Hold the Press (Kit)!

by rc


Why you need a media kit instead.

In the not so distant past, a press kit was one of the most important tools in a public relations professional’s bag of tricks. A press kit was an actual hard-copy accumulation of information about a company that was mailed to reporters or handed out at trade shows to attract media attention for a business.

Nearly a decade ago, I oversaw the production, distribution and follow-up on a major PR campaign. We created beautiful 4-color glossy folders filled with informative pages about a new book about to be released, its authors, and endorsement quotes from industry thought leaders. These folders and a copy of the book were FedExed to more than 100 radio, TV and print reporters who were then phoned to confirm receipt and gauge interest. It worked – the client was interviewed on radio and written about in The Wall Street Journal and several industry-specific publications. But once it was over, it was over. The expense of content creation, graphic design, printing, distribution and follow-up was finished, as was the shelf-life of the hard copy press kit.

The good news is now there’s an alternative.

What is a media kit?

Thanks to changes in technology we now take for granted, the press kit has morphed into something more valuable, engaging, and up-to-date – the media kit. A media kit turns the press kit into a digital asset that can be emailed to a reporter, handed out on a branded memory stick, and downloaded from your company website. It can also be updated quickly and easily, without incurring printing or mailing costs.

A media kit is as essential to getting “earned media” as your website is to getting new clients. It provides a media contact with all the critical information they will need to cover your business without making them go looking for it. And in today’s 24/7 news climate, making it easy for reporters to write about you is essential.

Check out the Bales Metal Surface Solutions media kit for an example from one of our clients.

What’s in it?

A media kit needs to provide a journalist with solid answers to the basic who, what, when, where and why questions. A good media kit will have the following elements.

Press Release: The latest announcement about your company or a specific product or service is often the best opener for a media kit. It helps a journalist determine if they’re interested in reading the rest of the company story. If you don’t have a fresh press release to include, it is better to have no press release and keep your content evergreen.

Company Overview: A brief summary of what your company does so that even someone who has never heard of your business can quickly comprehend what you do. At Red Caffeine, we like to help our clients spell out “who we are, what we do, who we do it for, and why we do it better.”

Media Coverage & Recognitions: A listing of your company’s most recent and most relevant mentions in the press. This helps a journalist quickly comprehend that others have found your company newsworthy while also revealing what has already been covered. The list should include multimedia content when possible, such as a CEO video or podcast content. List the media outlet, reporter, title, and include the first few lines of text and a link to the rest of the article. This is also the place to include any awards or recognition given to the company or an employee.

Biographies: This section allows you to put a human face on a corporation’s executives and key players. And be sure to include professional headshots of each person featured—writers love to connect a name with a face. Bios should be kept short and focus on each person’s passion and vision for the business and include anything for which they could be considered a thought-leader. Bios can lead to speaking engagements or being quoted in a piece on the topic of expertise.

Contact Information: It should be obvious, but don’t overlook giving contact information for your company’s spokesperson, public relations professional, and even your CEO. Without email addresses and phone numbers, a media kit is useless. Make it easy for a writer to reach you.

Don’t forget the branding.

Your media kit shouldn’t look like a Word document. Be sure to brand your media kit with your company logo, incorporate your unique company culture, add photos of your products and your people, video of your operation, and graphics that illustrate what your company does.

Bales Metal Surface Solutions’ media kit is an example of great branding and a great media kit.

A media kit trumps the old-fashioned press kit on every count – timeliness and updatability, sharability, linkability, multi-mediability, and even being “green.”

Have a success story to share about how your media kit landed your company some earned media? Comment below or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Don’t have a media kit? Get started on strategy, branding, and marketing with Red Caffeine.