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How to Build a Press Kit for Your Small Business

How to Build a Press Kit for Your Small Business

Press kits make great marketing tools for small businesses, no matter what your industry or niche. Everyone from the freelancer to the salon owner can use a press kit as a sort of company curriculum vitae for inspiring media interest and catching the attention of customers and investors.

Your press kit needs to be an attention grabber, so make it exciting. If you’re not a graphic designer or copywriter, we strongly recommend splurging a little on your press kit so you give the best possible impression of your business.

Anatomy of a Press Kit

Depending on the type of business you operate you should consider including all of the following items in your press kit:

Sales Letter

Also called a pitch letter, this is your chance to make a good first impression and explain why your products and services are must-haves. If this document is missing a call to action, you’re doing it wrong!

Press Releases

Include one or two newsworthy items that can easily be picked up by an editor or writer. The emphasis here is on “newsworthy.” Press releases should not read like a sales letter.

Business Cards

Stick in one or two business cards — one for the recipient and at least one additional card for sharing.

Product or Service Reviews

Are people saying good things about your business or your company? Collect and compile a one-page sheet of reviews and testimonials; positive chatter lends credibility to you and your business.

Professional Bio

This piece of collateral is a must for one-person outfits, but may also be an appropriate piece for all founding members. If a bio isn’t a good fit, consider adding a company background or company history piece.

FAQ Sheet

Writers and editors can use an FAQ to get story ideas as well as explain complicated or little-known facts about your business and industry.

Recent Articles

If you already have press coverage, pull a couple of recent articles from your business’s clip file. Don’t keep a clip file? Start immediately! You can use web searches and Google Alerts to keep track of mentions online.

Photos & Brochure

Tuck these items into the folder if you have them. Pictures and brochures are another great way to tell your company’s story.

Award List

This is absolutely the time to be a show-off. If you, your business, or your unique products and services are winning awards, create a list that includes the name of the award and the date it was received. If it isn’t obvious by the award’s name, explain what you were recognized for.

Event List

The event list is pretty simple, really. You just tell people where and when they can find you. The idea is to let people know when you or your company representatives will be present for public speaking engagements or industry conventions.

Press kits can be customized, and it’s a good idea to create hard-copy kits as well as online kits that can be downloaded directly from your website. To save on shipping, you could create a multimedia disk instead of the traditional kit. Just include your documents as PDF files and burn any audio and video files that are relevant to your business.

Have you built a press kit for your business? What items would you add to this list?

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About Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me. Read more about Emily.
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11 Comments on How to Build a Press Kit for Your Small Business

  1. How would you suggest adapting the kit for an online download?

    Would you recommend it being a single PDF, a power point presentation, or a url structure?

    • PowerPoints are kind of clunky and outdated web pages can be a pain to print. My personal preference is to make each part of your online press kit a separate PDF download. That way no one has to mess with one huge, cumbersome PDF, and visitors can pick and choose what resources to view.

  2. Nice list, Emily. I’m in the process of working up new elements for self-promos, and will be using this list as a guide. Thanks for this useful post!

    • So glad you found it useful. That’s why we write this blog, Rock. :)

  3. Emily,

    These are solid tips.

    Another tip for small businesses that would like to build a press room or press kit is to study the press/media sections of big corporate sites. They are full of information that any small business could replicate, including copies of logos and the proper use of their business’s name/tagline.

    To Thailand’s Business Consulting Guy’s question, another option in addition to hosting a press page on your small business site is to use a social media newsroom service such as PitchEngine. All of the resources mentioned above can be headquartered within the newsroom, which includes quick facts, about page, contact page, social media links, “Twitter Pitch”, etc.

    In my previous career stint as Director of Social Media for Thomas Castillo, a politician that ran for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, we got big accolades for our innovative use of this service. An entrepreneur buddy of mine also uses it for his tech startup: http://pitchengine.com/OpenAirplane/openairplane-announces-new-service-making-renting-aircraft-easier-helping-pilots-fly-more

    Best,
    Philip Nowak
    Founder at Firmology.com

    • Thanks for commenting, Philip. Your advice to seek inspiration from corporate sites is spot on, and I’ll have to look into PitchEngine — sounds like it could be pretty useful.

  4. Dom

    Great information Emily. I use a variation of this type of kit in hard copy form as an overview of my business services and background when meeting new clients.

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