Press kits help to make your company more accessible to journalists. Whoever is reporting on your company should be able to open a press kit, and find all the background data necessary to write a proper story. And when a journalist comes to realize you’ve curated your company’s information all in one place, they’re likely to be very, very happy. You’ve just made their jobs a whole lot easier.
Some may believe a press kit is a quick-to-assemble collection of company materials. Just throw in some photos and you’re good to go, right? Well, not quite. There’s plenty of things you need to consider before making a press kit available to the media, such as in what tone you’ll write the materials, and in what format you’ll present them in (on a flash drive, in an online folder or – perhaps best – on your website). But even more, you need to think about what specific materials you’d like your press kit to contain. Here are the five things you absolutely need to include for a top-notch press kit.
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1. Your mission
A mission statement should answer four questions. Forbes outlines these as; what you do, how you do it, whom you do it for, and what value you’re bringing to the table.
But remember: don’t over complicate it. While some companies have academically-worded and almost-cryptic mission statements, these really aren’t valuable to the press at all. Journalists want to read ones that are easy-to-understand.
So why is a mission statement important to include in a press kit?
It helps journalists to determine your value as a company, and more, what impact you have on your customers and industry. It also makes your company more interesting. For example, if your company provides an accountancy service, but your mission statement cites you aim to be the first 100 million dollar female-led startup in South Africa, you’re likely to get more attention from the media. Check out some billion dollar company’s mission statements here.
2. Company overview
A company overview tells a journalist exactly what your business does. It should include a company profile, information on when the company was founded, where it is based, and how the company serves its customers. If there’s a unique founding story, include that in an overview too. Ideally, the whole thing should fit into 300 words or less.
Again, this all needs to be written in clear, non-cryptic language – especially if the company is more tech or science focused. There’s no need to dumb down your company’s solution, but writing in an easy-to-understand manner just means your company is more accessible to the media and general public.
Check out Netflix’s company profile, for example:
“Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 81 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.”
Notice how there’s no talk of complicated algorithms, intense data collection, or the system’s back-end? The profile states what Netflix does is simple terms, making it painless to comprehend on first read.
A company overview is important to include in a press kit because it summarizes all the basic facts about your company. It saves journalists from having to ask for basic information in interviews, allowing them to spend time on more important questions.
3. Founder bios
A founder’s bio should state their current role at the company, previous work history, awards they’ve received, links to social media accounts, and any other relevant information a company is able to fit in about 300 words.
If the company has a small team, this page could also feature bios for all team members, and company stakeholders, too. However the more bios a company includes, the shorter each should be. Don’t overload a journalist with personal information. If they’re interested in someone’s past and experience, they’ll do their own research via LinkedIn – or simply request an interview and ask deeper questions then.
4. Press releases, media coverage and awards
This is where you get to show off your company’s achievements. In featuring the awards you’ve received, your company appears credible. The same goes for media coverage – it shows your company is worth writing about, because other journalists took the time to do so, too.
Press releases on the other hand, are important to include in a press kit because they keep journalists up to date on company happenings. And if they’re profiling your company, they won’t need to browse the web to learn about what your company’s been up to. Your press kit presents past company announcements neatly before them.
You can’t have a press kit without multimedia. In fact, it could be said journalists use press kits most for the multimedia content. It needs to include photos, links to social media accounts, and company-made videos if you have them. The photos should be pretty diverse. Include everything from logos, photos of the product, team photos, founder headshots, to photos of when the company went public. Videos aren’t necessary, but are a nice touch and could feature a product demo or an interview with the founder.
It’s important that your multimedia content is accessible to the media. Make sure it’s easily downloadable from your website and make clear journalists have the rights to legally use them, like how Slack has done with their brand guidelines. Even more, be sure the photos and video are high quality and high resolution – enough to be featured on a television news broadcast.
Press kits give journalists the resources to write about your company. But even more, they prove to journalists you’re serious about getting media coverage. Assembling them certainly takes some thought, but even the most simple press kits can be the most effective. Just check out Spotify, Uber, and Airbnb’s press kits for some inspiration. As even startups are capable of assembling quality press kits, include this key information and your company will soon be on its way to receiving some brand-altering media coverage.
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