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« The Real and ONLY Reasons Why Fans File-Share Music | Main | 10 Things Bands Can Do to Book More Live Shows »
Tuesday
Oct192010

How To Post A Perfect Press Kit On Your Website

I’m often amazed when I go to an artist’s website, and I look around, and I’m trying to find basic press information and I can’t.

It seems that in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Fan pages, and constantly focusing on your two-way conversations, we’ve forgotten the important basics.

This is a revised excerpt from my book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, (which, btw 65 artists are blogging their way through I’m proud to say) and it talks about an asset that no matter what we all face with new digital solutions, new platforms and apps that we’re going to be forced to learn, we should always remember: Your press kit.

It’s up to you to post your press information clearly and succinctly, so that you’re easy to find and write about. Posting an accessible press kit to share with journalists and new media makers( bloggers, podcasters, etc.)  is good common sense.

Editors need access to your information quickly, because they are constantly under deadline.  If you do not make it easy for them to get your information from your site, they may move onto another one of the 50 artists that are playing in their town that same week.

1.  YOUR MUSIC – ALBUM OR LIVE TRACKS

Make sure you have some music available at your website or a very obvious link to your MySpace page where people can hear the music instantly.  Many newspapers are now including online listings where they include MP3s of artists coming to town, so make it easy for them to grab the tracks to add to their own sites – this is additional excellent exposure for you. 

2.  YOUR BIOGRAPHY – MUST INCLUDE YOUR PITCH

Make sure you have a short, succinct bio that can be easily located on your site, in addition to the long form one, the blogs and all of the opinions from each band member – which are fun for your fans but not for music writers who will be looking to get quick information.  Make sure this bio can be easily cut-and-pasted so writers can drop it into a preview or a column. 

CREATE A SHORT VERSION FOR THE CALENDAR EDITOR

Make sure you add your PITCH /USP (Unique Selling Point) as a stand-alone portion to your bio that sums up your sound for calendar editors.  It should be no more than 10 words.

TIP: Post 3 versions of your bios

1. Long Form

2. In 50 Words

3. In 1 sentence (10 words or less)

TIP:  MAKE SURE THE BIO CAN BE EASILY CUT-AND-PASTED! 

Do NOT have your bio in Flash format; make sure that editors can easily cut and paste it right off of your site.  

3.  YOUR PHOTOS – MAKE THEM EASY TO FIND AND

DOWNLOAD

Thumbnails are great for quick and easy loading but are detrimental for use in newspapers.  You should always have a few downloadable photos on your site in at least 300 dpi / jpg format.

TIP:  Create an easy-to-see link that says “click here for a hi res / low res jpg.”  That way photo editors can get to them easily.  When the photos are downloaded; make sure they are properly named with your name or your band’s name, so that photo editors can find them in folders and on messy desktops! 

TIP:  Remember to change your photos a few times a year – so if you play the same markets over and over, you can give the media multiple options for covering you. 

TIP: Put the band members’ names from left to right (l-r) under the band photo to give journalists a point of reference.  (Many publications publish photos with all band members’ names from left to right to save the writers the trouble of having to ask for the names.)

4.  INCLUDE YOUR ALBUM COVER & ADDITIONAL ARTWORK

You also want to make sure you include your cover art in both hi res and lo res (jpg format).  This way if your CD is being reviewed, the reviewer can download the artwork to add to the review.  If you have additional assets like band logos or graphics add them here as well. 

5.  INCLUDE PRESS CLIPS OR FAN TESTIMONIALS IF YOU HAVE THEM

What you say about you is one thing…. However: What others say about you is trusted in a different way.  So, if you have articles that were written about you or great quotes to add from fans – do it!  (if you don’t just ask your fans to contribute to your site – they will be happy to do so)

FINAL TIP: Sonicbids is a fabulous place to build and maintain a perfect press kit and you won’t need a web designer to help you – so build your perfect press kit there, link to it and VOILA!

Reader Comments (9)

Plus a *well made live performance video* - Gig Promoters, Venues, Labels, Press, Online Radio and DJs all want to hear quality music and see your full contact information, if you sound good they will want to contact you because they will all want a slice of the action - they’re in it for the money.

One thing that you must do with your website is make sure people can hotlink image & music files. Some hosts block this for some reason as a default. So just make sure it works!

I'm trying to get the local club where I play a lot to start having an M3U file streaming on their page of songs by upcoming bands. I think this is an obvious thing for clubs, but so far I haven't seen too many doing it. Also they'll theoretically have it playing in the venue to advertise future shows. We'll see if it actually helps generate more returning patrons.

I used to use Sonic but switched to Guguchu's media kit which is pretty cool. Their press kit has got better over time. Best of all for me is it shoots me an email when someone has listened to my tracks.

October 21 | Unregistered CommenterJC

I read your book and many others and I still have not seen anybody address the question "What is the purpose of a press kit???". It would be a LOT easier to motivate people to create quality press kits if they knew what they are used for, why they are important, and who uses them. Most people's websites are their press kits I think. You find pics on the Photos page, music on the Music page, information on the Info page, etc...

October 25 | Unregistered Commenterchris

just when I thought I knew everything about press kits... there is some stuff in there I did not have! great tips on the 3 versions of bio!

October 25 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Austin

@chris, I think and hope I've answered your question in a, slightly out-dated, blog post:
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/band-promotion-blog/2008/09/17/press-packs-what-should-they-include/
Actually I think my post fits in very well with this interesting post by Ariel :)

Chris, definitely read the blog post that UBP wrote and refers to. Good information there!

My response to "why a press kit?" is: the printed press kit is now very similar to an invitation! You can plan the greatest party, book the best club, hire the hippest DJ...but if you do not send out "invitations," no one will come. And it's sad when no one knows about or comes to your birthday...

Send those press kits/invites - and inspire the industry people to come to your site/party! The press kits also give you a chance to explore the more tangible side of promotional items. If your band has logo items, include a small one. If your new album is cleverly titled, put a small toy that evokes the same image of the title. Use creative old-school style cut/paste flyers for your bio page. Make a flip-book of photos...

It is truly your chance to lure the recipient in to exploring more (such as your website!) about your band/music!

October 29 | Registered CommenterApryl Peredo

And contact details! I work as an editor and journalist and am constantly finding amazing bands with no information on how to contact them to do an interview or put people on the door for a review. And you know what I do? I just go onto the next great band and give them an interview instead because I don't have time to stalk musicians.

November 9 | Unregistered CommenterPaige X. Cho

Thanks for this tips. I'll implement it. This is good for musicians like me.

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