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Press Kits and Press Releases

A Trade Show Displays Tip:

More good information on Trade Show Displays: When composing press and promotional materials for your company for your trade shows, there are two rules of thumb to live by. They are: clarity of purpose and economy of words. So, what elements should your press kit include?

Begin with a cover letter that briefly tells the recipient who you are and why you are contacting them. The cover letter is a standard business letter and should be no more than one page. No press kit is complete without the all-important press release. The press release should tie in to some newsworthy event. Your company's presence at trade shows or exposition in and of itself does not necessarily comprise news. You, acting as publicist, need to supply the connection between your company and some larger trend or event.

The press release should always begin with the phrase: For Immediate Release, followed by the date. Make sure your release goes out well in advance of the trade shows you are informing them about. Your contact information should be in the upper right-hand corner of the document. Create a catchy headline. Include a dateline, such as Portland, Oregon-April 10, 2006. Your press release should address the who, what, when, where, and why of your story. Keep it brief, with a "just the facts" tone, and limit yourself to three or four short paragraphs, totaling no more than one page.

Include collateral items. Collateral items are any sort of promos such as postcards and bookmarks, fliers and transparencies, photos or compact discs that contain information about your company and its products plus what's being featured at the trade shows you are participating in. You might want to include a sheet with testimonials from satisfied customers.

For a more economical alternative, you can choose to send e-press releases, following the same format as the physical press release. Note, some editors prefer e-mail and some a physical press release. It is best to call ahead and find out.

Research the local media market and send your press kits to local newspapers, radio and T.V. stations. Check the websites of each news outlet you plan to contact for an employee roster. Look for the name of the business editor or reporter. If you are not sure who the appropriate contract person is, it is better to call and find out than send your materials to the wrong person. Finally, always follow-up with a quick call or e-mail asking the intended recipient if they received your materials, and if they have any questions you can help them with and perhaps if they will be attending the trade shows in question.

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