Why Every Startup Needs a Press Kit and How to Make One
The process of getting featured in the media is a lengthy and costly journey. It needs preparation for months and it takes building relationships with journalists, writing great email pitches, building the right target media list, and reach out to the right publications. However, having a Press Kit or Media Kit makes the process of getting featured in major publications, blogs, and social media influencing channels much easier.
A Press kit is part of great branding strategies 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 ability for possible customers to trust you skyrockets. It is a stamp of approval in the marketplace and it only means more sales.
b) Increased traffic
The amount of traffic that your company would get from news sources after a feature will totally flip inside out the amount you previously received and change what you have known to be the idea 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. The 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.
What does the best press kit achieve?
a) Easy access
The best press kit ensures that the journalists do not have to contact you at all for information. It means that they can find almost everything they need on the press kit. Therefore a press kit that still needs the journalist to write an email (they probably won’t do that and will just pass) asking your company questions is not achieving its purpose. The press kit should provide easy access to materials needed for the publication to happen. From an introduction on the product and brand to great company photos of the team, product, and proper marketing materials.
b) Invite press
If you come up with a press kit that is ugly visually or scanty in resources and information then you are not being very inviting as a startup. You are sending the press away with the poor execution of your press kit.
Make it look good. Make it have 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 that to their friends on email or social media; they need to be forwarding information that is solid and attractive.
If possible users to your Saas service or customers of your product have heard about your company by word of mouth, when they see the press kit they should feel that endorsement. What they have been told is what they have come to your website to prove. When your press kit is unavailable or unattractive and scanty 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. The damage that a bad press kit could do is a lot.
What is in a Press kit?
A press kit has several components. We will list them out so that we are in the know of 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 insist on the WHY part. Why are you doing this startup thing? Why did you start the company? If you do not understand the concept of Why, take a look at this Simon Sinek pieces of advice.
2) Company facts:
In this part, you talk about the company data. How many users do you have? How many products have you sold? What is the size of your team? What is the 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. Providing high-resolution graphics is quite inviting. People appreciate images that look good. It doesn’t matter the kind of product you are selling, the photos will probably 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. That is why it is a team. Divulge 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.
5) Samples of articles in the press:
If you have a news outlet that has written about your company, mention those articles in your press kit. If possible, showcase the full article. If that is not possible then showcase the excerpt and link to the news outlet if someone would like to continue reading.
However, do not include bad press in this section. Do not have bad press anywhere in your startup media kit. Only show your best press to inspire confidence in other customers.
6) Contact information:
There could be a chance that some information which a certain journalist is looking for couldn’t be found in your press kit. The contact information will make it easy for them to reach you. Make an email dedicated to press or media. It could be something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Make it apparent and put it somewhere easy to get.
7) Social media influence:
Do you have some good social media numbers to share? Well then, put them out 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 of career do they come from. If you break down data you make the press kit more interesting.
It is always good to have quotes from some members of the team published on your press kit. Do that for 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 when they get that information. 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 when they are creating one. If you don’t have one, reach out to Pressfarm (yes that’s us) using the email firstname.lastname@example.org so they can help you make one for your startup.