Press kits are not solely the realm of public figures and performers. Financial institutions can realize a great deal of value from having an electronic press kit, and it’s not just about earned media.
If you are an expert in your field—and we assume you are—there are many revenue-building avenues you might not have considered or are not pursuing, for some reason. Conferences, trade shows, speaking engagements, and acting as a subject matter expert to media or the courts are great ways to build brand recognition and gain authority.
Sure, your connections might get you all of these things, but it becomes a whole lot easier if you have a downloadable press kit on your website, ready to go. It’s a nice way to say, “I’m available,” and offer the basic components up-front in building connections with industry journalists and publications. It also helps legitimize you and your organization as experts.
What Is An Electronic Press Kit (EPK)?
In the past, press kits were printed portfolios that helped advance the sales and marketing agenda. Today’s press kits are much the same, but they are also available as a digital asset, known as an EPK.
An EPK includes images and text, helping you tell your brand story and explain your products and services in a way that supports your values and demonstrates your culture. It might also outline ways that you can be of service from a media standpoint, such as an expert resource for journalists, bloggers, broadcasters, or educational support for schools or charities.
Your EPK can be produced in a range of formats, but generally, the more accessible, the better. PowerPoint decks and PDF files are both excellent choices, and you can offer both. PDFs are usually better as downloadable assets, but if you have either available, you’ve got your bases covered.
What Should Be Included in Your EPK?
So, now that we’ve established what an EPK is and why it’s a good idea for financial institutions to have one, let’s talk about what you should include in yours.
Here are a few ideas and must-haves for your EPK:
- Pitch Letter. The pitch takes on many different forms, depending on the intent of your EPK. It’s also where you’ll either grab attention or lose it – so many it smart and engaging to demonstrate what a fabulous asset you are.
- Company Background. This is about who you are and what you do. Create this section with a journalistic mindset. Think about the who, what, where, when, and why of your company over the years and how it evolved. Tell your story. Make them want to be a part of the next chapter.
- Executive/Management/Staff Profiles. Include short bios and professional head shots of your leadership team, if appropriate. Generally speaking, if you are selling yourself as an expert, you will need to put a face to the claim. Include all relevant education, certifications, and expertise, but keep it concise for a quick read.
- Excerpts from Previous or Noteworthy Press Mentions. If you don’t have this, then client testimonials will work too. However, if you’ve had some great press, pull a couple of choice quotes and pepper them into your EPK design to add some punch. Be sure to cite the source!
- Product/Service Descriptions. If your EPK is created for the express purpose of gaining business in specific areas, outline those objectives in clear language. Be sure to include the benefits they can expect from hiring you. For example, under public speaking, you might list expertise in building legacy through real estate investment or estate planning to preserve wealth.
- Case Studies. If you have any significant wins you can brag about, include a case study or two in your EPK. They don’t have to be lengthy, but they should consist of an overview of the client, why they chose you as their solution, the problem they were having, how you solved it, and the results. Try to keep your case studies generic (in other words, don’t use specific client names, especially if they are a company), so it doesn’t look like you’re making a promotional plug.
- Awards and Accolades. Industry accolades go a long way to demonstrating your subject matter expertise. There is nothing more noteworthy than being recognized by your peers. Whether it’s local, regional, national, or worldwide, don’t be shy about showing it off. You’ve earned it, after all.
- Contact Information. Okay, perhaps this is a little simple or obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many organizations overlook this detail. Think about who the recipient will be contacting. If there are multiple purposes for your EPK, you might want to direct specific inquiries to different people. Include all possible permutations of that effort so that the requests go to the right people. Including these details will save time and avoid the frustration of going through several intermediaries before your prospect gets to the correct department.
Your Brand, Your Copy, Your Artwork
Let’s assume your EPK is professionally designed, either by your in-house graphic designer, a freelancer, or an agency. To complete your project, they will need a few assets from you:
- Copywriting. Brand copywriting is concise and engaging. It should be offered in short blocks of text instead of long columnar diatribes that nobody will read. Make it skimmable, fun to read, and by all means, don’t bore the reader or waste their time. While the financial industry isn’t known for being particularly sexy, there are a lot of fantastic things that emerge from it. Wealth building, commercial success, and the possibilities are always compelling angles to take. Get straight to the point, get them excited, and keep them reading.
- Artwork and Images. You’ve likely spent a great deal on marketing over the years, and you probably have a lot of digital properties that proudly display those efforts. Be sure your EPK is true to that image by using logos, colors, and fonts that align with your existing assets. Ultimately, unless you are in dire need of a rebranding and your online channels are outdated, your EPK should strike the same tone, appearance, and feel. If you include staff photos or images of your organization in action, consider scheduling a photo shoot to ensure everything is up-to-date and representative of who you are right now. It’s all about authenticity!
- Media-Ready Assets. Journalists and news outlets will ask you for photographs, so you must have these available when requested. As a general rule, anything that goes to print (or even if it’s only on the internet) requires a high-resolution image with a minimum 300 dpi resolution. Include these as downloads on your EPK page so that reporters can access them as needed. The worst thing you can do is offer or send sub-standard images as one of three things could happen: either they will not use the photo, or if they do, the quality will be poor. It could also create additional time and aggravation for your graphic designer going back and forth with the client until it’s right.