Tag Archives: media

The Perfect Press Kit

The perfect press kit is designed to garner media mention, TV coverage, radio airplay and more. But kits have to be tailored to a certain audience, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to include. What is too much? What’s not enough? What will this particular media outlet think is important? Because your kit is usually going to many different media outlets, it’s important that the kit be adaptable. It should be easy to alter slightly and be tailored to its specific destination.

Providing a Press Kit is just one strategy, and it’s not usually useful alone. Reporters will need to have some prior interest (or at least knowledge) before the kit gets in their hands so that they know how to use the contents. At a minimum, plan on contacting media contacts prior, and ALWAYS after you provide the Press Kit.  Be ready to offer additional information, and elaborate on any pitches/stories you think might appeal to them. Generate a variety of story ideas and have more than one appealing approach to share with them!

Some important things to think about when putting together your press kit.

1. What is the overall goal of the Press Kit?

2. Who is the audience? (If you pitching to a radio station for example, who listens to that station?? Because that’s who they will care about…)

3. What do I want to accomplish? Get specific in defining measurable objectives. If you want to garner media attention, how many articles? In how many markets? This is what you want to accomplish in numbers and percentages!

4. Why should members of the local news media care? Make sure you address this question, why will they care about you are pitching??

A Press Kit will always be more successful if you attach it along with other opportunities. For example, offering to do a live interview (this can be you or someone else you work with who would feel comfortable jumping in front of the camera and talking about what this pitch is all about)! This could also include providing the reporter with special opportunities to go behind the scenes, give a special demonstration, let them see what it’s all about from the inside out. This might apply to a speaker giving a conference, being let in the studio for a radio or TV show, etc. This is likely to draw them in and will go a long way in building relationships with media.

What is included?
Remember to keep the packaging generic. Your company’s name/logo and contact is enough. Don’t include photos that will become outdated quickly. You should also keep the packaging consistent from one press kit to the next, only the inside contents should change.

Press release: There might be more than one if you decide to tailor a couple to different markets.

Executive profiles with bios: Tell them a little about the people at your company/brand, make sure they have all the information on these people they would need to do a piece on them.

High resolution photos: Having a strong visual aspect in your press kit is, I think, very important, a huge selling factor.

Cover letter: It’s always idea to do a cover letter to personalize your press kit to that media outlet if it’s possible, and make sure you are addressing it to the right person!

Corporate or marketing materials for your company: Be careful, as I said before, not to include too many extras, but if you have some strong pieces for a company launch or expansion type of pitch than strong marketing materials could be great item.

Positive media quotes: You can include positive press quotes, if the media has already said great things about your brand, show that off! (These quotes might be best included in your press release, or in your marketing materials.)

Business cards/contact information: Your contact should be on multiple pieces, don’t make it hard for them to get in touch with you if they have questions or want to know more!!

Once you are done compiling — go back over everything and take out anything that seems extraneous to your specific messages. You don’t want anything to take away from you clear vision and objectives for this pitch!

Lastly, when you are delivering this press kit, be enthusiastic but avoid being a nuisance.  Remember that no matter how hard you work at your pitch, be prepared to face some who are disinterested, possibly annoyed, and unfortunately sometimes rude. Hey… we’re in PR aren’t we? Remember, relationships with media take time!

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Pitching 101

Brushing up on some solid pitching rules as I’m standing by my theme to get down to the basics of PR.  So let’s remind ourselves of some of the fundamentals of pitching a press release.

Who do you pitch to?
Well… who would care about this news? That’s who. Whatever publications, stations or media outlets would find your bit of news the least bit interesting. And even if there’s only a slight chance they would run your little bit of news in their pub, send it! You never know, it could be a slow news day, and you could luck out.

Here’s a question for you readers — is it ever too much? Do you think it is possible to over-send a release? (And I’m not talking about sending the coverage of your weekend block party to the NY Times, I’m talking within reason). Is there a danger is sending your release a little too far and wide?

How to pitch?
Don’t send out a mass e-mail to your distribution list. Instead tailor each pitch to that media outlet, or at least send an individual and more direct/personal e-mail addressed to that station or publication.  Let’s be clear, good pitching is not a “to whom this may concern” situation.

What else?
Follow up with a phone call. Make sure they have received your release and offer to help or answer any questions they might have regarding the information. Use this opportunity to build a relationship  (as this whole process is easier if you can build strong connections with your local media). SPIN Works! The nuts & bolts of good PR: A media guidebook for public interest organizations says that, “No matter how brilliant your message or clever your frame, it can very well be irrelevant you do not follow through with the pitch call.” TRUTH: Without a follow up call – there is no real pitch effort being made.

When do I pitch?
One very important aspect is timing. You don’t want to be making follow up calls when journalists and writers are trying to deal with deadlines for the next day, or when TV reporters are preparing for the evening news which will be live in an hour. SPIN says, “Late morning, say, around 10:30, is a good time to call reporters. They have already had their morning coffee, their daily planning meetings probably have concluded, and it is before they get deeply involved in other stories. The earlier in the week the better”

I’ve heard many PR peeps say that pitching was their least favorite part of PR because it made them feel like a sales person, which I completely understand. However, I try to take this perspective, and I believe it helps. If you believe in what your client is doing and think that this news concerning your client is news worthy (if you didn’t think it was news worthy than you wouldn’t be pitching it) than you should feel validated in sharing that news with these medias. If you care about this event or milestone, so should they… now tell them why!

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