One of the biggest mistakes made by bands and artists today is to underestimate the importance of a professional promotional kit. Also known as a press kit or media kit, your promo kit is probably one of the most important elements in an artist’s first presentation to venues, organizers, and most importantly, record labels. First impressions are very important in the music industry. Some artists just don’t get it! With the huge stream of CDs and packages that record companies receive daily… it’s vital that your package stands out from the crowd and distinguishes you from the rest, by most noticing the inside of the trash can on the receptionist’s desk. a real pro, worth checking out the pack and listening to the CD.
While preparing your press kit, you need to find every element that will set you apart from the masses. Putting together a bunch of shoddy copies, unprofessional photos, and poorly written copies and bios in a rotten folder isn’t going to cut them. The press kit is a representation and an extension of you. If it’s a sloppy pile of papers, that’s exactly how you come off. On the other hand, if it’s a well-organized presentation, you’ll come off as a professional.
Some of the elements to consider when putting your kit together are things like theme, concept, and layout. You have to come up with a concept and theme for the kit that is catchy and basically connects each page in some kind of continuity. A theme can be based on the name of artists or groups. For example, if the group’s name is “Orange Freedom” it may be orange in the Color scheme, the paper or text or icons may be orange. I realize this particular example may seem a bit childish, but I think you get the basic idea. Note that you want the group name to be catchy. To give you another example, we were performing one of our acts “Uncle Plum” in front of 4 major record labels recently in New York. On showcase day, we had one of our interns drive around the city in a taxi and give a reminder to every A&R and record executive invited to the showcase. He left a basket of plums for almost every record executive, along with a cleverly written reminder invitation for the showcase. It may sound silly… but it works.
Part of your concept should also be a professionally designed logo. A logo is very important and should be something to remember easily and incorporate elements of your overall concept.
Using professional packaging for your media kit is also vital. The binder should be strong and not easily damaged. It wouldn’t hurt to use a skin that’s the same color as the band’s logo once again for continuity. While such portfolios can be expensive… sometimes a few dollars each, they are definitely money well spent.
A professional photo is definitely a must in your kit, maybe even a few photos. If you’re a group, you’ll need the group’s 8* x 10* black and white glossy color, as well as individual photos of each group member in the bio section, which we’ll discuss later. A high quality professional photo is a must. Having friends or relatives is also not in a hurry. Photography is one area where you can’t afford to try to save a few bucks. To do this, you need to shop for a professional photographer. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. If you’re on a budget, it might not be a bad idea either to hire a professional music industry professional to retouch your image. Although I am aware that for most groups this can be cost prohibitive.
The writing section should contain two elements; your biography or the biography of the band member; they should be short and to the point. Don’t go crazy with a long, detailed biography. Tags and others don’t have time to read, so they’ll skip. There you will probably lose out on providing the kit buyer with information that might be advantageous to you. Include things like your influences and other experiences in the industry. They don’t care much about your baby picture or what you did when you were six, unless you were a kid sensation back then. Your information page; This includes tours, radio broadcasts, reviews, good sales figures in an independent publication, etc. It should include any positive press or articles you receive, such as You can also include GOOD COPIES of any article, interview or review from newspapers or trade. magazines. Each page of your press kit should contain your or your manager’s contact information and your website URL. Be accurate and keep it all as short and sweet as possible.
Now let’s come to the most important element of your set… Your music. Include a professionally recorded demo of your absolute top 3 songs. No more than three. The format should be on CD only. Put your disc in a professionally labeled jewelery box containing your theme, contact information and logo. It is important that your CD presentation is as professional as possible. It’s nice to have a separate pocket to put the CD in your portfolio so there’s no chance of it falling or getting lost. That’s better. Or use Velcro to hold the jewelry box on the back interior of the portfolio, as we occasionally do with some of our kits.
Now in summary, the elements to include are:
* Create a theme and concept
* Design a professional logo
* Use professional packaging
* 8″ x 10″ Black and White glossy promotional photo
* Individual group member photos, if available
* Artist or band biography
* Fact Sheet… positive articles and quotes
* Additional press… reviews, interviews, articles
* 3 Songs CD Demo
Your press kit is your representation when you are not there. Don’t take it lightly. Check thoroughly for errors and content and be diligent. If your kit is special, it will stand out and the labels, venues and music media will draw attention. GOOG CHANCE!