Saturday, March 20, 2010

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. The Promotional Kit Essentials/Non Essentials - Part VII

Putting together a press or promotional kit is no easy task. Sure, you can slap something together to resemble this timeless tool...but it's really in your best interest to include only essential, professionally produced documents.

To reiterate which elements are essential:
A biography
One Sheet
8 x 10 color, and black and white photos (different poses)
A professionally-written press release

Non-essential elements are quote sheets, business cards, and cover letters. While these handy little tools can serve a purpose; essential and timely quotes should have already been incorporated into a biography. The business card is not as important as including your contact info on every element already included in your press kit. A cover letter is just another boring task for the sender and the recipient.

Your goal is not to bury the intended reader with "stuff". The goal is to provide the intended reader with enough convincing information to reach your goal whether that is soliciting press or bookings.

If you've taken the time to put together professionally designed elements..... now what?

Most people start stuffing envelopes and shot gunning info to unwitting recipients, but my advice is:

If you send an unsolicited package to someone, in essence you are giving them a homework assignment with a pop quiz. We all remember pop quiz days. It isn't welcomed by anyone. The difference is, as professionals, the unwitting receiver simply blows it off and into the round file it goes.

Here's a better strategy:

1. Post all the info as an EPK on your website.

2. Prepare about a dozen hard copy press kits ready for mailing. Do not forget to include the hard copy EP/CD/DVD and as a courtesy, remove the shrink wrap. Make sure you have a nicely designed mailing label with your logo if you have one. Buy new mailing envelopes for your press kits - never use recycled materials. Another handy tip is to buy colored mailing envelopes because they stand out. If someone has been unable to locate a package you've mailed, you can tell them "it is a navy blue 10 x 13 envelope with a white label embedded with my logo." Likely it can be picked right out of the stacks within seconds.

3. Then take a day and really research who your best target audience is and don't blur the lines of "maybe this person will be interested". If they might be interested - it's a clear sign you are hopin' and wishin'. So to make things crystal clear, draw up your list and email each person to see if they are interested in receiving your materials. Politely ask them which format they prefer.

Now let's assume you've received some response. For those who want the EPK, hopefully they've already been able to find all the info they want and need. For those who want the tradtional press kit, put it in the mail the day you receive a response from them. If they want it, they want it ASAP.

The most important aspect of putting together a promotional kit is in the follow-up. If you spent the time and money to put these elements before an intended group of people, only the foolish send it out without a follow-up note, phone call, or email. It is ill-advised to simply ask if they received your materials.

Think of a more provocative way to enter a conversation with each person you contacted initially. If you do not receive a response after two attempts, drop it. The person on the receiving end will remember whether or not you made a good enough impression to fit their needs. It is important to remember the promo kit fills the bill on a two-way street, that's the way these relationships work.

If you've followed these suggestions and done so in a professional manner, you've shown industry insiders
your house is in order and doors will begin to open.

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