“Sure thing, I’d be happy to have a look at your company. Just send over your media kit,” says the interested reporter. Except, uh oh, as a small business owner, you had enough trouble getting your website designed. What’s this “media kit” the reporter is talking about?
A media kit is basically a physical or digital bundle of facts on your company. And if you want media coverage, some version of a media kit – either physical or digital – is a business must-have.
So what does a media kit include?
Fact Sheet – This short document gives reporters a quick rundown of all your important business specs. It includes your name, logo and slogan, website, the names of your principals, your funding information, your mission statement, and a synopsis of what exactly your company does. If a reporter is looking for a company to talk to for a story, she may look at several fact sheets before choosing the right source, so make sure your fact sheet shines! But keep it brief. Fact sheets should be two pages at the most.
Company History – Depending on your company’s age, this could be part of your Company Fact Sheet or a document in itself. Highlight key points in your company history, such as the day you founded the company and other important dates, such as product launches.
Company Bio(s) – Include short bios of company principals. Keep in mind that reporters like to cover interesting personalities, and keep it entertaining. Consider including quotes from your principals on the company, your products and services, or their own company-related philosophies. Always include a picture of each principal.
Recent News – This might include 3-5 of the company’s most recent press releases or copies of media coverage that your company has recently received. If you’ve received quite a bit of media coverage, consider consolidating the highlights into one short document. This section of the media kit allows the reporter to get a sense of your company’s recent news and your standing in the community. And don’t worry if you don’t yet have any media coverage to brag about – your media kit could be just the thing you needed to break into the news.
More Media Kit Pro Tips
Include Pictures – Physical media kits should include plenty of high-resolution pictures that can be easily digitized for inclusion in print media or broadcast on air. Digital press kits should include easy-to-find links to your pictures and your company logo. Reporters are looking to visually engage their audience, as well as inform them.
Stay Organized – If left unchecked, media kits can, like bonsai trees, quickly grow out of control. Hit the highlights, but don’t include every single press release or product spec your company has ever released. And include tabs, a table of contents or some way for the reporter to quickly find the information she is looking for. For digital press kits, this might include a handy navigation bar or site map. Reporters are in a hurry. If they can’t quickly locate the information they are looking for, they might move on to a user-friendlier source.
Stay Up to Date – Periodically update the media kit to reflect new news, personnel changes or other company changes that can quickly mark a press kit as dated. The last thing you want is a reporter printing old news about your company. Especially when it’s old news that you inadvertently provided!
Now, the next time a reporter asks for your media kit, you can send it right over. And don’t stop there. Since you are now prepared, go ahead and network with reporters or sign up with services like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and start offering yourself as a source!