Friday, 13 January 2012

Guidelines for Media Guides

Media guides produced by sports teams, organizations and committees serve as valuable resources to members of the media. Despite the fact that there is so much information now on the internet about most teams and sports, a sports related press kit serves as an accurate and factual resource tool for members of the media as it is produced directly by the organization.
While media guide content may vary based on the nature of the sport team, organization or the event  – professional versus amateur, team versus league, major league versus minor league – there are major components that should be included in most guides.
  • Table of contents to assist in the navigation of the guide
  • Staff directory listing office and mobile phone numbers and email addresses
  • Media-specific information on how to make interview requests and apply for media credentials for certain events
  • Schedule of events
  • Profile of the organization and its leadership
  • Team information including rosters and athlete biographies
  • Season preview including statistics, results and superlatives
  • History of the team (or event) including year-by-year results, all-time statistics, previous play-off information
  • Venue information
  • Governing body information and sponsor logos

Design elements can also play a key role in making sure that a media guide is as attractive and user friendly as possible for all media.  Specific knowledge in desktop publishing with layout and design skills are a valuable skill set to the media relations professional, with special attention being paid to:
  • Cover – is it attractive and include key elements of the organization, such as name, logo and year?
  • Font type – is it easy to read and consistent throughout the guide?
  • Graphics  - text boxes, shaded areas, logos and symbols?
  • Colour – how is this used to enhance the media guide?
  • Photos – types used (action and head shoots) and are they in focus, clear and have good contrast?
  • Format - will it be hard  copy, electronic, compact disk, downloadable or all formats?
  • Size – small enough to put in a journalist or photographers pocket, or large enough to have space to make notes?
A media guide can incur production costs and require significant time to plan, research, develop and produce but it will also reap positive publicity from journalists and broadcasters who cover the team or event.