YOU of course are intimately familiar with your work, but if you are reaching out to someone who has never heard of you or your music before, you have to keep in mind two essential things:
1) They probably have no idea who you are or what you sound like.
2) They are extremely busy.
So, what you have to do is: BREAK IT DOWN FOR THEM!
People who run a blog, label, or management agency are very busy; they have many promos and pitches to consider, and chances are it’s not possible to cover everybody they hear from, even if they wanted to.
EMPHASIZE AND DESCRIBE YOUR MAIN POINTS / TELL THE WORLD WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
A press kit is your opportunity to succinctly express your identity to the world: to say who you are, what your music sounds like in a nutshell, what’s different about you, as well as present your contact info.
It should at once be as short as possible (think of it as a resume: one page is ideal, not more than three pages at the most), while still including the MOST ESSENTIAL description of your artist identity and a bit of background info.
As to whether or not to list some pieces of recent news or new releases, you COULD, but I think I would advise against this (see below)
The entire purpose of the press kit is to give people who are not familiar with your work a THUMBNAIL SKETCH of what your personal brand is – who you are in one or two pages…
If you feel that you have more to tell about yourself than can fit in just a page or two, not to worry, remember, if someone is interested in finding out more about you, they can go to your website or social media pages (which they will be able to access via links on your press kit). The whole point of the press kit is to hook people in, and then if they are interested, have them find out more on your website and socials (in a way, it’s kind of like a dating site 🙂 )
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WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PRESS KIT
• Artist name
• Main photos (one or two, no more than three max- must be high-res)
• Overview blurb
• Contact links (including to your website plus socials, typically put at the bottom)
• “Sounds like” section. This one may be optional (and I know a lot of people don’t necessarily like to be compared to others), but I feel it’s not a bad idea to possibly include a “Sounds like:” section in your bio, including some similar artists or genres related to your style (example, “if you like old-school trance / if you are a fan of…. you might like our sound,” etc)
There are of course as many ways to do a press kit as there are types of artists, and none is perfect, but I think the main thing is: it’s a balance between FUNCTION (presented simplistically), with FORM (presented in a nice, neat package).
. . .
For an excellent example, take a look at this press kit from San Mateo:
His team recently pitched us to do a promotional spot, and included not only a press kit, but one that was absolutely KICK-ASS. Due almost entirely to this fact, we were able to check out his music, find all the relevant links needed to further explore his work, as well as include them in an article. So as a result, not only did we select him to be one of our New Artist Discovery features, we were able to finish checking out San Mateo’s work, put the entire article together, as well as get the social media posts ready, all within just a couple of hours (THIS is the “power of the press kit!!”)
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By furnishing people who play an important role in your music career (such as press or labels) a press kit that is well put together, you will be helping them do their job – making things easier for them – and they will therefore be immediately more apt to take a look at your work and potentially give you the article or spot you are seeking.