Press kits make great marketing tools for small businesses, no matter what your industry or niche. Everyone from the freelancer to the salon owner can use a press kit as a sort of company curriculum vitae for inspiring media interest and catching the attention of customers and investors.

Your press kit needs to be an attention grabber, so make it exciting. If you’re not a graphic designer or copywriter, we strongly recommend splurging a little on your press kit so you give the best possible impression of your business.

Anatomy of a Press Kit

Depending on the type of business you operate you should consider including all of the following items in your press kit:

Sales Letter

Also called a pitch letter, this is your chance to make a good first impression and explain why your products and services are must-haves. If this document is missing a call to action, you’re doing it wrong!

Press Releases

Include one or two newsworthy items that can easily be picked up by an editor or writer. The emphasis here is on “newsworthy.” Press releases should not read like a sales letter.

Business Cards

Stick in one or two business cards — one for the recipient and at least one additional card for sharing.

Product or Service Reviews

Are people saying good things about your business or your company? Collect and compile a one-page sheet of reviews and testimonials; positive chatter lends credibility to you and your business.

Professional Bio

This piece of collateral is a must for one-person outfits, but may also be an appropriate piece for all founding members. If a bio isn’t a good fit, consider adding a company background or company history piece.

FAQ Sheet

Writers and editors can use an FAQ to get story ideas as well as explain complicated or little-known facts about your business and industry.

Recent Articles

If you already have press coverage, pull a couple of recent articles from your business’s clip file. Don’t keep a clip file? Start immediately! You can use web searches and Google Alerts to keep track of mentions online.

Photos & Brochure

Tuck these items into the folder if you have them. Pictures and brochures are another great way to tell your company’s story.

Award List

This is absolutely the time to be a show-off. If you, your business, or your unique products and services are winning awards, create a list that includes the name of the award and the date it was received. If it isn’t obvious by the award’s name, explain what you were recognized for.

Event List

The event list is pretty simple, really. You just tell people where and when they can find you. The idea is to let people know when you or your company representatives will be present for public speaking engagements or industry conventions.

Press kits can be customized, and it’s a good idea to create hard-copy kits as well as online kits that can be downloaded directly from your website. To save on shipping, you could create a multimedia disk instead of the traditional kit. Just include your documents as PDF files and burn any audio and video files that are relevant to your business.

Have you built a press kit for your business? What items would you add to this list?