One indispensable tool in any musician's kit is the EPK. A word often thrown around by music industry pro's, publicists and managers, the term 'EPK' is a little confusing for many, especially those newer to the industry. If that's you, then fear not as we're here to cast light on this mystery term, why it's used and even more importantly, how to make one.
What Is An EPK?
Let's start with the basics. What is an EPK? Quite simply, EPK stands for Electronic Press Kit. Emerging talent (from new bands, to solo artists and everything in between), will find that having an electronic press kit is a great way of collating all of their promotional materials in one space.
What Is An EPK Used For?
As an independent musician releasing music in an over-saturated industry, an EPK helps you to cut through the noise. If you're an artist looking to attract the attention of press, radio stations, playlist curators, collaborators, event organises, managers, labels and more, then having an electronic press kit is the best way of firing over your artist information to them.
What To Include In Your EPK
So you have a ton of press shots, song releases, and career highlights (if you're lucky). And yet, collating that information is key. That means being selective. Otherwise, your EPK is going to be overkill, and it might be side-lined by busy music pros who simply don't have time to check yours out.
Organize your EPK into sections to make it easy for recipients to find the information they need. Write compelling and concise descriptions for each section. Use a professional tone and highlight key achievements, unique selling points, and any relevant background information.
Common sections include:
About: Artist/band biography and background information.
Music: Showcase your best tracks or music samples.
Videos: Embed or link to music videos, live performances, and interviews.
Photos: High-quality press photos in various poses and styles.
Press: Include press releases, interviews, reviews, and news articles. You might tailor your EPK to include info about your latest, upcoming single or tour. This would be a good use of an EPK, for sure.
Tour: List past tour dates, upcoming shows, and notable performances.
Contact: Provide contact information for booking, management, and public relations.
Media Files: Ensure that all media files (photos, videos, music) are of high quality and easily downloadable. Provide different formats (e.g. JPEG for photos, MP3 for music) to accommodate different needs.
What Is An EPK? - EPK Examples
In a digital age, having a press kit to hand that's easy to include in a DM or email is the way forward. Gone are the days of sending off CD's and info to label execs or PR companies via post. Not only is it more environmentally-friendly to host your press kit digitally, it is hands down the most welcomed format by industry pro's these days. It's also cheap for independent artists to create, and super simple to send out. What's more, you can collate all of your information in one place in a format you can choose and control at the click of a button, editing as and when you have new music coming out, or an upcoming tour on the horizon. Where you choose to create and host your EPK is entirely down to personal preference. Let's look at some different EPK examples by format.
What Is An EPK? - Website-hosted EPK example
Your own website
At Decent, we'd recommend creating and hosting your EPK on a private a page on your website that's only accessible to those with a link to it. On this page, you can then create your EPK with the functionality to embed audio and video players. You could have a special password, giving a sense of exclusivity to your EPK.
Alternatively, you can use EPK-specific online platforms that offer templates and customization options, allowing you to create your Electronic Press Kit on their site. This can be good if you don't have your own website or don't want to go through the effort of designing one there. These EPK-hosting platforms include ReverbNation, Sonicbids and Bandzoogle.
What Is An EPK? - PDF-download EPK example
You can create your EPK using graphic design software like Adobe InDesign or Canva and send it out as a pdf download. Some of the above sites also allow you to automatically download in PDF format.
What is an EPK versus a 'press release'?
You may have heard the term 'press release' thrown around too. A press release is a subset of an Electronic Press Kit rather than something similar. It's the text that explains your latest project or news. You could include this within your EPK if you so wish, especially if you're sending out your press kit to promote an upcoming release. Perhaps you might even include a downloadable copy of your latest press release in PDF form, hosted on your Electronic Press Kit.
In fact, tailoring your EPK towards your latest project or news is a great way of making use of an EPK. You can edit your press kit to include information each time you have a new release or upcoming tour for instance.
Top 3 EPK Essentials
1. Make Your EPK User-friendly
Whichever Electronic Press Kit format you choose, make sure it's user-friendly. Think about striking that balance between something that is visually appealing and on-brand, yet that is also clear and easy to digest for the recipient.
2. Keep Your EPK Up-to-date
This leads to our final point... make sure to keep your Electronic Press Kit up-to-date. As you achieve new milestones, release new music, or have new press coverage, make sure to update your EPK accordingly.
3. Ensure Your EPK Is On Brand
The bottom line is to curate your EPK carefully. Think about what you're including, and how you're presenting that information. Which fonts, colours, photos are you using? Are they on brand and easy-to-read? Remember that your EPK is a representation of your brand, so invest time and effort into creating a professional and engaging package that accurately showcases your talents and accomplishments.
You've got this... Now go and get yourself some attention!