Contributor post by Rena Tom
What is a media kit and why is it important to have?
A media kit, or press kit, is an oft-overlooked part of your creative business. Why go to the trouble of putting together a kit when someone can just go to your website?
It’s true that most journalists will go to your website for a look-see, but a media kit is your chance to do a little public relations and present your company in the very best light. Your website is probably geared toward making sales (direct or wholesale) while a media kit is specifically for the media. There will be an overlap of information, but how you present it might be totally different.
A media kit also pulls together facts about your company, not just about your latest products. Members of the press will be looking for interesting facts about you and your business to help ground the story they want to write about you.
What does a media kit look like?
A kit used to be printed in color and presented in a folder. These days, it can also be burned onto a CD or sent electronically. No matter how you present it, make sure the branding is consistent throughout as well as consistent with your business in general. Also make sure that your contact information is on everything inside of the kit.
Many media kits live on Issuu.com - just search for “media kit” or “press kit” to see a wide variety of examples.
What’s in a media kit?
This can vary but most media kits have the following information:
The story of your business. This may include your personal bio, or that may be broken out in another section. You can use a lot of the information from the About Me section of your website here.
A headshot of you in hi-res. Embarrassing I know, but necessary.
A one-page fact sheet about your business. These are short statements, or sound bites, about your business, like when you started, where you are located, and what (in general) you make.
Previous press. Journalists want to know who has been writing about you, and when. It both lends credibility and allows them to double-check that you haven’t been recently featured in a rival publication. You don’t need to list everything here, just your best press.
A current press release or new product information. Many people send out their press kits when they have a new collection. You should have a formal press release or a summary of information about the collection.
Hi-res images of some new products. Make sure these are your best images, and press ready.
A current catalog or line sheet. Not everybody includes these, but it can be helpful for the journalist to see a broad range of what you do.
Keep your media kit updated with any new major press or awards, new product releases, et cetera.
Do you maintain a media kit for your business? Has it been helpful to have one
Rena Tom is a
retail strategist for creative business owners. Rena blogs about
personal projects as well as retail trends and small business tips at renatom.net.
She lives in San Francisco with her husband and baby boy in an
apartment filled with too many laptops, Sprecher root beer,
half-finished craft projects and overdue library books. Look out for her
new e-book, Retail Readiness coming soon!