A Press Kit goes by any number of names in the industry: promo
kit, demo kit, media kit. Whatever name is used, its purpose is to
introduce you and your band to whoever is receiving it. Press kits
create an identity for you and your band. They are submitted to A
& R agents, reviewers and music directors. But keep in mind
that you don't have to overwhelm these people. Your kit does not
have to be extensive with pages of band bios, photos, graphics and
reviews. Some of the best press kits I've seen are short.
What goes in a Press Kit?
The contents of a press kit may include: Cover Letter, Band Bio,
Band Photo, Achievements/Awards/Reviews, Events, CDs and
The Cover Letter should explain why
you are sending a CD or cassette to the recipient. It should tell
them how you found out about them and what your expectations are:
a review, contract, airplay, gig, etc. My advice would be to keep
it short. A cover letter should only consist of a couple of
paragraphs. Remember to be polite and thank the recipient for
their time and consideration.
The Band Photo has become a de
facto part of most press kits. Many reviewers and agents want to
see what you look like so they will often ask for a glossy 8"
x 10" picture of you and your band. Invest some money to get
a decent professional photograph. Try to avoid obvious cliches
such as an overabundance of leather for a rock band and don't go
too far down the "artistic" avenue using crazy effects.
The idea is show what you look like not that you are visually
The Band Bio should be descriptive
and, once again, short - no more than a page (preferably less).
Describe your music style and any past band accomplishments and
outline who the members of the band are and what they contribute.
Band bios do not follow a set pattern so spend some time
developing yours. Look at sample bios on the Web or in music
magazines and notice which bios keep you reading. Another thing to
remember is that bios may be used in reviews and articles so you
might want to write yours as a narrative for a greater impact -
drawing people in with the story of the band.
Achievements/Awards/Reviews are not
included in all press kits, but they can be effective when used
correctly. If you are just starting out, you may not have a lot of
reviews or recognition. I would suggest listing your achievements
on a separate sheet from the band bio. This sheet can then be
modified as you add new reviews. Use your best reviews from the
most well known sources and update your sheet as you collect new
reviews. Remember to edit your reviews, removing the ones from
smaller publications or those that don't say you're the greatest
thing since Elvis.
Events/Performances should be
listed if you play live and are looking for a record deal. Let
people know where and when you can be heard. Make sure that the
list is kept current. I might bundle this information with the
Achievements/Awards/Reviews since it also will be undergoing
For CDs/Cassettes, confirm what
type of format the person to whom you are submitting the kit
prefers and/or will accept.
Some Other Tips:
Make sure your name and contact
information is on all press kit materials.
Thoroughly proofread and spell
check. A press kit is a professional representation of your
band. Make sure that it portrays you positively.
When sending a press kit, always
address it to a specific contact person. Sending to a general
address is a surefire way to decrease your chances of being