Visit Boutique Up!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Dish on Press Kits, PART ONE

With spring comes the fresh opportunity to promote your product or business. And, it seems this time of year seems to generally jump-start interest in hitting promotions hard, and a common question comes up over and over again: "What is a press kit and how do I make one?"

A press kit comes in many forms and can be called different things; media kit, or pitch kit, and has many purposes. A press kit can be used to generate media interest in your product or business, and is useful in pitching your product for garnering wholesale/retail interest. I also know of artists who have used a press kit to gain entrance to exclusive craft and art shows, and also when pitching artistic pieces to galleries and museums for exhibition.

If you're trying to gain some business exposure and/or sell more product at wholesale, a press kit really is a must. So, what components make up a complete kit? Well, this can vary a bit based on what you are selling or what your business speciality is. But, some main components remain the same:

  • A company biography
  • A cover letter introducing yourself or your business. Also called a 'pitch letter'.
  • A current press release
  • A profile of business services offered or a line sheet (sell sheet) of products you are promoting

Additionally, some businesses may choose to include the following when pitching the media:

  • A question & answer sheet for interview purposes
  • A fact sheet about your business or product
  • A head shot of you or your CEO, whoever is the 'voice' of the company and acting as the representative to be contacted on your company's behalf.

Each piece plays it's own role in presenting your business.

Cover Sheet: This is often your initial point of contact; your pitch to gain a reader's attention and make them want to know more about your business.

Company/Personal Bio: This tells the history of your company, or your own story as related to your business. A bio not only displays how the company started, the inspiration behind it and often the timeline of your business creation, but it can weave a very interesting and personal story of how and why this business or product was created.

Press Release: A current press release acts as the current announcement as related to your business and provides current information which can be used by your reader. For instance; say you have a recent press release announcing the launch of your company. This will provide the reader immediate information about your business and what you do. This is helpful, especially for the media, because it gives them something to work from.

Line Sheet or Services Profile: Basically, this is a sheet that outlines what product(s) you are selling, specifics about the product(s), and pricing as related to your reader. For a service-based business, creating a services profile outlines exactly what your business does.

Fact Sheet: A fact sheet provides a very quick look at targeted information about your product or business. This is a great tool for highlighting very specific selling points about what you are offering.

Question & Answer Sheet: A Q&A sheet provides a guide for media persons to follow during a potential interview.

Creating a press kit isn't something you should tackle yourself if you are not comfortable writing, or just don't welcome the thought of having to create professional content about your own business. Because the media and wholesale markets are often flooded with press kit inquiries, you want to be sure your content and presentation are as professional as possible. This does not mean that you can't step out of the box and place a very unique spin on your press kit, or give it a funky, original tone. You want your kit to be a representation of you, your business and personal or branding style. However, no matter what you do, be sure the end result is always professional, easy to read, well written and highly presentable.

Asking a professional, like Creative Writing Studios, to create your press kit is a best bet if you're not willing or able to do it yourself.

PART TWO will discuss how to package your press kit, how to create an electronic press kit and what the heck to do with it once it's done.

No comments: