Great! You’ve decided to write a media kit. But what exactly is a media kit? And what should go in it?
A media kit is simply a resource that makes it simple for a journalist to quickly, easily and accurately tell your story. A basic media kit may include your most recent press release and other publication-ready content such as product photos and copies of your logo in various sizes. A comprehensive media kit could include much more: from story ideas, to biographies of key team members, to fact sheets about your company or industry, and audio and video assets. You can create a media kit to cover your whole brand, or just a new product, an event, or whatever aspect of your organization seems the most newsworthy.
Your media kit should live somewhere on your website, within easy reach of any journalist who needs it. If your media kit is good enough, a reporter should be able to scan through it at 3:00 a.m. and get enough background to produce a morning drive-time story without ever speaking to you.
How to make reporters love you
The easiest way to make reporters love you is to do all of their work for them. “But Kathleen,” you say. “I’m already doing my own job! Why should I do their job, too?” Simple: because that’s the easiest and cheapest way to get your news published for free by a reputable media outlet.
As a Go-Giver Certified Speaker, I know that my influence is determined by how abundantly I put the needs of the other person ahead of my own. In the world of public relations, this translates into being a ghostwriter for the media.
You see, most media outlets have dramatically downsized their newsrooms in the past several years. There are a lot fewer journalists, but a lot more demand for news content with our 24/7, multi-platform news cycle.
The few reporters left in the newsroom are desperate for great content, but they’re buried in poorly-written, promotion-laden press releases, the vast majority of which go straight into the shredder.
Reporters are on a deadline, and they need quality content NOW. This means that if you hand a reporter the perfect story, completely finished, on a silver platter, they’re simply more likely to publish it than a story they have to research, write and edit themselves. (This may be bad news for journalism, but it’s GREAT news for public relations.)
And this is where your media kit comes in.
Media Kit Contents
Depending on what stories you want to tell, your organization’s media kit could include a mix of the following:
- A freshly-written release with a key executive’s take on a trending issue
- A few “evergreen” news releases that can run anytime
- A page of PSA scripts for television and radio stations (great for non-profits)
- A list of story ideas the journalist can flesh out with an interview from you or a key executive.
- A backgrounder with facts and figures about your company or your industry; or, in the case of a charity, the problem your charity was created to solve (for example, a specific disease or a social issue).
- A glossary of your industry terms that a generalist reporter may not know
- Biographies and photos of key personnel such as your CEO or founder
- Several copies of your organization’s logo in various sizes and resolutions
- Pinterest-worthy product photos in multiple sizes and resolutions
- Audio and/or video clips about your company, its leaders, its products and/or services
- Audio and video public service announcements in several lengths, and even b-roll video.
- Clippings or screen grabs from prior media stories, especially in well-known publications
Whatever the topic, every public-facing component of your media kit should literally be ready to publish without any intervention from a Higher Power (i.e., the publication’s Editor.) In most cases, this means all your press releases should be written in inverted pyramid, AP (Associated Press) style, with no typos and no trace of self-promotion.
Remember, the goal is for your news release to be published verbatim, as a legitimate news story. The harder the journalist and her editor have to work, the less likely they are to give you the coverage you want and deserve. So let your media kit do the heavy lifting for you.
Not comfortable with DIY? We’ll be happy to craft a compelling media kit for you.