If you follow me on Instagram, I posted an Instagram Story one night this week that showed a glimpse of my Media Kit and how I updated mine. The next thing I knew, I was getting DMs from podcasters wondering why I had a Media Kit, how to create one, and what goes into one.
Here’s why I wanted a Media Kit (or Press Kit, as it’s also known) for my podcast.
I worked in newspapers and magazines for years and I can’t tell you how often the only reason events were covered was because a press release that was sent to the publication.
Without that press release, we may never have known the event was going on, and we may never have shared that information with our readers.
And when the press release included a link to a media kit, even better! That meant everything we needed to write the story was in one central location, such as the information about the event and images we could use. How convenient!
What does this mean for your podcast?
Imagine you get nominated for, oh, say, a Webby Award (not-so-humble brag) and you want your local newspapers, radio stations, or TV stations to cover it.
Or if you have a celebrity on your show, you may want to spread the news easily and quickly. (Media kits don’t just have to be for local media, by the way. Think big!)
Or if you haven’t started your podcast yet, you may even want some publicity when you launch.
Quick note about that: if making a media kit is going to delay you making and publishing your podcast, it can wait. Make your podcast first, get good at that, then worry about marketing. Also, make sure there’s something new, innovative, different, or unique that would make the publication want to feature your show.
So, what’s in a media kit?
There isn’t an exact formula for “the perfect media kit,” but I can tell you what I found incredibly useful when I was on the receiving end of one: Keep it simple.
Those who are on the receiving end of press releases do a lot of reading. Anything that looks like a wall of text is difficult to stay focused on in order to find the relevant-to-them information.
Here’s what I’ve found helpful to include in my media kit:
This is a paragraph or two describing who you are and your background or credentials relevant to the subject of your podcast.
What makes you special? This is not the time to be modest.
Make sure you list your location with local publications in mind.
About the Show Page
Again, keep it short and to the point. The best explanation answers the questions:
Who is your show for?
What problems are you solving?
What benefits will people get when they listen?
If you want to add some testimonials, such as reviews, this would be a great addition to the page.
I like to keep separate folders for each of my press releases. In case there are images that go along with my announcement, I can put those into the folder along with my press release.
A press release is a formal announcement that is sent to publications whenever something big happens for your podcast, like awards, accolades, events, success stories, milestones, etc.
These include the Five W’s and H.
Who are you?
Even though you have a separate page for this, you want to include all the information someone will need to know in that one press release, including a summary of who you are.
Include quotes from yourself and others who are pertinent to the information. Many publications will copy and paste press releases verbatim, or in chunks.
What is your show about?
Even though you have a separate page with this information, include a paragraph at the end summarizing the general concept of your show.
Where are you located?
This is pertinent to your local media outlets.
When is this information relevant?
Be aware of publishing deadlines. Magazines, for example, sometimes write their stories months in advance of publication.
Why is this information important?
Not everything deserves a press release. You can try reaching out to let people know you and your show exists, but if there isn’t something that can hook a reader into wanting to learn more or take action, it might not be worth covering.
How did this happen?
Include a paragraph, at the most, with the story of how this announcement came to be.
There are plenty of great examples of press releases online you can find, or you can check out my media kit.
Cover art for your podcast
Include both .png and .jpg images so they can look their best online or in print.
Make sure the images are the highest quality possible.
Stats and Sponsorship Information
This is if you want to monetize your podcast by seeking out sponsors. Sponsors want to know as much about you and your show as possible. Giving them your Media Kit can give them all the information they need in one place.
The Stats should include the number of downloads you get for one episode after a 30-day period. This is the monthly download number most advertisers are looking for.
The stats should include geographic locations of your listeners, like the top five countries your show is downloaded in and the top five cities, as well.
If you host with Libsyn, this information is included in the Advanced Stats.
Pricing information for advertising on your show.
It’s up to you to set your own pricing and there are lots of different ways to monetize — but that’s a post for another day.
If you want to see an example of how podcast advertising is priced, Midroll has a calculator for you to get an idea of how much you can make depending on your download numbers.
If you don’t want to advertise on your show, it’s a good idea to include that information in your media kit so you don’t have to field questions that may come in the future. (Or ask for a ridiculous amount of money to advertise on your show — hey, you never know!)
Having a link to your media kit on the front page of your website also helps if an online publication checks out your show and wants to feature you.
Set up a Google Alert for your show and your name, as well. Sometimes you won’t know you’re featured somewhere until you do a search for yourself and, lo and behold, someone wrote about your show and shared it!
You may also be able to find out the source of any spikes in downloads if you have a Google Alert set up for your show.
Keep it organized and up-to-date
You’re going to want to update information about you or your show or your stats every few months, at least.
But here’s an easy way I’ve found to update my information.
I have TWO folders in my Google Drive for my Media Kit. I have one that has everything organized into folders, but these are all Google Docs that are able to be edited. This folder is not shared.
The other Media Kit is the same layout, except all those editable documents are PDFs instead.
When I need to update something, I go into the Only-For-Me Media Kit and edit what I need or add a new press release, then export it from Google Docs as a PDF, then I put that PDF in the corresponding folder in the Media Kit I share with the public.
The PDFs can still be copied and pasted from, but they cannot be edited by anyone.
Some tips for sending press releases and media kits to publications
Many publications and websites have an email addresses specifically for sending press releases. Send a courteous email with a few sentences explaining who you are, what your pitch for them is, and be sure to include any pertinent contact information, in case they want to get in touch with you.
It’s up to you whether you want to follow up a few days after sending the press release if you haven’t heard anything. Most websites on public relations will tell you to do so, I believe. If you do follow-up, keep the email friendly and short.
DO NOT put all the email addresses for newspapers and publications in the TO: Section of the email. People have a tendency to Reply All or won’t run something if they know another publication is going to run it. Put all the email addresses in the BCC section and put your own email address in the TO: Section.
One more thing, speaking as a former-journalist: be gracious and say thank you. It goes a long way and there will be humans, most likely, on the other side of that email you send.