A journalist has called you to see if you'd be interested in a feature article on one of your projects. Unless you have your head stuck in the sand, this is a brilliant opportunity to see your work published, so you'd better be ready for it. After all, earned media is the hardest of all digital marketing to secure - because it's largely out of your control - but you can make life easier for yourself and the journalist and be prepared to have whatever they need quickly and easily. Chances are they're on deadline too, so you'll need to respond asap.
For every project you complete you should be creating a media kit. In my experience as a journalist, there are really only 3 things you need toinclude.
Essentially, this is a folder of key information about a project that a journalist can use to help create a story.
The best thing about media kits is that they're a cinch to put together. Better still, if you compile them once you finish a project you won't need to go back and forth with the writer and potentially miss out on the media opportunity because you're too slow to respond.
So get in the habit of creating a folder for these and you'll be well on your way to becoming a media savvy professional.
A press release only needs to be one page. It's a Word doc that includes information aboutyoure project. Start with the date, a heading and then the text, concluding with your contact details. For the text, stick to the who, what, where, when and why - and create an angle that best encapsulates the most interesting aspect of your project. Journalists love the weird, wacky and different, so the more interesting the better.
It's annoying to receive emails with 20 billion images embedded within them, so let's avoid that by creating a folder within a web transfer app, such as Dropbox. Then save up to 10 images of your project both in high res and low res quality. The low res are easier to browse through, while the larger files are perfect for publication. If you have both sets in easy reach, it'll save you hassle when the journalist is chasing pictures. You could also include a head shot too.
Lastly, get yourself a company bio. Grab it from your website or other company collateral, or create one as a Word doc with a few paragraphs that outline key details about your company. If you haven't written one of these, they're a great asset to add to your marketing suite. They form the foundation of your branding, so it pays to spend some time getting it right, and then you can roll it out across all of your marketing.
With these three pieces completed for each of your projects, you'll save time in the long run. But I realise that not everyone knows how to write a press release or company bio, and that's OK. What's important is to get something down and have your pics ready so that when a journalist calls, you've got them on hand and can create a fantastic impression straight away.
If you need a hand creating a media kit like this one, you've got options. You can reach out to Nic or Ben at BowerBird, who have a fantastic online portal connecting A&D professionals with journalists. Or for a writer at the ground level, get in touch with Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org