EPKs (Electronic Press Kits)

The information listed in this post is an amalgamation of advice given on the Shades of Solveig blog and the ‘Self-Help’ Born to  be Wide seminar on February 4th of this year.

 

What is an EPK?

An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is somewhere to keep all the necessary information and resources for someone to be able to access when reviewing, booking or promoting your band. I’m going to go through some of the essential and most useful things to have in yours.

 

Starting with the obvious, your name

This can be both your stage name and your real name. Including your real name can give people reading that little extra bit of information that makes things a bit more personal. Of course, if you want to remain mysterious, maybe leave your real name out.

 

Date of birth

Without obviously shouting out your age, it might be nice to include your birth date. This will give the person reading an indication of what kind of generation you may appeal to but also is just another piece of information for further reference.

 

Videos

People consume music through videos. If you don’t have an interesting video, then you are less likely to reach all the people you could. It also may give people a flavour of your live performance style or your artistic direction.

 

 

Pictures

People like to see what you look like. It’s all part of your visual image and presence. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t, instead amplify and exaggerate your existing personality traits. Don’t bother too much with black and white images. If someone wants to they can render the photos black and white themselves. Stay in a high resolution, this can easily be sized down. The same cannot be said for the opposite.

Sandy_1 (54)

Music

What’s a band without the music? It might be nice to include links to streaming sights such as bandcamp and soundcloud but also include a password-gated dropbox link for journalists to access the full album.

 

Biography

Set a scene with this. Include where you are from, both original and current locations. If you’re from Mull but you’re now based in Edinburgh, that is a perfect thing to mention. The more idiosyncratic the information, the more people will be intrigued. Include a description of your music, the more unique, or even daft, the better. This also stops the journalist/DJ from pigeon-holing you with a genre you don’t identify with. Influences are a big one, be sure to provide three. Mention connections you have made, to show what you are capable of and what stage you are at. Also media coverage you have had for the same token. Of course, it would be wise to include release and member info too. And also have a tagline at the start of this or your press release. People are intrigued by short pithy statements.

 

Album cover / art

It would be wise to include these in several different resolutions, for different purposes. Image sizes as part of their title can be useful.

 

001Front

 

Press Release

Can be more than one and of different lengths, depending on what information you need to get across. This should be relevant to what you’re trying to promote and include some of the information you mentioned in your bio.

 

Contact info

They need more info? Include and e-mail address or a phone number you don’t mind being bothered on; or if you have an agent or manager, their number.

 

Other Options

 

One Sheet

One compact 8.5 x 11 inch document with a summarised information from your press kit. Ideal for printing off and handing out at networking events.

 

Album Track-list

Including writing credits and even lyrics. Creating a separate folder for lyrics may come in handy when communicating with publishers.

 

Band Q&A

To give a flavour of the band’s ideas and personality. Ideal for sourcing the artists’ idiosyncrasies and finding interesting quotes.

 

Cover Letter

You can customise this for different situations and print it off along with your one-sheet and CD when communicating with  DJs and other influential figures in the biz.

 

Poster Art

You can include a group of these if they run in a similar theme.

 

Anything Else?

Literally anything creative that a journalist or DJ will be able to talk/write about. Examples include logos for an award you have won or an e-book related to music that you have written.

 

So that’s a brief round-up of what you can include in an EPK. I’ll be taking a closer look at your online and public presence in coming weeks. Stay tuned…

 

– Sandy (sandypower@outlook.com, @sandypower89)

Advertisements
EPKs (Electronic Press Kits)

Band/Artist Photos

When you are promoting your band, as part of an EPK, press release or web-site, it is important to have the correct images of you as an artist/band. You have a number of options. You can have a studio shoot, live performance pictures or location shots. What you decide to go for depends on the context.

 

As a musician, I recently got photographed in a studio by Edinburgh-based photographer David McClung. Check out his work at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pathstohelicon/and https://www.facebook.com/davidmcclungphotography.

 

The shoot involved high-key (on a white background) and low-key (on a black background) shots. To illustrate my professional image I wore smart but fashionable clothes and took my cello and acoustic guitar along too. The shoot involved a number of different shots that were then edited in colour and black and white by David. You can see the finished album at the following link: Sandy Power 2015 Studio Shots

 

Low_Key_0022
Low Key Shot
Sandy_1 (3)
High Key Shot with Cello

 

Sandy_1 (61)bw
High Key Shot with Guitar – Edited in Black and White

 

My next step will be to get some location and live performance photos. These will have to be given consideration artistically and from a professional standpoint also. What do I want to get across, what is my message? Who is my target market?

 

If you’re thinking about getting photos done for your band or musical project, I found this list of do’s and don’ts useful and entertaining: Best Bass Gear – Band Photo Do’s and Don’ts 

 

One key factor mentioned on this site is working with a plain background, which David did with my studio shots. Busy backgrounds can distract from the subject themselves and become an unwanted focal point or cliché (see railway tracks example for instance).

 

With live shots, you’re looking to capture the action. The Best Bass Gear article also emphasises the importance of live shots that show musicians concentrating on the music, not staring straight down the lens or posturing particularly. Here’s a picture of me taken by my mate Dario Ferrante at my band Marmion‘s EP launch last April:

 

11154784_10206269249760517_6974566481960409466_o
Marmion’s Prophylactic Groove EP launch April 2015

 

This photograph is great as it captures me singing an playing mandolin in a tight shot with great lighting and at an interesting angle. I am clearly the focus (and in focus) too.

 

When I attended  a recent Born to Be Wide event on self promotion, I learned the importance of usable photos, with top inustry photographer Jannica Honey expressing her views on band photography. Usable means being in focus and visible but being the right resolution for the specific promotional purpose. Be it for a poster, flyer, magazine or social media. It also means having different options in terms of format; landscape, portrait, square or headshots. Jannica also talked about avioding big logos or watermarks in the image and the importance of having the colour images of all of your photos. If you get your images in colour, they can be easily made black and white by the magazine or whoever is covering your band, the same cannot be said of the opposite. It is also an idea to have space for text to be inserted.

 

me-JannicaHoney.jpg
Jannica Honey. Image taken from http://www.scotcampus.com

 

Jannica also explained the importance of discussing ideas of what you want with your photographer. Getting the right style of shoot and look for your band and expressing any fears or concerns about the shoot. She also said it is important to have strong e-mail contact regarding the date, time and location of the shoot, so no misunderstandings occur. She also stated that there should be an agreement between the photographer and the band about how many pictures you want, when they should be delivered, how they are likely to be used, whether there will be a fee for the photographers’ services and to make sure there will be no watermark on the image. She also said that because you are advised not to ruin the image with the photographer’s watermark, you should do your best to promote the photographer’s work by crediting them on  media you are using the photographs on. You can also invite your contacts to like the photographer’s social media profiles.

 

Stay tuned for more posts in coming weeks. I’ll be looking at EPKs, social media, web presence and a lot more.

 

-Sandy (sandypower@outlook.com, @sandypower89)

 

Band/Artist Photos