This post from Music Globalization might seem to just be a few ideas on how to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ out of your press kit – which it does admirably.
But, it’s more than that because the tips delve into what your press kit is saying about you, your music and your band – and gives insight into what the ‘players’ receiving it are going to think about you.
For example, anyone in the industry will read a lot into what you’ve listed as your tour dates (see the piece), but that doesn’t mean that you need to make it up. What you need to do is have a touring plan that builds you an audience and sees you covering some geographical area worthy of note. Do it, then you can put it in your press kit and impress those you need on your side.
Read the post with that idea of applying the tips to your band first so that you can then write about them – it’s like a microcosm of what you need to do to get noticed by the established industry. Even if you are 100% DIY, and may never need a press kit as such, these tips will help you build a more effective presence and fanbase.
And for a more trad view on what should go in there (for pushing the boat out and appealing to the ‘established industry’) – try this article.
My take – most bands don’t need a press kit most of the time! You will want somehing to send to venues and promoters to get gigs (but a link can often do this), and for everything else, as a DIY musician, your site should be able to do all the talking. I’d only ever send one to someone you’ve already connected with, and I’d tailor it as in point 1 of the main article – which is great advice.
But, the alternative take is that you never know where one might land and what chance that might create and so liberally sending them out has it’s proponents too!