My son, The Hermit Poet, is developing his media kit, an activity all professional genealogists, especially genealogy educators, need to be involved in. As I read over his comments I think he’s got a few leads we can use in developing our own kits. Here’s what he says:
“As part of my transition into the post-MFA life, I’ve been working on building a press kit — a set of materials which will hopefully inspire someone to invite me to speak / read / interview / give a lecture somewhere. Now, putting a press kit together when you don’t have a book is a different sort of task. While there are some things that carry over, the obvious difference is that you’re not trying to sell the book — you’re trying to sell yourself.
Some good (or at least promising) links I’ve uncovered so far:
- Shades of Romance Magazine: Natasha Brooks-Harris on Creating the Press Kit (Yeah, I know — but the advice is pretty applicable to other sorts of writing. You’ll have to put with the horrible font color though.)
- Fatten Your Press Kit When You’re a New Author (Good practical advice about how to pitch yourself to different papers and venues)
- Press Kit Elements That Work (A bit of a critique on bad press kits with some decent insight into what makes a good press kit work)
Some examples of good-looking online press kits (not necessarily an endorsement of their work):
- Tony Norris (singer, storyteller) (I suspect there’s no better press kit than a great beard. This guy has a great beard – I’d choose him for any barmitzva, shin-dig, gallery opening, or barn-raising.)
- Deb Talan (folk singer) (This is one of the best looking pdf press kits I’ve seen yet)
- Luis Alberto Urrea (poet) (Fairly simple 3-page pdf press kit. Not pretty. Not ugly. But very practical.)
- Rochelle Mass (poet) (This one’s put together by the press, but features a nice integrated bio)
I reviewed some of the writing sites and all of the examples. I agree with you – the guy has a great beard and Ms. Talan takes great pictures and an excellent web presence.
What should I, as a not well-known fairly provincial genealogy speaker, put in my press kit?
* An introduction – this is ME
* A personal biography, with head shots for publicity
* Summary of available genealogy talks – the 40 words that describe a talk, suitable for a newsletter article or symposium brochure.
* List of Talks previously given and sponsoring society
* Interviews (assuming I ever have one)
* Reviews from society newsletters – only the glowing ones?
* Written work or links to them – blog posts, newsletter articles, prose, memoirs, family history books.
Gee, it will be pretty sparse at first, but maybe it will work. I wonder if Ms. Talan can loan me her graphic artist?
Cheers — Randy