Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Press Kit: What On Earth Is This?

This is the outside of the folder

1. Part 1: Marketing 101: Questions
2. Part 2: Marketing 101: Logos 
3. Part 3: Marketing 101: The Business Card
4. Part 4: Marketing 101: The Brochure
5. Part 5: Marketing 101: The Press Kit
6. Cohesion: Why Does It Matter?
7. In Conclusion

When I first began in this business twenty-nine years ago, I attended my first Center East showcase. 

I knew I needed to offer the PTA reps something, and I was pretty sure my small business card would get lost as they picked up larger offerings from other artists.

Two days before the event I got an idea.

I went to Kinkos, rented some computer time, and created seven or eight documents with pithy quotes and what I felt were grabbing titles like "From the Front Lines". I also printed a price sheet and a short biography. (I didn't have much to put on that bio at that point!) Every single sheet had my contact info on it so that if the pages were passed around anybody could reach me if they had only one piece of paper from the packet.

Each sheet was printed on a different color of paper. I also printed a couple of recommendation letters.

I took one of each sheet, put them in large manilla envelopes, stapled my business card to the top left corner, and closed the packet with the metal clasp.

For years, that was what I handed to prospective clients. I always called it the Pr Packet. Turns out  there is an actual name for that thing. It is a press kit.

Press Kit - A package of promotional material about a product, candidate, or service 

There are some beautiful things about a great press kit.

1)  It does the talking for you
2)  It should give people a quote mine.
3)  It should link people to your online presence
4)  It should make you look uber professional
5)  It should give a feel for who you are and what you do - vibe, I think I'm saying it should have your vibe
6)  It should make people feel excited about what you offer
7)  It should be a visual feast
8)  It should have practical information about your services and products
9)  It should have biographical info
10) It should sell you well

When The David and I had all of our marketing materials overhauled, I sent that manilla envelope off to the group who designed our new look. They took my various marketing sheets and turned them into something pretty cool.

I now have an updated press kit. My little sheets of multi-colored paper have grown up!

Here is another one.

The various sheets are different sizes. They fit inside the folder which has my bio and other pertinent information. The sheets are all focused on the various services I offer.

The business card has its own little holder

 "From the Front Lines" is actually the smallest piece. It goes at the bottom. We were getting new ones printed when I took this pic!

Fully loaded! Brochure, card, and sheets

My biography is printed on the left inside panel, as well as some more info about me

What is in my press kit?

-Pricing for storytelling
-Info about my books
-Pricing for my CDs
-A sheet for Workshops
-A sheet with fun quotes for promotional use
-I always put three or four recommendation letters behind the last sheet
-A business card
-A Brochure
-The back and inside cover of the kit has information about who I am and what I do.
-I have a mix of quick pick information and more in-depth information to mine for introductions, or to introduce me to a panel of potential clients.

I keep a couple of these with me at all times. During the summer when I work in libraries, I give out a handful of them when teachers or other interested parties approach me after shows and ask how they could get me at their venue or event.

So, do you need one of these things?

It is very handy, but like everything beyond your business card, you don't have to have one...but it is very handy!

Having some kind of more in-depth kit you can give to potential buyers might not be a bad thing.

If the brochure is like a giant business card, then your press kit is like a really involved brochure!

Now, the truth is, lots of artists have virtual press kits. They are way cheaper as you have no printing costs. I have included some links to articles that have ideas about how to put a press kit together.

1. This article offers some creative ways to present a press kit.

2. A Press Kit idea for a band...this could also work for any artist who creates recordings.

3. You can actually design your own press kit on this site! 

4. Another online portfolio creator for a recording artist. Looked interesting.

5. This is a how-to for Indie films, but I thought it was interesting, so I threw it into the mix.

So, now you know what it is and how we use it. You can make one virtually, have one printed, or you could forgo the whole thing!

If you decide to create one, there are lots of options. Your press kit could be an elaborate affair, or it could be simple. Either way, it is another potential tool in the arsenal of getting your name out there and expanding your bottom line!

Happy Marketing!

Ahem, do you remember me asking you to keep your eye on that little frog? I hope you did! We'll be talking about him in the next post!

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