If you’re serious about advancing your career, you should have one on hand to send out to journalists, booking agents, music programmers and managerial types. For those who grew up as digital natives, here’s what’s needed to create one of these dinosaur kits that you can actually hold in your hands.
Like an elevator pitch for your act captured on one sheet of paper, it shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds to peruse a one-sheet. It should be the first thing seen after opening the press kit. Include a short bio, a short list of any awards/accolades, a small picture. A one-sheet is basically a nutshell guide of the best of your press kit.
The promo pic
Include a high quality promo shot of your act. Don’t include graphics, logos or art work of any kind within the frame of the picture. Editors don’t run pics like that.
A CD, or — something becoming more common — a USB thumb drive containing at least three songs is a must. An official CD release is also acceptable, especially when promoting a new album, but a three-song demo will suffice, otherwise.
One of the most important aspects of any press kit is the bio. It’s important to have a bio written by a professional. There should be a short version and an expanded version. If you can’t afford to hire a
professional bio writer, don’t make the mistake of including too much info and overused cliches. Avoid words like “unique” and phrases like “breaking the mold” or “doing things their own way.” Make it real. Tell a story that doesn’t come across like watching a boring slide show of a family
Press clippings, awards, venues played, etc.
If you have reviews, copy and print each one out on a separate sheet of paper. If all you have are short blurbs, stack them on one sheet. List any awards you’ve won, shown or placed for, plus notable venues played and impressive acts you’ve opened for or shared the bill with.
Put everything in a folder before you send it off. There’s nothing more annoying than opening a big manila envelope full of stuff that falls out on the desk unorganized. That’s the sign of an amateur. Get some stickers with logos to put on the front of the folder.
And, most importantly, include your act’s CONTACT INFO throughout the kit
Every piece of material in the press kit needs to have the band’s primary contact info on it — contact name, mailing address, phone number, email address and website. Ask any music journalist about one of the more frustrating aspects of covering indie, DIY acts and they’ll likely mention having to hunt for contact info. Put contact info on the CD, on the folder, on the one-sheet, in the border of the photo and at the top or bottom of each page. Make it VERY easy to stay in touch. And always include a personalized cover letter that says “stay in touch.”