The PR BlogMedia & PsychologyMedia RelationsThe Media Kit: What To Include

The Media Kit: What To Include

From press kit and EPK to media kit.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

The media kit is a found­a­tion­al PR tool.

But what exactly is a media kit, and why is it a found­a­tion­al ele­ment in your com­mu­nic­a­tion arsenal? 

This blog post delves into the ana­tomy of media kits, explor­ing their rais­on d’être, com­pon­ents, and how they can be craf­ted to cap­ture atten­tion, tell your story, and estab­lish rela­tion­ships with the news media. 

Here we go:

What is a media kit?

A media kit, also known as a press kit or PR pack­age, is a col­lec­tion of pre­pared doc­u­ments and images for journ­al­ists and poten­tially for blog­gers, influ­en­cers, part­ners, investors, etc.

The main rationale for cre­at­ing a media kit is to make it easi­er for the news media to cov­er an organisation’s pro­mo­tion­al ini­ti­at­ives. The pre­sump­tion is, of course, that any such pub­li­city should be valu­able to the organisation.

Media kits are typ­ic­ally glossy, hyper­bole, and one-sided in nature. The best prac­tice would be to provide the news media with per­fectly bal­anced inform­a­tion. Still, many organ­isa­tions simply can’t res­ist the tempta­tion to por­tray them­selves in the most flat­ter­ing way pos­sible. 1Silfwer, J. (2019, October 19). Corporational Determinism — The New Paradigm for Product Launching. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​c​o​r​p​o​r​a​t​i​o​n​a​l​-​d​e​t​e​r​m​i​n​i​sm/

There are typ­ic­ally two types of media kits: the main stand­ard­ised ver­sion that is always avail­able and oth­ers that are spe­cific­ally pre­pared for a spe­cif­ic event, product launch, news release, etc. 

What is usually included in a media kit?

Media kits typ­ic­ally include:

  • Contact inform­a­tion
  • Company back­ground
  • Company fact sheet
  • Company bio (short, medi­um, long)
  • Financial inform­a­tion
  • Coworker bios
  • High-res­ol­u­tion images (free to use)
  • Q&A or FAQ documentation
  • Descriptions of products and services
  • Logos and oth­er graph­ic­al assets
  • Case stud­ies and testimonials
  • Relevant press releases
  • Previous media cov­er­age examples
  • Relevant present­a­tions and reports
  • Diagrams and data sheets
  • Timelines, maps, schem­at­ics, etc.

How do you structure a media kit?

Journalists typ­ic­ally just want to find the spe­cif­ic inform­a­tion they need — fast. And a major­ity of the con­tent in your media kit will likely be irrel­ev­ant to most journ­al­ists most of the time it’s being used.

However, media kits today are dis­trib­uted digit­ally — for good reas­on. Journalists today prefer to pick and choose whatever inform­a­tion they need from a web­site. Websites also allow the shar­ing of audio, video, and inter­act­ive elements.

In terms of struc­ture, make sure everything is easy to find (and down­load) with a few clicks.

Pro tip: The rule of thumb would be to omit any­thing that could double as an ad for the organisation.

What is the best format for a media kit?

Publish your media kit on the organisation’s website.

Avoid put­ting your whole media kit into a single PDF doc­u­ment. PDF doc­u­ments are reas­on­able formats for texts, but most journ­al­ists would prefer to copy texts from a web page instead of down­load­ing a PDF, open­ing it, and then copy­ing and pasting.

Even though mod­ern PDF formats allow for high-res­ol­u­tion images, audio, and video, journ­al­ists often require highly spe­cial­ised soft­ware to extract mul­ti­me­dia ele­ments from PDF doc­u­ments without sig­ni­fic­ant res­ol­u­tion loss.

I would also advise against hand­ing out USB drives (memory sticks) at press con­fer­ences and events. Organisations that are con­scious of IT safety should know that insert­ing unknown USB drives any­where is unwise. If you want to give the journ­al­ist any­thing phys­ic­al, give them a piece of paper with the URL to your organisation’s media kit.

If the media kit is pre­pared for a spe­cial news event and the con­tent of the media kit is embar­goed, while the journ­al­ists are attend­ing a phys­ic­al event and you don’t have the email addresses of the journ­al­ists, give them a piece of paper with the URL and a pass­word to access the media kit.

Pro tip: In our wired world, media kits can eas­ily be pre­pared in mul­tiple lan­guages, espe­cially for organ­isa­tions tar­get­ing an inter­na­tion­al audi­ence.

How long should a media kit be?

Historically, when media kits were dis­trib­uted phys­ic­ally on paper at press con­fer­ences and events, it made sense to make the prin­ted media kit brief and to the point.

Using a webpage (per­haps with sev­er­al linked sub-pages) makes the issue of deliv­er­ing a brief media kit irrel­ev­ant. As long as the UIX (primar­ily the menu struc­ture) is clear and easy to nav­ig­ate, you can provide abund­ant inform­a­tion nes­ted many lay­ers deep.

Provide as much inform­a­tion as pos­sible, but organ­ise it into sev­er­al sub-pages. Place the most rel­ev­ant inform­a­tion high­er up in the hier­archy, and the more spe­cial­ised and the “per­haps-import­ant-for-someone-inform­a­tion” at lower levels.

Can a media kit be one page?

As long as you nest the online nav­ig­a­tion of your media kit in an intu­it­ive struc­ture, it’s impossible for a media kit to con­tain too much inform­a­tion. It is, how­ever, pos­sible to provide too little inform­a­tion in favour of brevity.

Regarding the actu­al phys­ic­al length of a prin­ted media kit, a web URL with a pass­word and logo could eas­ily fit onto a busi­ness card.

Of course, there could be situ­ations when you want journ­al­ists to get some­thing in their hands imme­di­ately when they sit down at a press con­fer­ence or a news event. A short sum­mary of what to expect could be presen­ted on one page. However, I would avoid call­ing such a page a “media kit” and instead refer to it as a “primer.”

How do you prepare a media kit?

The key to pre­par­ing a media kit is to think like a journ­al­ist. What type of inform­a­tion would interest a report­er cov­er­ing the news about your organisation?

Why make a media kit?

In gen­er­al, journ­al­ists rarely use media kits pre­pared by the organ­isa­tion. Journalists mostly use them for high-res­ol­u­tion images and look up detailed spe­cific­a­tions at product launches. Some also use them to ensure they spell people’s names correctly.

Contact inform­a­tion, press releases, and data sheets are some­times used, but usu­ally only when the inform­a­tion has been embar­goed before­hand — or when the spokespeople are in high demand.

It’s also bene­fi­cial to be able to demon­strate a pro­fes­sion­al media kit to investors, ana­lysts, and partners.

The main bene­fit of cre­at­ing a media kit is for the organ­isa­tion to thor­oughly review all the inform­a­tion and ensure that it’s ready to meet the eyes of the world. Disclosing cor­por­ate inform­a­tion can be a del­ic­ate pro­cess with many stake­hold­ers — espe­cially regard­ing leg­al con­sid­er­a­tions or C‑level quotes.

Pro tip: Media kits are not just for pro­mo­tion; they are also pre­pared for crisis com­mu­nic­a­tions. These media kits con­tain pre-approved state­ments, FAQs, and con­tact inform­a­tion to ensure a coördin­ated and timely response dur­ing a crisis.

What is an influencer media kit?

Influencers, like journ­al­ists, are publishers.

Media” in influ­en­cer terms typ­ic­ally don’t refer to “the press.” It’s “media” as in “media buyers.”

Influencer media kits typ­ic­ally include inform­a­tion about how well-suited their plat­forms would be to advert­isers (i.e., media buy­ers). They con­tain inform­a­tion about their con­tent, audi­ence demo­graph­ics, social media reach, spon­sor rates, etc.

What is an EPK?

An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) was the ori­gin­al name of a digit­al ver­sion of a tra­di­tion­al press kit, often presen­ted as a web­site or email, and occa­sion­ally on CD or DVD. A not­able early example is the film “Sneakers,” which included a floppy disk with a cus­tom pro­gram about the movie, mark­ing one of the ini­tial instances of a film stu­dio employ­ing an EPK. 2Press kit. (2023, October 6). In Wikipedia. https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​P​r​e​s​s​_​kit

The EPK format as we know it was first show­cased online on January 8, 1995, by Andre Gray, the innov­at­or behind online music sales cer­ti­fic­a­tions and recip­i­ent of The Johannes Gutenberg Inventor Prize. Gray’s ground­break­ing EPK, cre­ated for R&B artist Aaron Hall, com­prised a bio­graphy, audio clips, videos, pho­tos, press mater­i­als, a set list, tech­nic­al details, and a cal­en­dar, estab­lish­ing a new artist-pro­mo­tion stand­ard.3Press kit. (2023, October 6). In Wikipedia. https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​P​r​e​s​s​_​kit

Thus, the ter­min­o­logy has evolved from “press kit” and “EPK” to just “media kit” today.


Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

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PR Resource: Journalism vs PR

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To spin or not to spin. (Photo: Jerry Silfwer)
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Public Relations vs Journalism

PR pro­fes­sion­als and journ­al­ists share many prac­tic­al skill sets. Still, pub­lic rela­tions and journ­al­ism are fun­da­ment­ally different:

Public Relations is the effort to sub­ject­ively advoc­ate agen­das on spe­cial interests’ behalf.

A fun­da­ment­al cri­tique against pub­lic rela­tions is that advocacy is an afflu­ent priv­ilege that manip­u­lates the truth.

Journalism is the effort to object­ively report the news on the pub­lic interest’s behalf.

A fun­da­ment­al cri­tique against journ­al­ism is that objectiv­ity is unreal­ist­ic and the pub­lic interest heterogeneous.

But even if both pub­lic rela­tions and journ­al­ism fail to live up to their ideal states at all times, both prac­tices play vital roles in uphold­ing a bal­anced and stable democracy.

Learn more: Public Relations vs Journalism

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ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 Silfwer, J. (2019, October 19). Corporational Determinism — The New Paradigm for Product Launching. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​c​o​r​p​o​r​a​t​i​o​n​a​l​-​d​e​t​e​r​m​i​n​i​sm/
2, 3 Press kit. (2023, October 6). In Wikipedia. https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​P​r​e​s​s​_​kit
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The media kit is a foundational PR tool.
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What exactly is a media kit, and why is it a foundational element in your communication arsenal?
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Media kits can be crafted to capture attention, tell your story, and establish relationships with the news media.
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Media kits are boring? Nah.
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The main rationale for creating a media kit is to make it easier for the news media to cover an organisation’s promotional initiatives.
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The main rationale for creating a media kit is to make it easier for the news media to cover an organisation’s promotional initiatives. The presumption is, of course, that any such publicity should be valuable to the organisation.
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Media kits are typically glossy, hyperbole, and one-sided in nature.
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From press kit and EPK to media kit.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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