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Band Press Kit Cover Letter Example

April 19, 2010

Writing a Cover Letter and Submitting a Press Kit

By David Lowry


Writing a Cover Letter and Submitting a Press Kit

Before you write a cover letter to someone in the entertainment industry, please make sure you research the company to learn all you can.  This will give you a solid understanding of what they do.  The information will help you decide whether or not you actually need the services they offer. Your letter should explain why you would be a good fit for their company.  In previous blogs I have written, I have given details in which an artist can determine if they would need management at the particular point they are at in their career.  An artist should try to figure out through research and phone calls if they are truly ready, or in need of the types of services they are inquiring about.

When writing a cover letter to someone in the entertainment industry, you must first understand a few things about what you bring to the table for them to consider you.  The idea behind the cover letter and press kit you are submitting is to make it as easy as possible for them to review the information about you or your band and to give them the “WOW” factor.  If they have to dig around to find information and if your press kit isn’t attention grabbing and compelling, then they are more likely to pass on it and throw it away.

Your cover letter should be professional and list your strengths. Ask yourself a few questions:  Why do you think you are ready for their services? What is it about you that is unique?  What do YOU have to offer that would make you be worth the investment of time, energy and hard work? Be truthful and positive about what you bring to the table.   The artists represented by the company are a direct reflection on that company, so they want to make sure the artists they work with are professional and understand the business part of the entertainment industry.  Make your letter short, to the point and friendly.  Talk about your experience, fan base, reviews, touring experience and number of upcoming shows.  Go through your material with a fine-tooth comb and be as accurate and professional as possible.

Image is everything and that goes for your press kit!  So make sure it’s professional, complete with a professional CD, photos, one-page bio and other materials listed in my blog titled “The Promotional Kit” http://wp.me/pu8Se-v

Good luck on achieving your dream!

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 9:16 pm and tagged with Acting, Artist Management, Band, Booking Agents, Branding, Commericials, Cover Letter, Entertainers, indie Musicians, management, Media, Music, Music Business, PR, Press Kits, Social Media, The Lowry Agency, Voice Acting, Voice Over, Voice Talent, Voiceover and posted in Entertainment, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

by Kenny Kerner

In the music business, the folder that contains your photo, bio, press clippings and demo tape/CD, is called your press kit or press package. The same package goes to record companies, agents, attorneys and the media. So it better look good and contain everything you need others to know—without giving them a week's worth of reading materials.

When putting together this important package, less is more. Too much to read will make someone impatient. And realistically, what can you say about a brand new act that has no real career? Your press kit should contain the following materials only:

  • A clear, crisp 8x10 photo with artist/band name and contact info.
  • One or two short, positive reviews or press clips.
  • Lyrics to the songs on your tape/CD (stapled together in sequence).
  • A band/artist ID sheet identifying each member, writer and instrument played by each. No need to mention where the band is from or how long they've been floundering around together doing nothing—unless there's a unique angle or story.
  • If you have three or four direct quotes from some very reputable people in the business—managers, producers, artists—include them on a separate quote sheet, but be sure to attribute them correctly.
  • Include a professional looking business card from your manager or representative.
  • Don't forget to include your demo tape/CD, Einstein!
  • Always include a cover letter with every package explaining why you're sending it.

ARTIST PHOTOS
We need to spend a few minutes talking about the photos you're putting in your press packages. Do they really represent you? Do they somehow depict the kind of music you play? Do they look pro?

I have yet to find a single artist who was incapable of somehow finding a photographer to take a few pictures. Everyone has a relative or friend with a camera. It's up to the artist to be creative. You don't need a thousand-dollar photo session—merely one that looks like it cost a thousand dollars. In other words, make it look good for a few bucks.

Do not, for example, stand in front of a forest so we can't distinguish you from the trees. Do not wear a watch or be photographed in front of a calendar so the photo is dated a week later. Do not stand in front of a black curtain or backdrop wearing all black; you'll come out with a head and no body. Keep it simple.

Try to look like the music you're playing. Don't wear rainbow-colored clothes if you're in a metal band—look dark and dirty, like the music. Ozzy Osbourne always looks like his music! The Rolling Stones always look like trouble-making rock & rollers! The Grateful Dead always looked and dressed like hippies on pot! And so did their enormous audience. Remember that you want to help the consumers in identifying you and your music, not confuse them.

COVER LETTERS
As I mentioned earlier, every single press package that goes out must be accompanied by a cover letter explaining why it was sent. Usually, this letter is written by the artist's manager, attorney, or, in some cases, by the leader of the band himself.

Like everything else in your press package, this letter should also be short, to the point, and very pro. It should explain, in a few paragraphs, who you are, why you sent the package and what you expect. To the right you'll see a sample letter.

Six short sentences say it all. Again, you want this person playing the tape and not making paper airplanes out of your press materials.

FOLLOWING UP
Sometimes it will take months to hear from these people—even with follow-up calls. Don't give up. Don't get frustrated. Remember that they're getting the same kinds of packages from hundreds of other people around the world, and you're probably not at the top of their list.

Try to make connections at as many labels as possible so you can submit enough packages and get a fair appraisal of your material. At the very least, you'll be able to reach and speak with an assistant or secretary who'll be able to tell you if your package was received. Almost all labels now log in packages on their computers with a date and the name of the artist.

These press packages are your calling cards for your career in the music business. They can be used to solicit a personal manager, agent, publisher, club gig, record label or just about anyone in the industry. So as long as you're taking the time to put one together, do yourself a favor and do it pro!

Kerner Entertainment
1111 East 11th St. Suite 111
Los Angeles, CA. 91111
Phone/Fax: 310-111-1111


Mr. John Doe
Dover Records
3452 Dover Place
Dover, Colorado 33300

July 3, 1999

Dear John:

As the personal manager of the Los Angeles-based rock band, BIGFOOT, I have enclosed a complete press package and demo for your perusal.

The band is currently drawing about 200 people
show locally and is being played on WXBT and KKLV in Denver.

I feel their songs are well-constructed and radio ready and value your professional input.

I'll give you a call in a few days to be sure
this package arrived. Please don't hesitate to contact me should you need further information. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Kenny Kerner
BIGFOOT Manager

Kenny Kerner is the author of the music business book, "Going Pro," is the head of the Music Business Program at Musicians Institute, is the personal manager of Los Angeles band Cartoon Boyfriend; and is in his sixth year as an active TAXI screener.



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