How To Create An Great Press Kit Or Electronic Press Kit

record_executiveArtists worldwide now have access to the same online tools and websites as each other and countless ways to get our music in front of potential fans. We are now in competition with each other as never before, competing with millions of other artists. As artists, we all need to stand out from the crowd, but being noticed against such a backdrop is becoming increasingly difficult.

While tools and websites may be available to all, most artists don't yet take advantage of more than a few of those ways. As we move forward the minimum number increases as more and more bands begin to realise just how many tools are available and that it is entirely up to them wether they take advantage of them or not.

 

The Existing Music Industry And Media Industries

The expectation of the existing music and media industries is that they will deal with a professional standard product. There are so many bands to choose from, and so many affordable pro-quality tools available to those bands, that even the parts of these industries that deal with amateur bands now expect a professional quality product. This includes products for A&R men, such as demo recordings, and products for booking agents and press, such as the band bio and Electronic Press Kit.

A high quality, stand out EPK is one of the absolute essentials that artists now need.

 

What is a Press Kit?

Within the music industry, a press kit is a package of promotional materials representing a band or artists.

Typical Band Press Kits include:

  1. Band Biography
  2. CD
  3. Color Photos
  4. Black and White Photos (for newspaper print)
  5. Contact Details (Record Label, Band Manager, Publicist, or other, depending on need)
  6. Discography
  7. Equipment list (needed if the press kit is going to a venue)
  8. Tour Dates / Gig List
  9. Website Link
  10. Recommended If You Like (RIYL) list, List of Similar Artists / Genres

 

What is an EPK?

An Electronic Press Kit or EPK is an electronic version of the Press Kit. It can be presesnted in several forms:

  1. Website
  2. Email
  3. DVD
  4. CD
  5. USB Flash Drive
  6. Video or Audio Cassette

The EPK is your showcase to the music industry and of course the media. It just isn't worth taking the chance of settling for second best. Below you will find five of the best tips for creating your outstanding EPK at a standard that matches the professionals.

Your EPK is a specific, electronic version of your Press Kit. An EPK differs from a standard Band Bio EPK in that you can easily include digital audio as part of the kit, and a gallery of photos that don't take up much room on a page.

Typical EPK contents:

  1. Band Biography
  2. CD
  3. High Resolution Color Photos
  4. High Resolution Black and White Photos (for newspaper print)
  5. Contact Details (Record Label, Band Manager, Publicist, or other, depending on need)
  6. Discography
  7. Equipment list (needed if the press kit is going to a venue)
  8. Music
  9. Tour Dates / Gig List
  10. Promo Videos
  11. Offline Copy Of Website and / or Website Link
  12. Recommended If You Like (RIYL) list, List of Similar Artists / Genres

 

1. Make Sure You Have A High Quality Main Photo

It's amazing just how much your photo will convey about you as an artist. It's worth getting it right. It takes time and effort to convey the right message in the briefest of glances. Your music does not exist in isolation and the first thing someone viewing your EPK will see is your main photo. It sets an expectation of the music to come (or not if they decide to click away). So make sure your photo compliments your sound, is eye catching but appropriate.

 

2. Use High Quality Audio

This is your showcase! Do not use sub-standard, poor quality audio. The time has long passed, when artists could expect to provide demo standard recordings to industry professionals. Why? Easy. The music world is a competition, where you compete with every other artist to be noticed. Now every artist has the chance to get their music in front of millions of listeners, and that is a lot of competition.

Budget, professional standard recording gear is widely available and most bands provide high quality, professional recordings. If you can only provide a rough demo what it says to the listener is:

[quote]"I don't care enough about my music, or believe in it enough, to create a decent recording."[/quote]

It also says to the listener:

[quote]"I don't respect you enough as a listener to give you something decent to listen to."[/quote]

Not exactly the message you want to be giving out, especially to an industry professional.

 

3. Write A Descriptive 30 Second Pitch

Imagine you only have 30 seconds to sell your music, what would you say? This is your chance to grab attention, but you must give the reader what they want, and that is information about your music!

Things to Avoid:

  1. Avoid being vague
  2. Don't be arrogant
  3. Don't repeat the typical cheesy phrases
  4. Don't make huge, over exaggerated claims. Nothing turns off more than "This is the best music you will ever hear!" or "You have never heard anything like this before!" etc.Support what you say. Include a quote, an award or similar. This gives credence to you, your music and your decription of your music.

 

4. Up To Date Full Gig Calendar

This is one of the most important parts of your EPK. It's valuable because it immediately tells press, promoters and booking agents where a band is in their career, by seeing what sort of venues they play, on what nights they play, and how often they play.

Include both past gigs and upcoming gigs. Past gigs provide some track record, and future gigs offer the opportunity of seeing a band before they are booked. Don't rely on anyone clicking through to your site, myspace or other page in order to find out more about your band.

 

5. Include Your Best Press Clippings

You have to establish some credibility in the minds of those who view your Press Kit or Electronic Press Kit, and the use of press clippings is one of the best way to do this.

Pick only the top quotes from the best articles, interviews and reviews to use in your PK or EPK. This instantly adds essential credibility as this represents a perspective on your music which isn't your own and instantly is given more credibility than your own claims about your music. Quotes don't need to be from the top newspapers. Press coverage is generally useful for building credibility and that includes comments from bloggers.

 

Useful Links

I would recommend reading our article on putting together an effective Band Bio in order to complete:

10 Crucial Components Of the Band Bio

Discuss this article in our Music Forum.

 

John Moxey

Songstuff Site Crew

 

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