Build a press page with everything the media needs
A friend of mine emailed me a couple weeks ago asking if I had recommendations regarding EPKs (electronic press kits). He’d seen an article I wrote a few years back — “Why You Don’t Need a Press Kit” — and was wondering which EPK services he should check out and whether they were worth the money.
Here’s my take: unless you’re actively submitting to festivals and showcase opportunities that require you to use a service like Sonicbids (and in my experience, you can sometimes bypass the “official” methods anyway), your WEBSITE is the only thing you need if you’re doing it right.
Everything a talent buyer needs to book your band should be found on your website (social links, bio, tour dates, live videos, music player, and your contact info).
Everything the press needs to write about your music can be housed on a single page on your website.
Why pay a separate fee (and manage yet another account) to have all this info displayed on an EPK site, especially if you’re primarily booking your band at clubs, bars, house concerts, or coffee houses where you can pretty easily have a direct relationship with the venue?
Instead, make sure everything a talent buyer or journalist needs is on your website. To cover the basics, check out “10 Things Every Musician Website Must Have.”
If you want to kick things up a notch, create a comprehensive press page. Think of it as a page where you’ve got everything someone in the industry might need in order to write about you, sign you, book you, etc.
So, what should you include in your press page?
1. Downloadable hi-res photos
I realize “hi-res” is an arbitrary term, so it’s best to just go as big as you can. Let the various media outlets grab the file and resize or crop it as they see fit.
You’ll want to have a good photo in landscape orientation, and another good photo in portrait orientation.
And for extra credit you can provide both color and B&W versions of each.
2. Your band bio and press release
Here again I would suggest offering options: both short and long versions of your bio and press release, plus a first person and third person version of your bio. Oh and for good measure, provide a tweet-sized description of your music too.
For extra credit you can also make this text available as a downloadable .doc or .pdf file.
3. Press quotes
What have folks already said about your music? Not your friends and mother. I mean bloggers, journalists, promoters, managers, notable artists, etc. Gather this stuff up and put the best handful of quotes towards the top of your press page. This will communicate that other people in the industry take your art seriously.
4. Music player
They need to hear your music, right? It’s pretty easy to add a built in music player or an embedded music player from CD Baby, SoundCloud, or Bandcamp to your site.
For extra credit, provide easy links to your music on CD Baby, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon — because you never know which platforms a particular blogger will favor (and they might want to embed your songs on their site).
This one might not be as necessary if you also have a designated video page on your website or a video playlist in your sidebar, but if there’s a particular video that you want to feature and you think would be helpful for the press, embed it at the bottom of this page.
For extra credit give both the YouTube and Vimeo URLs.
6. Your contact info
This includes names and emails for general inquiries, press inquiries, booking inquiries, licensing, and more. If they’re all the same person (you) that’s simple: just put your name email address!
7. Social links
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat,… wherever else you maintain an active presence. List ’em and link to ’em.
8. Icing on the cake
Anything else that’d be helpful for the press?A band Q&A to offer some other insight into your process, personality, and history? Links to past interviews?
Since this type of press page isn’t really intended to be part of the fan experience of your website, you could choose to NOT link to it from your top navigation (and then just send the direct link to the press). But there’s a pretty good case for making it easy to locate. If you do, just be sure to make it clear at the top of the page that this content/layout is intended for the media, and not fans.
Got all that taken care of? Great. You won’t get passed over on an opportunity just because of missing information!
Do you have any tips on making things easy for talent buyers and the media? Let me know in the comments below.