The Japanese Animation Press Kit Project

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Press Kit Concepts

Press Kit Concepts

The creation of a media press kit, in the context of anime media relations, involves three principal concepts. These concepts are Impress, Educate, and Exploit, in descending order of importance. If the press kit can be designed to incorporate these concepts in balance, it will very likely be successful for its intended purpose. This section describes the concepts of Impress, Educate, Exploit in detail and how to apply them to the press kit creation process.

I. Impress

In other words, the physical appearance of the press kit. This is easily the most important of the three concepts, due to the fact that it will be the first noticed by potential media sources. It can never be overstated that the kit must have a professional and official appearance, and must be able to be easily read and understood. In many cases this will be the first exposure of real anime information to a media source; thus, the kit must be crafted to facilitate the introduction of the media source into the world of anime and anime fandom.

In terms of actual appearance, the analogy of a good business report is encouraged. In essence, the press kit is meant to sell something, namely: the awareness of anime and/or the specific event to be promoted. Thus, it has to grab the attention of the reader from the first page; this usually entails the use of color anime art, fancy logos and large text on the title page. Similar artwork and large text for emphasis of key points is also favorable. Standardized page formats and fonts should also be arranged. Art selection is left up to the individual authors, but it is stressed that the pictures used should reflect the whole scope of anime and anime fandom, even if a specific genre is the focus. This will avoid the media's tendencies to sensationalize the kids/adults extremes of anime.

As for the text itself, an effort should be made not to concentrate it in small fonts over a few pages, but rather in medium fonts over many pages. Potential media sources will not want to read something that looks like a report. Something that is bright, spacious and colorful, with proper readable fonts that vary in size and shape according to the required emphasis, will accomplish the purpose of the press kit better than a business report.

Finally, the kit should be covered with a "duo tang"-style plastic cover with a clear front, coil-bound, or otherwise bound. These options are left mostly to the economics of the situation. However, staples should be avoided to maintain the professional appearance of the kit.

II. Educate

This is the real "meat" of the press kit, in which most of the background information is disseminated. Since the kit will be used as a resource by media sources, it is extremely important that the information being presented is done in a factual, unbiased and objective way. Many media sources are led astray by consulting only partially qualified sources or biased sources seeking to further their own agenda.

The ultimate goal is to make anime fandom itself into an unbiased resource to which the media can refer. By default, all press kits become the instruments of this effort by being official publications of fandom. Thus, it cannot over-emphasize the stereotypical anime misconceptions, nor can in over-emphasize the media's role in creating those same misconceptions. The goal is not to insult the media, but to educate them.

To this end, facts that are written into the press kit must be able to be supported by some other source other than the authors' opinions. Making references to legitimate books, articles and other published material is encouraged, because it gives the impression that anime is more written about than typically thought, and that the scope of anime fandom and its associated media coverage is larger than typically thought.

The actual completeness of the information presented is dependent on the goals of the press kit. If the intent of the kit is only to present information about anime and anime fandom and nothing else, then most of the available information about the specific topic can be presented. Conversely, if the intent is to get media attention, for example interviews for an anime event, then enough information only to cover the critical points of the event and some other key points should be addressed. The idea is to whet the appetites of the potential media sources and thus encourage them to reply to the letter of intent

In any case, it is important to promote the author organization of the press kit as a resource that should be consulted when an article is to be written or filmed. It is for this purpose that some of the information of the press kit is deliberately left out. Likewise, it is equally important that more topics than the primary one be described in at least passing detail. It is important to describe the scope of anime fandom in any press kit, as part of the effort to establish anime and anime fandom as a mainstream phenomenon, or something relatively close to it.

III. Exploit

Experience has noted that when it comes to anime fandom, the media is very lazy, and very uneducated about anime in general aside from the usual misconceptions. Due to the lack of qualified people or organizations to which media sources can refer, many sources instead refer to logical alternatives, which tend to be either misinformed, uninformed, or worst of all biased in some way. Many media sources have good intentions, but are unfortunately led by information received by these unqualified parties.

There is also the media's penchant for sensationalism to consider. Anime is currently receiving the same sort of bad coverage that heavy metal music did during the last decade. For this reason, the press kit must be presented in a balanced fashion, to prevent the media from focusing on these areas.

However, the tactics some unsavory sources use towards the media, as well as sensationalism itself, can work in favor of anime and anime fandom. If the press kit is presented in a suitable manner that will convince the reader that it is a legitimate source of information, it will be used in favor of the unsuitable sources.

It has been shown that media sources may directly quote material from the press kit, in lieu of re-writing it themselves. This offers an opportunity for press kit material to directly influence the media. This will require good writing skills and text which would be suitable for written article. In this manner, desired messages can also be put across to the audience subtly, especially if surrounded by information that the media would find useful.

This concept may require some guerilla-style tactics to accomplish, but if the message is to be put across and be found favorable to other sources in the eye of the media, then it may have to be done. However, as described in the previous section, every statement must be a fact and be supportable by at least one other source. The large difference between an anime press kit and the unsuitable sources is that the anime press kit is an unbiased document supported by fact from other sources.


The three concepts of Impress, Educate, Exploit have been shown to be successful in the anime press kit. It is believed that writing a press kit with these concepts firmly in mind will lead to the accomplishment of a kit's goals.

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