How To Build A Press Kit & Media Room

A press kit and media room are great tools for alerting the media about the launch of a new business or product. The design and voice of the material should reflect what it represents, while maintaining a professional appearance. While the package should be unique, there are guidelines governing what material should be contained within the folder. Here are the basics.

• Press Release. This is a document that provides specific details. What is it about? Who is involved? When will it happen? Why is it important? Be compelling, answer the basic questions, and provide contact information so interested editors and writers can request additional material.

• Bio Sheet. A one-page profile of each individual involved should be included in the press kit. Give a synopsis of the person’s role in the project, the educational and professional experience that qualifies them for the job, and a persuasive glimpse of their unique contribution to the endeavor.

• Photographs. Publications use art to break up the gray of type and make pages more visually appealing. Provide a black-and-white glossy photo of the key players, the product, the company’s offices, or the ground-breaking ceremony, for instance. Write a brief photo caption that identifies the subject so editors aren’t left guessing or scrambling for the information on deadline.

• Backgrounder. This is a historical account of developments leading up to the current moment. It can be written as a chronological list of facts from inception to the present, or a narrative highlighting significant developments. This is the place to include all relevant facts and figures.

• Company brochure. This can be included in addition to, or in place of, the backgrounder sheet.

List of reviews. Include a sheet listing all articles, interviews, broadcast clips, and online publicity relating to the product, company, or principles. Also include a reproduction of one or two of the best clips available.

Building an online media room offers immediate availability of press material. This page on your website is set up just like a press kit and can include links for the same materials found in the press kit.

In some cases, an online media room is all you need. It’s convenient, as the press can access it any time of day; it’s more affordable, as there are no costs for materials and shipping; and it’s also environmentally friendly, as there is no paper used.

An online media room is also interactive. A business owner can link to video clips of interviews, provide mp3 downloads of audio interviews, and allow access to digital files of photographs.

The press kit and media room are both essential tools in generating “buzz” about a product, service, or event. The small investment of time can lead to invaluable publicity.

Crissy Herron

Crissy Herron is the founder of Indie Biz Chicks. She is the self-described "World's Best Aunt," loves Motion City Soundtrack, is awesome in the kitchen, and is a proud resident of The Mitten State. (that's Michigan, by the way.) And, oh yeah, she used to live in Alaska. (she likes the cold.)

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