FAQ: Press Kits, Part II

Q. How should I package the kit?
A. Keeping in mind that these magazines get press kits day in, day out, so it could be helpful to try and package your kit to help it stand out. I use a nice presentation folder to hold my kit, as well as a colored envelope to mail it in, with colors to match my site/brand look and feel.

I've definitely tried more creative kits, with interactive elements to folders with fancy covers and higher-quality materials. It's a matter of cost and time and is up to you.

QUICK TIP #4: Don't make your kit so gimmicky that it detracts from your products or is so difficult to open/use that they'll just want to toss it.

Q. Should I include hi-res photos on CD?
A. I have never done this myself, but I hear that more and more magazines are open to receiving CDs. Especially for smaller publications, ones that will use your images directly and not take their own photos of the items (a Woman's World magazine, for example). Like everything else, be sure to label the disc clearly and label the images you upload onto it clearly (do not leave "100034dc.jpg" as the image name!). Imagine that the disc gets separated from your kit -- you want them to be able to identify the disc and pictures on it.

Q. Should I courier/FedEx/hand deliver my kit?
A. Unless it has been requested by a certain date by an editor, I believe there is no need to ship your kit overnight express or spend money on special handling. Mail it in a trackable way to ensure the delivery. From what I hear, you will get no special consideration for mailing a package in a more expensive way -- the most likely scenario is that assistants are screening the mail, and it all gets opened and put in a pile!

Q. What do I do to follow up?
A. Great question! It is probably a good habit to telephone a day or two after they have gotten your mailing with a polite, "Hi, I am so-and-so and I wanted to be sure you got my recent press kit. I'm available for questions, etc..." More often than not, you'll get an assistant on the line or a voice-mailbox. You will rarely get the editor in person (but be prepared for the possibility!). After the first round of press kits, I stopped phoning. But I don't think it hurts.

QUICK TIP #5: Don't be discouraged if you get no acknowledgement of a press kit you sent out! Rest assured that you will get filed and they will contact you if they want to. Keep them on your mailing list and hang tough! Keep trying to guess at what a particular publication is looking for and ... give it to 'em with the next kit.

Q. How often do I send a Press Kit?
A. There are four major seasons in fashion -- Spring, Summer, Fall, Holiday. In general, magazines are planning their issues about 3 months in advance. It is probably good practice to send a kit for each season, or the seasons where your line is strongest. I don't know for sure the timing, but based on the 3 month rule, give them some advance time on the season.

That's it for now, I hope that helps. Check out my Press success at the Peggy Li Creations Press Page.

FAQ: Press Kits 101, Part I

I was working on my Peggy Li Creations 2007 Press Kit and thought I'd go into more depth here about what goes into a press kit.

Q. What is a Press Kit, anyway?
A. A Press Kit is a compilation of information that can be hardcopy or digital (on CD-rom) about your company that you can send to magazines and anyone who wants information about your products and company.

Q. What should I include in a Press Kit?
A. There are a few schools of thought on this one. Here is a list of what I always include:
1. Cover letter: introduce yourself and your company. Write the letter to the specific person/organization you are targeting. Give a few examples of why they should review your product line. For example, if I were pitching to San Francisco Magazine, I'd be sure to emphasize how I am a local San Francisco designer!

QUICK TIP #1: Be sure to include all your contact information in your cover letter, and put your ID on every page (just in case your pages get mixed up or misplaced).

2. Bio: A brief and friendly description of yourself and your company. This is the place you can include more of a story about yourself and your business that didn't go into the cover letter. Here is a great place to play up the mythology of your business and what makes you unique, for example, if your work was inspired by your grandmother, or how you left a big corporate job to follow your dream, etc.

QUICK TIP #2: Consider including a photo of yourself in your bio. Think of how many magazines do designer profiles with photos -- they are interested in what you look like! This can also make sense if it goes with your story; if I'm pitching to an Asian American magazine, they can see I'm really Asian!

3. Line sheet: These are 1-2 pages (maybe more, but I wouldn't go over 3) showing images of your collection. They should be clean, clear and usually have a small description for each item, which includes the name, item number, and sometimes the retail price. Be sure to give a key for any terms you use. This is what the reader can use to ask for samples, so the easier to see and select items, the better! If you can visually group the items on the page (all the reds together, all the tops together, etc) I think that helps the reader scan the page for what they want.

3. Press sheet: Give a few clips of your most recent press. Reviews from friends and family unfortunately don't count.

QUICK TIP #3: Print out your pages on nice quality paper. Your pictures will come out better and it will feel more professional!

Stay tuned for Part II, which covers mailing and timing! And be sure to visit my website, Handmade Jewelry by Peggy Li.

PLC on "What About Brian", Season 2

Peggy Li Creations Handmade Jewelry makes an appearance on season 2 of ABC show "What About Brian?". Amanda Detmer wears my Green Quartz Moon necklace on the episode "What About All That Glitters?".

Jim Collins, Business Guru

I first heard about Jim Collins when I saw him on the Charlie Rose show in 2002, talking about his book "Built to Last." He has spent his career analyzing leadership and businesses to discover what makes them successful. He has great advice for anyone who has ever held a job or wanted to be their own boss (ie everyone!). When I started my handmade jewelry business Peggy Li Creations his words became even more inspiring.

Check out his website here (lots of audio clips of his lectures): JimCollins.com

Get his book on Amazon.com: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials)

and watch his interview with Charlie Rose here.

Check it out!

Lucky June Jewelry Guide?

Exciting news! Keep your fingers crossed, Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry may be in Lucky Magazine for the June jewelry guide! Here are some of the samples I submitted:

What are the hot trends for summer?

Clear Crystal:
Crystal Drop Necklace

Organic Metals:
Orbital Necklace

Timeless Filigree:
Flower Filigree Necklace

Candy Colors:
Lemon Chunk Necklace
Pastel Filigree Earrings

Modern Ethnic:
Long Lapis Necklace
Silk Wrap Necklaces

New Events for Peggy Li Creations

Spring is here and Peggy Li Creations handmade jewelry is gearing up for designer art shows!

Meet me and see my jewelry at:

Hollywood Shop 'Til You Drop

When: March 11th, 11-4PM
Where: Hilton Garden Hotel
1800 Powell Street
Emeryville, California 94608


GenArt Shopping Night

Thursday, May 31st 6PM-10PM
Where: The Galleria, San Francisco Design Center
101 Henry Adams Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Keep up with all Peggy Li Creations events at my website here.