As creatives we often have to do everything. Not only do we spend countless hours developing work, polishing our craft and delivering fantastic creative experiences but we also have to market those experiences. Marketing can be tricky. Budgets are finite and time is limited. So it is vital to maximise our efforts in areas that will generate plenty of ticket sales. But how? The first step in this process is building a sensational media kit.
What Is A Media Kit? Do You Need One?
A media kit is an important tool in the marketing arsenal for any creative. It is a compilation of key information about your show, exhibition or creative event to send to relevant publications. The purpose of the media kit is to spark the interest of editors and provide them with all the information that they might need to write content about your production.
Media kits should be carefully designed to maximise impact. In a notoriously underfunded industry such as the arts, it is even more important. You may not have a huge advertising budget but with a cleverly crafted media kit you can generate some fantastic media coverage for your show.
So What Should You Include?
Every creative’s media kit should include a press release, a few visually appealing photographs and the biographies of key creatives.
A Well-Crafted Press Release
A press release is essentially a news article about your theatre production, music gig, art show or exhibition. Imagine you’re a journalist writing a sensational article for an arts publication. Your press release should be free from errors and ready for publication as some platforms publish press releases directly to their news sections.
Your press release should:
- Have a release date at the top of the page indicating when it can be published. This allows you to send out your media kit to potential publications prior to launch and ensures that they will not jump the gun in publishing.
- Include a short, catchy headline to spark interest. This is the most important part to make your article stand out so make sure to spend a bit of time brainstorming ideas.
- Be at least 500 words long and no longer than 1-2 A4 pages. Start with a short paragraph that summarises the article and then expand.
- Address the who, what, when, where, why and how. Who is the work by / for? What is it? When and where is it happening? Why does it exist and why should readers care about it? How is it happening?
- Include a unique selling point. What is it about your work that is unique? What makes it stand out to your audience? This is the crux of your marketing and should be carefully thought through. This is the reason why audiences will want to see your show!
- Include quotes from key creatives. Towards the end of your article you might want to put one or two short quotes in from key creatives involved in the work. These could be from the creator, director, performers or artists.
- A list of creatives available for interview opportunities. This will help the publication or journalist to know that they can reach out for interviews to write more in-depth media coverage.
- Add relevant hyperlinks. You will want to make sure to include your website and social media links at the bottom of your release. Do not forget your ticket link!
- List your ticket prices. It is important to include the price of attending at the end of the article.
- Insert contact information. You should include clear contact information for your marketing point of contact. This is who the publication or journalist will contact for any further information or to arrange interviews with creatives.
Visually Appealing Photographs
Photographs and images are an extremely important part of your media kit. These images will be used by the publication to make their post or article about your work more visually appealing. Great photographs can make all the difference in standing out from the crowd.
You need to include 3-5 high resolution images in your media kit. Most digital publications prefer landscape images so make sure you include at least 3 of those.
These images can be either promotional shots or show images. If you use promotional images in your media kit, make sure they are clean photographs free from any text.
Always include the photographer’s information in your media kit to ensure that the media coverage can adequately credit them for their creative work.
You should also include a short biography for all the key artists involved in your project. Biographies should be one or two paragraphs highlighting the previous credits and experience of your creatives. You can choose to include headshots with the biographies but these are not necessary.
The artist biographies provide additional background information to the journalist about your project, add credibility to your work and can serve to spark their interest in an interview with a particular artist.
Unsure About How To Approach The Media?
For many independent artists and creatives it can seem daunting to approach the media for the first time. But don’t be shy! Your work is valid and deserving of media coverage. The best course of action is to make sure that your media kit is professional and complete before you contact the media.
The next thing you will want to do is research which media publications to contact. Think about the publications you read and the social media accounts you follow and start there. Don’t forget to consider other forms of media such as podcasts or radio stations!
Once you have compiled a list, send a professional email to the publication with your full media kit attached. You can attach your media kit directly to the email or simply include a link to your kit on Google Drive or Dropbox. Make sure to check your access settings before you share a link.
Your covering email should be short, concise and to the point introducing your project and asking about media coverage opportunities for your show, gig, exhibition or event.
If you would like to offer review opportunities, make sure to include that information in your email and extend a reviewer invitation to the media publication.
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