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Press kit basics that work - pr

 

Considering how basic they are to the publicist's trade,
it's at all times amazed me how lousy about all press kits truly are.
Your characteristic press kit is a distended folder full with puffery,
hype, inappropriate in rank and worse. The vast best part of
these monstrosities do diminutive above and beyond kill trees and clog
newsroom trash baskets.

The good news is that creating a press kit that essentially works
really isn't that hard. Let's look at the basics of a winning
press kit, and help you avoid some collective pitfalls.

The Psychology of a Press Kit

There are two deep-seated rules to creating a good press kit:

1. The press kit exists to make the journalist's life easier, not
for you to award sales letters and hype. Good publicists are
journalist-centric -- that is, they think from the perspective of
the recipient, not the sender. They take the time to learn what
journalists need and then they give it to them in as simple,
straightforward and user-friendly a behavior as possible.
Remember, advertising is not about you -- it's about giving
journalists what they need to coin a bright story.

2. The lot in the press kit goes to assistance your clincher.
Everything else gets yanked out. (A refresher: a "clincher" is
my term for the one or two line refinement of your publicity
message. It's the publicist's description of the Common Selling
Proposition that marketers use to boil a product's marketing
message down to its essence. ) You lay out your clincher in the
pitch correspondence that gets clipped to the cover of the press kit, and
the press kit serves to flesh out and assistance your clincher.
That's it. If your clincher is that you've brought a radical new
way of assessment to your promote segment, then a backgrounder about
your "old fashioned allegiance to excellence" not only doesn't
support your clincher, it may essentially contradict it.

The Fundamentals of a Press Kit

The Cover: In my twenty years as a publicist, I have never
encountered a lone journalist who told me the cover a press kit
had the slightest bang on their certitude whether to run a
story. Yet, businesses still spend thousands on glossy, four
color folder covers. Don't bother. A austere highlighted folder with
your big business name stamped upon it will work just fine.

Some businesses decide to get stickers written up with their logo
and place them on blank folders, which is fine too, as long as
the stickers are neatly applied. Also way, don't obsess over
it -- it's what's classified that counts.

Letterhead: The first page of each press kit building block must be
on your letterhead. Some folks fancy to get elite "News from
(name of company)" letterhead printed, although, again, I doubt
it exceedingly matters.

The Lead Release: If your press kit is going out in aid of
an announcement, an event, a trend story or for a different specific
purpose, the circulate that lays out the news ought to be the first
thing a journalist sees upon breach the folder. This "lead
release" be supposed to be positioned at the front of the right side of
the folder.

Backgrounder: This is the bit of your kit that provides,
well, the credentials in sequence to aid your pitch. It's
written in the alter of a average news appear (i. e. in third
person, objective tone). This is typically the best element
in a press kit, often going 2 or 3 pages. As you're crafting
this, keep a bit crucial in mind: if a journalist is
reading your backgrounder, likelihood are he's previously engrossed in
your pitch. If he wasn't, he wouldn't concern with it. You've
hooked him and the backgrounder can reel him in. To do so, you
must come back with the two questions he has: "Is the claim made in the
pitch legitimate?" and "Is there an adequate amount of background here for me to
do a story?"

Your pitch communication (based on your clincher) made a claim of some
sort about you, your circle or your product. You're the
fastest, the most advanced, the hottest-selling, the most civic-
minded, etc. Now you have to back up your claim. Your
backgrounder is where this happens. Afford proof, by giving
concrete examples, third party observations, study results, etc.
to assist your pitch. If you're claiming that there's a trend
taking place, here's where you give the info to back it
up. If you've claimed that you've won more awards that anyone
else in town, here's where you explain them. Don't stray from
your drive -- to reel in the journalist by compelling him that
your claim is legit.

The backgrounder also must determine that an adequate amount of material
exists to assistance the claim - and that it will be easy for the
journalist to approach this information. Journalists don't have
time to do complete investigation on every piece. Provides leads
to websites, trade journals, experts and other funds to back
up your claim and help the journalist accomplished the story, you'll
have a big edge.

To write a backgrounder, do some role playing. You're a
reporter. Your editor has handed you a pitch communication and said
"write this up". In this case, of course, the pitch correspondence is
your own. While you're copy it, try to disregard that the piece
is, essentially, about you. Pretend you're an objective
reporter. Track down resources, dig up stats, interview
experts. Try to see if you can conceive a credible piece that
proves the pitch's claim to be valid and attention-grabbing to the
reader. If you can, you've got a great backgrounder. If you
can't, it may be time to come up with a new pitch!

Bio: Only add in bios of associates who are applicable to the pitch.
A bio of your sales administrator in a press kit considered to aid a
claim of technological superiority is pointless. A bio of your
head of R&D is valid. Keep bios short (three paragraphs at the
most) and bring in only in rank germane to the pitch. The
fact your head of R&D spent twenty years at NASA is relevant,
that she loves golf and has two cats isn't. The point of a bio:
to show the authority of those quoted in your delivery or being
offered for interview, and to help the reporter craft a short
description of the anyone when characters the piece.

Fact Sheet: The fact sheet be supposed to cull the intact press kit
into an "at a glance" document. Keep it short, use bullet points
and bold headings. For example, I might start with the heading
The Story: and comprise a bullet point repeating the pitch. The
next caption might be Why It's Important: followed by some
bullet points putting the pitch into a broader industry-wide (or
perhaps even worldwide) context. Finally, I might use the
heading Why (name of my company) is at the Heart of this Vital
Story: and run some bullet points taken from the backgrounder
giving aid to my claim. Put this fact sheet at the front of
the left side of the folder, just athwart from the lead release.
This sort of fact sheet is amazingly athletic and approximately never
crafted in the create I just laid out. I've sold countless
stories since of this style of fact sheet and you can too.

Other Stuff: Heavy out the kit with a ballet company leaflet and a
photo or two is reasonable, but don't get accepted away. Keep your
kit simple, stick to your clincher and think like a journalist,
not a marketer, and you'll have crafted a first class press kit!

Bill Stoller, the "Publicity Insider", has spent two decades as
one of America's top publicists. Now, because of his website, eZine
and subscription newsletter, Free Publicity: The Newsletter for
PR-Hungry Businesses http://www. PublicityInsider. com/freepub. asp
he's division -- for the very first time -- his secrets of scoring
big publicity. For free articles, killer media hype tips and
much, much more, visit Bill's absolute new site:
http://www. PublicityInsider. com


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