**Note to reader: I refer to Electronic Press Kits and Digital Promos as the same thing**So, you have a fresh slab of music from your newest Artist that you are positive the world will love. You know that with the viral nature of the webzine/blogsphere, every review and writeup you get can compound over time and give your music great exposure. Your Artist has a MySpace page and now you are ready to take your pre-release promotion strategy to the next level. Traditional methods of promotion, like manufacturing 1000 CDs with branded cardboard sleeves, printing 1000 information sheets and then all of that postage from mailing the packages out to the media is way too expensive and time consuming. You heard that many record labels are beginning to go digital with their press kits. What's that all about?Let's start out by agreeing that your Artist worked really hard on their music and Journalists work very hard on publishing good content. Music-related websites, magazines and radio stations can't survive without fresh music to talk about and at the same time you depend on their publications for exposure.With a good electronic press kit, there needs to be a healthy balance of security and easy consumption so that both sides feel fullfilled.So what goes into an electronic press kit that has successful returns?1. Journalists have said the biggest benefit from getting a physical promo in the mail, is the fact that they can page through the CD booklet, read the lyrics and look at the pictures. Your electronic press kit should support photo and video galleries. Take a few minutes and scan that CD booklet in so that Journalists can get a good sense of the total package.2. Even though most electronic press kits have an area on the webpage for a "general description," attach an information sheet to the promo. Information/bio sheets can easily be printed and if they are branded professionally, it shows the seriousness of the Artist as well as adding weight to the total package.3. If your press kit supports streaming only, don't expect to get a big return. That's like giving a Journalist an appetizer to taste, when what they really need, is to eat a full meal and let it digest properly over time and away from the dinner table.4. Going along with #3, your press kit should have multiple methods of consumption. That includes, streaming, zip-file album download, individual track downloads and podcasts. Give the Journalist some options based on their personal preference.5. Make your press kit easy to find. Most likely, you will be inviting the media to view your press kit by way of email. Make sure their login experience is as painless as possible and make the download links easy to find. Let them download the music without too many hurdles to jump over, eg. requiring a rating or review before they can download. Give them the music fast and let them go off and do their thing; every Journalist consumes and reviews differently.6. Now onto security. Record labels, in this day and age, you would be foolish not to watermark your tracks. There are high-end watermarking technologies out there that are not only inaudible, but very hard to get past when re-encoded. Inaudible watermarks have a 0% interference factor when listening to the music, yet they are powerful enough to contain data that can pinpoint a leaker. Watermarking should be as common as the locks on your house's front door.7. Efficiency is much easier with a digital promo versus mailing out discs to the media. Your promo administration software should support tracking and reports. Use the tracking capabilities to be aware of who is and isn't writing about your artists. If you find Journalists that are downloading the kits but not holding their end of the bargain, confront them about it or remove them from your contact list all together. This sure beats the traditional method of mailing out the promo and then wondering if it made it to the destination.8. Last but not least, if a Journalist received an early email invitation to download an album, they were in and out of the download process within painless minutes and after tracking, you found out they put time into a writeup (good or bad), send them a quick email and thank them. A little praise goes a long way, and you can bet they'll be in line to consume your next electronic press kit.
Tags: electronic press kit, digital promo
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