Why You Need a Press Kit and Why It Needs to Be Online
    Every person who wants to pursue a successful PR marketing campaign has to have a press kit. It’s just part of the business. Media expect to receive one to find out who you are and what you stand for. In the past these kits were all paper. They were unwieldy and expensive, and they were difficult to update. Today, however, the digital world has made creating and maintaining a press kit easier as well as cost effective.
    Have a look at these reasons by you need an online press kit:
    Today’s fast paced media needs: Remember when you are dealing with the media you are stepping into a frenetically paced world where a 24-hour news cycle keeps editors and producers scrambling for fresh new content. Your online press kit is the key to giving them everything they need, when they need it.
    Internet presence: You must have a strong online presence to make a splash in today’s media world. Your online press kit puts you on the media’s radar, one click away from newsrooms and online Web portals that can give you priceless coverage.
    Instant news-makers: You never know when news will break that ties directly to your business, profession or area of expertise. Your online press kit helps the media connect the dots and seek you out as an expert on your specialty areas.
    After-hours/24 hr access/the media never sleep: Remember that 24-hour news cycle that never sleeps? Your online press kit makes information about you, your product or service, as well as the all-important contact information, available to the media 24/7.
    Search engine optimization: In part one we talked about key words and phrases that help you get found online. The news and story angles in your online press kit will make it easier for reporters to find you when they need you as an expert or source.
    Page One Google vs Page Six NY Post: Google has replaced individual media outlets as the most coveted PR placement. Online PressKit 24/7 has specific back-end coding to help you get a better presence on the Internet, getting you closer and closer to Page One on Google. That makes you more attractive to media searching for experts in your field.

Help the Media With Story Angles, Part One
    Sometimes journalists have assignments that require them to create news stories based on a particular topic. In these cases, if their story is relevant to your expertise, you can pitch them based on your experience and how you can meet their need. Other times, journalists are looking for story ideas and you can help them—and yourself—by pitching story angles that are based on your expertise and what’s happening that day.
    For the go-getters among you there are several ways to get media to consider your ideas.
    Stay abreast of current events. We’ve discussed this before: the importance of remaining well-versed in the breaking news. The cycle is endless. With the arrival of online news gathering and reporting, there is no excuse for not being on top of things. Browse through the daily headlines from major media featured in news sites such as Google news headlines to find out what the media is up to. Updated constantly from sources around the nation and world, these links can give you ideas on how your product, service or book relates to all kinds of news.
    The frenetic pace of newsrooms. If you’ve ever seen an up and running newsroom, you know how crazy it is. There are rows of desks where anxious journalists and editors sit working to meet tight deadlines and feed the 24/7 demand for knowledge. Knowing how busy these people are makes it clear why it is to your advantage to have all your messages and key information ready to use in a handy, concise online press kit. Your job is to provide media with what they need; make it as easy as possible for them and they’re more likely to come back to you in the future.
    Story angles: what exactly are they? An angle is an approach to telling a story. It can be a “hook” to a local, national or global story, or a way your story connects to themes of universal human interest. Your goal is to match your expertise to breaking news topics and stories of interesting individuals—things everyone can relate to. The more interesting your angle, and the more people are likely to be influenced by it, the better chance you have of getting a first rate placement.
    How story angles help the media. Journalists crave information that’s fresh and new; it is their lifeblood. By staying abreast of the latest news (and that means checking news websites several times per day) you’re able to position yourself right in the heart of what’s happening. When your expertise matches breaking stories, reporters will be much more interested in using your sound bytes in their articles. Hey, they might even interview you!
    In our next blog post we’ll conclude this discussion of story angles and how having an online press kit can enhance your value to the media. Stay tuned for part two!

Help the Media With Story Angles, Part Two
    In the previous post we discussed four tips that will help get you the media placements you need to make your PR marketing campaign a success. They were: 1. Stay abreast of current events; 2. Keep in mind how crazy the average newsroom is; 3. What is a story angle anyway? and, 4. How story angles help the media.
    Today let’s finish up by covering the three remaining tips that will help you use your expertise to create story angles that lead to repeated media placements.
    Why do you need story angles to score media coverage? By using clever and catchy story angles that tout your unique knowledge and expertise, you demonstrate to the media how well you understand news stories, human interest stories, money stories, entertainment stories—basically any other topic they might cover. The beautiful thing is that there are story angles for anyone who wants to connect with the media, regardless of your area of expertise. It’s all a matter of thinking creatively and knowing what interests them.
    The difference between local and national story angles. National media outlets target a broad audience by stressing universal themes such as money, war, crime, power, health, relationships and justice. Local news highlights what’s going on in a specific area or region; they also seek to localize their own news by showing and telling their audiences how they are affected by bigger national and international stories. So don’t pitch a local story to a national correspondent. Know your media contact and what he or she needs to make that deadline.
    Health, wealth and love. These three topics are the trifecta of story angles. Think about it for a moment: Just about everyone wants to stay healthy, have the financial resources to do what they want in life, and have happy, satisfying relationships. If you can relate your product, service, book, or area of expertise to one of these universally compelling themes, you greatly increase your chances of getting the media’s attention. The media are all about giving their audience “news you can use.” And, nothing is more useful than finding ways to get or stay healthy, make money and have great relationships.
    We’ve covered seven steps to understanding and using story angles in your media development. Think of them as tools in your toolbox. Keep your online press kit in good shape, stay on top of current events, remember that your job is to make the media’s life easier, and focus on topics that interest as many people as possible. Follow these steps and your story angle is much more likely to score a hit.

Creating your reality—a PR marketing campaign that works, Part 1
    The goal of every entrepreneur is to find (and often create) a market for their product or service. Initially this sounds like a daunting task, and we must understand that it’s not easy. The old adage—“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”—is perfect for this assignment. You can’t magically produce your target market, or multiple media placements out of thin air. It requires dedication, organization, tenacity and savvy.
    Here are some ways to begin to eat the elephant, as it were.
    Short and sweet. When pitching yourself to new media connections, it’s imperative to talk about who you are and what you do in no more than three sentences—what’s known as an elevator pitch. Make sure those short sentences powerfully sum up your brand; it may be the only chance you have to connect, so don’t waste a single second on fluff. Double check that what you say distinguishes you powerfully from your competition.
    Break out from the pack. Now that you know how to grab the media’s attention, get out there and deliver some power punches! Start with an introduction on who you are as an expert and then follow-up with more news and story angles created specifically for their beat. The more you target your pitch to their target audience, the better chance you have of receiving a favorable response.
    Use your online press kit. A journalist will respond to your pitch either with “Not today,” or “Send me more.” If they pass on your story for that day, don’t take it personally; it doesn’t mean they might now bite another day. At that point, send them the link to your digital press kit (don’t send attachments unless you get their approval). You may have to direct them to the specific page they’ll want, and don’t freak out if they don’t read the entire kit. They’re incredibly busy looking for the core info they can use that day.
    In the next blog posting, we’ll conclude this discussion of creating your reality. After all, if you don’t create it, who will?

Creating your reality—a PR marketing campaign that works, Part 2
    In the first part of this blog post we discussed three ways to move your PR marketing campaign forward: 1. Keep it short and sweet; 2. Break out from the pack; 3. Use your online press kit. Now let’s look at three additional ways to create the PR reality you want for yourself and your product.
    Breaking and seasonal news. When you research potential media connections, note what breaking and seasonal news they cover—the events that are important to them. Understanding their tastes goes a long way towards winning them over in your initial introduction. You can say something like, “Celeb X is back in jail and I noticed you were covering that news. I have something to say about that as I’m an expert on X. Have a second?” or “It’s July and I bet you’re already working on your December magazine. Might you use information about product Z? It would be perfect for your December readers.” Keep close tabs both on what’s hot today and what will be hot six months from today.
    Follow up or fall behind. It’s important to follow-up without really following up. That might sound incongruous but there is a truth in it. Don’t say, “Did you receive the package I mailed you?” or “Did you get the link to my online press kit?” Rather, say something like, “We talked two weeks ago and I noticed you did a story on Y. May I send you a link to my article on Y? May I send it to the same email I used two weeks ago? Our emails are communicating, right?” Continue to be of service to them: send them articles; send them pitches; send them what they need. Don’t take up more time from them; just assist them so they can get their work done.
    Connect with the local and national media; they’re both important. You’re probably going to get local media coverage first—it’s only natural since there are so many more people vying for national placements. So don’t feel that local print, Internet or broadcast placements are not as important—they lead you to a larger market. How? When you pitch a national media outlet they’ll always want to see what you’ve done before. If the national correspondent is interested, he or she will say, “Send me your tape.” If you’ve cultivated your local outlets, you’ll have what they want. Local TV segments look great on the media coverage page of your online press kit, so be sure to order copies of the segment from the station or a media news clipping service. Use those clips in your pitching!
    We’ve gone over six important tips on how to create your own PR/marketing reality. If you are an eager entrepreneur you’ll be ready to act. Nobody knows you, your product, or your target audience as well as you. Become an expert on yourself—your motivations, priorities, goals, and dreams. Then you can set your PR marketing campaign in motion. And, hang on, because eventually your work will pay off in ways you can’t even imagine today.