Are Press Kits Obsolete?

One of the first things I learned about the music business was the importance of having a great press kit. I learned this in high school back when I was in a band looking for gigs. We couldn’t figure out why no one would hire us to play a gig. After all, we did have a really cool name and we would tell anyone who would listen how awesome we were. That strategic pitching plan resulted in absolutely no gigs.  Even knowing that, for somtainmente reason, we never invested in a great press kit. That was 28 years ago but I am still amazed at how many new artists don’t have a great looking up to date press kit.

We are in the digital age with EPKs, Sonic Bids, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and websites and it is so easy to forget about physical press kits. I am one of the biggest proponents of digital media as that is what I prefer. However, I am running across more and more people in the business who ask for a physical press kit. Most clubs and college radio still want to see a physical press kit in order to consider booking the band or playing their song. Recently, while pitching instrument companies for endorsements, I found that they prefer the physical press kit.

Every artists who is serious about their career should have some form of a physical press kit readily available. No need to create a big quantity but have a handful ready at a moments notice. You can include some of the current technology such as EPKs in the kit but some people in the business still want to actually touch that 8×10 and hold a physical one-sheet. I think one of the reasons a press kit is so important is that any person with a computer can set up a MySpace page and make it look great. It’s almost as if the physical press kit sets you apart and shows that you are serious about your career and willing to invest. Now I must admit I have seen some really bad press kits. I would encourage you to put some effort into creating a press kit that stands apart, looks unique and screams “we are serious about thing!”

Here are a 5 key things that every press kit should contain.

1) nice folder w/logo or some creative package to hold the press material

2) great looking 8×10 photo

3) one-sheet with a short bio, key facts, awards and accolades, last 6 months and future tour dates, management/booking/label contact info

4) cd or EPK

5) band or manager’s business card