Having an informative and professional promo package can be the thing that sets you apart from other bands and artists, whether you’re approaching record labels, promoting your own music, trying to get a gig, or if you’re an indie record label trying to drum up some interest in your bands.
Choosing the Music
The point of your promo package is, of course, to get your music heard, so choosing the music to include in the package requires some thought. Whether you’re trying to get the attention of a label, an agent, the press or radio stations, remember that these people receive A LOT of music every day. They can’t possibly sit down and listen to every album from start to finish. Make a short demo cd or USB with your best two or three songs or QR code to your social media, preferably songs that have strong beginnings, so they capture the listener before they can push “next.”
Write the Bio
Your promo package should include a short artist bio. The people who do decide to work with you on the basis of your package are going to need some useful information about you and your music.
- where is your band located
- Your band’s experience
- Your inspiration for the band
- What is your sound
Write a Press Release
If you’re sending a demo to a label or trying to get a gig, you may not have a specific event to promote that requires a press release. However, if you’re trying to promote a new album or a tour, your promo package should include a press release detailing the specifics of the thing you are trying to promote. The same rules that apply to band bios apply to press releases—keep it short and include useful information instead of “clever” fluff. Remember, the point is for someone to read that press release and use it to write something about your band.
If you’re sending your promo package to magazine, website, or newspaper, make sure to include a colour photo in your package. A hard copy of the photo or a disk with a photo file will work equally well. The media is much more likely to run a photo if they don’t have to chase it down, so including one in your package dramatically increases the chance they will actually run a photo. You should always send a colour photo because many publications demand colour photos, and the others can always print the color photo in black and white. Be sure to include the photo credit information.
The Personal Touch
Adding a short, personal note to each package is a nice touch, especially if the package is going to someone you have had dealings with in the past or to someone whose attention you are especially anxious to receive. If you have any promotional material, like stickers or badges, throw a few into every package as well.
Make sure your contact information is clearly printed on your demo, your bio, and your press release. You can include a phone number, but you should never ONLY include a phone number. People will be hesitant to call you; include your email address and you will be much more likely to get a response to your package.
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