It’s that time again… SURTEX and the Licensing Expo are looming and artist’s are gearing up!  There are many moving pieces in preparing for trade shows – one of which is creating a Press Kit.  A few weeks ago Kathy Weller reminded me on Twitter of a post I did two years ago about Press Kits – I do believe it’s time to re-post it.  If I forgot about it – you probably did too!  Kathy also reminds us that a press kit should reflects your own level of professionalism, attention to detail and originality.  In other words – since we are artists, our press kits might benefit from being a little prettier than the press kit for a company that makes engine parts. 😉

Here are 5 things to include in a press kit:

  1. Contact information! Don’t overlook putting your business card in the press kit. You want them to find you if they decide they want to do a cover story about you and your art, right?
  2. Press Releases. If you have done any press releases that would be relevant to the press at the trade show, be sure to include them. Speaking of Press Releases, make sure you are giving good information for a reader and not just talking about yourself. You are more likely to be included in an article, etc. if you give tips that people can use (like “5 things to include in a press kit”) vs. tooting your own horn (like “I’m really great at making pretty press kits”) — see the difference?
  3. Company Fact Sheet. Now that I told you not to toot your own horn, that doesn’t mean you don’t include some basics. Who are you? What is your story? What do you do? Are you an award winning artist? Put it here. Supporting charity? Write it down. New in business or going at it for 20 years? This is the place.
  4. Promotional Materials. Do you have postcards, brochures or flyers that show / describe your art or products? That should be in there! Like everyone, press people are busy people. And they have a LOT of press kit choices to look at… I had the pleasure of getting in the press room when I worked with Simple Scrapbooks™ magazine, trust me, it can be overwhelming. The person needs to “get” who you are and what you do at a glance… what can you include that will catch their attention and make them want to learn more? That is the key to a successful press kit!
  5. Presentation. How you present your press kit is as important as what is in it. As I said in #4, I’ve been the press person and walked the press room. Usually they have racks and racks of press kits, some are in folders, some are tied with bows, some are really ornate. (How creative the kits are depends a lot on the industry.) So you need SOMETHING on the outside to make someone stop and say, “Cool! What is this about?” Maybe it’s a catchy headline, or a captivating image. I’ve seen press kits in pocket folders, envelopes, even pizza boxes. I caution you against doing something too big (they may not find a spot for it) or too small (people may not notice it).

Here are some other resources for more nitty-gritty information about Press Kits and Press Releases:

http://www.glmshows.com/press/guidetopr.htm

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/constructing-a-press-kit.html

http://advertising.about.com/od/publicrelationsresources/a/fivepresskits.htm

http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneursstartupsmagazine/2001/december/46660.html

And don’t forget about my new eBook – How to Be a Press Friendly Artist – that includes not only press kits but press releases, website additions and more.  Check it out at www.PressFriendlyArtist.com

May the press be with you!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  For more information about how to prepare for your upcoming trade show, check out the many available resources at www.ArtLicensingInfo.com/shows.html