Why do I need a press kit? The press kit is an essential tool for every creative entrepreneur who wants to leverage the power of the media to build their brand. The purpose of the press kit is to provide media partners and other interested parties with a clear, compelling “snapshot” of you and your business. Having researched many individual press kits, as I’m currently building my own, I’d like to offer you some dos and don’ts to consider when you’re ready to create your press kit for your business:

• DO be brand-consistent. Every piece of collateral you send out should be branded with your logo, color suite, and contact information. Remember, consistency is the key to effectively building brand recognition.

• DON’T give too much information. This is a mistake I see all the time. Of course, you want to be thorough and represent yourself in the best possible light, but the people you’re trying to impress don’t care about that. They want to see something interesting that creates a story in a minute or less. Give it to them.

• DO give the press kit some personality. Your press kit is a reflection of your business and is therefore a reflection of you. It should have some spark & show the way your business shines over all the rest. Be professional, but use language and copy that’s consistent with the tone and feel of your brand.

• DON’T forget to include photographs. Whether you are selling products or selling yourself, strategically using photographs breaks up otherwise static text and adds visual interest to the presentation. If you are selling products, ensure the photographs are professional quality and show some features and benefits of the piece. Also, try to have consistency in your photos to give them more of a “catalog” effect—try to use similar backgrounds and lighting to give a unified product statement. You should always include a photograph of yourself, preferably a professional-level headshot, on your bio sheet.

• DO keep it up to date. Ensure that you’ve got your most recent press releases and product assortment included in the press kit collateral. If you’re including a page of links to write-ups, mentions, or your online work, make sure that the links are valid. Much like a resume, your most recent work is what matters most to media professionals.

Are you ready to start building the press kit for your business? A great way to start is simply to collect links and articles to anything that mentions your work. Set up a Google alert for your name, business name, and any specific products to see where your work is sprouting up on the internet. Then, check out this great article to put together the components of the perfect press kit.

{Featured image via OMFG Co.}