Kick It With Press Kits: Prep + Position

One of the tools you need to have readily available for promotion is a press kit and EPK. There are several key elements that every kit must offer. We’ll look at these elements in greater detail over the next few weeks.

Tool For Connecting

Typically singers, bands, singer-songwriters, and singing musicians think of a press kit as an introductory tool for A&R contacts. However, a press kit has many more applications as a calling card, resource for more info, support tool for live gigs, and backup for all print or media coverage you may receive such as interviews and special events such as benefit concerts and industry gatherings.

Building Relationships

Online accessibility and the communication tools it offers with websites and email has impacted the traditional press kit in that it serves as a resource for distribution. The challenge then becomes driving traffic to your website. However you still need a portable version of your press kit for live gigs and opportunities for social networking face-to-face.

Press kits are vital resources for building a relationship between you as an artist and contacts you make in the venues you play or would like to play, potential booking agents and management personnel, as well as opportunities to establish a presence with broadcast and print media connections.

Key Elements Of Note

There are several key elements every press kit or EPK must contain. These items are: a CD of no more than three strong songs, a bio, a bullet sheet of career highlights, a photo, accurate up-to-date contact information, and a logo or some recognizable repeated visual that defines your act.

Keep Up To Date

One of the biggest mistakes that artists make is in the editing process. You must check, recheck, and check again for accuracy and quality in every element of your press kit. Always update information in your kit so it reflects your present status and shares info from any recent successes.

Review + Preview

Have several people review your press kit for accuracy and for feedback. Use a handful of people you don’t know personaly as a test market to get a sense of how you or your band is received. These people can be referrals from friends or business associates. You want that test market to be as objective as possible. And you want to make sure they’ll give your kit a decent going over.

Friends Of Friends

So, finding a test sample from recommendations by friends and people you know increases the likelihood that your kit will get some initial attention and feedback of value. A local college campus can be a great spot for getting feedback, especially if the school has a music industry related program.

Take It To School

If you’re on a tight budget but need photos a college campus or art school is a resource to explore. Photography students, and even some faculty, may be looking for some extra cash, opportunities to build their portfolio, or just enjoy networking. It can save you money while still getting some quality work done for your press kit.

It Comes In 3’s

For the demo CD that you include, three strong songs is your best choice for several reasons. If you include more than that, you’re giving away too much. You also set yourself up for rejection. With three strong songs you can pique interest and get people wanting to hear more.

But, with too many songs, listeners are more likely to think they’ve heard enough or might put off wanting to hear more. So, the goal is to include three songs that you feel are strong, represent you in a positive light, and give a good feel for who you are as an artist and singer.

Filter Feedback

As for production quality, make sure it is the best you can afford. Have several ears listen to it. Get feedback on the songs and make any necessary adjustments based on any issues that come up from the majority of those providing feedback. Don’t change things based on what only one person said.

Reread The Label

And don’t forget the importance of accuracy and readability in your labeling. Make sure the names of the songs are clear and names of producers, musicians, and songwriters are correctly credited. Be sure to include contact info, Your phone number, email address, and website, if you have one, must be included on the CD label.

Pieces Get Scattered

Don’t assume that everybody that gets your press kit keeps all of its elements together in one place. It’s likely to end up all over the place, piece by piece. For that very reason, each element of your kit must be properly, completely, and accurately labeled.

More Details Coming Up

In the next few weeks we will go into more detail on each element of a press kit. We’ll also look into opportunities for using the kit effectively to get bookings, build your fan base, and drive your singing success to its fullest potential.