ASSORTED DECLARATIONS BY STAFF WRITER TOM GRAHAM
You really should
We’ve been getting some really fantastic submissions here at electric city and diamond city newspapers from local and regional music acts looking for some coverage and promotion. I figure now would be a good time to let you in on a few pointers before sending your press kit, and hopefully you can avoid sending an overstuffed envelope of low-res photos, low volume demos, patches, pins and beer koozies. These simple steps may make your press kit a guaranteed success.
- You really should present yourselves and your music in a professional package. Even though your band is really cutting edge and no one has ever experienced your brand of music before, keep your press kit tight and business-like. If your press kit is professional, it will show you mean business and you’re not just making music for reduced bar tabs and other heavenly rewards.
I’m going to want to listen to the music if it looks good.
- Supplying a written biography is also a great introduction, but I really don’t need to know that you performed Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell in its entirety at your middle school talent show or that your father was a founding member of Kajagoogoo. (Maybe I DO need to know that, but you get my point.)
- You really should talk about your accomplishments, but don’t embellish the facts. If you played on a side stage before a Ted Nugent concert, you didn’t open for the Motor City Madman. Most likely you played in front of your family and friends on the outskirts of a parking lot while descending into your own delusions.
- You really should send high quality photos, preferably taken by a professional photographer, including live shots and a recent band picture. If you are standing in front of a brick wall or in the woods, cheers for keeping the trend alive.
- If you have ever been reviewed or featured in newspapers, magazines, cookbooks etc., send press clips.
- You really should supply a list of upcoming shows. You do play your music in front of people, right?
- You really should present your music in the manner you feel best represents where you currently are in your musical career. A burned copy with a sharpie track list shows that although you took the time to create songs, you didn’t take that extra step to make the music attractive enough for someone to play it.
- I like to see a personalized note on press kits; Something like “Hey there Headphones man. Here is Hot Broccoli Juice’s debut album. Check it out and let me know what you think. Love, Gunther.” It should be specifically addressed and should include a reason why it is being sent (new record, anniversary, benefit).
- You really should include your contact information, i.e. phone number, e-mail and website. Facebook and Myspace are not professional band websites. Anyone can set up a social media site in a matter of minutes. Take the time to get your own domain and website and really focus on choosing an artistic path that creatively sells and promotes your music.
- You really should have fun wrapping up all this information and putting it into a pretty package. Let’s see what you come up with.
Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Noel Gallagher The Dreams We Have as Children – Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Big Brother) 2009