My previous article covered writing press releases, which is closely related to the press kit. A press kit is the link between your band and those who will hire or promote your band. It makes sense, then, to understand the correct way to put one together, as well as what pitfalls to avoid.
What Goes Into a Press Kit
According to Al Lautenslager of Entrepreneur.com, a good press kit needs to contain the following elements:
- Letter of Introduction. This is where to say why the press should care about you. Contact information goes here as well.
- Band Information. A history of the band and biographies of personnel should go here.
- Band Photos. Don’t skimp here; hire a photographer to shoot quality photos. Make sure they convey the image of the band.
- Previous Press Coverage. Include clippings from newspapers, magazines, reviews, and links to media coverage.
- Press Releases.
- Tour Schedule.
- CDs and Videos. Include a copy of your CD or demo, as well as a DVD of any videos you have made.
- A Sample Story. Do their job for them: write something that the press can easily use right away. They can edit it as necessary, and it’s possible they may print it verbatim.
- Frequently Asked Questions. Good for guiding interviews.
Once you have it all together, prepare both print and electronic versions of the kit. Make sure that the printed materials are presented professionally.
What To Avoid
Mike King, an instructor at Berkleemusic.com, notes that while creating a good press kit is fairly straightforward, many bands still get it wrong. Among the turn-offs:
- Too much information. Keep it brief.
- Too little information. Make sure your contact information is on each piece of the kit, including the demo. Include some business cards as well.
- Package too flashy. If the demo isn’t any good, a leather portfolio will not land you the gig.
- Poor grammar and spelling. This is one place where you can’t afford to make mistakes. Pay an English teacher or graduate student to proofread every written piece in your kit. It’s worth the money.
By taking the time to do a good job on the press kit, you will have something that represents your band well. Take equal care in distributing these kits, and you’ll increase your chances of getting the gig.