Even in this age of virtual connections, snappy social posts, and loads of visual and audio marketing through videos and podcasts, there is still a real need for business owners to invest in developing a media kit.
Sometimes referred to as a press kit, a thoroughly prepared media kit will assist your company in its approach to sharing information either through public relations (PR), marketing or even advertising.
Before we talk more about the reasons you should have what I often call a “toolkit,” let me explain what a media kit is all about.
What is a media kit?
Essentially, a media kit is an assembled collection of information, both written and visual, that a company prepares to share with news media, community leaders, or even shareholders and employees.
It serves several functions – it promotes, it explains and puts together in one place a unified set of information about a company, making it easier for the users – whether a news reporter or local government official – to understand the company, its history, products, financial health, brand materials and more.
Besides being used when there is a big announcement — say a groundbreaking or new product launch — a media kit is especially helpful during times of crisis. It gives company leaders a way to share the same information and not be scrambling to explain basic facts about the business. In some cases, a media kit might also include background details connected directly to the issue or challenge.
Most traditional media kits are a collection of printed documents, such a company history, a list of leaders and contact information, a fact sheet, demographics, photos and logos, a summary of the relevant news event or announcement and any related details. This is usually collected into packets or folders and handed out, but obviously we live in a digital world where media kits can be digitized, emailed or placed on a website and social media.
If you think about it, the “profile” analogy is very appropriate – with social media we are often asked to create a profile about ourselves or our companies, our skills or talents, who we’ve worked for or with and other facts about ourselves or our companies.
So, today there really are two types of media kits – traditional printed kits and digital kits. Both must be developed with accurate information and designed in such a way to make it easy to use by the intended audience, especially for media who are on deadline and need access to information quickly.
Why is a media kit important?
Well, I’ve already hinted at one of the reasons above. Everywhere we turn we have information “about” someone. It’s listed on most websites. Most social media channels suggest personal or company profiles, and really encourage sharing a lot of information. This gives people quick and easy access to see who you are or what your company does in the business world.
With profiles, “about us” pages and even old-fashioned resumes, we are already trending toward the items that have always been an important part of any media kit. What a media kit can do is organize all that information into one simple source and allow you to share it easily without requiring people to find it on your website or inside some press release or “press room.”
Let me add, though, that online press rooms – basically a web page where you keep press releases, photos, logos and other resources for the media – are actually a modern form of the media kit.
Ultimately, much like social media in particular – you need a media kit. You need it prepared and ready for use when the time is called for, and hopefully that’s when you have an exciting announcement or development in your business.
That said – it’s important to update your media kit when it comes to major changes, particularly at the leadership level or when company locations or new services are added.
Showcase your brand, use a media kit with other PR approaches
Another reason to develop a digital media kit or even a more traditional approach, is it makes a brand statement about who you are. It showcases your brand, your creative approach to information sharing and allows others to examine you closely, but totally on your terms. It is your media kit after all, not someone else’s idea of who you are or what you do as a company.
A media kit is also necessary to allow your communications team, or PR agencies like Logos Communications, to assist you in getting in the media spotlight when you have something interesting to share.
In those cases, the media kit is used in connection with PR approaches such as a press release, a social media boost or media alert, and even a presentation to employees or stockholders about an upcoming development or announcement.
When that happens your “toolkit” resources become a well-rounded communications approach to sharing information about your company. Like any good toolkit you have many items, whether a press release, a list of social posts and hashtag ready for the upcoming event or announcement, artwork or infographics and letters to employees or other company managers. And that’s just a starting point.
A resource for you – and others
So think of a media kit as a resource for you as well, and not just something you have to develop to appease journalists or influencers. It comes in handy internally as well as externally, making it a valid part of any good communications or marketing strategy within your company.
Media kits can be developed internally, but you can also seek help from agencies to develop your resources into a complete and easy-to-use communication tool. Each media kit is unique to your business so the time and resources you need to develop it will vary.
I always like to say things should be kept simple, so it’s well worth even starting a basic media kit with things like company history, leadership bios, or important facts. Having that available is enough, but enhancing the material in a more thorough way can enhance your reputation with the media if and when they come calling.