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Does Your Business Need a 'Press Kit?'


Laptop on desk, with image on screen of light emanating from phonebooth
Image by Lalmch from Pixabay

For certain business—for example, in hospitality or retail—where coverage is constant, predictable and/or likely to be uncontroversial, it may very well make sense to have a standalone, downloadable digital press kit, sitting in your press room or even on its own tab.


Your standalone press kit might contain some beautifully formatted combination of:

·         Company information/history

·         Information about leadership or "the team"

·         Mission and value statements

·         Fact sheet/product information

·         Core messaging

·         High-resolution images

·         Audio/video files

·         Infographics

·         Key contacts


But keep in mind that—unless you require some sort of required step, such as registration before a download is technically possible—by posting a standalone press kit online, you are making it easier for reporters to bypass you or your PR team entirely. If that is the point and the goal, great! But it may not always be necessary or advisable.


For example, consider:

  • You won't have the opportunity to screen/vet the opportunity (for example, by following these tips for "Avoiding a Negative PR Outcome.")

  • You won’t even necessarily know that a story is being written about you, let alone what the angle or tone is, until it publishes.

  • You won’t have the chance to possibly clear up any questions, or at least prepare internally for the publication of a story with potentially negative aspects.

  • Even in the friendliest of situations, you are missing out on the opportunity to build relationships with the reporters who cover you, and to send them whatever information they may need with a friendly note and a “I look forward to reading your story!”


If structured correctly, your company’s website itself should already clearly provide the press and anyone else with the key information they will need—e.g., about your company and its history, details on leadership and the team, perhaps your mission and vision, press releases, key media coverage and contact information.


Posting a standalone press kit online makes it easier for reporters to bypass you or your PR team entirely. If that is the point and the goal, great! But it may not always be necessary or advisable.

If a reporter needs anything more than that, and certainly if they are requesting some of your “higher value” digital assets—such as official headshots, other images and files, and especially your business’ official logo files—unless the potential volume and nature of the requests would make this impractical and/or unnecessary, I think it is perfectly fine to invite reporters to reach out to you and ask.


Maintaining some control over at least your higher level press assets makes particular sense for businesses in potentially controversial issues-based areas, but can also be a good practice for consumer product or retail businesses.


Imagine, for example, that a rumor emerges, online, alleging that your product or service has caused some sort of damage. As you are scrambling or possibly even before you are aware, stories (or, at least, social media posts) could start to circulate.


While established, reputable media outlets typically proceed more carefully, and will usually reach out to you first, in this age of social media anyone with a phone is a “reporter” and publisher, and they might be more interested in eyeballs (clicks) than journalistic ethics.


Of course, subject to possible legal action, anyone is free to write whatever they want, with whatever angle, without contacting you first. But you don’t have to hand them your valuable digital assets on a plate, in a way that will enhance their story; imply unwanted access, association or endorsement; and potentially tarnish your brand. Make 'em work (or at least ask) for it!

 

A media kit, on the other hand (or as I refer to and consider it, as something different than a press kit), is something that I do think makes sense to have pre-packaged and self-contained, available for download on your website. I am referring to the document that a publication, for example, might have available on its website for people who are considering advertising. In addition to the general information listed above, media kits typically provide potential advertisers with information about demographics, circulation, sponsorship opportunities and ad rates.


If you would like some help creating your own press kit, assessing whether you might need one, or ensuring that your website sufficiently serves this purpose, reach out to bincubate@zamopr.com.


-Tania Zamorsky

Founder, Zamo PR

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