Tag Archives: public relations

What are the goals of PR anyway?

PR is such a catch-all term in business these days. For some, it means getting into a newspaper by buying ads. For others, it involves social media and blogging. Still others think of PR in more traditional terms involving media coverage in print, online or TV news by “legitimate” reporters guided by an editorial staff.

So who’s right? And what are the goals of PR anyway?

Turns out everybody’s right in some form or fashion – except for the one about buying ads in a newspaper, which (last time I checked) is still called advertising.

The fact is PR impacts brand awareness in so many mediums and formats that it defies easy categorization: blogs, Twitter, magazines, listicles, forums, speaking opportunities, TV news, Facebook, print newspapers, tech trades. The list goes on.

In recent years the lines between PR and marketing have blurred in large part because the Internet has created new ways for a brand to engage with various publics. Ten years ago PR limited its public engagement to the media, which is to say engaging with the media in hopes of getting them to say favorable things about a brand.

Today’s PR professional is as likely to pitch a reporter at the Wall Street Journal as create a series of tweets supporting a product launch in advance of SXSW or write a contributed article for a trade publication.

Whereas marketing is about filling a sales funnel with leads and clicks, PR is about getting a future buyer passionate about a brand after learning about it from a variety of “objective-leaning” sources.

The goals of PR are many but all come back to a desire to grow awareness for a brand by building its credibility, reputation and authenticity. The results of a PR campaign can and should be measurable; as such, included in the definition of PR goals are some of the following:

  • Website clicks: every PR campaign should result in additional clicks to your website or another online assets
  • Social media: there should plenty of social engagement which lead to tweets, Facebook posts likes, LinkedIn visibility, even Instagram likes
  • Traffic: PR can stimulate good old-fashioned foot traffic and phone calls for a retail or services company
  • Speaking: one goal of PR is still to book speaking opportunities as part of a thought leadership campaign
  • Expert quotes: solicited interviews and expert quotes happen when a PR thought leadership campaign creates relationships with media outlets interested in content related to a brand
  • Industry, business and community awards: accolades in the form of awards bolster a brand’s credibility and put it in the eye of potential customers and media.

The last goal of PR is perhaps the most important? Revenue growth!

Caveat: every penny you spend cannot be tied directly to specific leads. You will, however, notice over time an incremental growth in revenue due to the influence PR has on your brand. Nothing fires up interest in a brand, be it a product or a person, like glowing coverage in the news and its corresponding buzz in social media.

The extent to which a brand benefits from PR is always determined by how skillful the PR campaign is built and executed and also by how daring a brand is at courting attention through its various marketing activities.

So now you know that the overarching goal of PR is nothing short of your business’ growth and market domination through the skillful use of stories that media and customers can get excited about.

The next step is up to you.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded Manzer Communications, an Austin PR & content marketing agency for startups and fast-growth businesses in 2009. He specializes in highly integrated PR & inbound marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare, consumer and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. If you have any PR questions about your startup or small biz, feel free to tweet him at @davemanzer or email him at dave(@)manzercommunications.com.

Beck proves he’s no loser, and should be your Brand’s spokesperson

Anybody who didn’t spend four hours to watch the Grammys last Sunday let me summarize the important parts for you:

Beck beat Beyonce out for Album of the Year. Kanye rushed the stage. Beck invited Kanye back to the stage. Kanye recommended Beck give the Grammy to Beyonce (implying Beck was somehow not, despite his writing all of his own music and playing a gazillion instruments for it, a real artist). Beck expressed incredulity at beating Beyonce. Beck said everybody (read Kanye) is entitled to an opinion about his artistic talent, adding Kanye deserved a Grammy for his great work and that he aspires to be as good as him.

There, that’s all you really need to know. Now on to why Beck should be the spokesperson for your brand.

A spokesperson needs to represent the best of what your brand is or can be. In the course of doing business tricky, thorny and emotionally charged issues will confront brands and the brand spokesperson needs to handle them with the aplomb and humility of, well, Beck! A spokesperson should be part Zen master and part ring master in his or her ability to stay calm and articulate, see the big picture, coordinate chaos, all the while making sure the public comes away better for the experience.

Let’s break down Beck as spokesperson, shall we?

Best of a brand: nobody who has followed Beck over the last 20 years can argue that he doesn’t represent the best of the best in the music industry. He’s wildly creative, single-minded in his dedication to his art form, and even achieved a degree of commercial success that many mainstream bands crave – and he’s been far, far away from going mainstream in his career. His ability to play 16 or so instruments is the stuff of legend. Nobody doubts his song writing chops. Now, with Best Album Grammy firmly in hand, he’s represents the best of the best.

Zen master: Beck is probably a distant relative of the Buddha in a prior life or something because that dude totally stayed in the present, letting Hurricane Kanye wash over him like a sandy island in the Caribbean. He’s bounced and weaved – butterfly and bee stuff – to Kanye’s George Foreman. Yet throughout the glitz, glam and stress of the moment, he remained seemingly calm and collected.

Humility: a brand, however great, should never succumb to hubris. Nobody is immune to backlash. Beck handled Kanye’s stage antics and ludicrous affront to his artistry with so much humility that even Pope Frances was taking notes. Instead of getting angry that Kanye questioned his artistry, Beck turned the tables and actually complimented Kanye by saying he deserved Grammys for his incredible body of work over the last five years. Beck actually said he still loves Kanye and aspires to be like him – and nobody for a second doubts this. Why? Because he means it!

Articulate under pressure: this kind of relates to being a Zen master, but staying articulate under pressure is very different from remaining calm. Beck was deeply nuanced in the perception (both his and the world’s) of his unexpected win. He acknowledged its unlikelihood and his own belief that Beyonce, superstar and artist that she is, was the odds on favorite. He also deflected Kanye’s emotionally charged remarks in a moment of grace that bordered on brilliant, bringing to mind a Mom picking up an angry toddler and hugging away the hurt and fleeting fury. By saying Kanye deserved to be on the stage, Grammy in hand, he addressed what’s undoubtedly a personal animus Kanye must feel at being nominated for but never winning the best Album of the Year award (or maybe that’s just my opinion). Either way, like any spokesperson, Beck absorbed the emotions and didn’t react negatively to stoke them even more, rather he gave out compliments and sucked the poison right out of the moment.

Humor: this could also be part of humility but it’s a different mindset. Not that a spokesperson crack jokes in the midst of a crisis involving, say, a jet crash or gas line explosion. But humor is as much an ingredient of great brand positioning as any quality out there, in part because it puts people at ease in what are sometimes awkward or painful situations. Beck’s humor was quirky and organic to his personality so there were no forced funny moments to betray any suppressed anger toward Kanye or lack of sympathy to Beyonce’s disappointment.

What more can I say? Got a brand in need of an expert spokesperson to handle the battering, take-no-prisoner world of commerce? Look no further than Beck.

Plus, I hear he writes a mean commercial jingle!

About Dave Manzer:  Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech & healthcare PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave directly about the PR over Coffee blog, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

What’s the difference between PR and advertising?

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Many small business owners are often left confused and clueless about the difference between PR and advertising. It’s a rare week that passes without me getting asked how my PR services can get some great “ads” in the local news.

It’s nobody’s fault, really. Many entrepreneurs don’t have a background in PR or advertising. They tend to be masters of their own universe, operational geniuses in their own industry – restaurants, consulting services, manufacturing, tech startups, healthcare providers, etc.

So this week’s post will attempt to set the record straight by explaining the differences between publicity – which is the goal of PR – and advertising.

Earned versus Paid Media.

This is a big differentiator. PR is firmly on the earned media side of the equation, which simply means that you do not pay to get your business covered by a media outlet. Publicity is ‘earned’ in that you have to earn the attention of a reporter, editor or producer with a unique story idea about your business. There is no fee involved in getting the media to cover you, apart from what you pay a PR professional or your own internal PR person.

Advertising, on the other hand, is all about paying for media placements. You pay for guaranteed ad space in a newspaper, magazine, TV show, website or, these days, free mobile apps. There’s a lot of art work involved, decisions about when to run the ad, how frequently, etc. As long as you are able to write the checks, you are never going to run out of media outlets that will work with you to help you spread your brand messages.

Facts versus Emotions.

Another difference between PR and advertising involves emotions. Because PR involves convincing journalists and other news media professionals to cover your business, your primary message has to be grounded in “facts” rather than emotions. That’s not to say that a cause related PR campaign – think breast cancer awareness month in October – can’t appeal to emotions; it just has to be as reliant on facts and helpful information for the broader public as it is on emotional triggers. After all, the job of a media outlet is to keep its audience informed, entertained and coming back for more.

Advertising is a lot different in that it can be purely emotional in nature, highly factual or anything in between. The job is not just to inform but also to drive interest about your product or service with the intent to increase sales (or fundraising if you’re a nonprofit). PR’s goal is very similar, of course, but the way it goes about it is fundamentally different. A commercial on TV can show a grandfather with his adorable granddaughter sitting in a chair reading a book with syrupy sweet background music to play on your emotions with a message about financial investments or heart medicine, and viewers will decide whether to tune in or out depending upon their psychographic make-up. A PR pitch with the same tone would undoubtedly turn off most reporters.

Cross your Fingers versus Absolute Control.

Because PR is ‘earned’ and not ‘paid’ media, there is an element of chaos theory at work. In other words, you don’t control the message that is ultimately packaged for consumption by the broader public. It’s firmly in the hands of a reporter, editor or producer, hence the ‘cross your fingers’ element. Still, if you reach out to the right media outlet and reporter, lay your story out in a clear and organized fashion, work hard to make sure the media outlet has all the information (pictures, video, quotes, hard facts, etc.) in a timely manner, then your chances are pretty good that you will net a good piece of publicity. Mind you, that doesn’t mean you will come away smelling like a rose every time! And some reporters take a thesis-antithesis-synthesis approach, meaning that they will present a negative (or counter) point to challenge or question your business approach, and then end with a recap of your ambitions and assertions.

Advertising is a blank canvas and you are the artist. It is virtuous in its ability to give you total control over your message’s elements – color, composition, music, tone. As long as you have the money, you can create any kind of message in any kind of medium. Think Super Bowl ads, which have become the only reason that some tune in to watch the game and cost a cool $4 million for 30 seconds – not including the cost to produce the ad.

Opt-in versus Tune-out.

The main advantage of PR is that information consumers – whether in print, radio, Internet or mobile – are interested in acquiring the information produced by a given media outlet. In other words, they are opting in – think news content found on CNN, TechCrunch and local newspapers and also reality-based entertainment like Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain or locally produced shows like Austin’s Daytripper with Chet Garner. If your tech startup is featured on TechCrunch or Fast Company, then you ARE the focus of what readers want to learn.

Advertising is window dressing around the featured product the media outlet produced. Given the explosion of ads over the past decade plastered over every media imaginable (not to mention inside produced content like TV shows, movies and even novels), it’s no surprise that we consumers have a knee-jerk reaction to tune out the constant assault on our senses. True, some ads do capture our imagination and become a subject of fascination and viral social sharing, but those tend to be few and far between. 99.9999% of all ads are viewed as a necessary evil in our quest to acquire helpful information or entertainment.

Fans versus Sensory Assault Victims.

The beauty of getting publicity in national or hyper-local media outlets is that you become the object of the audience’s attention. In the hands of a good writer or producer in the right media outlet, you can become an overnight success with hordes of fans following your every move on social media and new customers raving about your products or services. Oprah was famous for her ability to rave about a product on her show and generate an avalanche of sales within 24 hours to the extent that some businesses would sell out of inventory overnight. Steven Colbert has his ‘Colbert Bump,’ which is the recognition – often expressed in social media or commercially through sales of books or songs – a particular guest or product gets after appearing on The Colbert Report.

Advertising, on the other hand, is rarely that inspiring to the masses. Every blue moon you may see an ad go viral and get everybody’s interest on social media. It’s incredibly rare and the interest in the ad can be as much about the ad itself as in the product or service. Advertising tends to play on human emotions by manipulating our responses to certain sensory triggers like attractive models in clothing ads, maudlin music in investment commercials aimed at aging Baby Boomers, cute kids smiling and laughing at an amusement park, etc. Some ads are purely promotional in nature and serve to alert consumers to imminent sales: Labor Day sales, Mother’s Day sales, Black Friday sales. Bottom-line: advertising is the white noise in our day that we have to tune out in order to stay sane – or else we risk turning into a gelatinous mass of emotions binging on Sonic milkshakes, ordering Viagra, flipping through Victoria’s Secret catalogs, or God only knows what else.

In summary, both approaches provide incredible value for a brand. The frequency of advertising is a great way to stay top-of-mind among customers and prospects. The newsworthiness of publicity is the meal consumers pay to eat and enjoy.

When used together, PR and advertising provide businesses an opportunity for growth in revenue and brand awareness over time that is hard to match.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer is one of the only agencies in the country specializing in technology, healthcare and energy PR to provide blended performance-based pricing. To contact Dave directly, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

How Is The Wire Relevant Today

Frankenstein2 6 ‘monstrous’ reasons to use the Wire for press releases

I’ve heard it time and time again: the press release is no longer relevant. Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that the press releases are not only relevant, but the results they generate makes them a must-have in today’s fast-changing PR landscape. The elements of a successful press release, however, have evolved into a very different scope than what you may have experienced in the past.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, let me compare the modern press release to Frankenstein – a kind of beast comprised of parts coming from a variety of sources. The highly successful ‘Frankenstein’ press release takes its cues from marketing, advertising, PR, sales, and even SEO. When elements from these various fields are combined and subsequently electrified using the Wire, the resulting press release can accomplish a number of goals for companies of all types and sizes.

Here are six ‘Franken-esque’ ways to make today’s press release distribution via the Wire monstrously effective for your company:

  1. Increase engagement with multimedia: Multimedia press releases are certainly nothing new, but the importance of including some type of visual asset has skyrocketed. It’s no secret that newsrooms staffs are shrinking and journalists are left with much more work to complete in much less time. In fact, Business Wire’s recent media survey proves that 73% of journalists want a photo in addition to a plain-text press release. This means that PR and communications professionals must provide the most complete package possible to appeal to the time-strapped media. Just like an increased impact when multimedia is included in social messages, you significantly increase your chances of securing media coverage if you include a multimedia element that tells your story for you.

 

Some examples of multimedia assets can include executive headshots, product photos, infographics, product demo videos, white papers, FAQ sheets, screen shots, and sound bites. Distributing these multimedia assets across a wire service (like Business Wire) will land them squarely in the laps of those you are targeting most.

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  1. Making Sense of Data: Every company generates data – yes, EVERY company. Whether it is customer demographics, purchasing patterns or results from a survey, data is one of the greatest tools a company has at its disposal. Some of the data you will want to keep proprietary, but other pieces can be repackaged into mentally appealing forms to position yourself as a thought leader.

 

Infographics, as mentioned above, are a fantastic way to present data in a fun and easy-to-digest form. A graphic designer can easily put together an infographic based on data sets, but if you don’t have one of these at your disposal, I recommend Piktochart, Visual.ly or even Canva for you more creative types.

 

You can also compile your data into a white paper, FAQ sheet or informational video. Once you have chosen the vehicle to share your data (wire service, social media, email), the possibilities are numerous as to presentation styles.

 

  1. Showcase Your Thought Leadership: Chances are you have some pretty smart people working at your company or organization. And chances are even better that these smart people have some pretty smart thoughts in regards to your industry. So, your job as the PR person is to wrangle these thoughts and corral them into the pen that is your press release and other marketing content. Thought leadership can be presented through webinars, blog posts, infographics, social media posts and more.

 

New ideas attract attention. Attention brings interest in your company and products. Interest in your company and products can lead to sales. More sales lead to happy CEOs, happy bosses and happy employees. Thought leadership positions your company at the top of your industry while driving traffic to your website or other owned platforms.

 

  1. Jumpstart the Social Media Conversation: Social media has gone from a trend to a mainstay and will likely grow well beyond what it is now. Whenever anything happens in the world, chances are pretty high that you will be able to find at least a few people talking about it on social media. Because personal interests and opinions vary, each person’s social presence is unique and therefore, the news they share about your brand becomes more impactful as it includes their own unique opinions. Whether you know it or not, there are people whose Twitter feeds are full of tweets about your industry. Why be absent from the conversation?

 

Encouraging readers to share your press releases on social media not only enters you into the conversation, but also provides more opportunities for brand discovery. One of the easiest and most effective way of motivating readers to share your release is to insert an easy call to action via ClickToTweet, which allows you to provide fully-approved corporate language for readers to share across their respective social channels. Users simply click the included link and your pre-crafted message is shared instantly.

 

Business Wire allows you to include free links and anchor text within your press release and then sends those links downstream to qualified media, social channels, digital media sites and more. Doing so increases the chances that your content (and links) will be discovered and acted on.

 

  1. Increasing awareness of sales promotions/contests: Press releases are a great opportunity to raise awareness of current sales promotions going on within your company. From social media or traditional giveaway contests to seasonal pricing specials, pushing sales messages via press releases can provide the visibility to make your program incredibly effective, especially if the prize is unique or life-changing.

 

Press releases also allow for more lengthy language, including promotional legal details that can be rushed and garbled in traditional advertising. As non-sexy as this language is, omitting terms and conditions could have damaging implications for your company.

 

  1. Driving traffic to owned content and marketing channels: The best place to promote your business is anywhere you can control the message. Press releases are read by brand fans, so give them a place to go. If you have internal marketing programs such as a newsletter that generates higher conversion rates, include links to join these programs right in your press release. Plus, including links within your press releases can send qualified leads to platforms where your content is exclusive. However, getting consumers to browse your website is only half the battle. Effectively designing your webpages for easy navigation and organic discovery needs to be done before driving traffic to your page.

 

Not only do you want your current and potential customers visiting your website, blog, and social media channels, but you also should focus on pointing media professionals to your online newsroom and, if relevant, online investor relations center. The previously mentioned Business Wire survey highlights company websites and online newsrooms as the two most used sources for media research (92% and 77%, respectively). The importance of having an informative and easy-to-navigate website has never been more apparent.

What other ways do you use Franken-press releases? Let me know at @the_erica_hour.

 

Erica Schuckies is an account executive for Business Wire, located in their Austin office. She works with both private and public companies, as well as Public Relations and Investor Relations firms, to distribute their messages to key stakeholders across the globe. She has a background in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, as well as experience in the non-profit and sports/events sectors. Erica is a board member for the Public Relations Society of America Austin Chapter, as well as a regular attendee of PR Over Coffee.

10 Common Small Business PR Mistakes

imagesSmall businesses and PR are like Oil & Vinegar. They can be at odds, tasting acidic and unctuous without accomplishing anything special; or they can be vigorously combined and result in a unique product that pleases the palate and makes the mealtime more memorable.

Okay, call me a hopeless foodie with that comparison – but it’s accurate. Small business PR can help small businesses in many surprising ways, but it can also fall short of its true potential and leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Here are some common mistakes small businesses make when contemplating and executing PR:

  1. Fail to plan for success: perhaps the most common mistake made, and one that can be rectified with just a little strategic planning. Some small businesses approach PR like it’s a one-and-done event rather than an ongoing component of a marketing strategy.
  2. Give up too easily: sometimes when small businesses do decide to use PR and they don’t see any immediate results (e.g., an article about them in the local newspaper), they may dismiss PR as ineffective or just not applicable to their particular business.
  3. Fail to experiment: when at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Many small businesses fail to tinker with PR until they find the right formula for success.
  4. Ignore or miss current trends: sometimes the best opportunities for media coverage are trending in today’s news. Because many small businesses are so busy, they often miss golden opportunities to promote themselves to the local (or even national) news media.
  5. Forgetting social media: while social media is not the same as PR, failing to do both is a critical error. So many businesses miss out on integrating a PR message with messages on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  6. Confuse marketing with PR: a lot of business owners do their own marketing, which means they may occasionally confuse marketing and PR when it comes time to write a news release and communicate with reporters.
  7. Think PR is only about a press release: thanks in part to online distribution websites like PRWeb, the press release (or news release as it’s often called by marketers) has become a popular way to communicate with customers and prospects – NOT, however, to the news media.
  8. Unrealistic expectations: think you should be on Dr. Phil, CNN or the Wall Street Journal? Thinks again.
  9. Missing the singles: many business owners fail to make the easy “singles” that can get them incremental media coverage and instead swing for the fences only to strike out each time.
  10. Neglect the trades & blogs: business owners also overlook a potential goldmine of referrals that can come from getting mentioned in industry trades or blogs. These specialized vertical media outlets are often hungry to learn about new innovations and news in general, so ignore them at your own peril.

So enough bashing on small businesses! The good news is that they are only mistakes, and we can all learn from our mistakes, right?

It’s time to take a new, fresh look at PR and start owning it like we do at PR over Coffee everyday! Your business will never look the same if you do.

Got some good suggestions you want to share? Leave a comment below or feel free to visit the PR Over Coffee Facebook page and leave your thoughts (don’t forget to like us)!

Anatomy of a Press Release

A press release is a written communication piece typically between 1-2 pages in length that consists of a straight-forward portrayal of information about a company, event, or person. It is a formulaic communication between an organization and the news media, as well as stake holders such as customers, shareholders, volunteers, etc. The ultimate goal of a press release is to influence the perception of the organization by the public.

What follows is a description of the parts that make up a press release. By understanding the “anatomy” of a press release, you will be better able to write them and persuade interested parties to take action.

press release parts

As you can see from the graphic, an inverted pyramid best describes how much time you should spend on each part of your press release! In other words, spend more time on the headline as it is what sets the “hook” in your reader; the PR contact info and Boilerplate should take the least amount of time.

  • Headline: This is where you will really capture the reader’s attention. Use action verbs, relate it to a trending news story, and use keywords to make sure your release is helping your SEO strategy.
  • Sub-Headline: The headline and sub-headline should tell 80% of the story. Use the sub-headline to provide a supporting fact that grabs attention, but make sure to save the most important fact for the actual headline.
  • Intro Paragraph: This is where you continue to hook the reader and add some quick info – it’s a summary of your whole press release. Mention the company name immediately. Be specific and keep the intro to two sentences over no more than 3-4 lines. Be sure to either embed (anchor text) or use a direct URL that links back to your website’s home page or to an appropriate landing page.
  • Main Body: The part where you really flesh out your intro paragraph and add on key facts. Keep the each paragraph short, no more than 4-5 lines if possible, for readability. For best results, include a quote from a company or nonprofit representative, as well as one from 3rd party if applicable. Also, include a call-to-action at the end of the body to prompt readers to act. Include a URL for about every 100 words so your releases are not seen by the search engines (and readers) as thinly veiled SEO vehicles.
  • About Us (“Boilerplate”): A quick about us section that just gives the reader a short summary of what your company is about. Be short and brief, no more than 5-6 lines. This part should focus on an overall description of your business from a strategic perspective. Don’t overdo it on the fact, though. Keep it high-level. Another URL for your company is appropriate here.
  • PR Contact Info: This is where you provide all of the contact information and links for journalists or readers to use to contact you. Without this, you will make it a lot harder for a journalist to write about your latest news.

That’s it! A press release stripped down to the bare basics.

With all of that – plus a few hours of blood, sweat, and tears – you will have your very own press release to share with customers, prospects and media outlets. They will be putty in your hands!

Have any other tips you’d like to share about press releases? Post them on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded his own PR firm in Austin in 2009 as one of the only PR firms in the country to provide performance-based PR pricing. Dave Manzer PR and Marketing helps startups and emerging growth companies become recognizable brands through innovative, value-driven PR campaigns, PR stunts, blogging and ghost writing. He also launched PR over Coffee to provide small business PR advice so that entrepreneurs and startups could practice “DIY” PR and promote themselves to a much wider audience. For more information about Dave or PR over Coffee, email info(@)PRoverCoffee.com.

What Is A Press Kit and Does My Small Business Need One?

While a press kit won’t automatically increase your chance of getting media coverage, it does make it easier for a journalist interested in writing about you. And, by the way, making a journalist’s life easier is never a bad idea.

imagesMost small businesses are not very familiar with what a press kit is and how it comes in handy, so here is a quick run-down to help you decide if one is appropriate for your company:

Press kit explained

A press kit has everything journalists need to cover your pitch – right at their fingertips. The kit includes all necessary information about your company, its founders or management team, your news pitch, clients, etc. It also includes possible quotes for the journalist to use, product or service information, photos, historical information, or relevant key info relating to the topic at hand. Think of it as a bundle of important facts and notes for media outlets to quickly grasp what your company does and what makes it newsworthy.

Who can use a press kit?

Many kinds of businesses could benefit greatly from having a prepared press kit at the ready. Some of them include:

  • Pre-money and post-money tech startups seeking media coverage to enhance fundraising
  • Consumer product goods (CPG) companies interested in glossy magazine write-ups
  • Emerging growth companies expanding to new locations and adding employees
  • Innovative retailers with dreams of getting consistent news coverage
  • Tech companies launching new software or hardware products that may require more background information than a press release
  • Commercial real estate development companies in the habit of buying land for developments
  • Restaurants or food trucks with a cult following and chance of getting featured on the Food Network

Other uses of a press kit

  • Charity event to benefit a foundation
  • Museums of all kinds
  • New downtown condominium
  • Opening of a new entertainment venue or sports arena
  • Celebrities, rock bands and public officials

Worried you’re just a small business so you may not need one? Actually press kits are a great way to communicate what you do and share your “founder’s story” with all kinds of interested parties: media, customers, prospects, even job seekers. So don’t think small equates to insignificant or uninteresting in the eyes of the public.

Plus, with a press kit, you will have something of substance to share with a prospective journalist to make their job of writing about you even easier. What’s not to like about that?

Do you have any other clever ideas of how to use a press kit? If so, then feel free to share a comment below or leave one on our Facebook page!

To learn about our upcoming small business PR meetups, please visit our PR over Coffee website at: www.PRoverCoffee.com.

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