(Hypebot) – Every music professional should have a good electronic press kit to show labels, producers, agents, etc. Here is a list of 6 must-haves for a perfect EPK.
A guest post by Angela Mastrogiacomo from the Reverbnation blog.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times, having a good EPK can be the difference between getting the opportunity or not. So why does it seem like so many artists are missing such a fundamental piece of the puzzle?
As a publicist, I see it a lot. Artists with amazing music and all the dreams in the world, but no real vehicle to get there. Even before the internet, having a press kit was essential to an artist’s success and now that we live in the digital age, it’s even more important to stand out.
It’s the perfect time to revamp that EPK and upgrade it so that as soon as you start looking for new press placements, booking your next tour, or hitting festivals, you have everything you need. need to stand out.
So what should every EPK have?
A strong bio
This one is important – if you’re not a good writer, hire someone who is. I’ve seen a lot of poorly written biographies by artists who think it won’t matter if their music is good enough, but it’s not. Your bio is your first impression. For those who don’t know you, it’s an overview of who you are and what you do. How you craft that narrative and tell that story – the story of you – will make the difference between whether they go beyond the first listen or not.
Ready for a little bit of tough love? What sets a band apart these days isn’t just the music. It’s history. This is the reason behind the question “why should anyone care?” You might have great music, but so do 100 other bands all vying for the same opportunity. If you can’t tell me in your EPK or pitch why I should care or why your story is more compelling, then that’s next.
The press release and the biography are basically siblings. Two different writings, two different opportunities to shine. Assuming you have something to announce (a new single, video, album, huge show, etc.), you’ll want to write a press release around it. Like your biography, this one should be professionally written and go deep into the story of the thing you are posting. What inspired him? Is there an interesting story that goes with it? Why should anyone care that you composed this piece of music? What can you tell them that will help them connect in a deeper sense?
Don’t forget to include a quote! Quotes go a long way to adding that human connection and relatability.
When it’s time to spread the word about your music, it’s time to watch Promote
Beyond the quote in the press release itself, I suggest always having a short (2-3 sentences) and a long (4-6 sentences) quote about anything you’re currently promoting, and download it in PDF format to your EPK . This way, the press has instant access to quotes to use in their stories, as well as insight into what went into creating the song. This helps them do their job better, while getting to know you better.
High resolution press photos (professionally taken)
Just as your bio and press release are your written story, your photos are your visual story. This is why it is so important to have them photographed by professionals. While you can take some pretty amazing photos on an iPhone and they’ll be fine in the blink of an eye, I don’t recommend relying on iPhone Quick Photos for a while.
Here’s the thing: your photos are the first visual representation of your music that people will see. If they look distracting, or the lighting isn’t great, or you look uncomfortable, or the resolution is low, it leaves a bad impression. Moreover, it’s just fun to show your personality through your photos! You can really have fun with it, bringing the music and its message to life through your photos. Enjoy!
Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons to invest in professionally shot photos:
*they are high resolution, which is what you will need not only for a digital press kit (your EPK) but also for any physical print. If a festival picks you up, they’ll want a professional photo, not an iPhone photo
* Taking pictures of yourself is difficult. It’s just embarrassing, right? But a trained photographer who has worked with artists will know how to ease that anxiety to get the perfect (relaxed) shot. They are trained professionals, which means they will make sure you look like the most authentic version of yourself.
Another tip: always include photo credit when sharing your photos. You can do this by typing it into the filename of photos or a PDF titled “photo credit”
Your most recent album or single artwork should always be included in your EPK, with all associated credits. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many EPKs I’ve seen without it!
MP3 and WAV files
Always have an MP3 and WAV version of your song or album available for listening or downloading, depending on who you send your EPK to. For example, some outlets and online radios will want to be able to download the song directly, so having this handy for them will help speed up the process.
And that’s all! These are the essential elements of an EPK. I know that might sound like a lot, but if you just take a solid hour or two to plan all of these things out, you’ll have it covered in no time. Also, your EPK, while it will change over time (like new photos over time, bio tweaks, etc.), it’s a key part of your career that’s worth the time investment. and in money. It lays the groundwork for everything at the start and is the first impression you need to acquire new opportunities.
Have fun with it and get excited for all the opportunities you prepare to come!!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves ice cream, reality TV and hanging out with her dog Sawyer.