How to Design a Media Kit
Think you're not press-worthy? Fact is, you probably are. The key is knowing how to present yourself and your business to the media so that you and your story can be considered for publication in newspapers, magazines, television shows, websites, and more.
Your media kit is your public relations "sales brochure." In this article, you'll learn how to design a media kit that shows prospective editors and reporters what you have to offer them and their audiences.
What Is a Media Kit?
First of all, let's talk about what a media kit is. Actually, there are two types of media kits: one to attract potential media interest and the other is to attract potential advertisers for your publication, blog, or show. The one we'll be discussing in this article is to attract the media.
Quite simply, it is a public relations tool that is a collection of documents, usually attractively packaged in some sort of folder or envelope, distributed to members of the press and other interested parties so that they can easily learn more about you. Unlike a sales kit you would give to customers, it sells you and your company as potential subjects to be featured in various publications, broadcasts, and events.
Here is a list of common items you would include in a media kit:
- Contact information sheet and/or business card.
- Latest company brochure.
- Copies of recent and/or relevant press releases.
- List or copies of recent mentions or articles published about you and your business.
- High quality photos (a big selling point), videos and/or audio clips highlighting you, your company, products, and services collected in a list showing where they can be downloaded on the web. You could also include a CD/DVD of them, but usually it is not worth the expense.
- White papers or other reports you may have published.
- Promotional speaker one-sheet (if pursuing speaking engagements).
(A bit later, we'll talk about digital media kits which are, in many cases, replacing physical ones.)
Editors and reporters may take your press releases and photos directly from your kit and automatically include them in an upcoming issue or broadcast. They may also contact you for more information if they think your story has merit and fits within their editorial calendars or other publishing projects they have in progress. Or they may never contact you. (Sorry, it happens.) But your well designed package can help open more doors to cost-effective public relations opportunities.
Money Saving Tips
I'm going to presume that because you're searching on the Internet for advice on media kits, that you're not working for a major advertising or public relations agency. If you were, you wouldn't even be asking. I'll also presume that you have not hired such an agency to prepare your PR media package. If you did, they would be handling all this for you.
So you, as a small business owner or entrepreneur, are probably going to be doing this on your own. And with typically tight budgets in smaller companies, you want to find money saving tips to look professional without having to hire someone do it for you.
Actually, it's a pretty straightforward process. The big guys in the corporate world usually spend to have specially printed and designed folders and inserts. But that is not usually necessary.
So let's quickly look at the pieces from that list of kit contents above. Do any of those, excluding your sales brochure, need to be commercially printed? No! With today's photocopy services (such as at FedEx, UPS, office supply stores, and quick print shops), you can often print right from your digital file to create crisp, clean copies of your inserts. Way cheaper than getting them commercially printed, especially if you only need a few kits, say less than 100.
For your folder, you can purchase some high quality paper two-pocket folders, usually for less than a couple dollars each (sometimes way less) online or from office supply stores. Gloss finish folders give it a classy look.
To customize the folder for your company, put a larger label with your company name, logo, tagline (or couple word description of your company) and website on the front of the folder. If you plan to print on your ink jet printer, use the highest quality labels you can find.
The Digital Media Kit
It is really easy—and cheap—to create a digital media kit. These days, many editors and reporters even prefer your digital materials more than a folder full of paper.
First, you need to set up a "Press" page on your website or blog. Upload all your media kit documents to your website. On the newly created Press page, create a short introduction paragraph that gives media members a quick overview of you and your company. Then follow that with a list of links to each of your media kit documents.
Easy, schmeasy, done!
What Do I Do With My Media Kit?
You've got your media kit ready to go. Now what?
Again, unlike a sales kit, you are not going to send your press package out like a direct mail piece. Here are ways that media kits are typically distributed:
- Send to relevant media contacts on request.
- Send along with story pitches to editors.
- Make them available in press rooms or lounges at trade shows and expos. This distribution privilege is usually only given to those companies officially exhibiting at these events. Just a heads up: When I was in the trade show business, we used to trash all media kits that were sneaked in to the press area by non-exhibitors.
- Have them available at your trade show booth for media contacts that may stop by.
- Have your digital media kit posted on your website's Press page for 24/7/365 access by members of the media.
- Send to event planners who may want to hire you for speaking engagements.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 Heidi Thorne