Media kits are extremely important. But what is a media kit in public relations? We’ll start with a quick definition of the term, then go on to explain some of the most common elements that you’ll want to include in any media kits you create in the future.
A quick definition
Put simply, a media kit is a document that provides crucial details about something you want to promote, whether it’s a company as a whole, a client, an upcoming event, or even an award that was recently won.
As you might have already guessed, media kits are intended for media outlets, including individual journalists. It’s a way for you to encourage media coverage on a specific topic.
Generally, you only want media kits to go out to journalists and media outlets, not to the general public. These are not public-facing documents.
Of course, while media kits were previously physical documents handed out to journalists, the internet age has allowed for media kits to go full digital.
If at all possible, a media kit should be limited to one page, unless the focus of the media kit necessitates providing more details and images.
You can even think of a media kit as a resume for a company, event, etc. Its goal is to attract positive attention and provide relevant information.
Nowadays, media kits are generally sent out to journalists via email, in the hopes of establishing contact with that journalist and getting some press created that will aid promotion.
Now let’s take a look at specific components that should be included in every media kit, generally speaking.
While the information you provide in a media kit will be heavily dependent on the subject of the kit, almost all media kits should contain the following elements.
If you decide not to include one or more of these elements, you should have specific reasons for doing so.
First up is relevant info that explains what the media kit is about. Think of this as background info that sets up the media release, which we’ll talk about next. It sets the stage.
So, for example, if you’re promoting an upcoming charity fundraiser, the header should be the name of the event and the name of the organization hosting the event.
If it’s about a client who has just won an important award, you should include a short bio about them, explaining who they are, what they do, and why they’re important.
Later on, in the media release section, you’ll be talking about the award itself and how the client earned the award, but for now, you just want to introduce any key players.
Even if you’ll be sending out media kits to journalists familiar with the industry in question, you never want to assume that they already know about your client and other important pieces of context.
In terms of bios for individuals, try not to let them exceed one or two paragraphs. If they end up longer, then you’re most likely including information that isn’t immediately relevant.
A concise media release
The media release is where you elaborate on the subject at hand.
If it’s an event, talk about the purpose of the event, and when and where it’s taking place.
If it’s a new product, explain what the product is and why it’s such a big deal.
This is one of the most common-sense components of any media release, and ultimately, it’s the most important information that you want to convey.
You’ll also need to ‘sell’ this information as best you can. You want to make it seem worthy of press attention, not just another common industry occurrence.
But perhaps our most useful bit of advice for composing a media release is to keep it relatively short.
Not only do you want to avoid providing unnecessary info, but you also don’t want to give away all of the juicy details. After all, any press that results from a media kit is where the full story will be told.
Images included in your media kit serve two important functions.
The first is providing journalists with quality images they’ll be able to use. Not all journalists and outlets are equipped to photograph your subject, especially if they’re not located nearby.
Offering slick images is a way to influence what that future press will look like.
The second function is to make the media kit itself much more appealing and readable.
A media kit is allowed to be flashy as long as it conveys all the necessary information. You can get quite creative with the design aspect of your media kit.
There are several online sites that provide templates for media kits, and you may even want to enlist the help of a graphic designer to make sure the media kit is well-balanced and easy on the eyes.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a media kit if you didn’t provide a way for journalists to get in touch with you.
Do your best to offer only professional contact options, as opposed to listing a personal email address. Only list a phone number if it’s for a dedicated work phone.
If there’s a website that can provide journalists with additional details, go ahead and list it as well.
Optional: stats and infographics
Including stats and appealing infographics is considered optional only because these are not always relevant to the subject of a media kit.
So if you’re promoting a charity event like we mentioned earlier, there won’t be much use for these.
But if a company is reporting record sales and impressive profits, communicating that information via a chart that compares recent results to those of previous years can attract attention and make the media kit as a whole much nicer to look at.
In summary, try to avoid providing unnecessary information, and don’t overwhelm the viewer with blocks of text.
Your media should be welcoming and easy to read while also enticing media coverage from journalists and outlets you select by hand.