Budget vs. Creativity

ATTENTION! Did I grab yours?

Attention is what the media constantly craves from consumers. However, capturing an audience’s attention not only applies to the media’s attempts with consumers, but also to marketers trying to reach the media. And when it comes to the latter, media kits are the first line of defense.  Whether digital or physical, media kits should be both well designed and well written enough to quickly capture the interests of your targeted journalists, bloggers, investors, salespeople, customers, etc.

I’m not just telling you this, I know this. In my current job position, I focus on corporate sponsorship sales. I do a lot of research on various companies and organizations. Part of what I do requires me to find their online media kit (if it exist), using it to find out what and who they are. I then use the information I gather to determine if their target market and goals match the community I work in; if they do, I proceed to make contact with their corporate offices. After viewing many electronic kits, I have found I am simply quite bored with them. It seems there is nothing interesting or fun about the PDF versions I have stumbled upon, even though they are professionally designed.

In my google search of press kits I found that my favorite, and the ones I thought were out of the box cool, were intricately designed physical kits. I mean after seeing this PS2 press kit that was a model of the PS2 with slots for literature, it is pretty hard to imagine a digital kit that could beat that.

playstation-2-innovative-press-kit-design

However, I did stumble upon a company called Webpulication, that creates online interactive press kits. Their example kit proved that moving objects and clicking can be just as mesmerizing as getting a PS2 model. (Below is a screenshot of it).

interactive press kit

Both of these examples are pretty cool, but who reading this has a marketing budget big enough to pay for such an intricately designed press kit? Or to pay a developer to build such a complicated, interactive press kit? I have found as an account planner, and I think this is true for many other jobs as well, that there is a constant battle between budget and creativity: or what you want to do. It is like a boxing match between two mindsets, “bigger is always better” and “less is more”. However, as young professionals we must learn how to navigate the ring. I am still learning how to do this myself, so I would love to hear from young, and experienced professionals, about how you justify whether or not money should be spent on a project. Below are a couple of things I consider before deciding.

Needs: Think of basic needs. What is the bare minimum I need to do to reach the goal I have? Then move up a degree. Using the press kit as an example, the bare minimum would be a word document with the information. Then, if I have the money and believe there is a need for a more professional document (FYI if you have your media kit as a typed word document you are doing it wrong!) I will hire a graphic artist.

Time: Time is a very important factor. It plays a role in many things, like how much time you have before you need what you need, how much time will it take to complete what you need, etc. Normally the more time you spend on something the higher the cost. For example a PDF brochure will not take as long to make as an online interactive press kit.

Function: Function helps you make a lot of decisions about what to do. So always think about how whatever you create will be used. Will you need a small number for a specific group of people like the gamer/tech writers at a conference? (Physical press kit.) Or do you need it to be easily accessible to a variety of different groups? (Online press kit.)

That point leaves me with my last thought: Can a marketer’s dream ever win against budget?

– Caroline Robinson

PS: Don’t forget to share how you justify spending money out of the budget to complete your creative projects.

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