March 27, 2012
Building the better press kit
A press kit in the traditional sense of the phrase pertains to a collection of documents, marketing collateral and informative pieces that are distributed in whole to journalists, reporters and media at a press event. Press kits as they pertain to musicians aren’t too far off. They are a collection of information about the artist and can include photos, music, videos, fact sheet(s), swag, etc. and are typically given out to press, managers, labels, publishers, agents, etc.
I think that the majority of artists think that the press kit is designed to grab someone’s attention. You know… To make someone take notice. The reality is that a press kit is typically something you give out AFTER someone has taken notice. Mailing an unsolicited press kit is likely to result in wasted postage and resources. If you are seeking a manager, agent, label, etc., then grab their attention at a live show, through an introduction, or by some other means. THEN send them your stuff. Its less likely to get lost or viewed as an annoyance. But before you lick the envelope, or tape the box, make sure you are sending the best kit possible. You think your attention span is short….
When making your press kit consider the following:
1.) Efficiently communicate who you are and why they should pay attention
2.) Keep your information concise and easy to navigate
3.) Be thorough and thoughtful.
WWMD? Well… I would make an electronic version of my press kit for the web as well as a physical press kit. My electronic version would provide music, video, click-through to my social profiles, biographical information, release history and any and all notable stats. For my physical version I would create a “one sheet” for all of my information. The one-sheet would include:
1.) Short & sweet bio: nobody needs to know about 2nd grade choir or how your mom always thought you were a good guitar player. Keep it short, relevant and descriptive.
2.) 3 or 4 notable press quotes: national or international press, major newspapers or weeklies, major online coverage from reputable relevant media outlets.
3.) Current album release: fit in a small album cover, track listing and brief release notes.
4.) Misc. Stats.: Notable chart figures from a radio campaign, spins on television, merchandise sales (any retail exclusives?), notable tours, etc.
5.) Music: Include a CD with contact info and a notation of key tracks. Also include a jump drive with mp3s of the songs.
6.) Digital version: Yes we said there should be an electronic version already, but you need to be thorough so place the digital files on the jump drive.
You may be missing some things outlined above. You can build your press kit without them but I would consider how hard it was to get someone to take notice of your press kit, then consider if you want them to look at something somewhat unimpressive. If you’re having a hard time to get someone to look at your press kit, contact me.