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September 10, 2010
Your Online Press Kit? It's Your Website
Press kits used to be in the form of news releases and backgrounders packaged in light cardboard folders. They can still be in that format if you're having a live event that media people want to cover. But more likely today, press kits are found in digital form on websites. They can easily be a website -- an "always on" source of information about your company or organization. So how do you put together a website press kit?

We all may have approaches to doing that, but Inc. magazine seeks to save us some trouble by providing a "how to" piece on putting together a press kit. Inc. apparently still thinks of a press kit as distinct from a website, and it certainly can be that. However, if you think of your website as your press kit as well, you'll have a more compelling website. Think of it, indeed, as your own, exclusive newsstand. 

Anyhow, Inc. suggests key elements such as a company overview and biographies of key officials. The thing about a Web biography is that it needs to be short. "No bio in today's world needs to be more than three paragraphs," Inc. quotes Lou Hammond, of Hammond and Associates, as advising.

You'll also want a FAQs section, frequently asked questions that differentiate your company from its competitors. You'll want to include your recent news releases on your website -- in your digital press kit. There may well be a role for photos there, as well. Contact information also is a must.

The piece includes more details and insights, but the most salient point is to recognize that in online terms, when reporters head to your website, it's like picking up your press kit used to be. They're looking for a quick, helpful introduction to who you are and what you're saying.

Remember, too, that you wouldn't let a paper press kit sit around very long without updating it -- and least you shouldn't. You don't want to let a website go unchanged for too long either, unless you intend it as a billboard, not a press kit. And billboards are becoming passé on the Web. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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