Today we are going to deconstruct press kits, looking at all the elements that make them up and helping you prepare for your second project, which will involve you putting together your own press kit. I have also posted some examples of some press kits on the website for you to take a look at for some ideas.
There are several ways you can use press kits for promotional PR work…
At the very least, your press kit should include either a cover letter or press release. For your project, you will write a cover letter explaining what your organization is all about and the elements of the press kit. It should also include a fact sheet and backgrounder, which we’ll go over in a minute, as well as some additional promotional materials that you can brainstorm on your own.
The purpose of a cover letter is to provide an opener or launching point for anyone viewing the press kit. It should be no more than one page and should contain the following elements…
Here is a rough outline of what your cover letter should look like. Notice the organization’s address is in the top right hand corner, and the name of the organization, my name, and my title are below that to the left. Your opening salutation should be something that makes it known who your target audience is. For example, with my Society of Professional Journalists club, we are targeting students who want to be journalists, so I began the letter with For aspiring journalists as a way to pique their attention.Next, you want to introduce the organization, explaining briefly (in 1-3 sentences) the purpose of the organization and its functions and/or goals. After that, you want to list the benefits of joining that organization (or patronizing the organization, depending on what organization you choose) in 2-4 sentences. Try to avoid being too wordy and make sure everything is clear and easily understood.Next graph, you’ll talk about some of the major accomplishments the group had achieved to give further evidence that this is an organization that is worthy of the reader’s time and attention. Last, you’ll end with a short explanation of what is included in the press kit that you are putting together, and provide your contact information letting the reader know you are available to answer any questions or help with anything. Then, close with “sincerely” and your name.
In your press kit, you should include a fact sheet. Again this should be no more than one page…Please look at the examples I sent you for more on the structure and information included on fact sheets.
You’ll also include a backgrounder, which allows you to…
For your backgrounder, you’ll want to…
Finally, you will need to include additional pieces of information that are promotional and help you achieve the goals of attracting attention and giving information.
For your project, please take a look at the information sheet I sent you. My expectations for this project are pretty simple:
Lecture 10: Press kits
objectives• Deconstruct media kits & analyze all elements• Discuss project two• Offer examples for you to look at
Press kit goals• Highlight an issue/event • Gather attention/promote positive event • Respond to/minimize harm from negative event• Establish your organization’s authority • Make a name for the company • Establish your presence/importance in the community• Show how to use your organization’s experts • Provide contact information • Be media-friendly
Cover letter• No more than one page• Should explain the purpose of your company• Brief review of major accomplishments/highlights you would want the press/clients/investors/donors to know• Explanation of the press kit• Your contact information
Fact sheet• No more than one page• Gives brief facts about the organization• Often using bullet points• Often uses subheads to divide up information• Often includes mission statement/list of leaders
backgrounder• Introduces the company• Introduces the experts/important people• Establishes: • Organization’s products/services • Organizational goals • Media-friendliness
backgrounder• Begin with concise statement about importance of the organization • Example: “Clinical social workers provide the majority of the nation’s mental health services.”• Explain why the company is important to the community• Explain important issues the company has tackled• Describe some successful events/products from the past• Single-spaced, 2-3 sentences per graph, 1 page
My expectations• Be creative• Clean copy – grammar & AP style• Be promotional (make me want to attend/buy)• Do the legwork• Make it presentable
Project info• Due Friday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m.• Ideas due by tomorrow night (Friday) for approval• Progress conferences on Tuesday• Examples of press kits online• Grading & rubric
announcements• Press releases due today by 5 p.m.• Current events/readings quiz from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today• Readings for Monday: • Chapter 5 (Sources & Online Research) • 10 Tips for Teaching Journalists How to Effectively Use Social Media (link on our website)