyond. The likes of Kim Kardashian (148 million Instagram followers) and Christiano Ronaldo (184 million Instagram followers) — but these celebrities and influencers are hard to reach.
On the other hand, focusing on industry experts and celebrities with at least 10,000 trusted fans is a great way to quickly gain traction for your company, product, event, and more.
To find these micro-influencers, search for local influencers in your city, utilize tools like BuzzSumo or Ninja Outreach, use Hashtags on social media, and connect with followers on your business account.
You have a lot to gain if you build long-term, genuine relationships with micro-influencers and industry advocates whose opinions matter.
If your aim your press kit to attract these influencers, make sure you give them the freedom to share your story in a way that will resonate with their followers and audience — as long as your objectives and policies are obeyed.
3. Goals of Your Campaign
Every press kit is designed to help achieve a definite goal. Make sure it’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
What exactly are you hoping to achieve with your press campaign?
- Do you want to create brand awareness
- Do you want to create a demand for your new product/service?
- Do you want to get people to sign up to your email list?
- Do you want to generate leads and customers?
- What about enhancing your company’s credibility and image?
- Do you wish to create stronger ties with your community
- Or to inform the community about your experiment?
Whatever your goal(s) may be, be clear about it in your press kit. This helps journalists and bloggers make a quick decision.
Because if they don’t agree with your goal, then they can ignore your press kit or campaign altogether. Tie your goal to solve a problem that your audience is facing.
Inc’s goal is to help small businesses currently struggling to grow. Take a look at its Media Kit:
Stating your goal is a great way to define your target audience and focus. Make sure your goal is clearly indicated in your press kit — preferably on the first page.
4. Structure of Your PR Campaign
Once your goal has been clearly defined, you need to highlight the framework of your PR campaign.
Since you want to encourage media professionals to share your story across social media sites, blogs, and news media platforms, there must be a step by step process for them to do so.
If your focus is to improve your company’s visibility in the organic search, then you need to understand the process involved.
Have you defined the outline of your PR campaign? Is it going to be a short-term or long-term campaign? Do you have a budget, is public relations department involved or you’re solely responsible?
Often, the structure of your PRC campaign drives everything. This is where you see the plan of action, how you intend to reward Journalists, Bloggers, and Editors who share your story, and more.
5. Newsworthy PR campaign idea
If you want journalists, bloggers, and online influencers to discuss your PR campaign, then you must make it newsworthy.
When it comes to newsworthiness, the timing, prominence, significance, human interest, and proximity all matters.
A good example of a newsworthy story was when Crayola was retiring one of its crayons. Although it wasn’t an interesting ‘news,’ but it went viral at the time, creating ripples on social media, TIME, The Huffington Post, NPR, and USA Today.
Interestingly, The New York Times went beyond sharing the story. The media company issued a eulogy for that particular crayon!
Bear in mind that Crayola could have discretely laid off the crayon, but they chose to spread the news and get people talking. A newsworthy idea will always tap into modern pop culture (i.e., social media) that millions of people are fascinated about.
With your newsworthy idea, it’s time to uncover publications that your ideal customers read, and the content formats they prefer to consume.
Remember that a story angle for a FastCompany article might be quite different than one for The Huffington Post. You can identify 3 to 5 publications and tailor your PR campaign to suit their style.
6. Know Your Competition
The easiest way to outsmart your competition is to know everything about it. Identify your strongest competitors, their strengths, and influence in your industry. What are they doing that you can learn from?
You can monitor their PR activities using tools such as Mention to determine how’s sharing your competitor’s content on social media, and more.
Take notes of their mistakes so you don’t make the same. If you notice that a particular strategy is yielding results for them, see how you can incorporate a similar strategy in your PR campaign.
Also, if your competitors are not fully taking advantage of the opportunities, then you’ve got a gap to fill.
There’s no need to replicate their PR strategies 100%. The best approach is to learn from them to improve your results.
7. The Right Distribution Channels
There’s no limit to how far you can go with your PR campaign. You have to consider all of the distribution channels and platforms today.
Don’t just focus on blogs and social media networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). Know where to share your idea/story.
Remember that a single mention of your product/company on Mashable or Entrepreneur, for example, could result in thousands of new visitors and leads to your business?
If this is true, then you need to create helpful content that will resonate with the right audience. Since the goal of a PR campaign is to attract earned media (i.e., free media), you need the most detailed and valuable content ever. [source]
Ideally, you can use paid social media marketing and sponsored opportunities to amplify your content reach and drive engagement.
Get into the conversation. Once you’re aware of the distribution channels that your audience spends adequate time, spend more time there. Create content that appeals to them and you’ll always win.
Capitalizing on the right content distribution channels can get you massive publicity, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to drive it.
As an example, Dove’s research on “The Truths about Beauty,” generated significant press, even though the firm was selling soap and not cream.
The goal of publishing the research was to help girls view themselves in a more positive light. So far, the campaign has generated over 65 million views on YouTube and millions of views on other content channels.
8. Highlight Your Company Facts and Figures
Your Press Kit needs to highlight some important facts about your company. It doesn’t have to be lengthy — between 5 to 10 data points will be fine.
Since you’re dealing with data (mostly numbers), make sure it’s clean, colorful, and easy to access. Here’s an example Fact sheet from Xtensio.
Most companies list their company facts below their story, where it’d be easily seen by journalists, bloggers, and customers.
Don’t just share any facts, focus on facts that will help journalists make an informed decision based on the idea you want to share.
No two companies are the same. So the facts shared will be different as well. To give you an idea, here are some data points you might want journalists and media professionals to see:
- Company history (when it was founded)
- Where and who founded your company
- Company headquarters
- Number of office locations or stores
- Press mentions
- Prominent clients
- Products served
- Customers served (demographics, lifestyle)
You might want to share specific information about your new product or event. Or even a milestone you’re proud of.
For example, a Restaurant may include the loaves of bread served daily.
More so, a press kit may focus on a particular aspect of your business such as food delivery service, if you think your local consumers would be excited about it when the story gets shared in your locality.
9. Customer Case Studies
Case studies are a powerful means of communicating the value your company brings to the table. This is something you should be proud of.
If you’ve successfully served customers or clients, make sure you include their success stories (with permission) on your press kit and campaign.
Starting connecting and building trust with your new customers and journalists alike. If you can include a video testimonial, that’s even better.
It all boils down to leveraging business successes to drive your story. People respond to customer case studies and testimonials. Journalists and media influencers like to share stories and brands that make a lasting impact.
Has your product helped customers? If you’re using a downloadable or electronic press kit, share one or two engaging case studies to captivate your audience.
10. Know Your Target Audience
A good understanding of your target audience is critical to running any public relations campaign.
The truth is you don’t need everyone to see your new product, attend your event, or follow your brand on social media, you simply want the right people.
Through market research and competitive analysis, you can identify the demographics of your ideal customer.
Your press kit is a tool for journalists to learn more about your company — so make it worthwhile by targeting ONLY those that matter.
Don’t write your press kit copy to appeal to everyone but your target audience.
With that out of the way, tailor your PR elements to suit these group of people that will help you achieve your smart goal.
11. Press Samples
In your press kit and PR plan, one essential element that will eliminate objections is press samples. Reporters will be more willing to share your story on FastCompany and Entrepreneur, for example, if you’ve been mentioned on Inc.
Highlight other media outlets that you or your business have been featured in. It could be an interview, blog posts, quotes, etc.
For example, Impactbnd has been mentioned on Crunchbase. The company (i.e., Impactbnd) can leverage this media outlet as a credible source to get mentioned on Forbes, etc.
It’s not a time to dredge up every publication that has linked to your website or mentioned you on social media — put the spotlight on the strongest publications and reference sources.
Don’t just highlight the logo of the media outlet that published your story or mentioned you, reference the page. This will be more authentic!
12. Provide Contact Information
Give reporters the chance to contact you to ask questions and gather more information. Include your website URL, email address, social media handles, telephone number, and location.
Don’t use your company’s generic email address in your pitch to journalists or in your press kit. Create a separate email address that appeals to reporters, publications, and journalists online. For example, email@example.com or something similar.
For example, take a look at Method’s Press Kit page. Can you see how professional and relevant their email list?
13. Showcase Professional Photos
Throughout your Press Kit, use professional photos of your business to communicate ideas. These could be photos of your products, business locations, creatives, etc.
If you’re going to allow reporters to use these photos for publication when sharing your story, note this and link to a page on your company’s website where they can download high-resolution copies.
Zalando, a UK based clothing store displays high-resolution photos on its media kit’s page. These images are ready for both print and digital. And content reporters can easily download them from the site.
Content publishers, in particular, will appreciate high-quality branding images about your company. For example, your logo is important, so optimize one with a transparent background and make sure it’s 360 dpi — this is a suitable standard for print.
14. Mention Awards and Recognitions
Just like case studies, awards and recognitions that your company has received from reputable organizations are forms of social proof.
Other certifications such as Google Ads Partner, HubSpot Partner, can add increased value to your press kit.
You’ll increase your company’s perceived value and add validity to your business just by highlighting your awards and recognitions — regardless of how insignificant they might seem.
15. Consistent Branding
Consistent branding is important when it comes to public relations, whether you’re targeting reporters online or offline.
Reporters, content publishers, bloggers, and influencers should be familiar with your logo, and most importantly, how you spell your name. What’s your capitalization like?
For example, boohoo (and not ‘Boohoo’) uses a consistent branding in its media kit. Your brand should do the same.
How do you want your brand name to be featured on media outlets and printed in your press kit?
As an example, if your brand name is ‘BusinessName’ and not ‘Business name’ or ‘Businessname,’ specify it. Don’t let others make that decision for you.