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A press kit is an essential press relations tool.

While it can be used to support


a special event or promotional activity, it is most helpful in strategically
positioning an organization or product. On a website, the "press room" is the
on-line equivalent of the traditional press kit.

More expansive and educational than a press release, a press kit/room


includes a variety of supporting materials from fact sheets to photographs.
Their purpose is to provide a media contact with a plentiful source of current
and archived information from which stories can be created.
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Traditional press kits are usually presented in a custom binder or portfolio


with the name, address, phone number and logo of the organization on the
cover. On-line press rooms often contains links to pages which may also be
reached from other areas of the site. Depending on the industry, most
companies use a combination of the two to meet the needs of the press.

It's important to regularly update press kits.

A press kit can include any or all of the following items:

o "Press releases" are the most common press communication tool. In a


press kit, only current releases should be included. On-line you have the
luxury of providing a press release archive to assist reporters in developing
stories.

o "Backgrounders" may take several different forms and will typically support
your position, mission, goals, history and/or track record. Research or article
abstracts and fact sheets are two common backgrounder styles.

o A "Fact sheet" provides an "at a glance" bulleted overview of the


organization. It is a bullet list of the organization's activity, key employees,
services or products, etc.

o A "Calendar of Events" is self-explanatory.

o "Bio's" of significant leaders or key players within the organization or, if it's
an event, the celebrity attraction. Forestracker

o A "Reviewer's Guide" is important, especially if you are going to have your


product included in a round-up with competitive products. It can cover your
products strengths and weaknesses against the competition's in a factual
manner. Or it can just cover your company's technical points.

o Photos can accurately present the impact of your programs and services.
Make them interesting, pertinent, and personal. Avoid boring "check passing"
events. In a traditional press kit, black and whites can be used in a 3 by 5 or
5 by 7 inch format. Color photos are best provided in a transparency or slide
format. For website use, photos should be made available in quickly
downloadable compressed .gif, .tiff or .jpeg files.

o Position statements are helpful, particularly if your organization has a


political direction.

o A "Quote Sheet" provides five or six significant quotes that are approved
for media use. It allows the reporter to flesh out a story without having to
interview a lot of people.

o "Brochures and newsletters" provide a reporter with "another look" at your


organization. It is typical to include one or more issues of your corporate
newsletter in a press kit.

o It is useful to include samples of previously published articles ("clips")


organization or programs to provide credibility and demonstrate the news-
worthiness of your organization's activities. With an on-line press room, you
can provide links to the media's own press page or provide a copy of the
article on your own site. If you chose to do the latter, you MUST receive
permission to reprint the article.

o Media should always be provided with an easy means with which to contact
you. Make sure to include a phone number where they can contact you after
business hours.

o Annual reports provide valuable background information.

Remember, the purpose of a press kit is to let the outside world into the
inner workings of your organization. Paint a picture. Tell your story. And do it
all with your audience's listening in mind. Speak to their listening. Do they
want to see your experience? Are they more interested in finding out your
credentials? Or how well known you are in your community? When you are
clear on what your audience wants to see from you, you can mix and match
the above ingredients for maximum media coverage. http://forestracker.net/