Public relations can be a very effective marketing strategy. With the right story, your company will enhance consumer awareness of your products and services. It can help you increase the number of visitors to your website. It can bring you many qualified leads that you would not otherwise find, and it can generate sales. Most of all, public relations can yield a higher return on investment than many other types of marketing.
To broadcast your story you need a well-written press release. You also need one or more distribution service companies to help you broadcast your story to your target audience.
Plus, you need a digital media kit. A digital media kit can help ensure your interview with a journalist goes well and he or she will present your company in a positive light.
What is a Digital Media Kit?
A digital media kit – also called a digital press kit – is a collection of quick and easily-read snippets of information about your company or organization that serves to impress a journalist(s) to write a story. Once you complete the kit you save it as a pdf document and make it available on your website, put it on flash drives or attach it in your emails.
Journalists – including reporters, editors and producers – require media kits before writing a story about your company or its products and services.
Media kits give them snapshots of different types of information so they gain a full perspective of your company; more than what your press release may say.
Without a media kit, journalists are less likely to write about you.
In general, media kits can range from four to twelve pages. What you say in your media kit – both in words and images – can greatly impact a journalist’s decision to write about you. Here are the things that you should include and omit from your media kit.
What to Include In Your Media Kit
The most important information in your media kit is how to contact you. Journalists want your company name and the name, phone number and email address of your media contact person.
Make it easy for the journalist to find this information. A good rule of thumb is to place your contact information on every page of your media kit. Make sure it stands out. With so many possible companies to write about, journalists will not spend much time looking through your media kit if they cannot find your contact information.
Quick Facts about Your Company or Organization
Your quick facts page is like an executive summary without many sentences. This section is a brief synopsis of your company, products, services and target audience. You can state most of the information with bullet points or short phrases. Your quick facts section should include:
- Company name and contact information
- Key products and services
- Unique qualities and competitive advantage
- Mission statement
- Key customers or clients
- Key historical facts, such as when your company was founded
- Recent milestones
- Current public relations activities, including publicity events
- Anything else to catch the eye of a journalist looking for an intriguing story to write about
Products and Services
This section is where you can highlight the benefits of key products and services. You do not need to go into great detail. Just highlighting how the products and services benefit your customers is good enough.
You can also include information about plans to launch new products or services. Just don’t state anything you do not want your competitors to know about.
You can also highlight the quality of your raw materials or service team, your manufacturing or service locations and frequently asked questions and answers.
Customer/Client Case Studies
Customer or client case studies – also called success stories - illustrate how your product or service solves a common problem. For your media kit you’ll need to make these success stories short and to the point. Two or three success stories can help the reader quickly see how your product or service benefits your target market. This can fuel ideas for the journalist to include in the story he or she will write about your company.
Evolution of Your Company or Organization
Here is where you can tell your story of how your company began and evolved to where it is today. Reveal something intriguing about the founder’s vision and how you first got started. Include the key challenges you had to overcome.
You should highlight the key milestones your company achieved between the time it started to the current time. Talk about some of the challenges you face today and how and why your company will succeed. Give your reader a strong indication that your company has a great story to champion it.
In this section, you can highlight in more detail about the executive team. Briefly highlight each executive’s background including work experience and education. Talk about each of their roles in the company. Also include unique information about each member, such as his or her personal passions, interests or awards.
This type of information often makes it more appealing to write about your company when your executives have something unique and different about themselves outside of work.
The news section gives you the opportunity to highlight things that have publicized your company. This includes current news and a few recent press releases, published stories or events. The key is to give just enough information to get your reader excited to write about you.
Testimonials from customers can make your media kit come to life. That’s because testimonials give the reader an opportunity to see how your company has impacted lives. It makes everything you promote about your company more believable. This can be the difference between a journalist wanting to write a story about you or not.
Images – particularly of people – make the media kit more appealing to read through. Images make your words come to life. When designing each section of your media kit, think of the best image to complement the text. The right images can tell your story.
What NOT to Include in Your Media Kit
Company Sensitive Information
You should not include any sensitive information that could compromise your company. This includes:
- trade secrets
- strategic alliances that you have not yet reported to the public
- strategic plans you don’t want competitors to know about
- proprietary information that could jeopardize your company
These types of information are best to keep secret within your company.
Nothing could be worse for your credibility than to have a journalist interested in writing your story and finding out the information in your media kit is wrong. Journalists are not just reporters. They also investigate, and their reputations are as good as the facts they present. So double check any statistics you put in your media kit. If the data you have is outdated it is best not to include it.
Too Much Detail
Details can slow a curious journalist down from reading your story. Too much detail about any topic can derail your reader from seeing the big picture story of your company. It is best to highlight a few key benefits. You can always fill in the details after the journalist contacts you and requests this information.
Avoid fluff – the type of information that says “we are the best” without backing it up. Journalists can see through fluff. Too much fluff can reduce the journalist’s interest to write a story about you. Instead, let your testimonials do the “fluff talking” for you. Plus, testimonials sound more authentic.
Online News Room
The best place to put your media kit is in your online newsroom. An online newsroom is a key part of your website that contains everything about your company that is public. This includes a section for press releases, stories in the media about your company, photos, videos and your media kit. Your online newsroom is the place on your website any journalist can go to quickly learn about your company.
When going to events it a good idea to hand out flash drives containing your digital press kit to journalists at the event. She suggests branding the flash drive with your logo and web address. After receiving your flash drive, journalists can quickly copy and paste important facts straight to their computers, saving them time and energy. Plus, they can reuse the flash drives for another task. And each time they do the flash drive with your logo serves as a reminder of your company.
Having an up-to-date digital media kit is essential for any public relations campaign. Without it, journalists will likely pass on writing about your story. Yet when you have one, you can inspire a newsworthy story that can bring you lots of business...no matter what size your company is or what industry you compete in.
Just contact your publicist, copywriter or online marketing company to create one or update it for you. Make this a priority. Your website design team or online marketing team can help you create your online newsroom to feature your media kit and make it available for download. Remember, one good sorry about your company in the media can help you go from obscurity to fame and fortune.