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KISS Your Media Kit

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 Deep

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.

Yak Yak

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!


  1. Post comment

    I believe this may be one of the most beneficial articles I have seen in relation to madia kits. KISS, Dig Deep, and Yak Yak are all great things to remember. “Keep it simple, stupid” is something I have been told many times, but it has proven itself time and time again. Simple really is better. Simple is what people actually read- and use. By digging deep and trying to answer questions before they are asked, you go one step further in easily delivering a message to your audience. It is important to know your message and know your audience. By cutting out the ‘yak yak’ reporters put a face with an email, therefore a relationship is formed. When relationships are formed, people have an added interest in what you want to say or what you are trying to report. This is a very helpful and true-to-life article!

  2. Post comment

    I really like the KISS acronym. Way too often you see pieces of media that are over complicated with flashy presentation and causes the overall message of the organization to get caught in the firs impression cover of a media kit. While creating sample media kits for classes in school, I’ve tried to be simple, concise and on-topic with my materials. The only issue I’ve run into with the KISS acronym however, is that it makes some of your material appear repetitive. There are only so many ways you can approach a subject that the organization wants to discuss and not appear dull unless you add some flare to it. Being flashy doesn’t mean pulling out fireworks however, simple changes are all that may be deemed as necessary to make your media kit standout and valued by your company.

  3. Post comment

    This article had great advice! I also had the same intro professor that told us to “keep it simple, stupid” and I found out in my PR writing class this semester that it is best to keep it simple. Having to actually create a media kit for a client and taking what I have learned about and applying it changed my views on them. It is easy to articulate what is included in a media kit and how it should be done, but when I had to plan it, write it and submit it all of the different elements took on different levels of importance. For example, the fact sheet became one of the most important elements in mine because I was introducing a new program offered by a nonprofit and this fact sheet had more specific information for the media to potentially use. I even had some information on it that my professor did not previously know about the program. I wish there would have been an opportunity to do a mock in-person pitch for a news release; I would have really liked the chance to see if I could do it. While I have always thought email would be the best way to deliver one I also see how a personal deliver would be much more effective in many cases.

  4. Post comment

    The acronym of KISS, “keep it simple, stupid,” is actually a very valuable tool. A media kit, although it involves extensive research and content, can get the job done even with the most simple information. As long as you cover the amount of information needed, you should be in the clear. Like Nicole Hohman mentioned, the media kit does not have to be flashy to be noticed or successful. My English teacher in high school had a similar rule called the “mini skirt rule.” This rule said to keep it long enough to cover the subject, yet short enough to keep it interesting. This rule can be applied to media kits. The company you are working for needs to be portrayed in a specific way. Media kits, containing a variety of information, can be fairly long in length, so getting to the point as fast as you can while covering all the necessary topics is key. A key part of delivering media kits is to actually go and deliver them yourself–not through social media or email. This can be more personal and can catch the attention of the people you are trying to impress. This was a great article with great advice!


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