Columnists

PR 101: What Editors Want (and Need) in a Press Kit

ColumnistsJun 03, 2022

PR 101: What Editors Want (and Need) in a Press Kit

Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams outline best practices for brands to share their work with journalists, editors, and influencers.

Duvall O’Steen, left, and Jen Cullen Williams are independent communications strategists and senior consultants for the Luxury Brand Group. They can be reached at DuvallOsteenNYC@gmail.com or Jen@JenCullenWilliams.com.
On the eve of Las Vegas jewelry market week, we decided to ask editors what they want and need in a digital press kit. 

As you prepare your brand for trade shows or seasonal jewelry-related holidays, these tips will help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of getting press coverage.
 
Consumer Press
We spoke with veteran jewelry and watch journalist Roberta Naas, who writes regularly for Forbes, the international edition of The New York Times, Elite Traveler, WatchPro, WorldTempus, and many other publications. 

Listed below are her top tips for preparing the perfect press kit for consumer journalists, editors, and influencers.
 
1. Ensure That Representative or Iconic Image Is Visible Immediately

“To me, the best press kit—especially when sent digitally—has a picture right away in the email so that I can see exactly what the watch or jewelry looks like,” says Naas. 
 
“I don’t need every picture visible. Just one. This way, I can determine immediately how important or how relevant the content is for me. I receive more than 50 press kits on a daily basis. Knowing right away how to file them in terms of priority is key.  I am tired of searching press kits and press releases to see what the items look like. If there is no picture—without my having to go to a link—I typically file that press release in the trash bin.”
 
2. DropBox Link Is Preferred

“Regarding photos and links,” Naas explains, “a link to a DropBox folder for the images is great. It is not OK to send a large WeTransfer file that is hundreds of megabytes or even a gigabyte and expect me to download all of that content onto a laptop. That takes time and uses computer memory storage space. A link to a DropBox folder, with photos organized in folders (high-res, medium-res for digital, lifestyle or single-item shots, etc.) is very user friendly.”

 Related stories will be right here … 
 
3. Brief Press Releases With Product Details and Retail Prices

“As to the press release itself, a one pager or two pages maximum is a very manageable size. Many brands think they need to put their entire story into the release. They don’t, unless they are a new company. 
 
“If the release contains watch content, there should be a tech sheet with the details (movement, materials, etc.). If the release is about a jewelry collection, there should also be specifics about each piece: the number and type of stones, the carat weights, etc.  Finally, give the retail prices. Let’s face it, if I am writing a story for consumers, they want to know what something will cost them.”   
 
Trade Press
To gauge what trade publications need, we spoke with none other than National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff to see what is most helpful in a press kit for trade journalists.  
 
1. All Digital

“I would definitely tell designers to go all digital with their press kits; just put everything online and email a link that editors can easily access,” Graff says. “Very few people are interested in hauling around tons of paper or USB sticks anymore.”
 
2. List of Press Kit Contents

Graff was kind enough to also list the content she likes to see in a press kit. Her should-have items are:
  • A one-page bio on the designer or the brand: who they are, where they are from, how they got started in design, what inspires them, and what they think sets their jewelry apart; 
  • Clearly labeled, high-resolution images showing the jewelry on a white background, as well as select pieces on models for scale and use on social media; 
  •  Accompanying captions with full descriptions (metals, including karatage; gemstones, including carat weights; and retail pricing); and 
  • Details on how to contact the designer, as well as links to their various social media accounts. 
Tips from Jewelry Publicists
As seasoned jewelry veterans, the authors of this columns decided to throw in some additional tips of their own.
 
Select a cloud-based storage for your digital press kit. As mentioned above, a link to a DropBox folder works well. You can also consider Google Drive and FTP sites.

Do not “Share the folder” on DropBox or GoogleDrive with press. Rather, select the option to create a link, allowing anyone with that link to view and download the information and images. Just send the press the link in a thoughtful, brief email.
 
The digital press kit should be organized in such a way that press can view everything but only download the few items that they select or need.
 
Organize your digital press kit with clearly labeled folders and include your brand name in the title of every folder (for example, Brand X Designer Bio, Brand X High-Res Images, Brand X Lifestyle Model Images, etc.).
 
Ensure that every product shot begins with your brand name. This way, if journalists or editors download many images from various press kits, they will not be confused about which images are yours (for example, Brand X Earring 201, Brand X Collection 1 Necklace, etc.).
 
If you are including a press release, be sure to put the release on your digital letterhead and type it up in standard AP format.  Always include a date. 

As mentioned above, keep it brief and avoid adjectives that are opinions. Stick to the facts as you explain the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
For every folder in your press kit that has product images, include a document with pertinent details (descriptions, prices, etc.). 

Mini-catalogs as PDF files work well or a Microsoft Word document where details can easily be copied and pasted. Be sure that your details document has thumbnail photos of each piece above its description and price. Some journalists have price-sensitive or stone-specific stories (like birthstones), so if you do not include the details, your images may not be considered.
 
During the shows, be sure to get a business card from every journalist or editor who visits your booth. After the show, you can send a friendly follow-up email with a link to your digital press kit. Save the link in the notes on your smartphone so that you have access to it at all times during the many networking events. 
 
Most trade shows have a press office or publicist that manages media relations. If your company is exhibiting, ask your sales rep if they can connect you with the show’s PR team to see if there are any press opportunities, then drop off a few USB sticks with your press kit or better yet, a press kit flyer with a QR code to download it.  
 
Following these helpful tips makes it easier for the press to use your images. And if you make it easy, you are much more likely to garner some media attention! 

Duvall O'Steenis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.
Jen Cullen Williamsis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.

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