The Myth of the Press Kit
First a quick press kit overview, a press kit generally consists of a two-pocket folder in which you include your press release, fact sheet, and a biography on yourself and your company. You can also include a photo, some graphics, statistics, visuals, a brochure, a sample list of questions, and a Rolodex card. Some companies include buttons, audio tapes, video tapes, booklets, whistles, trinkets, and all sorts of knick-knacks. You name it and someone has jammed it into a press kit. There are companies that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on extravagant, expensive press kits.
Trouble is most press kits get tossed in the circular file as soon as they arrive at the editor’s or producer’s desk. Most don’t make it past the secretary. A press kit’s travel itinerary generally goes something like this – your office, post office, media outlet office, trash can.
Press kits can cost thousands of dollars, which can translate into a hefty profit for many public relations companies. I’m sure that I’ll probably be at odds with most other media relations professionals, but I find most press kits to be a waste of time and money. They’re expensive and usually don’t do the job they’re intended to do. I’ve found that press kits are generally ego-oriented. People want to make a splash. They want to look good. They want to keep up with the competition. Often the head of a company will see a competitor’s press kit and immediately demand that his creative department create one that’s glossier, snazzier, and thicker. But the bottom line is, why do you want a press kit?
Press kits can be invaluable when making presentations to clients, or for internal public relations, but think twice before sending them to the media. And never send a press kit out as your first contact. If the media requests to see a press kit, by all means send one. That’s when they should be used and can be effective. But, don’t send out a hundred press kits at random, don’t send them if they haven’t been requested and never send a press kit to inappropriate media.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2006