Electronic press kits changed the music industry years ago, and though they’re not as popular as they once were (some musicians prefer to let their social media profiles do all the talking), they can still be incredibly useful.
In fact, I’d argue that every artist should not only have one, but that they should do everything they can to keep it updated. This’ll increase their chances of being written about, booked for concerts and festivals, and included on important playlists. Not paying attention to what’s in your EPK is a sign you don’t care enough about your career. Is that really the message you want to send?
Here are eight items every musician must include in their electronic press kit:
Your EPK has plenty of space, so please don’t be stingy with the pictures.
I have come across many musicians who only supply one snap, and while I understand that decision can be helpful when it comes to branding, it’s not useful to people like journalists. You don’t need to give them a dozen pictures, but try a handful, and perhaps a number of different kinds of images. Mix it up with live shots, behind the scenes pics, and typical head shots and portraits. If you give everyone some options, all approved by you, chances are they’ll stick with exactly what you want.
A bio is extremely helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about you and might not have time to hop on a call with you or read articles others have written. In fact, bios are so useful, I suggest bands and musicians have two versions, both of which can be included in your EPK.
First, a short option, which is maybe just a paragraph and which condenses everything and includes only that which must be conveyed. The second version can be much longer—a full page, perhaps—and can go into much greater detail in regards to your life, career, accomplishments, and so on.
Sure, your music is already available on YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also include it in your EPK! Even if nobody actually downloads it and listens to it this way, it never hurts, and is in fact a best practice, to make sure your tunes are readily available in any way someone, such as a playlist maker, a booking agent, or a journalist, may want them.
Don’t be stingy, either—do your best to include your entire discography, especially if it’s small. If you have a dozen albums, perhaps that’s not a good idea, but if you only have two, why not?
This is a step I see many musicians skip, and it’s a shame, as it seems so easy! If someone wants to write about your single or album for a publication, chances are they will need a hi-res image to go with it. Sometimes your band’s photo works, but other outlets demand the actual cover art. Stay one step ahead and ensure nobody needs to go out of their way to ask you for anything by including all cover art that makes sense in your EPK.
Again, this is something I see so many artists—both newcomers to the field and those who have been doing this for a long time and who are represented by professionals—failing to include, and it’s always annoying.
I suggest you create a sheet that details every credit someone may want, from who produced your album to who wrote your single to which directors was behind the camera for your music videos to who the photographer was at your latest photo shoot. These are questions I need to ask musicians and PR people often, and I wonder why nobody thinks to simply deliver the names needed at the outset. You don’t have to put them all in the same place—you can tag photographers in your photos and share info about the team behind your music video in a press release—but it doesn’t hurt to copy and paste all those names in one place, just in case.
Have you received some positive press attention in the past? Was your new album given a good rating by a well-known publication? Perhaps you were interviewed by a site everyone has heard of? If so, this can all go into a press section of your EPK. You can either put these clippings together into some sort of PDF or Word document, or share links…or do both!
Speaking of links, you should have a space, whether on a document or in some sort of section (if we’re talking solely about electronic press kits) where you link to everything. And when I say everything, I do mean everything. Link to your website, your streaming platforms, digital storefronts, and all social profiles. You can’t go overboard here. If anyone ever has to Google search you or ask you where to find something, you’ve missed an opportunity.
Finally, make sure that anyone looking through your EPK is able to get in touch with whomever they need. That might be you, your manager, your booking agent, or perhaps someone who represents your music when it comes to sync opportunities. Again, it takes you seconds to put all these email addresses and phone numbers in one spot, but failing to do so could cost you a job at some point down the line.