What is a media kit, and why do you need one?
A media kit is a basic tool of public relations. It is your entry ticket to, you guessed it, the media. Influencers and brands use them to give a short, appealing intro about themselves to journalists, sponsors and decision-makers. But with airplane, concert and other tickets becoming bar codes on your smartphone, is the media kit still a relevant tool?
Yes. Yes, it is. Maybe less for influencer-brand partnerships (according to a survey, 64% of brands prefer a platform to find the best talent for their next campaign), but events and magazines still appreciate a traditional media kit. Of course, this can take different formats, such as a pdf or a website, depending on your target audience.
What does a media kit do?
A well-prepared media kit opens doors for you and saves time for both you and anyone who’s reading it. It succinctly summarizes what you are all about, what you can do for the reader, who your audience is, and how the reader can reach you. It helps the reader decide whether they want to work with you, and if so, give them an easy way to “sell” you to others. Keep all this in mind when you are designing your media kit.
The essential elements of a media kit
The exact content of the kit will vary according to the desired goal and the target audience, so use your best judgment when you are compiling it. The most important principle to keep in mind is: keep it appealing, and stay on brand!
Here are some sections you should definitely include:
This is where you would put a definition of yourself. If you are well-established, a few keywords will do (eg. “author, comedian and motivational speaker”). If the person you’re sending the kit to has probably never heard of you, then you need to put in a bit more effort. Try the “who what how” approach: fill in the blanks in the sentence: “I am a ________ helping ________ to do _________ by _______”. This speaks volumes about you: how you define yourself, who you give value to, and what topics you are an expert in.
This is the section where you can provide social proof. If you have accomplishments you are proud of (eg. you spoke at a similar event you are applying to now, won an award, ran a successful project), this is the place to showcase it. Keep it relevant: if you don’t have anything related to the gig you are trying to get, it’s best to say nothing. If you provide a service and you have good testimonials from your clients, you can also include that.
The matter at hand
This will vary based on what the purpose of your media kit is. If something exciting happened at your company and you want a journalist to write about you, provide a well-written press release. Busy professionals will often just copy and paste your text, so take advantage of that! Present yourself in the best possible light and emphasize whatever you think is most important. Include links so people can find out more.
If you are trying to get a speaking gig, outline the topic you would give a talk about, zooming in on what makes it unique and irresistible.
One picture is worth a thousand words, and this is no less true in media kits. Make sure to include a good headshot of you (or the founder/CEO of the company you’re working for, if that’s the case), so the reader can use it in their own communication materials. Place the headshot on the cover or the intro page, so they immediately connect a human face to the material. Remember: people buy from people.
It is always better to show a concept with visuals than to explain it with words. Depending on your industry, use photos, designs, infographics or tables to illustrate what you are trying to convey.
This is what will interest the reader the most. After all, why would a company sponsor you, feature you or partner with you? Because you can add value for their audience. And that is more likely if your audience aligns with theirs. Make sure to include data about your followers, readers, clients etc. Think of this like preparing a buyer persona: show both demographic and psychographic data (eg. “Our audience is 80% female and 30% are moms of young kids. The quality education of their kids is on the top of their minds every single day”).
Be prepared to support your analysis with data. Use the reach and engagement analytics from social media and your website (if applicable). Feel free to highlight the strongest metric you have: most clients are confused about what makes a quality audience, but if you have the data to support it, you can convince them to consider you.
Make sure to dedicate a page to all your contact info, and it goes without saying that these have to be up to date and error-free. How silly it would be to lose a partnership because you mistyped your email, right?
Sending out your media kit
Preparing your kit is not the end: it’s the beginning. Now you have to find the right recipients for it. Don’t just carpet-bomb the world with it: pick the journalists or decision-makers carefully, and tailor your kit to what they are looking for. A little personalization in the accompanying email will go a long way. Once again, quality is better than quantity.
A media kit is a short introduction of your work and an invitation into your world for people who should know about you. Think of it from their perspective, and put together a kit that will be useful and attractive for them. If you follow the tips in this article, you will be way ahead of most of your competitors anyway. Now go conquer the world!