Online political press kits are helpful in that basic campaign information can be kept in one place, and the information is easily accessible. Press kit material can be added to its own section on your campaign website or incorporated into your contact page.
Traditionally, digital press kits are built into a series web pages where the goal is to advertise the site. Using that format on a campaign website is a little redundant, since you are not looking for advertisers, and the point of the site is to sell the candidate. Instead, a campaign press kit is designed to create digestible information that can be easily downloaded by voter and reporters and incorporated into media coverage about your campaign.
So what goes into a political online press kit? It depends, really. Unlike a physical press packet, an online press kit can be broken up to be downloaded in part or in whole. PDFs work well as a common file format for documents.
You can save your files as PDFs through Word, or you can convert them through a free tool like PrimoPDF. Images can be grouped together and compressed into ZIP files. WinZip is a popular compression program, but there are free alternatives available such as jzip.
A campaign press kit can include:
- A cover letter describing the candidate and campaign.
- A candidate biography. Don’t forget to add a photo and related web links.
- Press releases from the organization.
- Digital copies of logos, brochures, flyers, etc.
- Photographs of the candidate and events from the campaign trail. Offer several versions for download. Low-res files can be used for web, but print requires larger images with higher resolution.
- Newspaper or other media excerpts. Rather than reprinting the material outright, you could create a document or PDF file with links.
- A Question and Answer sheet covering the major issues. This should include standard platform information and cover basic questions.
In your material, avoid fluff about how great the candidate is. Keep the material professional and up to date. You don’t need to necessarily link to your files. You can keep them private and only provide direct download links when necessary.
A PR kit can also be created for events. Again, this is packet of information meant to inform the media about a fundraiser, meeting or public debate. This may contain much of the same content as your regular kit, but tailored with additional background or press release information about the event.
To quickly get your material into the hands of the media, reach out early. Find out what reporters cover your area and send them a quick introduction and contact information, letting them know where they can find up-to-date information about your campaign. Remind reporters of your online press kit following candidate interviews or when you are submitting press releases. Anything you can do to make a journalist’s job easier is helpful and, if you’re lucky, may lead to better media coverage.
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