It was in 1839 that Edward Bulwer-Lytton , an English poet and politician, came up with the adage “The pen is mightier than the sword”. Ironically, Bulwer-Lytton also coined the serially-mocked story opening “It was a dark and stormy night”.
Despite penning one of the most widely-known statements about the written word, the modern-day public doesn’t perceive him as a good writer. In fact, there’s a yearly event called the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest where entrants are awarded for writing downright awful opening sentences.
But Bulwer-Lytton’s statement still holds true: The pen is mightier than the sword, and especially when it comes to the modern-day war of businesses securing good publicity and PR. It’s by receiving positive press from journalists, brands, and influencers alike that contemporary companies can ensure their businesses get the recognition they deserve, in the way they deserve it.
This is why a media kit is a staple for those who’ve cemented themselves in the world of business, from solopreneurs and startups all the way to enterprise organizations. Plus, it helps to secure a positive public image, so your business doesn’t suffer the same fate as Bulwer-Lytton.
In this informative post, you’re going to learn much more about the mighty media kit, what makes it so incredibly important, and get tips on how to create one easily with PressKitHero — even if you have no prior media kit experience!
Now, grab a pen and notepad (or the digital equivalent).
We’re about to get started.
A media kit is a digital publicity and public relations tool that informs journalists, brands, influencers, and the like about a business. It’s a one-stop-shop that gives outside parties who either want to write about or work with the business in question everything they need to know, such as:
The media kit has been around for decades.
In fact, the media kit first took shape as a handful of papers inside a cardboard folder, and were physically distributed to the mailboxes of countless media businesses, brands, and agencies.
When computers became commonplace and were found in every home and office across the country, media kits were turned from physical objects into PDFs. Instead of tangible mailboxes that media kits were sent to, it was email inboxes.
While PDF media kits are still used today, they seem woefully outdated in comparison to what else is possible. PDFs are large in file size, harder to share than web links, and, more importantly, won’t easily appear in Google search — bad news for any interested party who’s looking to learn more about you.
Basically, creating a media kit as a PDF rather than as a webpage with a streamlined tool like PressKitHero is like using the first Kodak camera made in 1888 to take a selfie. Outdated, time-consuming, and not to mention far trickier!
You may have heard the word “press kit” bandied around. Now, “media kit” has been thrown into the mix. To boot, you’re also vaguely familiar with the term “online newsroom”.
How are they different?
Where does one end and the other begin?
For the most part, “media kit” is used interchangeably with “press kit” in a business context. However, there are several elements that can differentiate the two.
Firstly, a media kit is focused on the whole picture of a business; what it’s about, their mission, their achievements, their story so far. Meanwhile, a press kit can be used to cover a particular moment — a product launch, a funding announcement, a big event, a conference taking place over a certain weekend. A media kit, then, is more evergreen; it’s a tool that you need to create only once and then update every so often. Multiple press kits may need to be made for the different, special moments a business has throughout its existence — if they’re using their press kit in that way, that is.
Here’s a hypothetical story to further explain. (And don’t worry; this one won’t open with “It was a dark and stormy night”.)
Let’s say you’re at the helm of a SaaS product.
You’ve just secured your Series-A round of funding (so we’re talking millions of dollars here). Obviously, you want the world to know that your product’s taking the world by storm.
A press kit is what you’ll want to create so journalists at WIRED, Forbes, and TechCrunch can write effectively and efficiently about the funding announcement itself. But let’s say a New York Times reporter, an SF Chronicle journalist, and an Angel.co writer all wanted to write feature articles on the social good your SaaS product is having — a media kit is slightly more in-line with the information they’ll want and need, thus helping you to secure amazing press!
That’s two out of three definitions covered.
Next up, “online newsroom”.
An online newsroom is very similar to both a media and a press kit. The only real differences are that online newsrooms place more emphasis on the news the company is involved in, often with in-house writers penning information about recent partnerships, collaborations, events, and achievements. Additionally, online newsrooms are often used in lieu by larger-sized companies — think Apple, Dolby, and WeTransfer.
Speaking of WeTransfer, here’s their online newsroom where, as you can see, there’s an emphasis on in-house written news. But there are also links to a press release page, a clippings page, a press kit page, the emails of relevant WeTransfer PR and marketing contacts, and more.
With a clearer idea of what’s what, let’s delve further into the media kit, analyzing what benefits you’ll be able to reap with a strong, successful media kit.
Winning the publicity war is by no means an easy feat.
Every business in the modern world, no matter how small, is vying for positive attention and extra opportunities to get their business’ name and brand further out into the world.
But, with a solid digital media kit, you’ll be able to reap the following rewards:
A media kit is a conversation starter. It’s your business saying: “Hey. We’re worth our salt and here’s why. Ready to get in on the action, too?”. From marketing managers to partnership managers, if your media kit is compelling enough for these movers and shakers, they’ll want to collaborate with you in one way or another. Perhaps they’ll want to co-lead a webinar with you. Or maybe co-host a real-world event. Either way, you best have your inbox cleared before you launch your media kit.
Let’s go back to our earlier New York Times reporter use case. Instead of the reporter having to directly email you questions bit-by-bit over the course of a month to get all the information their story needs, everything’s right there in the media kit. No lengthy email communication necessary. And no pushed-back publish date for the story in question. Just streamlined publicity. A win-win all around.
From your business’ carefully-crafted, illustrated logo to the high-definition photos of your team at a company retreat, your media kit enables everyone to take digital assets and use them appropriately. After all, it’s not just text-based information that the New York Times reporter will need — it’s photos, too. Similarly, let’s say a social media manager for a brand wants to tweet about you. Instead of having to download a sketchy, low-quality version of your logo (or perhaps even an outdated one that was used years prior), they’re able to download and make use of the real deal straight away.
A digital media kit (i.e. one that’s not a PDF and, instead, is a web link or a series of web links) is inherently shareable — this is massively advantageous in itself. Let’s say a marketer stumbles upon your media kit, but they don’t have the authority to get in contact and propose to collaborate themselves. By copying and pasting the link to their line manager, they’re quickly sending them the necessary information without having to download a cumbersome PDF first and then email it across. On the flip side, if there’s an instance where it makes more sense for you to get in contact with another organization, just fire the media kit link(s) their way! Here’s to streamlined shareability.
Awards. Stories. Statistics. Figures. Facts. Testimonials. These brand-boosting elements are often found in disparate places like blog articles and social media posts. But with a media kit, all of these incredible feats worthy of shouting from the rooftops are in one, centralized location. And simply by having this central repository for your business’ key feats and info, it shows viewers just what a credible, authoritative, and successful business you have.
A nifty list of benefits if there ever was one.
But how can your business ensure its media kit isn’t lackluster, has all the requisite components it needs, and that it ultimately does succeed?
The good news is that you don’t have to enroll in a night course to learn how, and neither do you need to listen to podcast after podcast to get up to speed; just make sure your media kit features the 12 must-have components.
What may be wonderful — or daunting — to hear is that there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how any given media kit is laid out. Your media kit could all be on one page, or each section could have its own specific weblink and dedicated space. To boot, there’s also the order in which you present the media kit’s sections. For instance, if it makes sense for your company, perhaps you want to include a list of your team’s contact details right away. Or, maybe having the “About” section come first (which is often the preferred route, especially for smaller-sized businesses) is what you’d prefer, too.
Basically, there are a million and one ways to present a media kit.
But what all good media kits feature, no matter if they’re static or dynamic, one-page or across separate pages, are the following sections.
Interested parties need a clear idea of what your business is about, how it came about, why, and your mission. Take this as an opportunity to control your narrative by presenting your business in your own words.
Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be untruthful or deceptive, but it does give you the power to talk about your business in the way you want others to. After all, seeing as the aforementioned interested parties will be reading through this section, they’ll take what you’ve written on board and write about your business in a similar way — that’s if they don’t straight-up copy-paste quote what you’ve written, that is. (Which, in this case, counts as a win.)
Achieving that balance between being truthful but telling an enthralling story is key. How can you hook readers in and ensure they’ll work with you or write about you? What can your “About Us” or “Overview” section include so that it secures interest, partnership, collaboration, or just downright great publicity?
Here are some easy-to-follow tips and tricks to get started:
Now that the world-at-large knows the inside-out of your business, its story, and its mission, it’s time to discuss the people behind it. That’s because it’s the team working at your business who are the ones making it the success story that it is, and it’s these individuals others want to read and learn about.
Unless you want an air of mystery (which isn’t advised by any means — this is a media kit you’re crafting!), this “Team” or “People” section should contain key information for each individual.
Depending on how much personality you want to add here, you may want to write up a paragraph for each employee, explaining when they joined the company, what their main duties are, and their educational or job role history.
Leap , who uses PressKitHero for their business’ media kit, takes things one step further by having a small Q&A section for each of their team members. In a way, it’s like an on-page ice breaker, allowing readers to get to know the team behind the women-owned dating app better. It’s on-brand, aligns with their product, and helps their “Team” page to truly stand out.
What’s going to impress members of the press the most when browsing through your media kit? Showing that you’ve had previous press coverage! It tells interested folks that the media world is already talking about your business, and if they don’t follow suit themselves then, well, they’re missing out. And no media outlet wants to be the latecomers or non-attendees of the metaphorical party, so they better hot-step it and get covering you, too.
If your business has had some press coverage, display those positive quotes and/or snippets proudly with a dedicated “Press Coverage” section!
For maximum impact, you’ll also want to:
If your business is more of a newcomer and doesn’t have any sort of press coverage to display yet, don’t sweat it.
Keep hold of any press clippings and digital screenshots so you can put positive press on the “Press Coverage” section you create further down the line.
This section doesn't need as much of an explanation as the others. A “Links” section is, after all, just that — a home for essential, important links you want to redirect your media kit viewers to.
If you’re wondering what kind of links you should include here, think about adding:
Pro tip: Make sure your links are opening in new tabs , ensuring that viewers keep their eyes on your media kit for as long as possible. Similarly, you’ll probably want to position your “Links” section at the bottom of your media kit so when they do want to follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn, it’ll be after they’ve read through the media kit’s entirety!
The logos for well-known businesses and brands are instantly recognizable. As soon as you read or hear the word “Apple”, you think of a perfectly-sized apple with a chunk bitten out of its side and a leaf on top. With “NBC”, you see a peacock with six differently-colored feathers pointing upward behind it.
These logos are so recognizable because people have seen them time and time again.
And this is what you want to happen for your business’ logo, too.
Help yourself by allowing media kit viewers to download your logo from a dedicated “Logos” section. Just like the “Links” section, you don’t need to do anything extra here: All that’s required is for you to upload your business’ logo! Then, whenever you’re going to be mentioned in a blog post, on social media, or even on broadcast TV, the media org in question can take a high-definition, up-to-date version of your logo from your media kit.
Your media kit’s “Contact” section is one of the most — if not the most — important sections of all. Without directing interested readers to the relevant person or people and without providing the relevant person’s or people’s contact details, your media kit won’t be, well, a very good media kit!
In terms of the content for the “Contact” section, simply upload a headshot or photo of the person you want to direct inquiries to. For smaller companies, this might be the CEO themselves or somebody else in a marketing role. Meanwhile, for larger companies, there’ll probably be a dedicated PR/publicity person whose headshot or photo you can upload.
On top of the person’s or people’s picture, write down names and include work emails, too. It might also be helpful to include links to this person’s or these people’s social media pages or, alternatively, their phone number(s). That way, you’re giving more than one contact method!
Many assume that a “Testimonials” section is a carbon copy of the “Press Coverage” section. But while both sections have other people saying positive, truthful things about your business, they’re entirely different.
Specifically, “Testimonials” is for using customer reviews to show that the outside world really does value your product, service, or whatever it is your business is doing, by directly quoting people who’ve used the likes of Yelp. A “Press Coverage” section, on the other hand, contains statements from the press, not users of the product or service.
For your “Testimonials” section, if you have Yelp or Google reviews from people in high-ranking positions — CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, and CMOs — or even just staff from big-name companies, then be sure to quote them. Include their name, job title, and company name as social proof that satisfied customers whole-heartedly recommend your business.
Your media kit has a “Logos” section.
It has team photos in the “Team” section.
But where can you upload other images that’d be valuable for potential writers or collaborators to use? A well-designed image that helps show your app in action? A group of people wearing your business’ merch? Branded social media banners?
The answer: The “Images” section!
View the “Images” section as your business’ place to deposit quality, approved images you wouldn’t mind others using when writing, talking about, or publicizing your business. What you put in this particular section, then, is down to you. Just make sure they’re valuable, and they’re something people want to use.
For inspiration, check out what the following companies added to their “Images” section in PressKitHero:
While the “About Us” and “Press Coverage” sections cover what your business is doing and where it’s heading, it’s “Awards” that focuses on what your business has achieved thus far.
Show those hard-earned awards off to the world with this portion of your media kit.
Ideally, you’ll want to do the following when adding content to your “Awards” section:
If your business doesn’t have any awards under its belt yet, don’t push an “Awards” section live. Bide your time — they’ll come, and so will your “Awards” section of your media kit.
Got a well-made, easy-to-understand product or service explainer video? A video case study that shows how others are using your product or service successfully? Perhaps a TV interview with your CEO on a major news channel? Or any other quality moving-image content that you’d be happy for others to use when talking about or promoting your business?
Then upload them to the “Video” section.
This is the dedicated place where interested people can download and use these videos, without having to trawl through your YouTube channel or send you a myriad of emails asking if you have a certain kind of video and if they’re able to use it.
Despite businesses operating largely online, it’s still incredibly useful to include information regarding your business’ HQ.
Well, that’s because:
Pro tip: Don’t just write down your address. Visualize it by using Google Maps to show where your business is headquartered in relation to the surrounding area.
(Important: If you’re a solopreneur or a small business owner who mainly operates from home, be extremely wary about telling the internet-at-large where, exactly, it is you live, as this information could be used for nefarious purposes. Instead, think about not displaying a “Company Address” or “Company Location” section until you’re working out of some kind of office or other space that isn’t your home.)
A slide deck. An eBook. A whitepaper.
It’s the “Downloads” section of your media kit that’s the home for other important materials you’d like reporters, partnership managers, marketing managers, and whomever else to make use of but couldn’t quite fit elsewhere.
Moteefe — which is a social commerce platform, enabling people to sell custom merch and products through social media — built their media kit with PressKitHero. And I think their “Downloads” section is a shining example of how to go about it.
If Moteefe ever wants to upload additional materials — like the aforementioned slide deck, eBook, or whitepaper — then all they need to do is hit that “Add new file” button!
Pro tip: Be selective about what you upload to the “Downloads” section of your media kit. Don’t overburden the page or your viewers. Think to yourself: Will this be useful and/or used by an interested party, or do I just want to upload it because I think it's a neat piece of content? If it’s the latter, it’s probably not wise to upload it.
That’s the 12 must-have sections of a solid media kit covered.
Ready to create your own media kit and vastly improve your PR and publicity strategy by doing so?
Let me introduce you to PressKitHero.
PressKitHero is a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that enables businesses to build, host, and edit their all-important media kits and press kits.
To get started, all you need to do is sign up , where you’ll instantly be put on an all-access free trial of PressKitHero. After noting down your business’ name and its website link, you’re then asked to put in your business’ social media links as well as to write some introductory text.
The foundation of your media kit is then built, thanks to PressKitHero’s magic and your input.
By hitting the “Continue editing” button, you can then start work on fleshing out the rest of the media kit’s sections, which include:
PressKitHero’s nifty in-built settings mean your media kit is completely customizable. You can amend the order in which your media kit’s sections appear in the sidebar, you can add a custom logo, swap the font, or even the color of your media kit — all on top of being able to design the sections themselves efficiently and effectively.
What’s more is that, with PressKitHero, you don’t have to worry about having your media kit appear on your website — meaning no extra work for your team’s developer, and you not having to splash the cash on a freelancer if you don’t have a developer in-house. Instead, your media kit is reliably hosted with us at presskithero.com, and the subdomain of which changes when you upgrade from a trial user to a paying user.
Recommended by employees of JournoRequests and Tech.co, it’s high time your business’ PR and publicity measures went from zero to hero with PressKitHero.
Here’s to getting the publicity and PR your business deserves and in the way you deserve it.
Here’s to the pen being mightier than the sword.