Your media fact sheet is a summary of your business, for media purposes. It represents the way in which you would like your company and all its elements (products, people, philosophy, brand position, Vision & Mission) to be perceived by the general public. It shows your organization in a way that will be informative and help to build a positive public perception.
A good media fact sheet can be used in many different ways:
1. As a hand-out to clients together with your pricelists/catalogues
2. In funding and loan applications
3. On websites, marketing portals and partner programmes
4. With press releases for print, TV and radio editors
5. As part of a press kit for journalists at trade shows, exhibitions etc
Often media publications will have their own agenda, and may choose to focus on certain elements of an organization over others, such as community/social activities over business ones, or vice versa. This can sometimes be a problem, so it is important that you are clear in your fact sheet exactly who you are and what you stand for.
Handling media relations
While it remains almost impossible to exert control over what the media finally decide to print or publish (just ask Julius Malema or Pres. Zuma…), there are a number of things you can do from your side to ensure that as much as possible, your company is accurately depicted when media opportunities arise. These include:
• Develop relationships with journalists, including inviting them to visit you personally to learn more about your company
• Keep your website and internet presence very current, accurate and up-to-date
• Make sure you communicate any major changes in your business to journalists, publications as well as your stakeholder and client bases. Examples would include new staff or management, changes to operating structure or philosophy, moving to new premises, new partnerships etc.
• Generate and maintain your own media fact sheet, using the template provided below. This should accompany press releases, requests for interviews, or other interaction with the media, and needs to be kept very up to date at all times.
• Know your ‘Media Rocks’; – these are certain core facts or fundamentals about your company, products and philosophy that need to be communicated whenever you engage with the media.
Examples of these would be:
o Our company is committed to only using eco-friendly materials in our products
o We were voted Most Socially Aware business in a recent Markinor poll
o All our products are made entirely by hand etc
The attached template will help you develop your media fact sheet. Please keep it concise – MAXIMUM 2 PAGES IN TOTAL.
COMPANY PROFILE AND FACT SHEET FOR (YOUR COMPANY NAME)
COMPANY NAME TRADING NAME
MAIN CONTACT POSITION
CONTACT TEL (W) CONTACT TEL (CELL)
PHYSICAL ADDRESS POSTAL ADDRESS
A short summary of the company – when it was started, why it was started, Vision & Mission, core reasons for existence
Do you advocate any particular beliefs or philosophies in the business (eco-conscious, design focus, community development, staff development & training etc)?
Include range info, product focus, brief overview of manufacturing process, and any other relevant info about your products.
Very short profile (a few lines) on key people in the organization, including owners, managers, key staff, and one or two profiles of employees who have an interesting or inspiring story.
USP’S (UNIQUE SELLING POINTS)
What is it that sets your company, products or services apart from your competition? Why should someone choose to do business with you instead of them? This should not be general or obvious (eg ‘our service is good’) but more specific and unique to your business.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
Have you won any awards, or been recognized for your efforts in any areas? Are you a member of any societies or organizations that are of relevance (eg Proudly South African, Master Builders Association etc)
OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION
Anything else of relevance and that could be used to flesh out or add colour to a press release, editorial or interview. This could include facts about the company founders, special interest stories, your social activities, biggest orders, most prestigious or famous clients etc.