How to Design a Media Kit - ToughNickel - Money
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How to Design a Media Kit

Heidi Thorne is an author and business speaker with over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, advertising, and public relations.

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

Comments

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on June 18, 2013:

I wish I had done this when I owned a small business.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on June 18, 2013:

I wish I had done this when I owned a small business.

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on June 18, 2013:

Thanks, PegCole17! Media kits are one of those things that small businesses, in particular, struggle with, mainly because they don't know what it is. Thank goodness we have so many ways to do them online these days!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on June 18, 2013:

Very informative article here on creating media kits. Thank you so much for the detailed and useful tips. I'll be sharing this with friends who are publishing and working into this aspect of marketing.

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 12, 2013:

That is perfect! Why? Because it shows your personality. So many of us business types get kind of cookie cutter in our approach.

One BIG point: In your entire bio, you don't mention your name. Maybe "About the Author: Alan Lancaster" just above the bio would be best place. Sure, they can see it on the book covers. But this is for those who may not be able to see the images due to physical impairment AND for search engine friendliness.

At some point, you might want to also put a link at the top of the page that jumps to the bio. Something like "Click Here to Read about Ravenfeast Creator, Alan Lancaster." Be the celebrity!

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on February 12, 2013:

Hello again again Heidi!

Bio's been added to the bottom of the Bookshelf page, plus image. I shall look into the Webeden Support with respect of the order/feedback.

TTFN

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 12, 2013:

Hi Alan, Love the new Books page! And the login works, too. Can't wait to see it when the bio gets added.

Some people are very hesitant to put their email address on webpages because of the potential for people spamming your email. What I've seen some people do is put their email in a less spam-friendly format. For example, yourname at website dot com. I know it looks awkward. And I don't think it'll take long before the spammers figure these strategies out, too. So here's a better idea...

When I looked at the Webeden Support it appears that you have the capability to add an order/feedback form. See the Support article on "How do I add an order/feedback form to my site?" That is really a much better strategy than posting your email. I've found that to be a great strategy for both my blog and e-commerce sites (which are on WordPress and another e-commerce platform).

Keep me posted!

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on February 11, 2013:

Back again! Right, a few little changes and now a pop-up login on the Home page, Northworld Saga Site. Can you leave any comments on the Northworld Hub-page? I've still got to add the Personal Bio and contacts details. Would you advise using my e-mail address there?

Cheers, Alan R L

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 10, 2013:

Good luck with the books! We'll be watching for updates. Cheers!

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on February 10, 2013:

Thanks Heidi - will get to it ASAP! Who knows, it could be a winning formula!

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 09, 2013:

@alancaster149 Checked out your Northworld Saga Site. A LOT of information! Did see the Bookshelf. But it is listed below the fold (people have to scroll to see it). I would suggest creating two separate pages that would be added to your top navigation bar: Bookshelf (or even call it Books) and Press.

On the Bookshelf page, list all your titles, both published and coming soon, along with updates on availability. Doesn't have to be a lot of info on the books. Just a bit of teaser info to get people interested in buying. Then include links for where to buy (either online or in stores).

On the Press page, include your short biography and contact info (if you want people to connect with you for media opportunities on the books), along with updates on your books.

Just a side note, with the premier of the Marvel Comic's movie sequel to Thor in late 2013, I think your topic may draw some interest around that time. Be on the lookout for opportunities in your area!

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 09, 2013:

Thanks for weighing in! I'll check the sites and comment accordingly. Good luck with the books!

Heidi Thorne (author) from Chicago Area on February 09, 2013:

Thank you for your kind comments! It's so important to be ready for those all important connections with the press. Glad you found it helpful!

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on February 09, 2013:

Horse-sense at last! Does my own web site class as a 'brochure'? Have a look at my NORTHWORLD SAGA SITE page and click on the link. Aside from on my RAVENFEAST page on this site, it gives readers a 'bookshelf' to scan. Not a lot on it yet, but the third book in the RAVENFEAST book series, OUTCAST is due around late April/May, and the 'product list' is set to expand!.

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD from Texas, USA on February 09, 2013:

Great Hub. Very helpful and professional advice for those who aren't in the media. Voted up and useful.