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When you start a business, it’s essential to promote your current news to the press in order to generate sales. After all, a feature story in a targeted media venue can significantly boost brand awareness and foot or web traffic to your business. More importantly, this kind of coverage provides third-party credibility that you simply cannot buy with paid advertising. The good news is that you can increase your chances of getting some free publicity by creating a user-friendly media kit for your small business.
What is a Media Kit?
A media kit is a packet of information about your business that is created for use by the press. Its purpose is to provide media members with the necessary data to report on your business.
Why Do You Need a Media Kit?
If reporters are on a tight deadline to finish a story, they are going to look for the fastest and easiest way to get the information they need. If your competitor has a media kit with this data readily available and you don’t, guess who’s going to get the free publicity?
Media kits are also great tools for communicating important points about your company to potential new customers and partners. The information is easily accessible in one central location (especially if it is online), and you can still print copies of your media kit for conferences, tradeshows and targeted media members as needed. But by posting the information on your website, you can save a significant amount of time and money in printing and shipping fees.
What Does a Media Kit Contain?
Most media kits include the following information:
Write a brief synopsis of what your company does and why you are unique. Include your mission statement, goals and any other pertinent information about your business. You can write this in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” or use succinct paragraphs to describe the important facts you want to convey.
This page contains all of the data about the history of your business. You’ll want to include photos, the date you founded your business and why you started it. To interest readers, also add your thoughts and personal stories on how your business evolved from idea to startup business to present day. If you don’t have a lot to share, you may want to include this information on your “Business Facts” page.
It is very important to list all of your products and services and the benefits of each in your media kit. An outsider should be able to read this page in just a few minutes and know exactly what you sell and why people buy it. Depending on the data, consider using brief paragraphs with headers or a list with bullet-points.
On this page, provide biographies of the key leaders at your organization and their photos. Write short paragraphs that are interesting and easy-to-read. And rather than using a pre-written resume, add pertinent anecdotes, quotes and other unique criteria that establish credibility for each individual listed.
Include information about birthplace, hometown, education, business experience, awards, and any other vital facts you want media members to know. Also, add some personal tidbits, such as marital status, family information and hobbies enjoyed outside of work so readers can relate to the executives.
Entice the media, and let readers know that your business is up-to-date by including current news, industry trends and exciting events in your media kit. List all of your press releases, published press clippings, video samples, business testimonials from customers, case studies, speaking engagements, articles, and other activities.
Also include company brochures, logos, photos, identity standards, and potential story ideas to help media members get necessary data quickly. If you are in the process of obtaining press clippings, just include whatever information you have now, and make an effort to add to this section on a regular basis.
Ready To Go!
When you have finished preparing your media kit, confirm that all of the information is current, the website links work and that contact information is readily available. If you need additional help, review media kits offered by your competitors and successful companies in your industry. You may also want to hire an experienced, public relations expert to create your media kit and add a professional touch.
It takes time and creativity to craft an effective media kit. But when media members start calling to offer free publicity opportunities, you’ll be ready.
Melanie Rembrandt is the owner of Rembrandt Communications, LLC. She provides targeted writing and public relations services for small business owners who want to increase brand awareness on time and within budget.