The most important thing you need to know about effective public relations is that its purpose is to build a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and their publics. Textbook definitions aside, it always helps when the public is accurately informed. While there are multiple ways to do this, one surefire method to help control your own message is with a media kit.
A media kit, or press kit, can be a company’s best friend when it comes to conveying precise information to an influencer, blogger, reporter, or member of the media. It is essentially a pre-packaged set of promotional materials that provides any information about a cause, company, organization or person that can be distributed for promotional use. Most of the time, reporters are the ones who receive these kits, and boy, do they find them helpful. You see, a media kit is different from a marketing brochure or website because it has such targeted information. Some company websites tend to have information about everything pertaining to the company as opposed to a singular focus, as they are trying to appeal to such a broad audience; the same can be said about marketing brochures. Media kits typically convey the information that is most pertinent – the exact information that companies want to see printed in a news story or feature.
The media kit varies depending on the company. For example, at Findsome & Winmore, one of our clients is Orlando’s popular entertainment district, Old Town. The media kit we designed for this particular client is filled with colorful images of the property, along with a map of the district, and an overview of its shops and restaurants.
Another of our clients is Fountainhead Commercial Capital, a non-bank commercial lender. To contrast, their media kit gives an overview of the company’s founder, Chris Hurn, along with his headshot, company statistics, frequently asked questions and previous media placements.
When deciding what to include in a media kit, it would be wise to ask yourself what you want reporters to know about your company and/or products. Speaking from experience, reporters are very busy people. Anything you can do to make their jobs a little easier will be appreciated and potentially rewarded with some attention. A media kit is one way to do just that, giving reporters a valuable source of information that helps them build their stories. But what are the specific benefits to media kits? Let me count the ways.
A media kits help with:
- Making a first impression: Think of a media kit like an eye-catching resume. It helps grab media and investor attention and wraps everything into one neat package for a particular target audience. It is a collection of product information and articles assembled to address questions and provide everything needed to engage with your firm.
- Hyper-targeting your company’s messaging: A media kit should be focused and share the precise messaging that you want to communicate. In short, it should effectively and efficiently tell people what to think.
- Keeping things affordable: Printing can be costly for companies, so it’s OK to make your media kits available online. Companies often share their media kits on their websites. It is also common practice to make media kits password protected for media members. Either way, this can be much less expensive than reprinting media kits every time there is a change in your product information.
- Providing assets for influencers: Speaking of downloads, having a media kit available online can also give you a place to share additional assets that media may need. For example, you can make your company logo available for download in the kit, along with approved high-resolution photos of your company, products and employees.
So, can you get by without having a media kit? The answer is yes, but why make it harder for yourself to score more media coverage and/or investor interest? If getting more attention and responses from members of the press interests you, then creating an effective media kit is public relations 101.
Be sure to remember that reporters and bloggers do not necessarily have to adhere to the material in your media kit and, sometimes, may not use everything that you give them. However, you can be sure that they have your company’s accurate, endorsed and approved information on hand and ready to use.