What Do I Need A Media Kit For?By: Ana Ventura
If you've ever wandered around a company's web page in search for an address to send a press release or article off to, chances are you've stumbled across the elusive Media Kit link. "What's a media kit?" you might ask. Good question.
A media kit is a kind of prepackaged PR tool that most large corporations use, but that can come in handy for small businesses as well. The materials within a media kit are standardized, prewritten documents that can be printed up or pulled out of a file for those inquiries that happen along when you least expect it.
There are a few essential items that should be included in your media kit: the media kit cover, a set of press releases about many aspects of the company (including individual products), short biographies of key individuals, copies of articles, photos, and some types of product literature, such a data sheets or brochures. You can put whatever else you think is relevent, but these are some of the most common items.
A media kit cover is really just a pocketed folder for you to put the rest of the information inside of. However, it is generally a glossy, colorful folder with your company name or logo printed on the front. Embossing the logo is another effect that can be a great attention grabber. The standard size for the media kit cover is 9" by 12", so that 8 1/2 by 11 inch documents can easily be stored inside.
Your media kit should include more than one press release. One should be focused on the company's background, providing an overview of the history, accomplishments, markets, products and services offered. Don't overly dramatize your story. Most editors will only use the information found here as a reference for articles written about other aspects of your company. You should also include a press release for each individual product that you market, unless you produce an abundance of different items. In which case, three or four of your main products should get individual releases. If you think it's necessary, a combination release can be written about the others.
If you're not sure how to write a press release, check out www.InternetWriters.com for their free press release builder. There are also examples of what a press release should look like. If you're still wary of the world of press releases, find a service to write one for you professionally.
Individual biographies should be focused on those people that would most likely be interviewed by the media as a resource for articles. Include their full name, job title, responsibilities, and some personal information, such as their educational background, about their families, and certain accomplishments.
Large, black and white photos of these individuals should be included, along with photos of products, facilities, or anything else that might be of interest to the media. Typed captions should be affixed to the back with a non damaging adhesive.
Including archive articles in your media kit shows that the press has found you newsworthy before, and also gives them a good example of how they could base their own article. Any other literature you include should be very important, and not too intimidating. Many editors avoid media kits that are too full of information, or too heavy.
Public relations can sometimes depend on how well your media kit is put together. If you send off your initial press release and an editor requests additonal information, you should get your media kit to them immediately, in order to help them meet their deadlines. Also, if the information they need is not in your media kit, they might decide to pass the story up all together. Having a media kit is probably not going to be the life or death or your business, but it will save a lot of time when you're dealing with media people.
© Copyright 2001, Ana Ventura.
The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.