Thanks to the rapid growth of social media and the introduction of new platforms and features like TikTok and Instagram Reels, PR boxes have become increasingly popular among media personnel, influencers and their audiences.

Receiving a package in the mail is always exciting, and even more so when that package contains a gift. When it comes to PR boxes, the excitement is in both the surprise and the presentation. Who the box is from and what is waiting inside creates buzz, which is exactly the goal. PR boxes should be eye-catching and unique enough to land a coveted “unboxing” video. Unboxing videos are popular among influencers on YouTube, Instagram stories, Instagram Reels and TikTok. If executed strategically, the potential exposure from a PR box can be huge.

Here at T&C, we have designed, assembled and distributed PR boxes as a service for clients. Now, we’re sharing our best tips and tricks for crafting the perfect PR box to send to top media and influencers. When budgeting for PR boxes, there are a few things to consider. Not only should you budget for the product(s) inside the box, but you should also consider any additional marketing materials you might need (like a letter or thank you note to go inside), going the extra mile with beautiful packaging, and shipping costs.

First thing’s first, nail down your strategy. Why are you sending PR boxes and what is your desired result? The biggest goal of sending a PR box is often to gain brand exposure and build stronger relationships with the recipients. When the Alaska Travel Industry Association hosted a virtual event called Live from Alaska, T&C team designed, assembled and distributed PR boxes that could bring the beauty, history, culture and wonder of Alaska to people across the country. The boxes were designed to include a piece from each of Alaska’s five regions and tie together history, culture and local businesses.

Once you know what’s going inside, it’s time to think about packaging. First impressions matter! It’s important now more than ever that the packaging itself is creative and eye-catching. Media and influencers receive a lot of packages and yours should stand out among the others sitting on the doorstep.

The two biggest details of packaging are durability and design. The product needs to arrive unscathed and the box should be tailored or arranged to hold products in place during transport. When it comes to packaging design, a PR box should be visually appealing and use brand colors, fonts and materials. As part of a pristine PR box presentation, it is essential that every element of the packaging and product reflect the client’s brand. So, splurging a little more on branded boxes, labels and other on-brand materials will be worth it.

Once your strategy is clearly defined, the next step is establishing a hit list. How many PR boxes will be distributed and who will the lucky recipients be? The recipient’s interests and their audience should correlate with your brand and mission. For example, the boxes T&C distributed on behalf of ATIA were sent to travel writers, travel influencers and travel agents. Do some digging! Find out if media or influencers have covered a similar product or have a problem the product can solve. They should be excited about the product you are sending them and so should their audience.

Sometimes less is more! If you’re working with a smaller budget, opt to splurge on a higher quality design, product and presentation and only send PR boxes to a carefully selected handful of key media and influencers.

The idea of a PR box is to promote a brand or new product. It’s important to include a note about the client or brand, the product, a promo code and instructions on how to use the product. For example, we designed PR boxes for our client Visit Anchorage that included a fact sheet, providing background on the products included and Anchorage as a travel destination.

Additional tips & tricks:

  • Timing is everything! Remember your key audience and any timely events occurring. Is there a holiday or major event coming up that you can tie your boxes into? Also, keep in mind major industry events. Don’t send PR boxes to arrive while all key media players and influencers are at an industry conference or event.
  • Use inner packaging to keep everything in place. Nothing puts a damper on an unboxing video than everything shifting during shipping.
  • If sending liquids, ensure the lids are screwed on tightly. If sending fragile items, wrap them in bubble wrap to keep from breaking.
  • Design various product packaging presentations before settling on one to see what placement works best.
  • PR boxes don’t always have to coincide with an event or product launch. Keep a few evergreen products and PR box materials on hand to send to new contacts throughout the year.

PR boxes are a fun, creative way to get your client or brand in front of key industry players. Want to further your brand exposure? Learn more about our comprehensive public relations, media relations and influencer relations services or schedule a consultation.

—Brittany Thurmbuchler, Thompson & Co. PR

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