The question I get asked most is 'How do I get my product featured in magazines?' There are many avenues you can take to secure media placement, but the thing you need first is a good Media Kit.
As its name suggests, a Media Kit is a kit that has all the collateral media need to know about your product. You send a media kit out when you launch your brand, and every time you release something new... A new collection / hero product / new service. Essentially, it's an announcement telling media everything they need to know, in the hope that they like what they see, that it is relevant to their publication, and that they want to feature it.
Most Media Kits are completely digital. Media receive so much printed collateral, it can sometimes become frustrating. We tend to mix up our Media Kits between digital & hard copy. If you are just starting out and are on a tight budget, I would strongly suggest just a digital Media Kit. Hard Copy Kits can be very costly with all the printed collateral etc.
DIGITAL MEDIA KIT
A Digital Media Kit is pretty simple & contains 3 x pdf documents. Press Release + Look Book + Brand Book.
Obviously, to send out a Digital Media Kit, you would need each of the recipients' email addresses. When you send it out, keep the body of your email short & simple - everything that needs to be said should be in the kit. Also, in your email send them a Dropbox link to high res product shots of your collection. That way, if they are just placement, a product layout page gives them easy access to your collection, without having to call in samples.
> PRESS RELEASE: Why are you sending this media kit? Are you just launching your business / brand? Have you introduced a new product to your collection that deserves its own announcement? A new collection? An exciting collaboration?
Try to keep your messaging simple & singular. A press release that makes 10 announcements makes you appear like you are all over the place.
> LOOK BOOK: A Look Book is just a fancy word for Catalogue. Your Look Book is really to showcase your product. You can have the entire book / document made up of product shots only, or maybe the product 'insitu' (in situation - like a styled flatlay), or shot on a model, or a mix of all.
Sometimes a Look Book may just be your hero product. That is, the piece you want your brand to be known for, and as such, want the media to focus on.
> BRAND BOOK: If you read a prior entry on Brand Guidelines, please note that a Brand Book & Brand Guidelines book are slightly different. Media are not interested in your corporate font or colour palette, so make sure to edit your Brand Guidelines book to only feature things that media will be interested in.
Less is more. Keep it concise.
My suggestion for putting together your initial Brand Book would be to use the below structure:
> BRAND INTRODUCTION: A few paragraphs on the brand, how / where it started, what its ethos is, where your products are stocked (if you have stockists, but no worries if you don't) and any big publications your product has appeared in (if none at this stage, don't worry about including this either).
> DESIGNER PROFILE: If it is a design based brand, if not, use this to introduce & give a bio of the Founder. You can read more on how to write your bio HERE.
> PRODUCT: This just needs to give a quick snapshot of your key / hero product. If you have a special element that you think adds value - it's eco friendly / philanthropic etc etc - include this here.
> MEDIA: If you have had media placements, show them on one page - choose only the best ones. You don't need to over play on this page because the more 'hero' the placement, the better. For example, if you have had one placement in VOGUE and ten placements in smaller weekly magazines, just feature the VOGUE placement with the page & cover. The weekly placements are good, but have a different use in your communications.
> SOCIAL: I think it is important to include a page on your social media. Just a quick shot of your channels & how many followers you have.
> CONTACT PAGE: List who to contact for wholesale enquiries + media enquiries.
HARD COPY MEDIA KIT
Featured above left, is a Media Kit we sent out for the release of a SAMANTHA WILLS Bridal collection. This is an example of a very luxe (read; expensive!) Media Kit. It contained a printed Look Book, printed CD's with product images & e-media kit on it (so media can download images if they just want to do a product shot placement), two pieces of product from the new collection as a gift, gold foiled chocolates, printed postcard, printed press release, and a fresh stem of orchids.... Yes, we sent out fresh flowers with each kit! (that is not easy logistically! But our PR team made it happen!)
If you are going to the effort of sending a hard copy Media Kit, think outside the box. Remember Media people receive stuff all the time. If you are going to send them something, make it worth their while & make it premium quality. An example of why this is important: say you have a beautiful, unique product, and are trying to put together a hard copy media kit on a minimal budget. But the printing of your collateral comes back substandard. Even though your brand is premium and your product is great, this makes your brand look substandard. A poorly laid out media kit speaks volumes and is the very first impression media will have of your brand.
MEDIA WEBSITE: Press Access Only
As with a premium hard copy Media Kit, if you create a Media Website make sure it is simple & easy for media to navigate.
A Media Website is essentially an online hub that houses look books, press releases, high resolution product images, campaign imagery, designer bios, designer profile photos... Everything media could ever want to access!!
Below is a snapshot of what our Media Website looks like. It is a password-accessed site, that allows media the ability to see all our collections, current & upcoming. We release around 10 collections a year, across our mainline jewelry, bridal, FINE, handbags & eyewear. Our scope is wide, and having a website dedicated to this function of our business makes sense. Our PR team also have long standing relationships with media. If you are just starting out, I would suggest going with the Digital Media Kit, then a Hard Copy Media Kit when you have the budget. A Media Website should be introduced when you have multiple collections or divisions running at the same time, and also once you have an established relationship with media.