Need An Electronic Press Kit? Make Your Own!

by Jason on February 6, 2010 · 6 comments

in Business, Marketing/Promotion

U2's Crazy Press Kit for Achtung Baby

U2's Crazy Press Kit for Achtung Baby, circa 1991

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the middle of planning a tour for the Jason Parker Quartet. We’re going out in May and I’m busy contacting venues up and down the West Coast, from Vancouver BC to San Diego. I realized early on in the process that I needed an EPK, or Eletronic Press Kit.

What Is An EPK?

And EPK is just as it sounds – and electronic version of the old press kit. Bands used to send out physical press kits that included demo CD’s/DVD’s, information about the band, photos, reviews and other marketing materials. Nowadays, however, most bookers prefer an electronic version so they can just click a few links, listen to a few mp3’s and make a decision. This is easier for them, and also easier for us.

It used to be that we’d have to pay for design, printing, CD’s, photos, etc. And some people still pay others to make their EPK’s for them. Both SonicBids and ReverbNation will make up a snazzy EPK for you, for a fee. But try as I might I just couldn’t see why I should pay someone a monthly fee to design and host my EPK when I could do it myself.

DIY EPK

I have never designed one before, so it took a little research. I checked out what those companies had to offer, looked at the EPK’s of a bunch of successful bands, and made notes on what information I needed how I could effectively get it all together.

Luckily, with just a little knowledge of widgets and html I was able to design a pretty spiffy one! I actually used ReverbNation widgets for both the press quotes and videos. These are both free if you have an account with them (and you should). I also used the free Bandcamp album widgets to embed all my CD’s on the site (NOTE: If you don’t know about Bandcamp go there now and sign up! It’s the best site I’ve found to sell my music and I highly recommend them). After that it was just a matter of writing the text and formatting it to look pretty. All told I probably spent 4 hours putting it all together, and now I have an EPK that I can use for years to come. Total cost: $0.00!

My Results

You can check out the results here. Please let me know what you think! I welcome any and all comments and suggestions about the look, the functionality, anything I may have forgotten, etc.

If you need any help designing your own EPK please send me and email. I’d be happy to lend any guidance or assistance I can.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carri Bella
Twitter: CarriBella
February 6, 2010 at 1:56 am

Jason, as a PR pro of 20+ years in my day job, I’ve created many online press kits. What yours is missing is easy downloads of all text and graphics. When you’re doing PR, your primary goal is to save journalists (and now bloggers) time by giving them the tools they need to cover your client (or band) QUICKLY. Shaving 15 minutes off their schedule can mean the difference between getting coverage or not.

Every photo that you’d want them to use should be downloadable in both hi-res and low-res formats (don’t expect them to do conversions). Same goes for logos. Make all bios and backgrounders available as word docs. PDFs are okay, but not as easy to work with. You definitely don’t want to make journalists copy/paste from your Web site. And you don’t want to make journalists ASK you for anything. If they’re on deadline, and it’s the middle of the night, they need all tools at their disposal without having to wait for you to respond.

I like the music and video widgets! Thanks for the tip about grabbing those from ReverbNation. And great tunes!! I hope I can meet you guys sometime and see you play live. 🙂

@CarriBella & @JazzCrowd

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
February 6, 2010 at 2:07 am

Thanks for the suggestions, Carri! I appreciate the input from a pro. I will get to work on that.

You’re in Portland, right? Hope to meet you too! We’ll be playing somewhere in PDX on our tour in May. Any venue suggestions?

Marko
Twitter: markozirkovich
February 6, 2010 at 4:39 am

Hi Jason,

Yes, I totally second Carri’s suggestion of also providing all the materials in a downloadable format.

Other than that – your EPK looks professional and clean. 🙂

Thanks for the info on Bandcamp. I definitely have to check it out.

Alex
Twitter: arodjazz
February 6, 2010 at 6:02 am

Nice work, Jason — I thought you’d want to know that there’s a typo in Evan’s bio: “10 dancer” should be “10 dancers.”

Cool stuff, though!

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
February 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Thanks for catching that typo, Alex!

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