Captain’s advice: 7 steps to a perfect press kit for bands and musicians
Most recordJet passengers are bands and musicians who market themselves and do everything on their own, and band promotion is something that most of you already do very successfully (this is why we collect the best DIY promotion tips on the recordJet blog).
A Facebook page or a Twitter account may be an essential part of promotion for musicians, but to present your band or yourself professionally as a brand, every artist should go one step further. A professional press kit will help you to get noticed by music blogs and editorial departments of music magazines – they will receive all the necessary information about you in one compact package. In general, press kits can be very practical for anyone who is interested in you, whether interview partner or distributor, because all the necessary information can be found in one place. The best thing about press kits: You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to create one, you can easily do it yourself. MusikThinkTank describes how it works, and we have summarized the essentials for you:
In the golden age of the Internet, one distinguishes between physical press kits (PPK) and electronic press kits (EPK). Electronic press kits are easy to handle and update at any time. All information is contained in files which should be named and zipped in a clear way. If the size of your EPK is very large despite compression, you should upload it to a file transfer service (e. g. Dropbox or WeTransfer) and send a download link to the recipient. EPKs are also perfect for placing in the download/press area of your website.
A physical press kit (PPK) is more expensive than an EPK and is more effort in the beginning because pictures and texts have to be printed in high quality. Furthermore, it should include a physical demo CD and finally – so that your package isn’t an eyesore and doesn’t end up in the waste bin – it should be designed and packed in an appealing way. No one is going to find three sheets, a paper clip, a CD and a brown envelope very memorable. And, to make matters worse, a PPK has to be sent by post – think shipping costs!
However, the advantage of a PPK, compared to an EPK, is that a PPK makes a higher quality impression. An EPK may easily, intentionally or unintentionally, be moved from the inbox to the trashcan, not be noticed among hundreds of other emails, or be considered spam. Apart from that, music editors also like to “have something in their hands”. Errrr…
Editorial departments of well-known music magazines are particularly spoiled when it comes to the amount of material that they receive each day. The longer lasting impression that a PPK leaves in comparison to an EPK might be the difference between having your material read and heard or not.
7 steps to a professional press kit – EPK or PPK:
1. Band biography: A biography in proper English is a must-have. The geeks amongst you may want to add a second or a third language. French, Spanish and German are very popular. If you know that you have a particularly large fan base in a certain country, it is definitely a good idea to supply this country with press information in their native language as well. Please do not use Google Translate in these cases, try to have the translation done by a native speaker instead. Your biography should neither be too short nor too long. You can find a very nice example of a band biography in the press area of recordJet passengers Pentatones.
2. Demo CD: In professional recording quality, of course. For the EPK, links to a download or stream of the demo songs from a server (e. g. Dropbox or Soundcloud) are fine. Please avoid attaching music files to emails because oversized files are frustrating to the recipient and can block their inbox. This certainly doesn’t leave a good impression.
3. Several high-resolution photos of the band: Preferably taken by somebody who has at least a basic knowledge of photography. For the physical press kit, print them in high quality and add a digital version on a CD. In the EPK, you only need the digital version. Name all files clearly – never send a photo as DSCF7216.jpg! You should also include the cover of your latest release in high resolution and digital form.
4. A complete discography with all releases: This is not necessary if you have only one release, of course.
5. A list of upcoming tour dates: Always update them before sending a press kit: date, town, venue.
6. Press reviews and interviews: This is excellent material if you have it. Sort out and put up to five of the most prestigious ones into your PK. This means that a review in VISIONS magazine ranks higher than a review in a small town newspaper. A small town newspaper review ranks higher than a review in your little sister’s middle school newspaper.
7. Information on your press contact: The address of the band’s contact person, email address, band website, telephone number, band’s Facebook page and Twitter account, links to Soundcloud, YouTube channel, etc.
8. And last but not least: Pay careful attention to correct spelling and grammar, appealing wording, and in the case of a PPK you need to think about good presentation.
Of course, your EPK should also be embedded in your homepage. Done that already? Then show us what you’ve got! Link your kits in the comment area below :)