The process of media outreach is a lengthy and costly journey. It requires months of preparation and it takes building relationships with journalists, writing great email pitches, building the right target media list, and reaching out to the right publications. However, having a press kit makes the process of getting featured in major publications, blogs, and social media influencing channels much easier.
A press kit is an effective branding strategy to ensure that you are always ready for the opportunity to be featured in a popular blog, or a big news outlet if a blogger or journalist stumbles upon your story or company. Startups are always on the lookout for opportunities to be published in the media because getting published helps you with the following:
a) Building credibility
If you get featured in a trusted news source, the likelihood for potential customers to trust you skyrockets. It is a stamp of approval in the marketplace and it ultimately means more sales.
b) Increased traffic
The amount of traffic that your company would get from news sources after a feature will surpass what you were previously receiving and change your perception of good traffic. News sources are highly trusted by their respective fans and they turn out in high numbers to check out products or services that have been featured by the outlet.
c) Increased SEO
Links from high authority news sources like Mashable, VentureBeat, TechCrunch, Vogue, GQ, etc, will totally improve your search engine rankings because of the amount of authority they add to your backlinks.
In order to receive such unexpected features, you want to make it as easy as possible for the journalist to feature your company without having to contact you in the first place or set up an interview. One way to do that is to come up with a compelling and well-designed press kit.
Essentially, a press kit is a page on your website that has resources and information for reporters and journalists. This page does not necessarily have to be on the main menu, in fact, most journalists know not to look for it there. Instead, it should take a good position on a secondary menu or the footer section because the journalists will be looking for it there.
How can an effective press kit help you?
a) Giving journalists easy access to information
An effective press kit ensures that the journalists do not have to contact you at all for additional information. In other words, you need to ensure that they can find almost everything they need in the press kit. Therefore, a press kit that still needs the journalist to write an email asking your company questions (they probably won’t bother) will not achieve its purpose. The press kit should provide easy access to materials needed for the publication to happen. From an introduction to the brand to great company photos of the team, product, and proper marketing materials, you need to make sure your press kit is comprehensive.
b) Creating a memorable impression
If you come up with a press kit that is ugly or scanty in resources and information then you are not creating an appealing brand image. Instead, you will send journalists running in the opposite direction with the poor execution of your press kit.
Make it look good. Include as much information as anyone would need. Remember that a press kit is not just for the media. It is for anyone who wishes to talk about or write about your company.
Previous customers might want to forward your press kit to their friends on email or social media; they need to be forwarding information that is accurate and appealing.
If potential clients of your SaaS or customers of your product have heard about your company by word of mouth, when they see the press kit they should feel confident in your brand. What they have been told is what they have come to your website to prove. When your press kit is unavailable, unattractive or lacking in information, it takes away everything they have heard. However, to be honest, it is better to not have a press kit than to have a bad one. A bad press kit can do irreversible damage.
What is in a Press kit?
A press kit has several components. We will list them so that you understand what a good press kit includes.
1) Your story
Remember that journalists and reporters do not just write the news. They tell stories. Journalism is about storytelling. Compelling stories win the news and win the audience. No journalist wants to write about a startup that lacks an interesting story, or a story at all. There will be no point.
This section is where you provide detailed information about how your company came to be, the inspiration behind it and the idea that is making everything happen. Make sure to focus on the WHY. Why did you start the company? Why do you think people need your product or service? Who should a journalist care about your brand?
2) Company facts
In this part, you present the company data. How many users do you have? How many products have you sold? What is the size of your team? Analytical data that might be worth delving into for the journalists? What are your statistics like? At what rate are you growing? Where is your business located? Where is your product manufactured? What is your mission and vision? What are your core values?
Ensure that your logo is of high quality, and so are your banners, branding items, and product images. High-resolution graphics are quite inviting. People appreciate images that look good. It doesn’t matter what kind of product you are selling, the photos will stand out if well done. In fact, if you provide high-quality graphics, the chances of getting featured on magazines rise too.
4) Your team
Do not hide your team behind the scenes. After all, the team is the driving force behind your brand. Share more information about them. Let anyone who looks at your press kit see the team and what role each of them play. If you have an executive board you could add them too. If your team is too big – in the thousands, this might not be realistic but you could feature the senior team. The founders and co-founders cannot miss in the press kit since they are the face of the company.
By featuring members of your team in your press kit, you are also humanizing your brand. Doing so encourages potential clients to trust you more.
5) Previous press coverage
You have a news outlet that has written about your company, include those articles in your press kit. If possible, showcase the full article. If that is not possible then showcase an excerpt and link to the news outlet if someone would like to continue reading. Previous press coverage is a valuable form of social proof for your brand.
However, it goes without saying that you should not include bad press in this section. Do not feature your negative press anywhere in your startup media kit. Only show your best press to inspire confidence among potential customers.
6) Contact information
There is a chance that specific information that a journalist is looking for couldn’t be found in your press kit. Your contact information will make it easy for them to reach you. Create an email address dedicated to press or media. It could be something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Make it apparent and put it in a prominent spot on your press kit.
7) Social media metrics
Do you have some impressive social media numbers to share? Well then, put them in your press kit. Specify which social media network has how many followers. You can even dig further into the data to show the different stats like the number of males vs the number of females, how much they spend per year, what fields they come from. If you break down data you make the press kit more interesting.
Speaking of data, another good way to make your press kit memorable is by using visuals to break down complex information. Like your data. Using visuals like infographics and graphs will not only help your press kit to stand out but also help your audience to understand your statistics and other complex information.
It is always good to have quotes from some members of your team published on your press kit. Do that with customer testimonials too. These quotes from customers, the team and the founders makes it really easy for the journalist to quote someone without reaching out to your company for a quote.
The general idea behind a press kit is to make it easy for journalists to write about your startup with the information you include. Here are some companies that have made it easy for journalists to access their information.
Check out their press kits:
Does your startup have a press kit? If yes let us know how it is working out for you and what you would advise companies to do when they are creating one. If you don’t have one, reach out to Pressfarm (yes that’s us) so that we can help you create quality content for your brand.