Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Press kits — aka media kits — have been used by bands and artists since the beginning of recorded music. In the old days, physical press kits were paper-based and mailed via snail mail. Today, music artists can use digital press kits for media and promotion, known as an electronic press kit, or EPK.
What is an electronic press kit?
An EPK is basically a digital resume for fans and music industry professionals that’s full of promotional materials, giving music industry influencers, media outlets, and journalists an easy way to see what you’re all about. Artists use electronic press kits for a variety of reasons: to get press coverage, bookings, reviews, and more.
Key elements to include in your EPK
So, what exactly do you need to include in your EPK?
1. Artist bio
No EPK — or most any promotional material — is complete without an introductory bio that quickly tells your story. A band bio should have two sections: the introduction and the body.
Think of the introduction as your elevator pitch. You’ve got two sentences to grab someone’s attention and tell them why you matter. Key things to mention in your intro include who you are, the genre of music you play, and your most impressive accomplishments.
Think like a journalist: What headline would you create for you that will grab them and make them spend time looking at the rest of your EPK?
In the body, you want to dive into biographical details, explaining your background info and your music. It’s always good to throw in some media quotes and reviews and finish up with upcoming events, news, or releases.
You will find that bookers may want a different length bio than a journalist or media outlet, so create a short (250-300 words) and a long (600-750 words) version of your bio.
2. Logos and branding material
Like it or not, your image is vital to your success. You’re not just selling your music, you’re selling your artist brand. If you don’t have a logo, hire a graphic designer and get on that. A great logo sticks in people’s minds, makes you look more professional, and gives promoters, bookers, and journalists, another option for imagery to use in their promotional materials.
3. Professional photos
There are some things in life where you can save money, but getting your artist or promotional photos is not one of them. This is one of those you-only-get-once-chance-to-make-a-first-impression moments, so spend the money and hire a professional to make you look amazing. A great photo will convey your style and attitude. It should make a booker instantly want to hire you and should make an A&R rep want to know more.
Ideally, you will have several photos in different sizes and styles to meet various needs in your electronic press kit. Have portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) photos, color and black and white. Make sure you have at least one photo with plenty of space around you (and/or your band) so it can be cropped as needed.
Be sure to offer both hi-res (300 dpi) and lo-res (72 dpi) versions of your photos, 600 pixels wide at a minimum.
If you have music videos, here’s an opportunity to use them. It’s the best way to show off your music, your style, and prove you’re professional enough to have a music video. If you’re trying to book more gigs, then be sure to include clips from live shows. If you’re promoting your new album and don’t yet have an official music video, include in-the-studio clips.
This is the most important part, so you are going to want to put your best song(s) forward. Or, if you are promoting your latest release, put that song/album first. Be sure to include descriptive text and/or quotes from reviews to give listeners some context before they listen. If you worked with a popular artist or famous producer, be sure to mention that, too. Just be sure to keep this descriptive text short and punchy.
6. Reviews, press, testimonials
The goal of an EPK is to present yourself as a legit artist who has momentum behind them, and you want people viewing your EPK to feel like they need to jump on the bandwagon. Nothing adds legitimacy like glowing reviews, articles, or killer testimonials from music industry professionals.
7. Recent achievements and career highlights
Have you won any awards? Built up some success on Spotify or YouTube? Have you opened up for a major artist? Been featured on a successful artist’s song? Played any notable venues? Here’s where you want to brag about this. Choose only your best achievements and be sure to keep this section updated.
8. Social media links
You not only want to include social media links to your accounts and pages, but also link to any streaming platforms you’re active on. This gives people an easy way to hear your music and adds legitimacy to your brand.
9. Contact information
This should be obvious, but you want to make it easy for music industry VIPs to be able to get in touch with you. Be sure to include a call to action in your electronic press kit that drives people to do what you want them to: “Get our latest album” or “Book us today.”
How to make an EPK
Most music-centric webhosts — e.g., Bandzoogle, ReverbNation, Sonicbids — offer EPK templates and hosting as part of their monthly subscription. Thanks to these services, EPKs are generally easy to create and update. Prices for these services start around $9/month.
Important things to remember
- Keep your EPK simple
- Keep it up-to-date
- Make it bold and professional
- Look at other artists’ EPKs to get ideas
- Keep file sizes small
- Have a printed version — aka a good old-fashioned physical press kit — ready to hand out at events and conferences.
You know what goes great with an electronic press kit?
Speaking of printed versions of EPKs, professional CDs are an amazing promotional tool, offering an easy way for industry pros to see and hear what you’re all about. Include URLs to your website and EPK on your CD artwork and all your promotional materials.