Press kits are a staple in the music business and are an essential part of developing an artist's profile, audience, and fan base. This is the first article of a series discussing how to do a press kit for an artist.
Future articles will discuss what to include in your press kit, how to prepare your work for print, how to optimize social media engagement, and how to generate income through press kits.
One of the best ways to get the attention of the press is by creating a press kit. Press kits are a necessary tool in the marketing arsenal for artists, and they offer several advantages.
A press kit not only protects the work of an artist and provides some indication of how unique the work is, but it also gives the press a reason to approach the artist. Press kits are also one of the easiest ways to generate coverage for your work, which has the potential to grow your audience and ultimately increase your income streams.
A press kit should be composed of a sampling of work from each available release or another release period (e.g., from the tour or other work) to showcase the depth and breadth of your artistic work. It should also include information about the artist and their accomplishments.
Press kits should be functional and appeal to various media outlets' interests (i.e., print, web, radio, video) to create a list of potential outlets that would value the release.
Press kits should also offer a "portfolio of work" that can be a starting point for articles on specific music pieces, such as songs, videos, photos, or illustrations. They should be designed so that the content is engaging and easy to consume.
For example, images should be large and high resolution to be displayed on the front page rather than presented in small thumbnail sizes. Each press kit should also include an introduction to the artist and an overview of the content, with the key points explained in easy-to-read bullet points.
Finally, a press kit is a marketing tool, and its contents should be enticing, so an artist should have a variety of options available in terms of how and what to include.
The following guide is meant to provide a quick overview of what to include in a press kit. Although this article's information is useful for artists and people who produce press kits for others, I have intentionally avoided sharing my personal press kit. This system has worked for me, but my methods and structure may not work for you.
I will be posting additional articles in the future, covering further detail on specific things to include and the importance of structure, which I will go into more detail about below.
The materials listed above should include everything necessary to begin working with media outlets to share information and generate coverage.
To get the most out of your press kit, you should make sure that the materials you include are comprehensive and that each one includes the information necessary to address all possible questions and requests.
Ensure your material includes the following:
There are numerous issues and questions that an artist or press kit designer should consider when designing a press kit. Some of these questions include:
While it is not necessary to provide a time frame with the press kit, you should include information about the release of the project(s) and release date(s) so that you can be ready to talk about your work when you are contacted.
When creating the press kit, it is important to work within a time frame and schedule. You can include the same information in a press release, only include a section for media outlets in the email that asks when you would like to be interviewed or comment on the press release.
Many press kits for artists, who make portfolios of their work or conduct various projects, are reviewed in a minimal amount of time.
If a press kit is created by an artist or creative, it should be responsive and allow for response promptly.
Creating a press kit is an activity that will probably not take you more than a few hours. However, this is more than the time that it took to create my first press kit.
It took me about 2–3 hours. It took me the first month to review the press kit I created and see what works and what doesn’t, and then I changed the PDF file to take out the unnecessary elements and adapt them to my needs.
A bit of time is involved, but it will help improve your work, have examples of your work and media outlets distributed, generate interest in your work, feel more prepared to meet with potential media outlets, and gain more exposure for your work.