An effective public relations campaign needs more than just the occasional press release to be a success. A media kit, or press kit, can be a vital tool to help get your business name out there and like the campaign itself, it doesn’t need to costly in order to be good. (A media kit is especially useful for businesspeople who serve businesses.)
Items included in a typical media kit are:
Photograph of business owner(s).
Business card of owner or public relations manager.
Synopsis of company history.
Description of products or services provided by the business.
A listing of awards the company has received.
Copies of newspaper or magazine articles about your business.
Written testimonials from satisfied customers / clients.
Sales letter addressed to the individual or company to whom you are sending the kit.
All this material should be neatly tucked into a folder with pockets, displaying your company name and logo on the front cover.
Rules to help stop the presses
Winning over customers is one thing; marketing your business to hardened members of the media is quite another. You’ll need to master the following rules to help make your business a household name:
Think like a journalist. Think about how the issues your business deals with relate to front-page news, and pitch your story in that way.
Know your stuff. Reporters deal with facts. Make sure you have some and that they’re accurate and pertinent to the media you’re targeting. Think of every question a reporter might ask, and have answers prepared.
Speak to your audience. If you’re talking to a business reporter, use numbers – dollar growth, financial projections. TV and photo editors understand visuals, so use phrases such as “picture this” to better communicate your ideas.
Establish a news hook. Define something you do that nobody else does. Some business owners believe reporters should do stories on them because they serve good food or provide good service. That’s like writing about a flight that didn’t crash. If you own a restaurant, you’d better be serving good food, and if you deliver a service, you should be striving for excellence.
Be conscious of reporters’ schedules. This is particularly important in dealing with newspapers and radio or TV news departments.
Cultivate a trusting relationship with the press. If a reporter needs information, get it to him as soon as possible. The easier you can make their job, the more they’ll want to deal with you.
Know who competes with whom. Don’t pitch the same story to two competing publications or stations – you may lose credibility with one or both.
Ask for referrals. If one reporter turns you down, ask if anyone else at the media outlet would be interested.
Show appreciation. When a reporter does a story on your business, thank him or her by phone call or card.
Treat the media with respect. Reporters regularly move from one publication to another. The junior reporter you snub today could be the editor of a national publication tomorrow.