There are a few things that musicians simply can’t do without. One of these would be a perfect EPK – electronic press kit. The EPK is your personal business card, something which exemplifies you as a musician or band. If you want to make the best EPK you can, simply follow our advice. Otherwise, you can work up a real sweat looking for the perfect EPK template. And although there are certain rules as to what an EPK should include, it is ultimately your personal touch that decides between “they’re exciting, I’ll have a closer look” and “nah, I’ll pass”. So let’s get stuck in.
What actually is an electronic press kit?
An electronic press kit is a collection of information, pictures and info regarding your music project. It allows you to introduce yourself in a simple and professional way. It is a way for you to bring together in electric form everything important about your music project, to let the press, music blogs and music magazine editors know that you exist. On top of that, event organisers, labels, distributors, download shops and all other business partners can quickly find out the important information.
What should an EPK include above all else?
Whether you’re a musician, band or a DJ, the perfect EPK should include:
In particular, ones which don’t leave any uncertainties. It may be superficial, but not without reason do people say that pictures sometimes say more than a thousand words. If, for example, an event organiser wants to book a singer/songwriter, your picture must show that they are on the right track.
Did you know that every music genre has its own visual language? Take a look at pictures of the big bands or musicians whose music is similar to yours. This could help you enormously in choosing your “job application picture”. High resolution images are a must. (A good look at the world of press photos can be found in our Passengers of the Month.) Also think about using live photos. These can also provoke a good reaction. Obviously the cover of your latest release – in high resolution quality – must be included in your EPK.
Show your hits first
Often, a musician only has a few seconds to convince editors, bloggers etc. For this reason, your biggest hit, your strongest song, must always be at the top of your playlist. So dig out your earworms, though it’s best to cut out any long intros. The hook rocks? Then start off with it. Definitely avoid attaching music files to e-mails as oversized files annoy recipients and can also block up their inbox. That definitely doesn’t make a good impression. This is where Dropbox, Wetransfer and Soundcloud come in useful.
Bio, Bio, Bio
Of course, it’s lovely to read that your band members and you have known each other since nursery school, but what does that say about your music and your performance? Be concise when describing yourself. Don’t forget that event organisers won’t necessarily be fans of your music. Long stories are for fans, quick info is for event organisers. Your bio should get to the point. But stay interesting! Remember to always write your snappy bio in Word, so the recipient can copy and paste all the relevant info. A properly translated English bio is also a must.
Info on your press contact
You should include: address of a contact person from your band, e-mail address, website, telephone number, the band’s Facebook and Instagram pages, the band’s Twitter account and links to the Soundcloud and YouTube channels, etc.
Live is life!
Mention your current tour dates. And even more important: let your fans know when you’re going on tour and show the event organisers. Also state your complete discography with all of your releases. More is more! If you have a decent number of followers on your channels, you should also mention this – now is not the time for false modesty. You will be a lot more interesting to the people you contact if your gigs in Berlin or Hamburg can attract 300 people.
Video killed the radio star
Do you have a great live video that really rocks? A full house and the fans are going mental? Then show it! It can help you convince even sceptical event organisers. They will be able to see exactly what they’re going to get. It couldn’t be better.
Also great to have…
… are press reviews and interviews from reputable magazines and radio stations. In other words: a review in VISIONS is 1000% better than a review in your local village newspaper.
Why is it so important to have a good electronic press kit? Is there such a thing as a perfect template?
An EPK is necessary to take your band to the next level. As the entire market is online, it is important to have a good online presence. Every booker and editor will also definitely be getting several PPKs (the paper version of the EPK) or EPKs. And like everywhere else, you have to stand out from the crowd. So as well as making sure your kit is complete, make sure it has a personal touch. Make it your own work of art. Make it as interesting as possible, so that you are not forgotten.
The advantages and disadvantages of an EPK
The first disadvantage of an EPK is that it is not tangible. Sounds strange, but it’s true. Lots of editors and event organisers find the tried-and-tested physical version on paper better quality and more appealing. The second disadvantage is that your EPK can (even if accidentally) go directly from the inbox to the rubbish bin and can disappear under dozens of e-mails or even end up in the spam folder. Nevertheless, the EPK has persisted because you can easily update it.
What form should your EPK take?
If you look online, you will find lots of providers who will give you a chic and stylish EPK – at a price. As cool as they might look, the actual benefit of this kind of EPK is very little:
- Above all, the EPK is intended for press representatives, who need usable data first and foremost.
- Use a well-designed website to introduce yourself to fans and to give the press a first look at you – the EPK is then the professional second step.
The best thing to do is bring all the files together into a zip file. You can then upload this onto your homepage. The EPK should be available in the download/press area of your website.
Keep a direct link to your EPK which you can send by e-mail. Sending your whole EPK by e-mail generally doesn’t make much sense as the amount of data is generally too high. If you don’t have a website, which is not uncommon today, you can use a file hoster such as Dropbox.
A few quick tips:
- Update your EPK regularly. But always use the same link.
- Use unique file names. The name of each file must be clearly attributable to you and your music project. This makes it easy for the editor or event organiser to find your file on their computer. (examples: bandname_biography.doc, bandname_picture1.jpg)
- So that all the data in your EPK can be used in a legally correct manner and there are no ambiguities as to whether the material can be used, you should write a small legal notice under the biography. For example: “All images, texts and videos included in this EPK may be used by the press and by the artist’s contract partners free of charge for the purposes of reporting and advertising.”. It is important that you also clarify this with third parties who may have created the material. Make sure, for example, that you have permission from the photographer who took your live photos for their photos to be used free of charge. Also remember to name the person who holds the copyright to the photos.