The value of a media kit is often overlooked – and sometimes it can feel like you’re putting in a lot of work for something that may just end up in a waste basket at the end of the day. But the stories nonprofits have to tell are important, and making the facts easy to access for journalists  will help ensure their stories have accurate facts and can save you (and the media) valuable time.

What is a media kit?

Media kits are a suite of information primarily used at events, media conferences or as part of announcements or PR campaigns delivered by your nonprofit.

Traditionally, media kits are folders or portfolios handed to media attending the event but more and more communicators are using online newsrooms, flash drives and other digital formats.

Done right, there are many benefits to offering a media kit:

  • Help answer questions before they are asked
  • Provide facts and information about your cause
  • Introduce your organization and other initiatives
  • Lay the foundation to pitch a news story
  • Position your organization as the subject matter expert
  • Provide quotes and bios for speakers
What is a media kit and what should you include? Help from @Katie_Ostler #nonprofit #NPMC #PR Click To Tweet

What to include in a media kit

Depending on the type of event and audience in attendance, the contents and format of your media kit will change.  Before compiling your kit, think of your audience and your publicity goals.

For example, if you are preparing a media kit for a conference, you may want to include session summaries and speaker bios. If you are preparing a media kit for an event or press conference for a major announcement, you may want to include facts, statistics and background information.

Common elements found in a media kit can include:

Backgrounders – Backgrounders are usually a one-page summary of anything related to your nonprofit. For example, you may include information about your cause, a program or specific initiative.

Statistics/fact sheets—Sometimes statistics can be included as part of your backgrounders, but to help the information stand out, you can include it on a separate page. If you receive common questions about the topic, consider including a question and answer document.

Bios—Include a short one-paragraph biography of your key speakers, researchers, celebrity guests, etc. to help the media understand why they are the subject expert and what information they have to offer.

Contact information – Contact information will usually be included in the media release, however it’s a good idea to include your business card or a list of contacts (if applicable) to help make this information easy to locate. Be sure to include your office line, mobile number and email address (and make sure someone is available to answer if media calls!).

Photos – Photos are best shared in a high-resolution digital format. If you’re distributing hard-copy media kits at the event, indicate in your media release how journalists can obtain photos.

Promotional materials – If you are promoting a campaign launch, consider including any posters, brochures, buckslips or other promotional material.

Web links – Include any related web links (your nonprofit’s website, Youtube Page, Facebook page or Twitter).

Media release or advisory

What should you include in your #nonprofit's media kit? Here's a list from @Katie_Ostler #NPMC Click To Tweet

Keep it simple

Making information easy to find is the key to a successful media kit. It doesn’t need to be a big project– keep things simple and easy to read. Avoid including too much or irrelevant information and put your most important information up-front. The easier it is for a journalist to find the facts, the more likely they will use them in a story.

Lastly, as you distribute the kits, be sure to tell the journalists about the contents to make sure they’re aware of all the pertinent information for their story.

Journalists are usually on tight deadlines and require quick and relevant information.  Providing simple media kits can help save you any last-minute scrambling and ensure your nonprofit’s important key messages and information make the news.

Katie Ostler

Katie Ostler

Media Relations and Digital Communications Professional
Katie Ostler is a public relations professional specializing in media relations and digital communications. She has worked for nonprofit organizations such as Santas Anonymous, the Alberta Library and the Canadian Diabetes Association. She spends her free time hanging out with her new baby Charlie and husband Simon.
Katie Ostler