How to Write a Press Kit for an Artist

As you’ll probably be aware, the thing that connects the creators, the advertising, and the publishing industries is the media kit.

A successful artist, for example, is a successful user of the press. In a world where the user is increasingly that of the press, the artist has a vital role to play in the development of these networks.

A successful press kit for an artist includes the following

Identifying the brand

Who are you, what is your target audience, what’s the media platform you’re using, and more.

Use images and colors on your press kit to show your brand visually.

Creating an ongoing relationship

You are utilizing the media kit to establish a relationship with someone (a record label, a brand company, a PR firm, etc).

The relationship between a media company and the artist should be illustrated in the media kit. Make concrete how you would like this relationship to unfold.

Developing your narrative

You need to make your way through all the key stages in your career and convince the media to publish your work. Don’t leave anything out.

Build anticipation: Create a story that will catch your audience’s (or company’s or label’s) imagination.

Motivating and engaging the audience

What’s in it for them, how can you make it more engaging? Beating expectations: What are the challenges for your work and how can you overcome them?

These days, a number of people in this field help connect media companies and artists. I’ve been fortunate to work with several teams on the development of press kits for artists that include one of these services. The ones I have worked with always follow a number of principles to make the job easier.

How to write a press kit for an artist

Motivating and engaging the audience

Well-written press kits don’t just contain information that’s essential to the reader, they can also guide them towards the future release of the artist’s work.

A good press kit is something that tells the reader why you’re in this field and what you’re good at. It should be aspirational: It’s an internal product for your team (or the media). It aims to inspire the reader to see what the artist is capable of.

The tone can be laid-back, celebratory or enthusiastic. You want to craft your own style of presenting yourself.

On one side of the press kit, you can describe a general image of what the artist will be doing. Your personality and story can be clearly illustrated.

For some designers, it’s extremely important to look after what is called ‘captions’ – any kind of bullet-points that explain how you came to work with the artist. Captions are exactly the thing the reader should find when they open your press kit.

If you’re looking for a website to launch your art online, a well-crafted and well-produced press kit will be the foundation. However, even if your artistic vision is more modest, it’s still a really good idea to include ‘about me’ and ‘search terms’ at the end of the kit. If you’re a first-time blogger, a simple caption and a link to your WordPress website is probably enough.

‘About me’ should be short and to the point

My name is Bill Trewhella, I’ve been a self-taught designer for the last six years

My story is this: I want to make people’s lives a little better.

Pitch (e.g. ‘1-800-Artist-Help’)

Sticking to the basics is always a great idea

What should my media kit include?

The general rule for making contacts is not to try to ‘con’ the press in the hopes of sending them a pitch. This is even more important if you are getting contact from organizations that don’t have the budget to approach every artist that may be worth writing about.

Firstly, try to link your website and an article on your blogs about what you do. It’s also a good idea to include a brief bio on your Twitter profile. For journalists, using a hashtag like #artisthelp is a great way to get to work!

What else to include in the media kit

Everything that a website needs: bioimages, and links to your press.

How to use social media for generating news coverage.

Ask specific questions of your prospective contacts.

All answers, no speculation.

Make sure you don’t forget to give us a clear statement of the actual rules of the press kit, with copies that can be checked online for authenticity.

Completing your press kit

The above steps are much easier said than done. The artworld is littered with failed attempts at establishing a reputation. The countless hours spent by artists, whether the artist is by themselves or part of a team, can make this an infinitely long process. However, it’s a worthwhile exercise to take your work online and get it published.

It’s very important that you do everything right. A press kit that’s incomplete means your work is very hard to find. Without a proper press kit, it is quite possible that you could miss out on the job of finding your first published art piece.

What do you think? Is your art by yourself or working with other artists? Do you prefer to pitch in the press booth or online? Let us know what you think about a proper press kit by sending us an email!