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[Dianne de Las Casas' Story Biz Blog] Awesome Online Press Kits; March 24, 2008

AWESOME ONLINE PRESS KITS
By Dianne de Las Casas

If you want to promote yourself effectively, a press kit is a must. But printed press kits can be time-consuming and costly. Want a better solution? Welcome to the digital revolution. The Internet and the World Wide Web have made access to artists so much easier. Want to get an editor’s or journalist’s attention? Create an awesome online press kit.

Editors Can Access You at the Click of a Button
Editors are under deadline. They want to access your information as quickly as possible. If you send an editor a paper news release, to print it, they will have to either scan the information or retype it. Ugh! It’s much faster for media outlets to download the information they need. It’s easier to click, copy, and cut information out of your online press kit from your website.

You Save Time and Money
In a traditional press kit, you would include a photo or composite card, a poster or flyer, your press release, copies of your articles, a bio, and testimonials. With an online press kit on your website, all of these things can be made available as downloadable files in either a word processing or .pdf (portable document file) file, or both (I do both so that people can have the option). The person accessing the information will do the work, downloading the files and printing them out. You save the time of putting together a traditional kit and you save money because you don’t have the printing and mailing expenses.

What Should I Include in My Online Press Kit?
Your website online press kit should include everything you include in your paper press kit:
- Photos (headshots, action shots, CD and book covers)
- Flyer
- Articles
- Press Releases
- Bio
- Testimonials (can be a separate page)
- Audio and/or Video Files

Title it “Press Kit,” “News Room,” “Media Kit,” or something that will clearly identify the area as a press kit to the media.

Great Examples of Online Press Kits
Check out the online press kits on the websites of some of my favorite artists:

- Jay O’Callahan (storyteller) – http://www.ocallahan.com
- Monty Harper (children’s musician) – http://www.montyharper.com
- Johnette Downing (children’s musician) – http://www.johnettedowning.com

What If I Don’t Have a Website?
There are other online solutions for you if you don’t have a website (though I highly recommend you start developing one!). SonicBids is a great service that allows performing artists to establish an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). For $49.95/year standard service, you can upload an image, a bio, audio clips, a photo gallery, media reviews, and a calendar. That’s less than $5.00 per month. If you upgrade to their next level, you can upload video clips, a stage plot, and a tech rider. The wonderful thing about SonicBids is that you can send out your EPK by email or drop your EPK into hundreds of promoters’ in-boxes. There is so much industry information on SonicBids that it’s almost overwhelming. You can check out my Sonic Bids EPK at http://www.sonicbids.com/DiannedeLasCasas. By the way, I am not receiving any promotional kickbacks from SonicBids (I wish). I just think it’s a cool service that performing artists should know about.

Being accessible to the media and presenters means more press coverage and more gigs. So what are you waiting for?

Editor’s Note: Dianne de Las Casas is an author and award-winning storyteller who also specializes in marketing and business solutions for performing artists. The Story Biz Handbook: Managing Your Storytelling Career from the Desk to the Stage is a forthcoming title with Libraries Unlimited.

Tags: Biz, Business, Professional, Story, Storyteller

Views: 35

Replies to This Discussion

David Joe:

I am still a big advocate of traditional press kits but you just can't send them out to everyone as they are very costly. The online press kit is a great tool to access more people. I find that many media outlets prefer to be able to access press kit information online. Many of my clients also create promotional materials based on my online press kit.

Warmly,
Dianne
Thank you for all of this wonderful information about marketing. I am really happy to find the info about the online "Press Kit" with examples event. I don't feel so "out there" anymore.
Penny
Recording and Photo releases

Dianne I have video with folks in it because we film during performances.

If I want to share them with others do I need releases from the whole audience or just folks that one could recognize?

Do you have a release I can have them sign before the show or do I need to just post and mention that we are recording.

I want to do this right and more of us are recording and posting to the web for promotion every day.
Any legal or just good old sage advice?

Learnin' Vernon
Vernon:

It is prudent to have people who appear on your videos sign releases. However, if you are doing a public performance (open to the public in a public place) and you place a notice that the performance is being recorded, you are covered. But the best policy to follow is to have audience members sign a release.

Warmly,
Dianne
There have been some occasions where I have had to decide between two performers who were both good choices. In a few of those instances, the ones with the most complete online press kit were hired because I could get a better sense of the act (through photos and videos). High-quality photos are particularly useful, since we can use them on our flyers, cable access channel, etc.

- Jesse the librarian

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