A Tale of Two Press Kits

//A Tale of Two Press Kits

A Tale of Two Press Kits

A Tale of Two Press Kits

The synchronicity of this business never ceases to amaze me!

On the same day I heard a wonderful teleseminar about the value of electronic press kits from Michelle Tennant at Wasabi Public Relations as she introduced her new www.PressKit247.com site to host electronic press kits for the media, I received a startling email from a client who told me he won’t post his press kit online!

Why not?

Emanuel Errico III, president of STFB Inc. an accounting software company explains:
“When I went to do my press kit, I wanted to find a bunch of examples from other companies so I can make sure that I was doing the right thing, or, even to use as a template. What I found out is that no one in my industry publishes their press kit publicly anymore. I went to Inacct, NetLedger, and a few others, and while some of them had on-line press rooms with press releases and maybe a company summary, they did not disclose much information at all, and definitely not as much information as I have in my press kit.

“I can offer up some reasons for this. Maybe you have noticed testimonials and references disappearing from websites recently? I mean of course you can find them but they are not as prevalent as they used to be. Well the reason for this is that (and this happened to us by the way) other companies were contacting those people on the testimonial and reference list and using it as a “ready-made” prospecting list.

“If you take this one step further, a competitor can take a press kit and get a lot of good information from it, even use it to prepare a business plan (I have heard of this happening firsthand as well), and also find the reference information that has already been removed from websites (for prospecting). Yes, this industry is getting very ugly as it matures.”

Errico is not a voice in the wilderness.

For many years, I’ve spoken at conferences about web marketing and business people have told me that headhunters scour their sites and try to recruit their sales people. So they don’t list sales people on their websites. Others tell of poaching client lists of retailers from the section entitled “where to buy” our merchandise.

There’s no easy answer to this question, I tell them. “There’s always a balance between disappointing the thousands of prospects (and reporters) who visit you site looking for information that isn’t there, vs. the snooping eyes of a handful of competitors who want to eat your lunch.”

Where’s the balance?

It depends on who you are, what you do and how safe you feel.

Remember first, that you don’t have to put anything and everything on your website. Save that for the IRS audit (bad joke, sorry).

I figure that the competitors will find the information anyway, no matter what you try to do to stop them. Of course, you don’t have to make it easy for them, but I’d bet any company can hire any bona fide researcher to find out more than you know about your own company. Very little info is private, or can’t be gotten from someone in your supply chain or network of contacts who deals with both companies and has much to gain by sharing info about each company.

So the downside risk is there.

But if reporters can’t find info they need, you’ll probably never get written about.

I spoke to the National Football League about this issue several years ago and they said they had a “media only” area on their site that was by admission only. They didn’t want fans to clog up the network. The NFL can get away with this tactic since they have a ready supply of bona fide reporters who can be credentialed and will be thankful that restrictions are in place so they can do their jobs effectively.

However, for the company struggling to get every inch of coverage it can muster, hiding information behind password protected sites can limit their coverage opportunities at best and hurt them in the court of public opinion in case of a crisis situation, at worst.

As I said, no easy answers. You have to decide what benefits your company and what hurts it. The answers will vary by your own circumstances.

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER

By |2016-11-28T23:38:45+00:00July 28th, 2005|PR LEADS General Advice|3 Comments

About the Author:

Dan Janal, author of "Write Your Book In A Flash!" helps leaders write books so they can get more clients and sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, developmental editing and ghostwriting. For info, go to http://www.WriteYourBookInAFlash.com.


  1. Tracy Masington August 3, 2005 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    You offer a fabulous presentation of this very important debate — how much of yourself/your goods to present online. Such a Catch 22. Enough to entice, not enough to steal. A delicate dance. Thank you for your thoughtful input on the subject matter.

  2. Michelle Tennant, Wasabi Publicity, Inc. August 10, 2005 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe there is even a debate on whether publicists should create online press kits or not. OF COURSE THEY SHOULD. If there is information that shouldn’t be given to the public, then hide it from public view and save it for private view by the reporters with whom you work.

    Good online press kits like the ones at http://www.presskit247.com/ allow you to hide documents that you don’t want the public to have but you DO want your reporters to have. I for one have been called by the Wall Street Journal at ten o’clock at night and they are put at ease when I can tell a reporter on deadline, “No worries. I have all you need for your story at such and such URL.” Some times these URLs are private; other times they are public. A good publicist in today’s fast-paced environment must have materials accessible to reporters at all hours of the day – online press kit links get past spam filters and firewalls at large media venues. Plus, I save tons and tons of money on overnight charges. You just can’t email large attachments; nor should you since 95% of reporters today request, “NO ATTACHMENTS” — it fills up their inboxes.

    So just make sure the online press kit tool you’re using allows you to control the information and who gets to see it. The tool I use does this.

    “Edit-it-24-7” technology was such a valuable tool, our firm launched another company just to provide this service to other publicists, like me. Guess I’m biased. But when that reporter says, “Great. It’s all here for me.” I know I’ve gotten my job done and my client gets ink.

    ~ Michelle Tennant
    Wasabi Publicity, Inc.
    Another blog: http://www.TheWasabiClub.com
    Press Kits: http://www.PressKits247.com(This service will give you what PRNewswire’s Online Press Kits do but for thousands less. Plus you can resell the service to your clients. Check it out and hide what you don’t want the public to see. You set up private links yourself and control who gets those links.)

  3. Turnkey Builder October 8, 2005 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Get unlimited webhosting at uk web hosting

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