You are a rockstar! Starting your business and scaling it up is not exactly easy. As a business owner, myself, I know how many hours it takes to lead a passion to fruition. My business has had its ups and downs – sometimes of my own doing, sometimes not. Like me, I know you’re trying to keep up with new marketing trends that will keep your business in front of as many eyes as possible. You’ve bought ads in your local newspaper. You’re an active member with the local chamber of commerce. Maybe you even have a website.
(By the way, did you know that 40% of small businesses do not have a website?)
My point is that business owners are not just experts in their field. They also need to be experts in marketing. There is, however, one marketing tool that most small and medium-sized businesses likely haven’t tried.
the press kit
Right. I know most of you are thinking that the media probably isn’t going to be too interested in reporting on the comings and goings of your daily business operations. Hey, don’t sell yourself short!
In any case, a press kit – or media kit, or information kit, if you prefer – is an absolutely necessary part of your marketing toolbox.
The purpose of a press kit is to communicate information about your business in a clear and concise way. A typical media kit contains information that would answer questions your prospective clients, investors, and other stakeholders might ask. It’s a business card-plus. You can take that basic press kit idea and alter it for your own business. Consider including information about your company history, what you do, your achievements (as a business and in your community). If you have had any press coverage at all, include that, too.
Distilling who you are as a business and setting it down on a few pages can be daunting. So, I’ve listed the essential parts that your kit should have. But, feel free to get creative and alter it in any way that makes sense for you and your business.
Letter of Introduction
In two or three paragraphs, paint a picture of your business. Who are you? What product or service do you offer? Why should someone buy from you? Include your full contact information and a business card.
Encapsulate your company’s history on one page. Include information on why you started your business, the successes you’ve had, awards, community involvement, and any relevant photos. If you’re just starting out, you may not have enough information to fill up this section. Go ahead and add this bit to your Letter of Introduction, if that makes more sense for you.
Products or Services
In a way, a press kit is a lot like a website. In fact, once you’ve done all of this work, transferring the information to a website would be a smart move.
In this section, include all the types of products or services you offer and how each can benefit your customers. Keep this section as concise as possible. The goal here is to make your products or services sound appealing enough to draw potential customers in to find out more.
Who is your company? Include some information about you and your co-business owners. I realize that personal information, like where you grew up and the make up of your family, may seem irrelevant. But, people want to know who you are. They want to know that you’re someone who shares their values, and that you’re someone who is relatable.
put it all together
Compiling all of that information and communicating it in a clear and compelling manner is the hard part. Once that’s all done, you just have to package it. If you can, hire a professional public relations expert to design the kit. Otherwise, putting together an impressive kit yourself is entirely possible. You can use MS Word, Mac Pages, Adobe … there are lots of applications that will allow you to design a unique kit.
spread the word
Once you’ve put your media kit together, you’re ready to spread the word.
- Design a website around it.
- Offer it on your website as a download.
- Pass it around at trade events.
As daunting as preparing a press kit might seem, remember that it’s just another part of the brand-building process that businesses need to undertake to grow.
You can do it! And if you need help, just ask.
Over to you: How do you see yourself using your own press kit?