How to create a media kit for free publicity

create a press kit for free publicity

Free publicity. It’s the dream of every small business owner.

But sadly it’s not the goal of every small business owner. We can dream in our sleep, but to achieve a goal we need to be fully awake, alert and working hard at it.

We’ve talked about press releases before. Recently we covered the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm update on press releases, plus we’ve given you the basics you need to craft press releases that get read and published.

However, for your best chance at extensive free publicity, you need to do more; you need to create a press kit (also called a media kit).

Your first question to answer when you sit down and decide how to create a press kit for your business is to ask yourself if you have the writing, graphic, photography, web design and layout skills to do it yourself. When you create your media kit, it’s an exercise most small business owners are going to do twice – once on paper and once online.

You’ll want to include your media kit when you send out press releases via snail mail and you’ll also want to have it on hand when you attend trade shows or go virtually anyplace in public with your small business. Having it online is also a smart move. It makes it much easier for writers, bloggers and editors to cite your business and include it in articles if your information is easily accessible online.

Here are the basic elements to include when you create a media kit for your small business:

  1. Artwork. You should include your company’s logo along with professional photographs of your product, service and location. You want editors to be able to pull from these pieces of art to create comprehensive articles about your business. And even if they are including your business as one among many in an article, they will choose the best photographs to run with their articles – so make sure yours are the best. Hire professionals to create these elements.
  2. Introduction/pitch and company background. These can be separate pieces or combined in some cases. With your introduction, you want to “put your best foot forward” and make the case for doing business with you. This is a marketing piece without making it too “salesy.” The company background should cover its founding and short – but compelling – biographies of founders and key personnel.
  3. Concise fact sheet. Many won’t take the time to read your full introduction and background papers, so provide an overview organized as a list.
  4. Product or service information. Tell readers exactly what it is that you make or the services you perform. Describe in detail what makes them different from others in your industry.
  5. Press clippings and press releases. You should have a clipping service of some kind so you can collect mentions in the press. Include these when you create your media kit. For online kits, they can be links to articles, as long as you provide a sufficient overview. You can also include significant press releases that you have distributed over the years.
  6. A sample, or “model” news story. Some editors are looking to fill space and if you give them a good article written about your business that is factual and not just a “puff piece” they will run it – sometimes verbatim. Be sure to also include photographs that properly illustrate your news story.
  7. Contact information. Include up-to-date contact information. If possible, break it down to the right people to contact for different kinds of information, but also let those people know what you’re doing and how they should handle media contacts. For the print version of your media kit, have the folder designed so you can slip your business card into it.

When you create a press kit, you can’t cut corners. For many, this will be the only exposure they get to your company and for almost everyone it will be their first in-depth exposure to your company.

If you don’t have superior skills within your small business, hand off creating your media kit to professionals. Contact a local photographer. Go to one of the online freelancing sites and find professionals with experience creating press kits and press releases. Get a top quality web designer to do your online press kit.