Your Press Kit
Several of my clients have been in the news lately. One of them gets amazing coverage through the local and national news media … and the other is regularly interviewed by magazines, newspaper articles and the news media.
HOW you get this kind of coverage is the topic of a different post (to come) … but before you start looking for publicity you should have all your media information in one place, so that when you get asked, you are ready.
All the information you collect should go in your “Press Kit” … which is a collection of material you use to “sell” yourself to the media. You may send the whole Press Kit to some members of the media, and only “parts” of your Kit to others. Having everything you need in one place will save you loads of time, money and stress!
Having your Press Kit ready and up-to-date at all times will help you get more interviews. Most members of the media are on tight deadlines, when they want something, they want it NOW … not two days from now.
Your Press Kit should consist of:
1. A really FABULOUS headshot of yourself. This should be available in several resolutions … from a high resolution version that can be used by the print media, to a lower resolution version that can be used on websites.
2. IF you are promoting a product, you need some great photos of your product … a few different shots, different sizes and a choice of high resolution and web resolutions.
3. You need a well written BIO, this should include information about yourself and your company. These could be combined, or totally separate. i.e. a company profile/bio and your personal profile/bio. You MUST include your personal bio at a minimum. The media is interviewing YOU, not your company!
4. Depending on the media coverage you are looking for, you should include a Question/Answer Sheet. These are most often used on radio interviews. I’ve had radio hosts go down my list of questions and ask every single one of of my questions, in the order I’ve presented them. Q&A Sheets are more appropriate to promoting a book, or a service, or a cause vs. “breaking news” coverage.
A few tips for creating a great Q&A Sheet:
- Write the questions in the order that makes sense. Think of a story … beginning, middle, end.
- Give a one sentence summary of where the answer is going (if not apparent from the question) AND how long it will take. For example: This is either a 3 point answer (30 seconds) or can be expanded to a 5 point answer (2 minutes). This gives your host the ability to make better choices on the questions s/he chooses.
- Put asterisks beside the most important points. That way you make sure all the basics are covered.
5. A list of “been there, done that” media coverage. Radio and TV hosts will love you “more” IF you have some kind of experience. They are afraid of getting a dud interviewee who freezes or answers with one word or 5000 words. IF you don’t have any experience, get friends to “interview” you so that you feel more comfortable with the process.
6. “Tear Sheets” of previous coverage. Tear sheets is a term that originated “way-back-when” you actually tore a newspaper or magazine article out of the publication … and then included it in your physical Press Kit. Today’s electronic version of a tear sheet is either a screen shot, or a scanned copy of the article or coverage. Attach this as the last section of your Press Kit. How many? As many as you have … up to dozens. If you have hundreds, choose the best and most current.
What Format Should Your Press Kit be in?
Your press info should be available in a variety of formats and should be able to fit the requirements of the media source making the request.
For example, you could get a request to “only send PDF” or “I need a microsoft word doc” or “please send everything WITHIN the email … we don’t open attachments” or “just tell me where I can get the information online.”
1. Include the separate elements of your Press Kit on your website (either one “media” page or a media section.
2. Bundle everything up (except the photos) into a PDF file. Send the photos as a separate attachment.
3. Create a .doc file. Again, the photos should be a separate attachment.
4. Create an email version.
Put all the information into ONE place on your computer, so you can easily change and update it … and always have the most current version available to send.
Your final task should be to create a “template” email which includes an introduction, a description of what is in the attached Press Kit, and ALL your contact information.
Make all of this look as professional as possible. You are probably looking at two skill sets here: your webmaster or online designer, and a print designer or layout artist. Believe me … it makes a BIG difference to have a fabulous looking and professional Press Kit!