The Press Kit Monologues


Ok
There is nothing in life more fun than sending out, what seems like, endless amounts of press kits. Stuffing envelope after envelope with CD’s, bios, one sheets, and whatever else you think you need to stick in there to get your point across and your message out there to the masses. Then you seal that bad boy up, god forbid you bought non adhesive envelopes, and take it down to the local post office and get prepared to spend a small fortune mailing it. As you can tell by my sarcasm I am about to my breaking point in this endeavor, but I know that it is still the only game in town in the process, though I have had more opportunities this time out utilizing electronic based kits and other options of which I have talked about before and will elaborate on in the future. But on to the press kit, the bane of my existence as of late.
**Warning this is not an all-inclusive guide just my observations**
1) Buy ‘friggin labels and learn how to orchestrate Excel and Word into spitting out labels. If you are sending out a massive mail you will be glad you did and you need to go ahead and have a personal data base of your contacts going if you are planning on doing more release than just this one. Do not hand write your addresses on there unless you are going for the complete personal touch, you have great penmanship, and a desire for carpal tunnel syndrome. Buy the labels!* A side note on labels: when you are peeling them off get that first one-off and peel all that border stuff off immediately. It will make future peeling so much easier. You are welcome.
2) Follow a standard or the standard. If you are mailing a CD release to radio and or a journalist include the following:
*The CD (DUH. But wait make sure it is in a container with a spine that can be stacked with other CD’s and be read. DJ’s get thousands of CD’s and they need to be able to read them in order to find them. No slimline jewel cases, no sleeves, only Traditional Jewel Case or Digipack. That is it. And they need to be professionally done or at least look like it.)
* A bio. Be short with it. Say what you need to and get out. They do not need to know your life story just the fact that you made some music, what that is all about, and what you are planning on doing as an artist.
* A One Sheet. This has the track listing and a description of each song. Be brief and to the point on the description. If you need help ask people whose musical senses you trust to help with this. Also make sure to have the running times beside each song listed. This is important for those programming radio.
* A review sheet if you have gotten some reviews in the press. This will help give them and idea of what people are thinking about the music. Don’t overdo it and make sure this is easily read (no crazy fonts just the basic).
*Used to be an 8×10 photo was expected. You might still want to go with this. I don’t because our photos are all over our materials. It won’t hurt but if you are on the cheap drop it and just have really popping press documents that have your image on them. Also have all your contact info on every sheet you send and have it in a mast-head style that is easily read and plainly in site. Never forget to have your Name, Phone, Email, URL, Twitter, Facebook, and anything thing else you think they need to reach out and find out more about you.
Stick to this standard and solicit before you mail. I did not stick to the standard once and am pretty sure many of my press kits ended up in the trash. Before you send one do this validating thought process: ‘Have I stuck to the standard? Is this been solicited by a return email from this person?” if either or both answers are “no” then have a trash can handy and by your side, insert press kit into trash receptacle, and be glad I just saved you the postage.
That is all.

Elam McKnight
https://www.bigblackhand.com
https://www.facebook.com/elam.mcknight
https://www.twitter.com/elammcknight

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