Do you have a media room on your website? If not, now’s the time to get one, writes Katrina Fox.
A media room is a dedicated page or section on your site for journalists to find and download helpful image about your and your business.
In addition to containing all your press releases, it should also include an online and downloadable media kit (also known as a press kit).
A media kit is a ‘brochure’ that gives reporters and producers useful information about you that they will use when deciding whether or not to feature you in their program or publication.
In the past a media kit was a full-colour physical brochure that was posted out to media outlets.
Nowadays you get to save money and trees by making it available on your website.
It’s important to have your media kit in two formats:
• Text and images on the web pages
• A downloadable PDF
This gives journalists the option of scrolling through online, as well as printing out your media kit or saving it and forwarding it to other members of their editorial team.
So, what should you include in your online media kit?
There are three essential items – regardless of how much or little media experience you’ve had:
1. A DYNAMIC BIO
So many professional bios are boring and bland. Instead of sending a journalist to sleep with your bio, you want to entice and excite them. Sure, you need to put in the key essential information about you, but also include the quirky stuff that makes you different.
For example, in my ‘About you’ page on my website, I’ve got a section called ‘7 things you may not know about me’. This is gold for journalists.
Yes, we want to know you’re an expert with solid credentials – that’s taken as read. But what makes you stand out and maximise your chance to be featured is that difference. So if you’ve done something amazing or have an unusual hobby (a legal one!), even if it has nothing to with your expertise, include it anyway because it makes you interesting.
Make sure you include your bio in different lengths: short, medium and long. You can even include a tweetable 140-character bio as well as a two-sentence summary that can be used at the bottom of opinion pieces or article you write for the media.
It’s far better that you provide journalists with this information, firstly because it saves us time so we’ll feel warm and fuzzy towards you and secondly because you get to control how you’re positioned.
If your business is an SME or corporation, include (dynamic) bios of key staff members.
2. ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS OR ORGANISATION
This is different to your bio or those of your staff. In this section, you want to present information about the business itself, such as:
• How it started
• How long it’s been in operation
• Why it was founded
• What it does
• The main products and services
• Its point of difference
When journalists are in the planning stages of a story, we do background research on you and your business. Yes, we’ll Google you, but by providing key data in your online media kit, you save us time and have a greater influence over what information appears about your brand.
I encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to invest in a professional photo shoot. Make sure you get a decent headshot, as well as some standing and three-quarter-length images.
You can also include in your media kit some non-professional character shots, although these must still be good quality, but they must be in addition to, not a substitute for professional shots.
Images are particularly important for TV as it’s a visual medium and a standout photo can also increase your chances of being featured in print. Sometimes there’s not room for a long story, but a picture and caption can bring you just as many leads.
Make sure your images are high resolution for journalists to download.
Digital images are packed with pixels and the more there are, the better the image will look when it’s enlarged. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to print publications. The last thing you want is the designer to blow up your image to take up a whole page and the image to ‘pixellate’ or become grainy.
For the web, lower resolution images can suffice, but to be on the safe side, always offer the option to download high-resolution images.
These are the three essential things you need in your online media kit right now.
There’s also one more, if you’ve already done some media:
(4.) Clips and logos from previous media experience.
If you’ve been featured in any kind of media, don’t be shy about it!
Put those clips in your media kit with links. Radio and TV producers will often look at these to see how you come across before booking you as a guest.
Also include the media logos of the outlets you’ve appeared in with as ‘As featured on’ or ‘As seen in’. This gives you massive credibility, not only to the media but also your customers. It tells the journalist that you know what you’re doing and that they can trust you to offer a great quote or be a charismatic guest.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had any media experience, but if you have your own media channel such as Youtube or a blog, put a link to that. Nowadays everyone can – and should – be a publisher.
Remember: Put all of this information on the web page or pages themselves, and include it as a downloadable PDF. You can hire a designer at a reasonable rate to make your media kit look snazzy.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and get your media kit sorted out!