Obtaining great media coverage and earned media is what differentiates a successful startup from 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. This is considered to be a mini portfolio that contains a professional representation of a business and its assets. However, it is most commonly added to web pages 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, they are becoming important and useful tools for potential clients, business partners, and investors who need to gauge your company’s credibility.
Once you have created your press kit, there are certain types of visitors that might find it useful, including:
- 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 stories and are very limited on time. So, if you make it easy for them to locate information about 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 when they’re looking for something to write about.
Having an electronic press kit (EPK) is also good for SEO because people can easily build backlinks to your site. Making your digital brand assets easily accessible allows you to gain blog and social mentions, helps your sales and marketing team, and gives you the appropriate documents to share with whoever is necessary. It also helps your startup look more professional.
One of the main issues with 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 off 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.”
How to write a press kit
Every press kit is unique, and the content ultimately depends on your experience and the elements of your brand. However, there are some essentials that need to be present before adding the “fluff.” In order to plan out exactly what you want to include in your press kit, you can start off with a fact sheet. Once you lay the building blocks, the rest will fall into place.
A fact sheet is exactly that – it compiles all the major facts about you and your company like information about you, your partners, the company and the market, etc. While it is important to be concise, it is equally important to be thorough and objective. This way, 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:
- The year your company was founded
- Who the founders are
- Where it was founded
- Where 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 digital products are 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. This section is designed to highlight the history of your company and the story behind it. Keep it concise but also full of engaging details. In this way, you will 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 make sure that your vision and values are clearly described. A vision statement is required to provide readers with an 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 responds to well. You may have created a mission and vision statement that works well for the people and other companies that understand industry jargon. Keep in mind that 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. This section is not just for your existing customers, it also helps 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 who wants to share your content and possibly write a story about your brand. It is important that you include a variety of image sizes. This way, your readers can share them across social media, email, newsletters, and other publications easily.
Here are some 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- this 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 is so that media outlets and readers can easily resize a vector graphic to their liking without losing quality. By providing your audiences with great images, you increase your ability to control their perception of your brand.
Any photo that reflects your brand’s mission is also a good one 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, you give prospective employees and customers a feel of your company’s diversity and culture.
5) Contact Information
Press kits are generally designed to create advertising opportunities. 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.
You can do this 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 meets your audience’s needs. This 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 useful for people who are looking to learn more about your company. 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 everyone does this 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 in which your brand has been featured. 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 help customers to know about you without having to do any other research. Not only does this help 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. If you don’t, all your efforts could backfire. Here are some of those mistakes:
Not being specific enough
The mistake that publishers commonly make 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.
An effective press kit should be well put together. If it is filled with typos and broken links, you’ll leave a bad impression on your potential readers and investors. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it definitely needs to be decent enough.
Once your page has been published for the world to see, you should make it a priority to update it every few months because an outdated press kit can potentially be more harmful to your brand than not having one at all.
Too much information
Sometimes brands think that they need to stuff their press kits with as much information as they can. That is where they go wrong. Of course, you want a detailed press kit, 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, and how you should do it.
Historically, the press kits used to be delivered by manila envelope to the newsrooms and contained a paper press release, executive headshots, and VHS tapes. I mean, if you want to do it that way, kudos to you for keeping it old school. However, you are most likely not going to get any attention with this approach. 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.
There might still be times when 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. However, sending your press kit in an email pitch is generally the most cost-effective route.
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, with the comforts of home, you should be looking on Airbnb. They are known for their excellent original marketing. Their press kit only consists of a “Fast Facts” page, which includes figures like listings, cities, countries, and guest arrivals. Given how impressive those numbers are and how easy it is to use this information, 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 is not overwhelming only provides basic information about the company. While that doesn’t seem like enough information to add to a press kit, they have links to more detailed information on their website. If you were a media outlet all you would need to do is download their full media kit from the website.
This press kit gives media outlets some quick background information for shorter mentions. If they wanted more information and deeper insight, they could download the documents from the website.
The Kickstarter press kit is considered to be one of the best startup press kit examples in the industry. 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 the company. To some, it may seem abstract but it gives media outlets that are looking to write pieces about them the freedom they need.
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 to present their latest features in the press as well as their most recent collaborations. 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 if you want to gain exposure for your startup. These documents also allow 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 to help people understand you. However, you don’t want too much information to the point where it gets too overwhelming to read. As with every other type of public relations, you need to know who your audience is and what they are interested in. At the end of the day, these are the people who will help your company emerge in the market.
Did you know that we design branded press kits at Pressfarm?
Do you need help designing a professional, eye-catching press kit? In addition to helping you do this, the experts at Pressfarm can also craft a winning press release and write compelling guest posts for your brand. With this quality content, you can make a name in your industry.
Besides helping you create content that can capture media attention and inspire your target audience, the team at Pressfarm can help you distribute this content widely, thus placing it in front of the right eyes. The Pressfarm team submits your content to respected media outlets and startup directories. In this way, Pressfarm boosts your online visibility and helps you to feature in relevant search results on search engines like Google, Bing!, and Yahoo.
With a custom media list from Pressfarm’s account executive, you can find the best media professionals to help you tell your brand story to the world. In addition, a comprehensive media database of over 1 million journalists across industries can help you to continue doing media outreach for your brand even after Pressfarm is done working on your campaign. Signing up for one of Pressfarm’s affordable packages is the first step in generating the publicity that your brand deserves.