A media kit is a collection of materials that a company or a company's public relations personnel create to give to the media. Generally, during an event, exhibit or special occasion that warrants the presence of the media, a company will make the kits available for the members of the media to study.
A media kit often includes one or more press releases about the event or occasion as well as several complementary items that give media representatives a fuller picture of the person's or company's involvement. These may include pictures that the media reps are free to use in newspaper or magazine articles. A media kit may also include brochures or pamphlets that provide more information about the person or company. For a product launch, the kit will also have free samples of the product, and it may include an informational DVD about it. For an album or DVD launch, the media kit should include the CD or DVD.
When a public relations professional wants to control what the press knows about a subject, a media kit is the best option. This benefits the company because it can put its own spin on the information to show itself in the best possible light. This includes bios on the highest-ranking employees, information about donations and community contributions that the company has made and sales figures if the company has been profitable that year. If the media kit is for an art show, product launch of other event that is centered on physical objects, plenty of pictures should be included. A glossy brochure and a disc containing digital pictures will allow media representatives to easily run photos of the items in their publications.
A media kit benefits the company by having its function, milestone or event publicized with the right members of the media. Getting an article written or a newscast made about the occasion is reputable publicity that is more valuable than any ad that can be purchased. It is publicity that holds weight with the public because it comes from a reputable source. For the media representatives, a media kit is also beneficial. It is a quick way to get comprehensive information about the subject matter without having to interview the people present to get that information. It also supplies the media with photographs that they can use in place of trying to set up a time to take photos. A media kit can replace several hours of research into the company or product.
How elaborate a media kit is depends on what the occasion is. Some media kits are just a photograph and a bio while others include multimedia presentations on CD-roms. Another recent trend has been online media kits. These are a collection of printed materials, sometimes with audio or video files, that are available on the company's Website. The Website may allow anyone to access the media kit, or there may be a password needed to access it. The password is given out to media reps who ask for it.
Members of the media who rely on media kits as research materials should keep in mind that these materials are slanted in favor of the company. Additional research should be done before the event in order to have some balance for the resulting news story. The media kit may also be lacking in information and include only PR materials that talk up the company instead of the concrete information needed for the article or newscast. Prepare for an interview to get the information you need in case this should occur.