Obtaining great media coverage and earned media is what differentiates between a successful startup and one that misses the mark. Building up your media mentions can help establish your legitimacy and credibility with potential investors, customers, and new hires. So, in order to make it easy for media outlets to find information that is relevant to your business, you need to create a media/press kit.
Table of Contents:
- What is a press kit?
- Why you need press kits
- How to write a press kit
- When to use a press kit
- Common press kit mistakes
- Examples of press kits
What is a press kit?
Also referred to as a media kit, it is a page on your website that helps visitors understand your company better. There are different ways to create and add a press kit, some brands and publishers will include elements of it on the website’s About page, Advertise with us page, and Press page. It has also been considered to be a mini portfolio that contains a professional representation of a business and its assets. But it is most commonly added to webpages and PDFs that include high-quality photos, logos, etc. The terms media kit and press kit can be used interchangeably, but press kits are generally designed to attract potential press opportunities while media kits are created to sell advertising. While press kits are very important to media outlets, it is not becoming important and useful tools for potential clients, business partners, and investors to gauge your company’s credibility.
Once you have created your press kit, there are certain types of visitors that might find it useful like:
- Your readers and customers
- Current and potential advertisers
- Journalists and PR professionals
- Potential employees
Why startups need a press kit
The whole point of a press kit is to make it easier for journalists to find information about you. Journalists are often multi-taskers, they are constantly juggling multiple stores and are very limited on time. So, if you make it easy for them to location information on you, grab a logo/photo, and create a story, you will have a better chance of gaining free exposure. Having your press kit ready gets them to choose you over your competitor to write about.
Having an electronic press kit (EPK) is also good for SEO because people can easily build backlinks to your site. Make your digital brand assets easily accessible allows you to gain blog and social mentions, helps your sales and marketing team, and give you the appropriate documents to share with whoever is necessary. It also helps your startup look more professional.
One of the main issues about earned media is that you can’t control the message you want to send out so a press kit helps media outlets stay “on message” with what you intended. You want to make sure that when they are creating their press piece, they are referring to information that you want them to use.
A way to remember it is: A press kit needs to have as much information as possible to create a press piece that if you were to fall of the face of the planet today, any media out would be able to create a good story just from the information you have given them and your website. The objective is for a press kit that is so complete and easy to use that the media outlets should be able to run the article “as is”
To get help with your own press kit and distribution of the same to journalists and media outlets, check out our packages HERE
How to write a press kit
Every press kit is unique, the content of it depends on your experience and elements of your brand. However, there are some essentials that need to be present before adding the “fluff”. The best way to plan out exactly what you want to include in your press kit, you can start of with a fact sheet. You can lay the building blocks and then the rest will fall into place.
A fact sheet is exactly that, it complies all the major facts about you and your company like: information about you, your partners, company and the market, etc. While it is important to be concise, it is equally important to be thorough and objective, so that media outlets don’t need to ask follow-up questions and don’t feel like they need to dig up any dirty secrets.
These are some important points that you can add to your press kit:
- Year your company was founded
- Who the founders are
- Where it was founded
- When it currently operates
- How many employees it has
- Other notable team members
- Names of prominent clients
- Principal investors
- Fundraising statistics
- Growth statistics
- Major products/services
- How much those products/services cost
- When those products/services were launched
- Where those products are made
- What materials those products use
- What platforms any mobile productsare available on
- Overarching market statistics
1) A brief history of your company
Your goal is to provide enough context to your audience about who you are, the history behind your company, and the story behind it. Keep it concise but also full of detail so that you do not overwhelm your readers with an insane amount of details
2) Company vision and values
It is important to paint a picture of what your company is trying to accomplish. You can to make sure that your vision and values are clearly described. A vision statement is intended to provide readers with the opportunity to see if they can relate to the company’s mission.
You need to make sure that you are also using a style, language, and tone that your audience understands and respond to well. Because you may have created a mission and vision statement that works well for the people and other companies that are in your industry with jargon, but other people may not understand it.
An FAQ section is important because it gives you a chance to perfect your brand message while also providing your audience with valuable information. It is not just for your existing customers, but also for new visitors to better understand you and your brand. You should include all commonly asked questions from your readers, journalists, and potential clients. FAQ pages are important to continue to grow your readership.
You should upload visuals and logos for anyone that wants to share your content and possibly write a story about your brand. It is important that you include a variety of image sizes so that your readers can share them across social media, email, newsletters, and other publications easily.
These are tips to provide great images:
- High-resolution photos: You generally want your photos to be at least 300 DPI (dots per inch), rather than low-resolution so that it allows the images to be printed in high quality.
- Image in multiple sizes: As mentioned before, you should give readers a variety of image sizes so that they can share the photos on any platform. These are some image sizes you should consider:
- Instagram: 1080 x 1080
- Facebook: 940 x 788
- Twitter: 1024 x 512
- Linkedin: 550 x 375
- Vector Images: In order to avoid outdated or low-quality visuals and logos, you should post them as vector images along with the other graphics on your media kit page. The reasoning for that so that media outlets and readers can easily resize a vector graphic to their liking without losing quality and by providing your audiences with great images, you increase your ability to control what is being presented about your brand.
Any photo that is reflective of your brand’s mission is also a good thing to add. You should consider adding photos of your:
- Office and/or building
- Company retreats
- Team outings
When you add photos that include a human element, it gives prospective employees and customers a feel for your company diversity and culture.
5) Contact Information:
Press kits are generally designed to create advertising opportunities, so it is important to include a thorough list of contact information on your page for advertisers who would like to reach you at any point in time.
It is simple enough by just adding a contact form and providing a plain text email address and/or phone number. You can even take it a step further by giving a specific way of contact that helps your audience’s needs. It ensures that all inquiries regarding your business are routed to the right people and saves time and money.
Knowing your audience demographic is important when you want to attract potential clients to your publication. It is essential to convince customers and clients that your audience is a good fit for their brand and messaging. Demographics are also another good way for people that are looking to learn more about you company and the more specific your data, the better.
7) Social media
You also need to make sure that your visitors can engage with your brand easily. These days that way is through social media, you just can’t escape it. An important thing to note when you are adding your social media links is to only link your company’s active profiles. There is no reason to send your potential customers to an account that hasn’t been updated in years.
8) Articles and press
You can also include any articles or publications that your brand has been featured in. You should include a few articles that give your audience a clear idea of what values your brand provides.
9) Highlight clients and partners
Including clients and partners in your press kit can make it easier for journalists to reference your company and allows customers to know about you without have to do any other research. Not only does it allow you to have more exposure, but it can also benefit your clients and partners through added exposure as well.
Common press kit mistakes
It is also important to understand the common press kit mistakes you could make because if you don’t, it can cause all your efforts to backfire. Here are those mistakes:
Not being specific enough: The mistake that publishers commonly do when it comes to press kits is not being specific enough with their demographics. You should take advantage of better partnership and advertising opportunities by using focused metrics to understand your audience.
Unprofessional produced: An effective press kit should be well put together. So, if it is filled with typos and broken links, you leave a bad impression for your potential readers and investors. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it definitely needs to be decent enough.
Outdated: Once your page has been published for the world to see, you should make it a priority to update every few months because an outdated press kit can potentially be more harmful to your brand than not having one at all.
Too much: Sometimes brands think that they need to stuff their press kits with as much information as they can. That is where they are wrong. Of course you want to be detailed but the message should be clear and easy to understand.
Distributing your press kit
You have created your press kit, now you need to figure out when, where, how you should do it.
Historically, press kit used to be delivered by manila envelope to the newsrooms and contained a paper press release, executive head shots and VHS tapes. I mean, if you want to do it that way, kudos to you for keeping it old school. But, you are most likely not going to get any attention. Everything is digitized nowadays because media outlets are dealing with breaking news, so they really do not have time for snail mail.
When you are sending your press kit via email, make sure that you check your file size and make sure that it is not too large. If the file is too large, it might get rejected or even lock the journalist’s inbox and they would have to delete the file just to get back into their email. So, keep the file size small and if there is more information that you think they might need, send the link to your website press section that provides more details.
While there might be times were sending a press kit through the post is still necessary, eg. if you need to send a sample of your product for the media outlets to examine before an interview, email distribution is generally the most cost effective.
Examples of successful press kits
Everyone around the world has heard about Airbnb, an accommodation website that you can book wherever you are in the world if you want a space to yourself like a hotel, but the comforts of home. They are known for their excellent original marketing and their press kit only consists of a “Fast Facts” page, which includes figures like listings, cities, countries, and guest arrivals. But, because of how impressive those numbers are and easy to use, a simple press kit is all they need.
2) Design Roast
The Design Roast press kit is considered to be an impressive one because the information that was presented was not overwhelming only providing basic information about the company. While that doesn’t see like enough to add to a press kit, if you were a media outlet all you had to do was download their full media kit that was also on the website.
This gives media outlets some quick background information for shorter mentions, but if they wanted more information and deeper insight, they could download the documents for more in-depth articles.
The Kickstarter press kit is considered to be one of the best startup press kit examples in the industry. The reasoning behind that is that they are constantly adapting their press kit over time so it is well organized and useful. The page itself is very creative and is not limited to the raw information about their company. To some, it may seem abstract but it gives media outlets that are looking to write pieces about them, the freedom they deem necessary.
Many influencers and Youtube stars got their start at Buzzfeed,it is considered to be one of the biggest pop culture companies all over the world. They use a simple HTML page as their press kit and to present their latest appearances in the press and collaborating conditions. They also have a section with personal data and contact details for all their members of staff (which is a lot)
Press kits are important to gain exposure for your startup and allows people to get all the important information that they need to know about what your company has to offer. It is important to remember that you want to have enough information that they understand you, but not too much where it seems to be too overwhelming to read. Much like every other type of public relations, you need to know who your audience is and what they are interested in because at the end of the day, it is them that will help your company emerge in the market.
To get help with your own press kit and distribution of the same to journalists and media outlets, check out our packages HERE