The Makings of a Press Kit

By this point as an artist you should have heard of press kits. If not or if you have any questions as to what a press kit entails, this article should help you build a strong, presentable one in no time.

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WHY DO I NEED A PRESS KIT?


Every Artist should have a press kit. The music industry is flooded with artists who do not take their music seriously. One way industry reps break through the different artists is to analyze their press kit. There are two ways to get your information to people: 1. Randomly sending files, links, to random people when the need arises, and 2. To present an official press kit in a moment’s notice. Is it really hard to guess which approach will leave a better impression? The types of people who you may send a press kit to include:

  • Radio stations
  • Magazine and Blog writers
  • Fans
  • Media Reps
  • Record Label Reps
  • etc….

Oh, P.S. You need a physical press kit and a online press kit.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR A PRESS KIT?


Press Kit Cover

The official name you want to be referred as. (ex: If your name is JohnWuteva, but you like to be referred to as ‘J-Wizzle’ through your music, let it be known!

-A Bio

-Notable mentions, reviews, performances, articles, radio and/or tv features, achievements, etc.

-Links to your pages

-Link to your website

-Promo pic/album cover

-Current statistics

-Your current music

-A logo

-Contact Info

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The Breakdown:

To get in-depth with your press kit, let’s take each item and individually break it down:

Press Kit Cover:

This is a single page that has a general summary of you, your logo, type of music, and contact information.  When making your press kit, ALL of your paper should be the same and of high quality.

BIO:

Who are you trying to impress? Booking Agents, Promoters, Record Label A&R’s, Media Contacts,Fans, etc. So make sure your bio represents all these areas. Be sure to tell of the number of performances you’ve done, the audience sizes, what your music is about, why you feel you deserve recognition, what your passions are, and what your goals are. It never hurts to tell the public who your influences are. It helps them relate to you better.

  • A 3-4 paragraph Bio is acceptable.
  • Physical Bio’s should be on quality paper and typed professionally with no spelling or date errors.
  • Your Bio should be on your ‘Bio Page’ of your press kit and stand alone.
  • Bio’s can always include ‘extra’ information pages for those wanting more in-depth information on you. (Stats page, Notable Mentions page, etc)

Notable Mentions

Include information on any concert performances you were on the bill for, mentions in magazine write-ups, radio air play, etc. Showing that you have independently accomplished some media milestones hints at the future of more media exposure and acceptance.

  • Keep in the theme of your Bio and have your Notable Mentions typed professionally on quality paper that matches.
  • Include Newspaper Articles, press write-ups, short quotes about you, etc.

Links To Your Pages

When you give links leading to your music sites to others, be sure to have 1 or 2 general places you send everyone to. It’s great to have established plays on several sites, but nobody is checking for you on all the possible sites out there. If you set in your marketing gameplan to generally use 1 or 2, your stats (plays) will be greater and appreciated by the public more. These links can be used by promoters through various meetings and you don’t want your public going to numerous different sites to have to find your relevant and latest work. *PLEASE NOTE: If you give links in your Press Kit, please do not expect this to be your way of submitting your music. These links are included in write-ups about you for others to follow your work ONLY!

Promo Pic/Album Cover

This is pretty basic. Always use the BEST pics when promoting yourself. It’s always best to give 2 pics of yourself (or group), and 1 of your most recent album cover. Also add 1 pic for each single you are releasing. Again I must say: DO NOT give links to your pics and expect others to choose. Your press kit is a representation of yourself so know HOW you want to represent yourself.

  • 8×10’s are best
  • Include information for each picture (album cover, group photo, single cover, etc)

Current Statistics

Others may look for or want to report about your current statistics, so you MUST include any relevant stats you have acquired. Did your youtube video reach 5,000 plays the first 3 days? If you have your music registered, how many radio plays have you gotten? Statistics are a very important factor depending on who’s holding your press kit. If you want someone to invest in you as an artist, statistics is a great way of proving you’re worth investing in.

  • Do Not include every performace you did: just the number of performances.
  • Include You or your group’s band sales
  • Tours, etc
  • Present it as a bulleted list as this is.

Your Current Music

Always have available clean and dirty versions of your music. Submit Radio Edited music when sending to radio stations or lose out on the chance to have your music played. The industry is filled with people who have been doing this for years now and don’t have the patience at times for being fed music they can’t play. Sending 3-4 CD’s  of your latest music singles is best when submitting. Also, your music must be radio quality to get air play. You don’t have to spend thousands in a quality A-rated studio but your music can’t sound like it was made with a keyboard in a basement either.

A Logo

If you don’t have one, don’t sweat it. But it does help with the overall look to have a logo associated with you. If you do have one, you should be including it not only in your press kit but on all your sites as well.

Contact Info

This should include (On a seperate page) your:

  • Name or Group’s name
  • Phone numbers (Make sure they are working at all times, Google offers free phone numbers through their email options)
  • E-mail (Do Not give a general email address that you use for everything, set up a seperate account that you use the email just for this type of inquiries.)
  • Website
  • Logo (If applicable)
  • For added security, include your contact info on each page of your press kit in case anything was to ever get seperated later.

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Once you have everything together you should put these items in a portfolio folder or one of such professionalism. It helps if everything matches. You can take it a step further, which I suggest, and come up with a theme. The more money you spend on your press kit, the more professional it looks. After all, we must invest in ourselves if we expect others to.


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