Posted At: November 26, 2012 1:37 P.M.
By Nicole Hohman
“Short and sweet,” the email said.
My only guidelines: Short and sweet.
As a charter member and associate creative director for IV magazine, I was recently assigned the task of producing and designing a media kit. Panic stricken, I frantically racked my brain for knowledge on the subject. Naturally, as a PR student, I had learned the basics about media kits — never did I expect to put one together on such short notice.
What are the elements of a successful media kit? Piece of cake!
I found it more effective to break down what the company wants to convey to its audience rather than the media kit components.
I closed my eyes and envisioned the company. Picture: A new company. A new magazine. A new story to tell.
Essential factors to consider when creating a media kit:
Terse (yet effective!), this worldwide acronym also used by my Intro to Public Relations professor is the answer: keep it simple, stupid. Though you want to appeal to the press and not get your media kit tossed to the bottom of the pile, flashy packaging isn’t always ideal. Simpler is better!
You must make it easy for journalists to decipher what they will use from your kit. A concise backgrounder or fact sheet on the company (that still shows personality), a brief biography of the top leader(s) of the company and easily accessible pictures for a news story are all factors of a correctly targeted media kit.
Dig your way into the heart of the company. Know who you are representing and what specific goal you are trying to accomplish. Are you working toward a company launch? What about a social responsibility partnership? Channel your inner reporter and answer the questions before they ask them. Concisely include this focus in your press release.
That’s right! Get off social media, get on the phone, GO SEE THEM. Delivery is key. While email may be immediate, it is not always the most effective. Your press release may be delivered to reporters with ease, but what’s to stop them from canning it?
Yak your way into reporters’ offices and have your short soundbite completely ready for delivery. When you get the moment, stand up and deliver. Exude enthusiasm for the company you represent. Create the buzz — get them to “feel” how incredible it would be to be associated with this company. Personal follow-up is crucial.
Before you panic, just remember to keep it simple, stupid!