By Lauren Mackenzie
We’re well into the Trade show and Expo season and if you’re exhibiting at any of the thousands taking place, you need to have a comprehensive press kit.
However, with the upsurge in the use of online “virtual” press or media rooms, the decision to go with a printed or digital press kit is a definite shade of grey.
But don’t abandon your printed version just yet.
It’s a very versatile item in your marketing arsenal. Not only is it a tangible and visible reminder of your company when it’s sitting on someone’s desk, it can be tailored to lots of other uses.
I’ll explain more later.
So why do you need a press kit and what do you put into it?
The purpose of the kit is to give journalists’ enough facts and background information to pique their interest in your company. Make them curious enough to ask more questions and it might lead to them writing a story on your products or service.
It represents you, your image, your brand, your company culture, your products or services and to be effective, it needs to glow brightly in that huge pile of kits in the Show press lounge.
PRINT PRESS KIT
When creating your printed press kit, focus on four key areas:
1 Design and packaging of the kit
- Use a design that keeps the contents secure
- Make sure it’s large enough to hold everything you want to put in the kit
- Consider having it professionally designed
- Make sure it’s branded with your logo and company name
- Use high-quality paper stock
- Value-rich, easy to read and on point- no fluff
- Use headings, subheads, sidebars and callouts for important details
3 Clear, factual, easy to understand information
- Use graphics to highlight specific data
- Bullet points and lists make it easy to skim read
- Fact check all the data – and that includes the correct spelling of names, titles and links
4 Showcasing your brand, your organization and what your business stands for
- Over to you. As your brand’s chief evangelist, you know best how to do this.
- Very Important Piece, which is why it’s top of this list and should be on yours too
- A one-page sheet of names, phone numbers and email addresses for main contacts e.g. the people in your organization responsible for talking to the media
If possible, include someone who can be contacted outside traditional working hours, giving their availability or voicemail option. Being a journalist can be a 24/7 job when covering breaking stories or news, so offering a contact outside normal hours is very helpful.
Overview of your organization
- Basic description – think how you’d describe it to someone who didn’t know it
- Founding date
- Potted history or timeline
- Mission statement or the reason for its existence
- Number of employees
- Demographic data
- The team who worked on the product or service you’re showcasing
- The Board or Executive leadership group
- Include professional headshots of everyone
- Keep all bios short, interesting and relevant
Product or Services information
- Technical details for new products
- What your new service is all about
- Launch dates
- Usable quotes from key team members
- Samples of printed marketing material
- Case studies – if your product or service is already on the market
- Provide high resolution prints – color and black & white versions. They must be high-res to look good when reproduced in print publications
- Your team
- Your products or services – with descriptive captions
- Your logo – with guidelines on its use
- Your studio or office
- Group staff photo
In addition to providing prints, you can include a CD of images.
IMPORTANT: Journalists love good images for their stories but if there are copyright restrictions attached to any of your images, you must make it clear what they can and cannot be used for.
- Your latest Annual Report
- Current newsletter
- Photos and write-ups on recent awards
- Clips of recent media coverage – it shows what’s been written previously and helps journalists develop a different angle
- Client list – mention if they can be contacted for comments
- FAQ list
- CD of video or audio clips
DIGITAL PRESS KIT (or EPK – Electronic Press Kit)
On your website media page:
- Have digital versions of the printed kit contents listed above
- Make high-res and low-res JPEGs available, accurately named for easy sourcing
- Include Logo images – with guidelines on how to (and how not to) use it
- Give fast access with a button or link from your home page to the media page
- Make sure your media page or section is easy to navigate and search
Extras you can add (here are the goodies I mentioned at the beginning)
- Promotional videos
- Podcasts and recordings of webinars
- Additional images of events, speeches, award presentations
- Website links to articles, reviews
- Animated GIFs
- Screenshots of anything you feel is important e.g. special artwork or packaging design
Whole Foods has a stunning online media page offering individual media kits for company initiatives, food products, their mission and new stores. There’s also a very detailed Resources section along with a side bar of facts & figures.
Northrop Grumman has links from their online media page to nine separate sections making it easy to find information, images, social media blasts etc.
OTHER USES FOR YOUR PRESS KIT
By simply changing the contents, your kit can be tailored to other events e.g. new product launches, sales awards, competition entries, major talks or conference presentations.
Meet someone at an event or get chatting to a fellow passenger on a plane and they ask for more information on your services? Send them a copy of your press kit, making sure it contains details on their particular area of interest.
If you’re trying to get your foot in the door of a particular customer and you don’t like cold calling, send them a lightweight version of your press kit.
Strip it down to:
- Product or service information sheets
- Contact details
- Company factsheet
With many companies now solely using digital campaigns to generate leads, sending a mini press kit by snail mail could be a novel way to make you stand out above the crowd.
MORE PRESS KIT EXAMPLES
Adobe includes all the information you could possibly want on the company from fast facts to their corporate responsibility statement and even a few case studies. They include information on their products, the key movers & shakers of the company and financial data. All this is available online with downloadable PDFs for everything.
Moo gives a lightweight option with only contact information for their PR team – you have to get in touch to get information for an article or review. They do offer press releases and downloads of their products.
A Design Award – fabulous selection of press kits for product and industry design competitions
Lauren Mackenzie is a freelance business writer helping SMBs create value-rich content that gets them noticed.
Image credits: Under consideration.com/ Dead As We Know It Design team / Image: NOTCOT Dry Creative Tumbleweed / Tracey Buxton / A Cottage Industry C Hope Clark Whole Foods Northrop Grumman