How to Create An Effective Media Kit

Your media kit is an essential part of your public relations plan. It's your calling card and speaks for you when you aren't there to share the story of your brand yourself.  For this reason it's recommended you always have at least 10 prepared media kits (physical copies) ready to go. We will talk about digital or electronic media kits as well, but we will begin with what you need in order to prepare your physical media kit.

At it's most basic, the media kit you present, whether you are a service, expert, or product should include all the information necessary for a person to understand who you are, what you do, what you sell and where you do it without having to speak to you.  People should also be able to see what you or your product look like, and they should be able to keep all of this information in one place.  So let's start with the physical look of a media kit. 

THE PHYSICAL MEDIA KIT

Though more and more often these days people rely on sending media kits electronically these days, physical media kits, or "hard copy" as some refer to them, are still essential to your pr campaign as they will still be requested and you always bring them to media appointments and be able to leave them behind. Search our member Business Directory for graphic designers who can design your kit.

Though branded folders and fancy material can be nice and stylish to have, they aren't necessary.  At your most basic you simply need a folder, which should be sturdy enough to travel and not fall apart with your materials inside of it.  The folder should have a place for your business card, and we often recommend picking a color that goes with your brand or website's colors.

Next, you need to have a sticker or some sort of label on the cover of the media kit that lets anyone who sees it know quickly and clearly whose media kit this is.  Sure you can go to Cafe Press and print some, but you can also simply use address labels purchased at any office supply store and print your logo or company name on them and stick them prominently on the front, center side of your folder.

Simple, easy, affordable and effective!

Now that you know how to house all the material in your media kit, let's talk about what is actually going to go into it!  At it's most basic your media kit should include:

* A company backgrounder/expert biography letting people know about who you are and what you do.  This should not be more than a page, no one will want to read any more, and if they do they will call you - great!

* Your most recent press release about your company, product, good, service or expertise. 

FAQs

* A One-Sheet about you as an expert or about your products or company.  This is more or less a one page document with a photo (often in the right hand corner) of you or your product, a brief summary next to it (no more than half a page),  and then bulletted talking points about you, your product, samples of expert tips you could give on air, or facts about what your company can provide.  It's a one-pager meant to deliver a great overview of your business - whether YOU are your business or you make brownies, it should be a quick way for them to learn a lot about you!

Linesheets:  if you are a product based company you must have line sheets in your media kit that show what you sell (nice, clear images), their retail price, and what they are made out of, with, and any other relevant product information.

* Press:  past press validates you, so if you DO have past press you've garnered, be sure you mention it on a simple press document with the outlets' logos listed for which you've appeared, or print out a few of your key press pieces or edited versions and share them.  ** please note that if you are pitching one outlet, for instance, the Today Show, it's best not to mention all the times you've been on Good Morning America, that will not help.  In the same vein, if you are in InStyle and Lucky every month for the same headband, don't share that with Glamour, but include other past press.  If you have never received any press this should not stop you, editors and producers love to discover the next big thing!

* Reel:  if you are an expert or hope to be on-air talent yourself, you must include a reel that is 2-3 minutes and shows you in action.  If you do not have previous tv experience, tape yourself speaking at a local event, or make a 2-3 demo reel at home.

* Your headshot:  if you yourself want to be featured in a story or as an expert, you need an up-to-date headshot included in your media kit.

OPTIONAL INCLUSIONS:

* Tip Sheets:  share examples of great tips you can share with their readers/viewers/listeners.  Keep them organized by topic and make them short and to the point.  For example :  Top 5 Foods to Eat When Pregnant, How to Lower Stress: 10 Secrets, Tips to a Happy Marriage, etc.

* Look Book:  do you have a nice looking look book featuring stylized shots of your products and brand, feel free to include this here too.

* Samples: if you are food or make-up you may want to include these, but first ASK if the media would like the sample before ever sending it.  Never assume, and if you do want something return first check a media outlet's return policy. 

* Articles you have written relevant to your company or expertise.

FINALLY:

  • Once you've finalized all the essentials inside your media kit and are ready to send it to press, your sales team, or whoever else has requested it, you MUST inlcude a personalized cover letter or note to the recipient.  Remind them of who you are and briefly reiterate why you are sending the media kit.  Keep it short and to the point, polite, and paper clip it to the outside of the media kit so they see it asap.
  • As with everything you distribute to the press, be sure you check and re-check it for mistakes and readability.
  • Be sure you have a header or footer on every document in your media kit with your contact or company information on it - the last thing you want someone doing is finding your tip sheets and not knowing who to contact for more information!
  • If you're having trouble creating your media kit yourself and need help organizing it or visually designing it, our Business Directory has several graphic designers and pr professionals to select from, at different budget levels.

When you're ready to send out your media kit, you'll need Media Contact Lists to know which editors to send to! Members of Tin Shingle have access to these lists, as well as PR Leads from our inside tracks. Consider membership with Tin Shingle to help strengthen your media outreach.

About Sabina Hitchen

Sabina Hitchen is a founding partner of Tin Shingle, a small business evangelist and a regular media expert. Among the many hats she wears are designing the Tin Shingle education curriculum and directing the public relations team..

To hear Sabina teach over your computer listen to our audio classes here.
Find her on Twitter here, Facebook here and Instagram here.


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