THE DIY MUSICIAN: CREATING THE PERFECT PRESS PACKAGE

Advice Column

In our modern day industry, where various resources are readily available, there simply isn’t any reason why a band can’t take care of business themselves. To get you started, Mixdown are taking you through the ins and outs of setting up your band and the fundamentals of self-management.

A digital press package is your band’s initial introduction to the industry. It is utilised to effectively showcase a band, act or artist’s sound, image, accomplishments and overall brand. The aim is to provide your target audience with a well-rounded understanding of whom you are and what you are setting out to achieve. Ultimately, it’s crucial that you create a remarkable pack and paint the clearest picture possible. 

 

Contact Information

Pretty self-explanitory. Name, Email, Address, Contact Number – get them right guys.

Bio

The first step to an enticing press package is an interesting bio. To get the basics out of the way, your bio should include the band’s name, the name of each member, your location, a description of your genre/sound, a brief band history, information about previous and upcoming releases, live performance experience/any venues you have played, mention of your fan base and any relevant collaborations.

In addition to these points, your bio should also feature short quotes from any positive press feedback your band has received. It must be descriptive, to the point and unique. For instance, mention of the band’s most memorable story or writing the bio in an unexpected form is sure to draw attention. It is also best that you have a short bio (300 words) and a long bio (600 words). For inspiration, check out this sample and others online.

Photographs

Next up for your digital press kit is a selection of photographs that recipients can access with ease. The images must be of hi-resolution and offer a range of both vertical and horizontal options.

Now, this isn’t your average Facebook photo, it’s a visual representation of your brand and your music. Press shots are used to make a statement and it’s up to you to decide what statement you are trying to make. From a vibrant, humorous picture to a black and white, grungy image - the chosen colour, clothing, location and prop placement makes all the difference. The main thing is to remember, in a ‘commercially viable’ world, punters and professionals will expect a certain ‘look’ from your band depending on genre. You will need to decide whether you will stick to the expected, or be creative and do the opposite.

Music

A high quality demo is arguably the most important part of your press package. At the end of the day, if your band’s songs aren’t great then no one will invest their time or money in them. It’s important your chosen track reflects your overall sound and captivates the listener from the get-go. Typically, a listener will only offer about 30 seconds of their precious time – so make it count. Keep in mind that the listener will be asking questions such as ‘would this make it to radio?’ and ‘is there something special about it?’.

Video

Similar to your press shots, music videos are a chance to share the band’s personality with both fans and professionals. A great video clip can make all the difference in presenting a great song to the world. To start things off, you will need to storyboard it out; this will make both the shooting and editing process much easier. Focus on interesting colour schemes and textures, a variety of locations and of course, shot types. Now, no one is suggesting you blow your entire budget on the clip, just get creative, get weird and for god sakes – back up your work!

Press Release

While artists are quick to assume that a press release is the most difficult part of a press package, in reality it is simply an advertisement for your band and their latest news i.e. an album release, tour etc. In order to sell yourself to your audience, you will need to explain the who, what, where, why and how.

Similar to a bio, it should include a brief history, quotes from various band members and relevant media; however, the main objective is to get to the point in a timely and concise manner. Remember, the easier it is to access the most important information, the better. For more, head to Mixdown’s Guide To Writing A Press Release.

Socials

As expected, a band’s social media sites are invaluable when it comes to promoting their music, tour dates and album releases. Therefore, it is vital when putting your press kit together that you include all of your relevant social media URLS. Be sure to include links to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud and BandCamp. There are also other media platforms to consider including Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr. In an effort to make things as simple as possible, use the same handle for as many of these websites as you can.

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve got all of the above completed, it’s time to put it together in a neat little kit. From attaching all of the documents and images to an email, to organising them using DropBox and providing a link, there are various ways of sending out your press package. Alternatively, there are websites such as ReverbNation that allow you to create an online press kit in a step-by-step manner. Either way, just be sure to provide a brief cover letter detailing who you are and the reason you are contacting your recipients.

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