Archive for the ‘ Press Kit ’ Category

Press Release Guide

This is a post about writing press releases I found on trackhustle.com. About a month ago I posted another guide to press releases that takes a slightly different approach.

I have yet to make a serious effort to develop my press kit, but I will be ready soon. I know that Reverbnation offers their own version of the press kit called the RPK (Reverb Press Kit) that includes things like video content, photo content, your music and your schedule. But I think I would rather post my press kit on my website. Since my website isn’t ready yet I might post my info to my RPK in the meantime. However, this service does cost $5.95 (which is equal to the cost of a similar service on Sonicbids).

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MUSIC PROMOTION 101: ALBUM PRESS RELEASE GUIDE

A well written press release is the first step in getting some attention for your new album. Use this template to help you organize your information. Note that this template was written with bands and indie labels in mind as the writers and the media in mind as the readers. PR folks and radio pluggers will want to take a slightly different approach with their press releases, and one sheets for distributors and stores should also be slightly different.

The Header: Centered at the top of your page should be the band’s name and the album name. To make sure this information draws attention, make sure you use a larger text size than the rest of your release, and also use bold and/or italics. You can also set this information apart by putting it in a box. If the album is on a label, include the label name and/or catalog number here as well.

A few optional inclusions for the header are:

– A scanned photo of the album cover
– Contact information for the person handling press for the release in the band or at the label
(labels consider having your logo along the top of the page – ideally in the top right or left corner)
– A quote from a good review of the band.
– The band and/or label’s website/MySpace page

Paragraph One: This is where you want to announce the new album. Go for a strong lead sentence, and if this is a follow-up album, make reference to previous work by the band that the reader may know about. If this is a debut album, say so, and give a few clues about the sounds of the album. This is also the place to mention any “big ticket” selling points for the album or band, such as:

– Praise from well known artist, producer, DJ, etc
– A well known guest star on the album
– A song that has received a lot of radio play
– The album was recorded in a well known studio or with a well known producer

Paragraph Two: In this paragraph, briefly expand a little bit about the band and the music on the album. This paragraph is very important for a new band with a debut album. Don’t mistake this for a band bio – which should be separate – but include some info about where the band comes from, influences, and again, any “big ticket” selling points. Keep this paragraph brief.

Paragraph Three: This paragraph is for giving your reader clear reasons why they should write about your band and review your album (and just saying because it’s a great album won’t cut it). Use this paragraph to mention things like:

– Tour dates planned in support of the new album
(if your shows planned but not confirmed, something like “shows planned for June 2010” will do)
– Reviews that you know are forthcoming in well known publications/on respected websites
– Any radio play the album has received (or that you know it will be receiving)

The Closing: At the bottom of your press release should be the contact info for the person fielding press queries for the album, even if this information is also at the top of your page. Set this information apart from the body of your press release in the same manner as you did the header – again, a box around the text works great, as does a larger type size or bolding/italicizing the text. Be sure to make clear what this information is for by saying “for more information, promo requests or to set up an interview, please contact (so and so).” Also include the band and/or label’s website/MySpace page here.

via Heather McDonald

How To Post A Perfect Press Kit on Your Website

This is an article originally from Musicthinktank.com by ARIEL HYATT

I’m often amazed when I go to an artist’s website, and I look around, and I’m trying to find basic press information and I can’t.

It seems that in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Fan pages, and constantly focusing on your two-way conversations, we’ve forgotten the important basics.

This is a revised excerpt from my book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, (which, btw 65 artists are blogging their way through I’m proud to say) and it talks about an asset that no matter what we all face with new digital solutions, new platforms and apps that we’re going to be forced to learn, we should always remember: Your press kit.

It’s up to you to post your press information clearly and succinctly, so that you’re easy to find and write about. Posting an accessible press kit to share with journalists and new media makers( bloggers, podcasters, etc.)  is good common sense.

Editors need access to your information quickly, because they are constantly under deadline.  If you do not make it easy for them to get your information from your site, they may move onto another one of the 50 artists that are playing in their town that same week.

1.  YOUR MUSIC – ALBUM OR LIVE TRACKS

Make sure you have some music available at your website or a very obvious link to your MySpace page where people can hear the music instantly.  Many newspapers are now including online listings where they include MP3s of artists coming to town, so make it easy for them to grab the tracks to add to their own sites – this is additional excellent exposure for you.

2.  YOUR BIOGRAPHY – MUST INCLUDE YOUR PITCH

Make sure you have a short, succinct bio that can be easily located on your site, in addition to the long form one, the blogs and all of the opinions from each band member – which are fun for your fans but not for music writers who will be looking to get quick information.  Make sure this bio can be easily cut-and-pasted so writers can drop it into a preview or a column.

CREATE A SHORT VERSION FOR THE CALENDAR EDITOR

Make sure you add your PITCH /USP (Unique Selling Point) as a stand-alone portion to your bio that sums up your sound for calendar editors.  It should be no more than 10 words.

TIP: Post 3 versions of your bios

1. Long Form

2. In 50 Words

3. In 1 sentence (10 words or less)

TIP:  MAKE SURE THE BIO CAN BE EASILY CUT-AND-PASTED!

Do NOT have your bio in Flash format; make sure that editors can easily cut and paste it right off of your site.

3.  YOUR PHOTOS – MAKE THEM EASY TO FIND AND

DOWNLOAD

Thumbnails are great for quick and easy loading but are detrimental for use in newspapers.  You should always have a few downloadable photos on your site in at least 300 dpi / jpg format.

TIP: Create an easy-to-see link that says “click here for a hi res / low res jpg.” That way photo editors can get to them easily.  When the photos are downloaded; make sure they are properly named with your name or your band’s name, so that photo editors can find them in folders and on messy desktops!

TIP: Remember to change your photos a few times a year – so if you play the same markets over and over, you can give the media multiple options for covering you.

TIP: Put the band members’ names from left to right (l-r) under the band photo to give journalists a point of reference.  (Many publications publish photos with all band members’ names from left to right to save the writers the trouble of having to ask for the names.)

4.  INCLUDE YOUR ALBUM COVER & ADDITIONAL ARTWORK

You also want to make sure you include your cover art in both hi res and lo res (jpg format).  This way if your CD is being reviewed, the reviewer can download the artwork to add to the review.  If you have additional assets like band logos or graphics add them here as well.

5.  INCLUDE PRESS CLIPS OR FAN TESTIMONIALS IF YOU HAVE THEM

What you say about you is one thing…. However: What others say about you is trusted in a different way.  So, if you have articles that were written about you or great quotes to add from fans – do it!  (if you don’t just ask your fans to contribute to your site – they will be happy to do so)

FINAL TIP: Sonicbids is a fabulous place to build and maintain a perfect press kit and you won’t need a web designer to help you – so build your perfect press kit there, link to it and VOILA!

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