Any business that wants to get noticed by the media makes up a media kit. Depending on the business, the kit may be anything from a basic press release about the company all the way to an elaborate package that includes a CD/DVD about the company, slides and free samples.
A basic media kit usually comes as a folder of information about the company. The public relations person at the business will generally include a card with contact information also. The basic kit usually has an information sheet about the company, along with a press release describing anything new or innovative the business is doing, a short form of the annual report, and perhaps a sheet of testimonials from people who have used the business's services or products. These releases are placed in an attractive, conservative folder, possibly with the company logo on the front, and mailed to media outlets. Financial firms and similar businesses often send a media kit that is so designed.
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Some companies, such as fashion houses or entertainment companies, will send elaborate kits. They may include a CD or DVD about the newest fall fashions, complete with interviews with the designers! Some kits may even send along small fabric swatches, perfume samples or music CDs featuring the new artists in a record label's stable. Food companies often send samples. A cookie company may send a package of the newest product along with the press releases, for instance. A media kit may contain products as diverse as birdseed or aluminum foil! One air-conditioning company sends out sugarless mints with the slogan "Be cool!" on the package.
A media kit may be assembled to inform the news media about a new company, or to promote a new product by an established company. How the kit is assembled and what it contains depends largely on which purpose it is intended to serve.
A kit for an established company may contain only basic background information, but will focus on a new product and its development. A kit for a new company will be heavy on information about the company's history, usually with an eye toward showing how innovative the company is, thereby making it more newsworthy. The whole aim of the media kit, whether for a new company or an established one, is to catch the media's attention. If it does this, it has fulfilled its purpose.