6 Tips for Creating an Irresistible Media Kit

Images are media gold. Here's some professional advice for giving your pitches an edge with the press.

create an irresistible media kit mg Magazine by VitalikRadko Depositphotos
Photo: VitalikRadko / Depositphotos

As public relations professionals, my team’s job is to land media coverage for our clients. To push stories forward and achieve the best possible placements, we ask our clients to provide high-quality, compelling images. If they don’t have any, we do our best to lead them into the studio — quickly — for a photoshoot. Images can make or break a pitch.

Media outlets, online and in print, have budget constraints just like your business does, and image-creation is one of the biggest expenses they incur. If you want a publication to do something nice for you at no charge (in this case, mention your business in a standalone profile or as part of a larger feature), your request will get a lot more traction if you make the effort easy on their budget. In addition, companies that have gone to the trouble and expense of creating their own high-quality, editorial-grade images often are perceived as more professional and reliable, because they’ve demonstrated they consider the effort a collaboration that will benefit both parties.


Several factors can make or break an image. With a background in both journalism and public relations, I’ve been on both ends of bad imagery. I’ve seen amazing stories come into the newsroom, but because they lacked solid accompanying imagery, they lost their opportunity to shine and ended up tossed entirely or buried beneath bigger stories. I’ve also submitted pitches for innovative, feature-story-worthy clients, only to have the journalist lose interest once we confirmed we had no photos to accompany the piece.

As you create images to include in your media kit, follow the best practices I’ve outlined here and you’ll be on the road to landing more and better coverage in no time. 

Know your story

Brands often benefit from authentic imagery that captures the company spirit through candid shots out on the farm or in the warehouse, rather than corporate headshots. It all depends on the type of business and the story being told. Regardless of how the images are staged, the narrative needs to be apparent upon first glance. Of course, the photos also need to look good. Many companies can do without fancy cameras and expensive studios so long as they follow best practices.

Before you embark on a company photoshoot, you need to make your goals clear. What do you want to convey with the images? Know your story before you begin. If you want to build a narrative centered around being a small, family-owned business, you probably want to get photos of the family working together as a team. If you want to center the chief executive officer of your company as a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with, you’ll have more success with a strong, corporate headshot in front of the business.

Products and people

Product shots and photos of staff serve different purposes. Most brands benefit from a mix of both. Cannabis industry professionals must be careful about the types of images offered to certain platforms. Some will not use images in which products or plants appear, because their audience may include minors. That’s another reason to have a mix of product and people shots.

Product images let potential customers know exactly what to expect if they choose to make a purchase. These photos must be clean, eye-catching, and show the whole product. Customers should not have to guess or fill in the blanks about a potential purchase. They need to feel confident that what they see is, in fact, what they will get.

Shots depicting staff and customers can tell vastly different stories from product shots. “People pictures” are more likely to tap into emotions, making them powerful tools for narratives about the “who” and “why” of a company.

Lifestyle shots that include people using products can go a long way, too.

Lighting and backgrounds

Few things can hurt an otherwise promising photo as much as poor lighting. If you don’t know how to create good lighting for photos, hire a professional or do some research. Good lighting is non-negotiable for compelling imagery. Cannabis is a beautiful plant. Use this to your advantage.

Background clutter can detract from the power of an image. Pay close attention to what’s in the background of your shots and avoid anything that might cause eyes to stray from the subject of the image. Whether your images are created on location or in a studio will depend on the story you want to tell. If a background is necessary for the narrative, make sure it includes only components that enhance the story.

Quality and size

Press images should complement news, profiles, and features, not exist in a vacuum. Keep in mind the images will accompany a story, not stand alone. While this rule comes with some exceptions, your photographs also should tell a story, not look like LinkedIn profile photos. Blurry photos, even of attractive subjects, do more harm than good. Remember, your images represent your company. They should always be in focus.

If a publication’s editor must decide between two equally worthy stories to spotlight, they’ll pick the one that will make the publication look best. That’s common sense. Make it easy on media outlets — and give yourself a better shot at a starring role — by wide-cropping horizontal images so the publication’s production team can size them to fit a two-page spread. Also leave sufficient cropping space in vertical images so they can be sized to occupy a full page. If you’ve provided high-resolution images, they may be resized to fit the available space without losing quality. No print publication will publish an image that will look blurry, pixelated, or otherwise low-quality on the page.

Carefully study the outlets you want to target, paying close attention to the types of images they feature. Use this information to inform the photographs you take and submit for their consideration. Providing images that align with a publication’s typical style will give you a leg up on your competition.

Freshen up

Plan to take new photos every quarter to prevent your images from becoming stale. A common mistake companies make is failing to keep their imagery fresh. Even beautiful, high-resolution shots can get old if they’re used everywhere, and some publications will not use images their competitors previously published. Journalists are more likely to run a story if the images they receive are fresh and haven’t been featured in every other outlet.

Bear this in mind: Variety is the spice of visuals. If you want to make journalists happy and more likely to work with you, give them a large selection of images from which to choose. This goes along with taking quarterly images: The more you take, the more options media outlets will have.

Eschew artificial intelligence 

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances, you may be tempted to use AI-assisted tools to create or enhance images. Resist the urge. AI-generated photos most likely will not create an impression of authenticity and can cause potential customers to distrust your brand and your products. AI has its advantages in marketing and public relations, but not when it comes to images you intend to present to the media.

Good stories need good images. Make your target outlets’ jobs easier by providing them with quality images that will make both of you look good. Give the media options to choose from, and make sure every image tells a story.

Kim Prince CEO Proven Media

Kim Prince is founder and chief executive officer at Proven Media, a results-oriented agency serving business- and consumer-facing companies throughout North America. She brings more than twenty years of corporate marketing experience and has an impressive background in corporate messaging strategies, public relations, and strategic planning for corporations, brands, and C-level executives.