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.