When I graduated college and entered The Real World, my first job was as an education and general assignment reporter. Not a glamorous gig by any stretch, but I definitely learned a lot about the ways people and organizations present themselves to the public. One really useful tool for this is a media kit.
What’s a media kit? It’s an easily accessible compilation of information about a company, brand or person. Folks that are good at getting steady, consistent media coverage know that the media expects certain information to be easily accessible, so they have media kits at the ready. And in this era of Internet searches, you should have a media kit prepared, too. A personal media kit, one that’s designed to let people know what you’re all about, and one that’s easily accessible for those who are looking for it.
A few situations where a personal press kit may come in handy:
- a reporter needs to find an expert for a story
- a nonprofit is looking for people to add to its board
- A JOB RECRUITER IS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO HIRE
So–what should go in your personal press kit? Here are 5 things I recommend:
1. High resolution photo–Your personal press kit should include a current photo of yourself that’ll look good both online and in print. That portrait studio pic you scanned and uploaded? Not gonna fly. Generally, the larger a photo is, the better it is. Here’s a good explanation of how high-res photos work.
2. Short bio— Your bio should be a paragraph or two that tells people the following things: WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHERE you’re from, WHEN you started doing it, and WHY you do it. Two great examples are the bios of the bloggers behind Birmingham Mommy.
3. Grownup email address–If your primary email address is still cutie4U@hotmail.com, it’s time to make a change. Your email is one of your most important means of contact, so it should reflect positively on you and your brand. Mine follows the standard FirstnameLastname format; other people incorporate their stage names or their blog names. Assess what’s best for you.
4. A working link to your internet presence– A website, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile or anything else you choose. The important thing is that when people Google you, what pops up is at least one site about you that you yourself control. Right now, I’m a fan of about.me. It serves as a central location for all of my online profiles (and it looks nice, too). And yes, people do connect with me through it.
5. Samples of your work— This could be a portfolio of your photography, clips of your writing, videos of your performances, products you’ve created, testimonials about your performance. The Behance network has a great gallery of portfolios for creative professionals.
Did I leave anything out? Do you have a personal media kit and if so, what’s in it?