Three Ways to Make a Press Kit Effective and Reach its Target
Lead with your best: It’s realistic to expect that your press kit won’t be read from cover to cover. Place your most important material near the top where it is more likely to be seen and used. Also, make sure that any multimedia elements, such as CDs, are prominently featured. Think of the presentation like a novel: You want to hook readers with a good intro that leaves them wanting to know more.
Keep it simple: Let’s face it: In business, Microsoft and Adobe rule the world. E-mail attachments in a file format that can’t be opened by Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader are likely to be deleted or ignored. Do you think that a busy reporter or editor is going to spend time locating and downloading a Word Perfect file converter or calling you to see if you can re-send the file in another format? Some may. But many will find it too much trouble. Also, plan ahead when attaching photos. Are they in a format such as .gif or .jpg that can be opened by the software on the average computer? Keep in mind that many journalists don’t have desktop access to Photoshop or other photo-editing software and that their machines may also lack the power to run flash presentations.
Know the work flow: Follow-up is a critical part of the media communication process, and it’s important to reach people when they will be most accessible—and most amenable—to communication. A short phone call to check on receipt of a press package may seem harmless, but to an editor or reporter on deadline, it can be a major irritation. So, doing your homework means more than just identifying the right person to target a message to. Get a sense of how the publication works. Is it a daily or an afternoon paper? If it’s a weekly, what day does it publish? When does the workday usually start? When is crunch time? Attention to those details could make it more likely that your call will be well timed—and well received—by the reporter or editor you need to reach.
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