What a band should put in their press pack

There’s more music press around than ever before and yet it can still be hard work to get your music covered online or in print. Take some of the chance out of it by checking out our guide to creating a great press pack for your next release.

Getting your music reviewed on a website or in a magazine, or getting your band featured in some other way, can help you tracks in front of new people and help to build a reputation for promoters and others. But even though there’s more music sites around than ever before competition is high and you need to find ways to stand out in a the overflowing inbox of journalists and bloggers and once you have you need to make sure they have all the info they need. Enter the carefully crafted perfect press pack.

If you’ve researched the submission guidelines for the publication and – even better – formed a genuine relationship with a writer based on what they’re already covering you’re in the best position to get your email opened. When that happens you want all the information needed to be provided in the right way and not to miss anything – doing so might mean you get passed over or something vital is missing from any coverage.

Creating a press pack for your band

Here’s our guide to what to include in the press pass for your next music release.

Introduce the band

This might sound obvious but it’s worth making sure the name of the band and the name of the release are clear, and you’ve included where you’re from / based as well as listed out the members. When working as a journalist I see this stuff is often missed as it’s so obvious / boring to you but for a writer it’s the basic detail they need for clarity.

If there’s a bit of a story to the release or how you came together, or how you work as a band then include this too – but the golden rule here is to keep it short. You can include an additional biography sheet as an attachment if you want to provide a full history or a deeper delve into your musical psyche but it’s not a must.

You might want to include a For Fans Of (FFO) line to give a flavour of your sound – but make sure this is truly representative and not just a wish list. If you’re not sure leave it out and let the journalist decide.

Include previous coverage

If you’ve had reviews or airplay already then include two or three choice quotes – and try to keep these fresh. It’s also worth including any impressive playlisting you’ve had – for example on a Spotify curated playlist or one with a good number of followers – and mentioning any shows or festival bookings associated with the release.

Provide great band photos and artwork

If you’re approaching an online publication remember they are likely to need both a landscape and portrait orientation image of the band, as well as a copy of the artwork, and these should be web optimised (at the right resolution for use online). For print, you need to supply at a much higher resolution.

Rather than attaching to the email or embedding them all in your one-sheet consider uploading a selection of clearly named images to Dropbox or similar and providing a link. Always – ALWAYS – include the photo credit in the name or metadata, and in the body of your email and one-sheet too.

Streams, downloads or physical copy?

The way you provide your music may need to differ by publication. For example, if you’re looking for a review in a print publication which specialises in vinyl releases you’re going to need to send them a copy of the record.

If you’re approaching online publications they may give guidance on formats on their submission page, may prefer to be approached through services like SubmitHub, or individual writers may prefer certain formats. I know writers who won’t review from anything but a physical copy and others who want everything as a stream in the first instance – it’s another reason it’s worth getting to know writers and what they want.

As a good rule of thumb it’s worth including a link to a Dropbox folder where MP3 or WAV files can be found, offering a download code for Bandcamp (where your tracks should be private until release day) and a link to a private Soundcloud (again, this should be private until release day – but make sure you supply the embed code in the email too). Got a video? Make it unlisted on YouTube and supply the link and the embed code in the email.

Remember your links

Finally it’s worth including additional information publications may want as standard – don’t make them work to find you online but include links to your social media profiles – Bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook etc – within the email. And make sure each of the places you’re providing a link to are up to date and show your complete information, and vitally – are obviously being used to share with people and don’t have a last post from six months ago and tumbleweeds ever since.

If you have live dates around the release then make sure they’re included too – date, venue, city, support bands / supporting information, and ticket links. The more you provide to a publication in a ready-to-go format the more likely it is to be included.

And that’s it – you’re all set.

Ready to get your music in front of music journalists and bloggers?

If you’re ready to take control of your career and find success for your music on your terms then we’re here to help. We can help you plan for your next release through helping you find your audience, build engaged fans, gain coverage in the music press and airplay on radio as well as link you in to a national network of DIY promoters and help you record and release your music.

Book your free 15 minute discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay where she will find out more about you and the ways we can work together. Book now – no obligation. Or check out other ways we can work together.

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Sarah Lay

I'm the founder of We Are Noble and Wild, co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an artist manager, music journalist, PR and author.
I'm a fan of black coffee, the west coast of Scotland, crows, conversations and connections. I'm in love with possibilities.
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