Now that you’ve created your band, have your social media accounts setup, have tracks laid down and recorded, and even have some good photos of the band, you are ready to create your electronic press kit.
How to Create Your Electronic Press Kit
Creating an Electronic Press Kit, or EPK for short, is essential to a band’s success. It is one of the most powerful tools a band or artist can use to start getting reviewed by bloggers and local magazines, and on top of that, you will also be able to use your Electronic Press Kit to book gigs, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Either way, you can see that this type of press kit serves a multitude of purposes and is essential to your band’s longevity.
When it comes down to it, an EPK is very plain and simple. It is a digital file containing information about yourself and your band mates (biography), as well as links to your social media accounts, music, pictures of your band, and whatever else you find necessary to add in regarding the identity of your band. This electronic press kit should, within minutes after opening, show bloggers and press contacts exactly who you are as a band. A well-made press kit will result in good reviews, resulting in a larger following, resulting in more gigs, resulting in more income for your band. See why they’re so important?
Where to Start With Your Electronic Press Kit
To start building your Electronic Press Kit, you will need some form of text document software, whether it be OpenOffice, Microsoft Office, Pages, etc. This will allow you to easily organize and format your EPK so it is visually appealing.
Next, you will need to separately create the contents of your EPK.
Band Biography: This an extremely crucial part of the EPK because it tells the blogger, promoter, agent, manager, critic, fan etc, who you are as a band. Sure they can listen to your music, but all of the great bands in history had personality. They had some sort of edge and story behind them that allowed listeners to connect with them.
I’m not saying you have to be an orphan guitar prodigy, but ask yourself “what makes you unique or different?” This is all a part of who you are as a band, which is what people are interested in covering you, on top of the sound of your music.
Before the late 90s, musicians didn’t have the luxury of creating such a revealing file to easily send around (unless they had big bucks for printed press kits)…they only had their music.
So, take advantage of telling the world who you are as people, as well as musicians, and lure them in. Tell them where you’re from, what instrument you play, what kind of sound you have, what your vision as a band is, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to add in achievements and accomplishments you may have individually or together as a band.
Below is a sample biography for the band ‘Jasper’, written by Samuel Flood.
“ Even the members of Jasper, a rock and roll band galvanized by contemporary rock, were surprised to perform in New York City only a year after forming the band. Comprised of young and ambitious Schenectady, NY natives, the 3-man collective has already received radio play from prominent Capital Region stations, such as WEXT 97.7 and 102.7 WEQX. From the performance at East Village Social in NYC to local shows at The Low Beat, Pauly’s Hotel, and more, Jasper continues to build their buzz and garner a growing, loyal fanbase throughout the area.
Fueled by classic rock-n-roll music as well as contemporary artists, former high school classmates Alex Brooks (lead singer, guitar, drums), Ben Gesek (singer, drums, guitar, bass) and Bryan ‘Brad’ Bidwell (bass, guitar) occasionally jammed in Gesek’s basement. In spring of 2015 the high school jam-mates decided to kick things up a notch and commit to each other, forming Jasper. Gesek said, “My whole life I wanted to be in a band rather than just having jam sessions, things just never clicked well enough musically when I played with other people. But when me, Brooks and Brad [Bryan] started jamming we caught a vibe and knew we had something special.”
Influenced by White Album/Revolver era Beatles and The Band, with modern-day influences deriving from Dr. Dog and The Strokes, each member of Jasper lets his laid-back, good-vibe personality flow through the music enticing the crowd to do the same, “If someone is standing still, by the end of the show our goal is to get them movin’ and groovin’ without a care in the world,” lead-singer Alex Brooks said.
Currently recording their debut album, tentatively titled “Sounds From Electric City,” Jasper is thankful for all the local support, but dogged to conquer the regional scene by the end of 2016. The first official single, titled “The Valley,” is set to release next week. The band has released three demos over the past few months, titled “Looking For Doves,” “Bourbon,” and “Aurora.”
Take note regarding the information given about the band and its members, their accomplishments, their talents, their location, their influences, etc.
Links to Your Music: Once you have your biography finished, such as the one above, a few spaces below would be a good place to center links connected to your band’s latest music.
I recommend picking three of your best and most popular songs and putting them below the bio in a visually pleasing manner. It is a safe bet to only choose three songs because giving a listener too many to choose from may lead them to choose one of your less popular songs to listen to, or worse not listen to any at all. So make the decision for them.
In the biography below, you can see in the last sentence, three tracks are mentioned. These titles would be hyperlinked to directly to your band’s website, Soundcloud playlist, or YouTube videos.
Important: Where ever you have your music uploaded, make sure it is easy to access and listen to.
You may be thinking, “Why don’t I just email them mp3’s?”
DO NOT EMAIL PRESS MP3 OR ANY OTHER MUSIC FILE… THEY HATE IT AND WILL BLACKLIST YOU….. I REPEAT, DO NOT DO IT!
Why is emailing your music files directly to the press a bad thing?
- Music files are big (yes even mp3 when put in the context of email). Journalists do not want large files in their inboxes.
- A majority of major media companies block music files for copyright reasons. They do not want to be named in a copyright lawsuit when another band they cover has a song that sounds a little like yours and you claim foul play because you didn’t receive a positive review and you’re still bitter.
- Journalists like to know that your song is getting played and is gaining traction with your target audience. When a journalist sees a play counter in the 10,000+ range and more than a few comments, you’re sure to get a more favorable review than the guy with 68 plays from his mom.
Links to Social Media: Social media is a great way to show that your band is getting some buzz, on top of adding to your band’s identity.
Building an engaged social media following is a big factor in receiving a review because it’s another sign of whether or not people actually care about your music. If people are liking, sharing, and playing your music, it shows a press contact there is a real reason to cover. they will gain traffic to their blog or outlet. You can see, both parties benefit in this situation.
As an added benefit they know they will gain a little traffic to their blog or other media outlet from the review. You can see, both parties benefit in this situation.
Pictures: Putting a visual image of who you are in the mind of whoever is listening to your music is super important. Think of it like a movie billboard. It shapes the way the listener views your music.
While they look at the edgy, indie photos of your band, they are listening to the great tracks you have sent them (hopefully mixed by Matt Salazar at Indie Rock Inc). All of this allows the listener to see the total package.
Again, this is all about adding up to the listener seeing the full identity of your band.
So, now that you have created the individual pieces of your Electronic Press Kit, you are ready put it all together in a properly formatted document.
Rather than just using words to explain this to you, I will give you an example of what a good Electronic Press Kit looks like.
Below is an EPK, created by Black Panda PR Company for the group “Monk Tamony” following the release of their second single, “Leaders.”
Whether your band has one or two tracks or a whole album, you can use this approach to great effect.
While you check this one out, focus on the structure, links, pictures, etc! This was in email format, so it may be a bit blurry.
So as you can see, included is album artwork, photos of the band, links to their social media, links to the band’s website and music videos, and a wealth of information regarding the group and their music.
Although you cannot read what is written, focus on the format of this EPK. It is easy to look at, flows nicely and has a ton of great info!
You’re Ready to Send Away!
At this point, you should have a readable, clickable, properly formatted Electronic Press Kit. It should include information regarding your band’s identity like photos, social media links, biography, etc… And of course a few links to your band’s music.
With all of this compacted into one document, you are now ready to begin reaching out to prospective bloggers and press contacts in hopes that they will review your music and give you some much-needed publicity. This is just another way for you to avoid musical obscurity!
Have any questions? Would you like me to review your EPK? Leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you!
Leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you!