The Essentials Of An Effective Music Press Kit – Part 1


– Quentin W. Buetow –

– Robi Nickoli –



The Essentials Of An Effective Music Press Kit – Part 1

In the first of a three-part series regarding how to focus on creating a dynamic and attention-getting press kit, I will go through and explain what steps you will need to take in order to market yourself – your craft – as an independent artist.

First, however, let’s talk about what a press kit is and how (and why) it’s important for you to have it in your archives / library.

As a struggling independent musician in a highly competitive over-crowded market, one of your primary focuses in promoting your craft should be the realization (and subsequent implementation) that you need to stand out from the crowd.

Getting your marketing message out there is one thing, of course, but getting the right message out there is another.  Your professional image as an independent artist is of the utmost importance in order to rise above the sea of competition and shine brightly.  To assist with making themselves more visible – and of course, more marketable – most independent bands and artists have some sort of music press kit (traditional or electronic) that they use for promotional purposes. 

Two of the most frequently asked questions I have encountered in this business are simply this: (A)Which type of press kit should we put together?” and (B)Which kind of press kit works best and is most impressive and effective?

The answer to those two questions depends on a few things …

As a reviewer / critic, I recommend creating – and maintaining – two types of press kits: both the more traditional press kit as well as an electronic press kit.  The reason for this is simple.  Certain media outlets, labels, venues, and music management companies prefer the traditional electronic press kit in addition to a full-blown, professionally recorded (and produced) c.d. so that it can be listened to on high-efficiency equipment in order to get the full effect of your music and its production qualities.  Others prefer not to have their offices congested with myriad piles of press kits and so their preferred method is just reviewing your work via the electronic medium (i.e., online social media is but one example). 

For the reasons just noted, I strenuously recommend that you do both. It’s better to be redundant and plan accordingly than to be caught short and unaware when asked for either one or the other. Creating an Electronic Press Kit (an “E.P.K.”) is relatively simple and hassle-free. In fact, there are a number of sites out there on the Internet that provide such services for a nominal monthly fee or one-time charge.

However, again, I want to emphasize that maintaining an E.P.K. is not enough.  You still must have the traditional press kit in your music promotion arsenal. It is important for you to realize and understand that your press kit is probably your most valuable promotional tool and it needs to be taken very seriously. 

Its primary purpose is to serve as your “resume” or “portfolio”. It is, essentially, your proverbial foot in the door. It is also the very first impression of youas an artist, musician, singer, performer, lyricist, etc. – that label executives, promoters, venue management, radio station content programmers, and other media outlets will receive.  It is important you present yourself in the best light possible: total professionalism, an attention to detail, and a complete picture of you – as an artist – are completely imperative. You cannot afford to half-ass or blow off your press kits.

In my next column, I will be discussing the ins and outs of creating and putting together your press kits as well as what you’re going to need in the way of documents, photos, music, songs, and so on.

 Stay tuned!

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