A good press kit includes:
A basic one-page release
A longer three- or four-page version
A copy of the speaker's statement
Background information on your organization or cause
A brief biography of the speaker
Copies of any relevant documentation
Promotional items such as buttons, T-shirts, or imprinted balloons
The day of the event
The people from your organization who attend the press conference should have a job to do - greeting journalists, answering questions, etc. Hand out press kits as reporters and editors arrive.
Always take a few moments to brief photographers about the issues. Offer them copies of the press release or a background sheet. Start your press conference on time. Don't hold everyone up for latecomers. Record your press conference on audiotape and videotape, using broadcast quality equipment. The tape will help you write a news release for reporters who didn't attend and it can be edited into a video release or radio wraparound. Have someone at the telephone number listed on your news release so that media who cannot attend can call for information and receive an immediate response.
After the press conference is over, send a press kit or news release to any journalist who did not attend. Remember to track any coverage that your press conference receives. This will help you evaluate your success.
It is crucial to have a press kit for your organization ready so you will be able to take advantage of breaking news opportunities. A press kit contains a brief description of your organization and its top people, a print-ready copy of your logo, some quotes from your director, a page of statistics that support your cause, a relevant photograph and/or graphic and anything else that will make it easy for someone to report accurately about your initiative. Remember, the easier you make it for someone to write a good story, the better your chances are that you will get good coverage. Reporters are as busy as you are! Don't send press kits out blindly - only as requested.
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