Getting your brand featured in a major publication or website is the ultimate goal for most organisations. However, regulating the information that is publicised is a daunting task in the digital age where information is exchanged and shared across multiple platforms.
Having a structured and well defined go-to place for company information has therefore never been more important. While press kits are by no means a new concept, the information that they should include and the way this information can be represented has advanced considerably.
Create a press kit designed for the digital age and you give journalists, bloggers, customers or anyone interested in learning more about the organisation, a one-stop source for everything they need to know in a way that is attractive, accurate and in sync with the organisation’s objectives.
Press kits were originally pre-packaged sets of promotional materials created to support press release distribution. Gone are the days when a folder containing endless leaflets, CDs and a free USB stick is considered a valuable resource. This is because the way we consume information has evolved, and with it so must the press kit.
The press kit should continue to be a showcase of the brand’s best work, an accumulation of the best stats, a narrative of the best employees and a parade of its best clients. But today it is also about how this information, with the help of the right tools, is presented and communicated to digital savvy audiences.
Identifying where the press kit fits into the brand’s website is the first place to start. While the ‘About Us’ section is often found in the main navigation menu of websites, press kits are commonly found in the footer. There are many variations to the term press kit such as media kit, media, media centre, company, press etc. More recently, with the rise of online newsrooms, many companies including Dell, McDonald’s and Lego, have incorporated the key elements of their press kits within this section.
The aim is to make it easy for journalists to introduce your organisation into their story – this ensures that the message going out is the right one.
What to include
The Company Overview
Today a brand is present across many different platforms adorning various avatars to suit the environment they are in. The tone of the company’s Facebook profile can be drastically different from the tone of its ‘About Us’ page on the official website. It is therefore important to clearly define what the business is about in the press kit in a manner that you would like to see published. As always, be specific. Descriptions such as ‘a leading brand in the fashion industry,’ for example, does not specify if the company is a retailer, designer or merchandiser.
Quoting facts and figures is important – and is often what journalists are looking for to add substance to their story. Details such as the latest financial results, number of clients in the business portfolio, the number of branches, how the company ranks within the industry and employee strength, are some of the key facts that make it into a story while also providing a strong background for potential customers. Can you add an infographic?
Logos and Pictures
Adding the right visuals to a press kit makes it much easier for the press to access and moreover, gives your story more prominence in the publication or website. This is also an area where PRs can use digital media to their advantage and get really creative about how they portray the business. Having different image categories such as product, management, awards and logos, branches, advertisements, events and CSR helps journalists choose from an array of pictures that best suit the nature of the story they are writing. Adding videos and making things more interactive can boost visibility and promote sharing.
Further, by giving users the option to choose the size of the image (high resolution, medium or low) you not only add more flexibility but also make it more likely that your image is the one that they can use on deadline – cutting out the back and forth with media professionals on image size requirements.
While profiling every member of the company in the press kit can work for smaller organisations, for the bigger brands it is sufficient to list just the senior management and the company spokesperson. Headshots with the managers’ names, titles, contacts and professional information is key. You can also use video to make this section more interactive and personal. Listing social media profiles helps readers learn more about the team and assists in building the company’s social profile.
You could simply list recent achievements and press coverage or make it more attractive by adding screen shots and linking to the article or event in which the company appeared. This is also helpful for anyone looking to learn more about the company’s history and the news it is making.
Clients and Projects
The press kit can be used to showcase some of the best work the business is or has been involved in. It’s a good place to name drop some high-profile client names the company has worked with and show the outcome of the partnership. For potential clients, this is social proof that other companies trust the work this business does, giving them a fair idea on what they can expect from signing up.
Adding testimonials and linking back to case studies supports the claims made here.
So now that your press kit is ready, what do you need to do to make sure it doesn’t just sit on your website? Distribute and market it right. Identify the publications you want to get coverage in and time distribution around some news that you would like to get out there. Investing in a media database will help PRs get access to journalists and understand which publication/reporter can best cover the story you have to tell.
While printed press kits are becoming obsolete, they continue (with the lure of freebies) to be a prominent part of trade shows and conferences as marketing collateral.
Companies need to make sure the aim for these printed press kits is to, after a cursory glance, avoid landing up in the bin but instead direct traffic on to the website. Including a quiz, an online poll or a giveaway are some ways to motivate users to move online where, hopefully with the help of this white paper, your digital press kit is ready with more to offer.
Investing in a media database will help you get access to journalists and understand which publication/reporter can best cover the story you have to tell. This can be expensive so alternatively, contact us to share our expertise and resources.