In this excerpt from our new Definitive Press Kit Guide for Musicians, we lay out the purpose of your band press kit and the importance of maintaining your artist brand.
A band press kit is an encapsulation of who you are as an artist – it’s all there in one place. I worked as a writer at a music magazine many years ago, and I vividly remember how much I enjoyed rifling through the press kits of the bands I really liked to see how they presented themselves to the press. Typically there was a bio, a glossy picture, a CD or cassette, maybe a sticker or postcard, and various other goodies, depending on what they were up to at that moment.
These days, of course, there are multiple options for your press kit, including a variety of venues to host an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). Not to mention that your website, and web presence in general, is really a press package with lots of bells and whistles and an endless bottom which you can fill with your most current information and content.
For many bands, it might not be immediately necessary to have a printed press kit, but there are reasons why having a press folder could still be a major part of your promotion arsenal. When submitting a CD for review, seeking press coverage of a release party or major show, submitting music for placement or licensing, or arming yourself for a music conference, your printed press kit can still make an important first impression.
Regardless of whether you’re putting a printed or electronic kit together, the same diligence and attention to detail is required to create a winning band press package. All of the same principles apply when it comes to writing a bio, creating press releases, posting photos, etc.
What does a press kit include?
The contents of your press package will vary, based on what you are promoting, but the basic elements can include:
- Band/artist bio
- Press clips
- Press release
- Promotion items (flyers, postcards, stickers, posters)
One theme you’ll note through the course of our new guide is the idea of maintaining your brand identity in all your promotional materials. It may be distasteful to think of your music, your art, in terms of “branding,” which can have corporate or cold connotations, but the idea of branding as it relates to your band concerns your image and how you present yourself to your fans and the world – something you want to take control of as an artist.
Establishing and maintaining a consistent brand is critical to creating a reliable and enjoyable experience for your music fans. Just as you need to work to make sure all your social networking accounts have the same look and feel as your music website, your press kit should be an extension of that same aesthetic. In other words, the color scheme and font palette should be the same, your photos should present a consistent image – your overall promotional output should fit together like a puzzle.
It is also important to maintain consistency in your messaging. Your band bio and press releases – as well as your blog, newsletters, and tweets – should maintain the integrity and the voice that you’ve established as your own.
As mentioned, a press kit will look and be different depending on what it is you’re promoting or what stage you are in your career, so you should first ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish?” Are you looking to book shows? Promote an important gig? Announce a new release? Sell CDs and merchandise? Get radio airplay? Get a song placed on TV? Whatever the purpose of your promotion, your press kit should reflect it, as should all your social networking efforts.
A musician, writer, and marketer, Andre Calilhanna manages and edits the Disc Makers and BookBaby Blogs. Follow Andre on Twitter @dre_cal. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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