PRESS KIT 101 INFORMATION FROM WAMI’S PANEL OF EXPERTS
The 2012 WAMI September General Meeting - “Press Kits 101″ at G-Daddy’s BBC was a great success with a good turnout and some excellent information given by the panel of speakers.
Included below are some great words of advice from Vic Thomas Assistant Director of Summerfest, and independent local music journalist Geraud Blanks.
FROM VIC THOMAS
Attached is what I presented at the Press Kits Workshop.
Also, I just read a post from Bob Lefsetz and it is copied [linked after this info] below. He a Music Columnist and I think he has some good insights in to the Music Business.
GETTING BOOKED AT SUMMERFEST & OTHER EVENTS– 2013
- Do your homework
- What does Summerfest book?
- Who’s getting booked?
- Assess your current status
- How many available slots? Do the math
- Should you use an agent?
- The power structure – Bob Babisch, Vic Thomas, Scott Ziel, David Silbaugh, etc.
- Each stage has it’s own identity
- How do you build a case for your band to be booked at Summerfest?
- PLAY OUT LIVE!!!!
- Word of Mouth
- Press – Band listings vs articles
- Promo Packages / EPK
- The Internet / Social Media– Sonic Bids / Facebook / MySpace and other networking sites
- Other Festival Sites – IFEA, Festivals.com
- Battle of Bands / WAMI / Other
- Entire year booking cycle-
- ON THE WAY UP vs A Solid veteran
- Why a two year cycle is not uncommon
- Persistent messaging/imaging/calling vs. Pestering
- The unusual vs. The same old thang
- Those Darn Accordions
SF Website – www.summerfest.com
SF Production Office – 414-287-4400
1. No one is waiting for your album.
2. Social networking is not about driving momentary sales but creating
a relationship. That’s your new role. To be available and in touch
with your audience each and every day. To be a land mine that someone
can step on if they suddenly hear about you. Think how you discover
something and immediately research it. Google is the most powerful
force in music, not radio. You want to be number one in the search
results and you want a plethora of information so that when someone
decides to check you out they can find out your bio, personality and
listen to your music. You should be thrilled that someone cares about
you. Your door should be open. Making it hard to enter your front door
is akin to having a retail establishment with a locked entrance. Yes,
clubs utilize velvet ropes, but they have a tiny audience inside. Then
again, if you believe you’re only entitled to a tiny audience, have a
huge cover charge and sell overpriced drinks. Which is kind of like
when Bon Jovi and the Eagles go on tour. Those are dead acts. You’ve
got to be alive. If you’re not growing, you’re over.
3. Keep making music.
4. Keep improving your music.
5. You can no longer have too much music. It’s like saying there are
too many books in the library. Your goal is to get so good that when
someone checks you out, they find a lot to experience and marinate in.
Don’t worry about separating the wheat from the chaff, your audience
will do this.
6. Playing live is no longer about faithful repetition of the hits.
You’re better off being like Phish than a Top Forty act playing to
hard drive. Since all the money’s in live, you’ve got to get people to
come more than once. Which requires cheap tickets. Mumford & Sons has
this right. Audience members feel better when they can’t get into a
show with cheap ducats. It’s when they can’t get a ticket to a show
with overpriced tickets that they get angry at the act. And if your
fans are angry at you, you’re on the road to oblivion.
7. Don’t worry if people hate you. Have an identity. The hooks of your
personality are like one side of Velcro, the loops are the audience.
You don’t need every loop to catch on a hook to create a strong,
healthy bond, just enough.
8. Don’t worry about the genre of music you’re playing, just whether it’s good.
9. If there’s no viral action on your music, you’re just not good
enough. Don’t get mad at the audience, get mad at yourself. Either
give up or get better.
10. It might be tempting to break all these rules and play the old
game. Where the amount of music is minimal and it’s all about
marketing. But if you pursue that avenue it’s like selling
typewriters, like being Facebook, king of the web with an inadequate
mobile strategy, like being Microsoft, making your coin on legacy
objects which are fading in the rearview mirror. The turning point is
now. As for mystery, the web killed that. We’re all in it together.
It’s not about keeping people away, but letting them in. Be thrilled
that anybody cares.
Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,
Who is Bob Lefsetz?
Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being
beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the
issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy
protection, pricing and the music itself.
His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick
Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to EVERYBODY who’s in the music
Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his
stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary
Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels.
“The Lefsetz Letter” has been publishing for over 25 years. First as
hard copy, most recently as an email newsletter and now, for the first
time, in blog form.
FROM GERAUD BLANKS
Media relations Dos and Don’ts
10 things you should/shouldn’t do if you want press coverage:
DOS . . .
- Create a file folder with press materials
- Bio – Keep Bios short and concise; don’t bloviate
- Press release – search for examples of press releases online
- Photo – 300 Dpi, jpeg photos
- Music – MP3s are preferred over Wav and other formats
- Flyer – Only if you have an upcoming performance
- Always include photos – Photos help to secure good placement and are an essential part of promoting your music.
- Use file sharing service – Large files sent to an e-mail is a faux-pas. A simple link that I can download from a trusted site is more convenient.
- Develop an elevator pitch for networking and e-mails – always be prepared to talk about your music. Prepare a short 15 to 30 explanation of what you do.
- Return phone calls and e-mails – Don’t be one of those guys who are impossible to catch up with.
- Contact media at least 3-4 weeks prior to event or album release – Press deadlines are not flexible; give you plenty of time.
- Contact multiple sources; personalize message – Try to make your message custom tailored to the individual.
- Attend networking and industry events – If you’re not schmoozing, you’re losing!
- Develop a list of local, regional and national writers who cover your genre – Don’t waste your time sending materials to people who won’t write about you.
- Contact press whenever you have a worthwhile event – You never know when an editor needs a story to feel space in the paper.
DON’TS . . .
- Making cold calls – break the ice through an e-mail. Most people don’t want to talk on the phone to people they don’t know.
- Sending overly emotional messages – This is business, it’s not personal!
- Talking too much – Writers are people too. Nobody likes a person who goes on endless about themselves. (see: Develop an elevator pitch for networking and e-mails )
- Telling a writer how to do his or her job – This is the quickest way to alienate people.
- Assuming that a writer knows your story or your music – If I know who you are I’ll tell you so.
- Directing a writer to your website or other press for more info – Make a writer’s job as easy for as possible.
- Using a Facebook page with questionable images or text– Your online identity is as important as your real identity.
- Being overly aggressive – It makes you seem desperate and is the second fastest way to alienate people.
- Sending unprofessional materials because that’s all you have – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Wait until you have the time and money to prepare quality music, photos, etc.
- Burning bridges- The most important “don’t” of them all.