The Hosted Press Kit: How to Make a Blogger’s Life Easier

In the past, press kits would be folders of fact sheets, text files, and images or PDFs hosted in Dropbox or attached to emails. Can you imagine how annoying that was for bloggers and journalists?

They would have to comb through five different files, download large folders just to get an idea of whether or not your app was worthy of covering, and repeat for all the other pitches they had in their inbox.

Yeesh! No wonder why bloggers and journalists would be rattled. TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher said it best: The Press Release is Dead.

Thankfully, those days are long gone. When I first wrote about how I used Medium as a press kit, I was surprised that more people hadn’t tried it already.

Founders, marketers, PR folks — I think you’re going to like this. It’ll be less work for you to put together, and the bloggers and journalists you reach out to will hate you less. If you have good timing and put some thought into your story, they might actually like you. You’ve given them a very well-packaged, well-thought out story, not just a dump of data and an infomercially pitch full of PR jargon.

Let’s unpack the idea of a Medium Press Kit and explore it a bit further:

Why Medium for Press Kits?

Medium is designed to make writing look beautiful. The platform is about sharing stories. In a nutshell, PR is also about sharing your product story. I’ve long felt that there is something intangible about the interface which will encourage you to write it as such.

A lot of bloggers are using Medium and reading on it, so they’ll be more used to the experience.

Some other perks to Medium:

  • You can edit it easily anytime, and it will reflect these changes immediately. Try fixing a file or error when it’s already downloaded on a blogger’s computer.
  • Medium displays tweets, videos, GIFs, images as embeds beautifully.
  • It’s a URL. It’s one click away, which makes the blogger’s job easier. It’s also easier for the blogger to share with their colleagues or their readers.
  • Medium is a great place for blogging, and could be an untapped PR channel itself. That means if you choose to make your press kit public, more people will see it than if you’d just uploaded it on Dropbox or something.
  • Quite a few companies are already using Medium as a PR channel (like HBO and the Daily Show). Take it one step further and put your press kit here. When Figma announced their launch, they got a ton of traction just off Medium alone. (They still got covered at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Fast Co.Design.)

If you’re a high profile company (or thought leader or celebrity CEO) or have a lot of Medium/Twitter followers, Medium enables you to make the most of your existing social network. You share the news on a platform they’re already familiar with and your followers (some of which could be bloggers and journalists) already use.

Obviously you could create your own presswebpage, but that takes way more resources than simply copying and pasting text into a Medium document. (If you do, try presskit().)

You could also host your press kit at a site like Totem, but those are paid services. It also doesn’t get the type of traffic that Medium could potentially get you.

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What We Did Last Time

Our press kit for Next Keyboard on Medium

When we launched Next Keyboard, we published our press kit as an unlisted on Medium. We embedded videos, Tweets, and photos. It was a great press kit — all conveniently located in one post. Of course, we still hosted all our high-res photos and GIFs on Dropbox and link to it at the end of the post. It worked out really well for us. Next Keyboard was covered on Techcrunch, The Verge and Mashable.

When you put everything a blogger needs for their article in one spot, they’re going to like that. They’re going to appreciate you because you didn’t just do what’s most convenient for you. You actually thought about them. And even if they don’t write about you now, it starts the relationships on the right foot.

We kept it as unlisted because we figured that it’d be best for bloggers and journalists to get the details first, before passing it along to their audiences. Unlisted posts on Medium are visible to only those who have the link. It won’t be listed on Medium’s public pages or your profile. You can choose to keep it as a draft, or publish the post as an Unlisted post, like we did, or a public post.

What We’re Doing Next Time

Next time, we’re still going to write it on Medium, but we’re going to make our press kit and announcement available to the public.

Medium press kit for Emoji Party

That’s exactly what we’re doing for Emoji Party — our charades for Apple TV (and iPhone) that we’re launching this week. You can check out the press kit here. This time around we also made sure to run our press kit by journalists to make sure we were focusing on the most newsworthy elements.

Holla at me here 👉 [email protected] if you’re a blogger interested in writing about Emoji Party 😉

Naturally, we’ll continue to coordinate our product launches with PR as well. We actually already work with some of our clients on this as a service offering. For example, we helped The Learning Partnership build their app, Real Talk, and we also helped them launch it with a feature on Lifehacker and Betakit. You can find the Medium press kit that we used for the Real Talk launch here.

Real Talk featured on Lifehacker

Now, Over to You

We really appreciate that you’ve read this piece (and doubly so if you’ve been following along with the entire journey). We’re actually looking for feedback to help figure out what kind of knowledge gaps you have. This helps us creating better content, but also develop solutions based on real, actual, problems that you have. If you’d like to ask us any feedback, questions or pick our brain, fill out this Typeform here. We’d love to chat.

Oh, and bloggers, do you have any complaints or thoughts that you’d like to share with publicists and entrepreneurs? We’d love to hear from you as well. And if anyone ever sends you a clumsily packaged press kit, you know where to point them to ;-)

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Robleh Jama is the founder of Tiny Hearts, an award-winning product studio. They make their own products like Next Keyboard, Wake Alarm and Quick Fit — as well as products for clients like Plantronics and Philips.

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