Developing a nonprofit press kit

Published on March 5, 2015 by      Print
Developing a nonprofit press kit

A press kit should provide the media with the necessary background information about the organization in a simple, concise and user-friendly way. Done well, a press kit will educate journalists and provide the basics about the organization, its leadership, services and issues it supports. Press kits can be used in a variety of ways, including supplying media-ready contact and background information about the organization, highlighting the social issues, services and programs available at the organization and offering the organization’s leadership as experts in the field. While there is no set standard of what to include in a press kit, the kit should be tailored to the audience and venue for distribution. The print press kit should also be made available on the organization’s website.

Following are elements that should be included in a press kit:

Pocket Folder. Simple pocket folders can be utilized to hold all the information for the press kit. The organization’s name should be on the cover. The logo should appear as well, assuming it is carefully placed. A business card can be placed in the business card slot in the folder.

Intro Letter. The first page in the press kit, placed on the nonprofit’s letterhead, should be an informative letter that briefly explains what is in the press kit and its purpose.

Lead Release. If supporting a particular announcement or event, the lead press release can contain this information and should be the first element a journalist sees. This lead release should be placed at the front of the right side of the folder for easy, immediate viewing.

Background. This section of the press kit is typically two to three pages in length and contains the background of the organization, its history and future direction. This should be written in third person and be media ready. Remember to update this section often with recent accomplishments.

Biographical information. To position staff leadership as experts in the field, include one-page bios of the executive director, top level management and subject-area experts at the organization. Bios should be on letterhead and contain and the individual’s name, title, history with the organization and basic information. Bios could also contain relevant quotes and a photo.

Fact Sheets. Fact sheets can provide more comprehensive, detailed information about the organization, including information about its mission, programs and services. Fact sheets also are useful for highlighting particular social issues and advocacy work relevant to the organization.

Recent newsletter or brochure. Include the organization’s most recent newsletter and brochure if available.

Recent press coverage. Include the organization’s most recent positive press coverage, printed on letterhead.

Stacy Jones is a nonprofit marketing consultant with SHOESTRING (the nonprofit’s agency). Stacy can be reached at heroes@shoestring.agency  or 1-888-835-6236.

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