If and when your business does well, attention from the press and public outlets are to be expected. We cover interesting and successful businesses in our business profiles which you can find in our entrepreneur interviews section. The approach for many is to deal with this bridge when they come to it but there is a better way known as the press kit. Thanks to modern technology you can make that an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). This is a document that provides important information about your business which is useful for those who intend to cover your business. Let’s discuss press kits, what goes in them and how to make them.
The Press Kit or Electronic Press Kit (we will use EPK to refer to both from here on)provides vital information to members of the press and other related parties. It simplifies the process of discovery for members of the press about your business and organisation. Normally this process involves a back and forth of questions and answers. In the best of cases, that’s it but in many cases, additional questions pop up and need answers again. When working with a deadline, which is often the case in matters where the press is involved, this back and forth marathon is not ideal. All this is made worse by the fact that most of these questions are foreseeable and could be answered in advance through a press kit.
What Is Included in an Electronic Press Kit
The first thing you would want in an EPK is general information on the business or organisation. This is a brief explainer on the organisation, what it does and how it does it. Something like “Startupbiz Zimbabwe is a business that provides support for those interested in starting businesses in Zimbabwe through well-researched business plans which are backed up by articles on business ideas, business news, business tips, personal finance and entrepreneur interviews”. This gives a brief overview which can be drawn from when referring to the business in the press.
It contains a brief on the history of the organisation that gives readers a peek into the conception, formation and refinement of the business. This is best presented in storytelling form and should explain the origins of the business. It can also cover challenges the organisation has overcome.
The members of the organisation are an important part of the organisation and this is something the press would want to know about. Taking a little time to highlight the management team and the staff helps. You need to be careful here and make sure not to include too much information. Detailing every staff member may not be necessary but perhaps the size of the staff compliment would be useful.
Products/Services Fact Sheet(s)
Your organisation provides some sort of product. Whether its goods or services the public and therefore the press would like to know what you provide. So make sure you dedicate some time to this. Just please remember that this is not a catalogue for your products so pricing and order should not come into it unless the pricing is an important feature say in products like low-cost insurance plans.
Projects and case studies
For service businesses, you can include a list of projects you’ve worked on. It’s not necessary to detail every project, just include enough information to identify the project and what part your business took in the project. Case studies similarly should be included in short to demonstrate the work your business does or how effective the product has been in bringing value to end-users.
Industry Awards and Accolades
If your business has notable awards or achievements providing a brief on each of these is important. If you are going to reference awards please provide detail on the awarding body. Accolades may be personal achievements that matter to the business like opening branches or expanding to new territories.
Noteworthy Press Coverage
Where the business has received prior press coverage from notable press organisations it is a good idea to include information on this. It’s best to provide links that are easy to do in an EPK. The point is to let people know what else has been said about your organisation and it can give more reference points.
Digital artwork can be included in your EPK and can be very useful. Something like your logo for example can be included as a separate downloadable attachment. The same can be said for product photos, staff photos and pictures of your achievements.
This may seem a little redundant but hear me out. Sometimes additional issues not addressed in your press kit may require contacting your team. If you have a public relations officer it would be useful to make their contact details available in the press kit.
You can make your EPK available for download on your website in a common document format like pdf. If you don’t have a website you can find a way to host it online such as google drive and make it available via a download link on your social media accounts. Hopefully, when Startupbiz contacts you to talk about your business we will see a beautiful press kit that contains all the necessary information.