Electronic Press Kits (EPKs) come in all shapes and sized. There is a right way to make an EPK, and a wrong way. They can help a band obtain great shows, reviews, and press, but they can also take away opportunities if they are poorly constructed. Here are some surefire tips for making the perfect EPK.
There are several choices when creating an EPK. You can go through a third party company such as Sonic Bids or Reverb Nation to create your EPK. The upside to this route is many promoters and talent buyers know how to navigate through these widely used sites. They also allow for easy updates if you aren’t that web savvy.
The downside is pre-made EPKs are not unique and have certain limitations, whereas building your own EPK allows for full flexibility and creative control. It may cost a bit more to create an EPK from scratch, as you’ll likey need an experienced web designer, but it is often worth it.
An EPK portrays your band’s image and style through words, pictures, videos, and of course, music. A strong EPK will have a cohesive theme throughout. Everything from the background image you choose for the web page, to the photos of your band, to the words you pick for your bio should all mesh together.
The information should flow smoothly and be laid out in the simplest way possible. If the average Internet user can’t figure out how to navigate through your EPK within the first few seconds of being on the site, it is too complicated. Creativeness of the EPK is important, but it should never take away easy navigation.
My favorite EPKs are only one page. A general rule to follow when working on the web: the fewer clicks users have to make to find content, the better chance they have of finding that content. A one page EPK means anything a visitor needs is on that page, no extra clicks needed
These features may seem obvious, but I am always surprised at how many bands are missing some of these elements. Each is extremely important.
The first piece is your Bio. Make sure to include examples of who your band can be compared to sound wise, major shows and festivals you have played, recent albums and videos released, and a good story that makes the reader want to continue reading. It doesn’t have to be very long. A few paragraphs is fine. The bio should highlight all the best aspects of your EPK.
Next is a listing of all the band members’ full names and which instruments they play. It is a good idea to keep this separate from your bio, making it easier for someone looking for band members’ names to find them.
A good band photo in your EPK is essential. I like to place the photo near the bio or band members’ names. This helps readers picture the band while they are reading through your site. A good band photo can say a lot about your music and image.
Include a list of your upcoming shows, as well as a list of significant past shows. The blogger who goes to your EPK to write about your music video might see an upcoming show in his town on your EPK, and as a result list that show in his article. By having your past shows listed, especially larger festivals you have played, significant venues, or opening spots for larger bands, it makes a strong statement that your band is experienced.
Press Quotes are vital on an EPK. Even if your band only has a few, it says a lot. A good list of press quotes shows visitors that people are talking about your band. It makes press outlets that haven’t reviewed your band more interested.
One of the most vital parts of your EPK is a clearly marked Contact section. Make it easy for people to get a hold of you. Include links to all your social networks as well as the different parts of your team, from management to publicist.
One aspect that gets left out a lot on EPKs is a section for people to sign up to your email list. Many bands think it is sufficient to just have this on their main website. But having this on your EPK can do wonders. If press really like your band and the option to sign up is right there, they will. Having press on your email list is invaluable, so give them the option to sign up.
Every EPK should offer the ability for users to download, stream, and embed music, photos, and videos. Having all these options on your EPK will save you tons of time, as you can send anyone who needs any of these things directly to your EPK. For example, writers for magazines and newspapers need pictures files, bloggers need video embed codes, and radio DJs need MP3 files. Instead of sending each of these people individual emails with these documents, you can just send them to your EPK.