Whether you’re a filmmaker entering the festival circuit, an indie musician trying to organize a tour, or a small business owner trying to launch your first major product, crafting a high-quality EPK is a critical step toward building an effective promotional strategy for nearly any creative endeavor.
In this post, we’ll help you get started on your own EPK journey by breaking down the fundamentals of electronic press kits and exploring their most essential questions, like what is an EPK, what to put in an EPK, and how to create an EPK for yourself.
Let’s kick things off by digging into a basic electronic press kit definition.
An extremely broad electronic press kit definition might read something like this:
An electronic press kit, more popularly known as an “EPK,” is a package of materials gathered together and distributed to media outlets for promotional purposes.
And that sounds pretty straightforward, right?
But I bet it also sounds pretty vague, huh?
That’s because EPKs are not an achievement in and of themselves.
They’re a means to an end.
To best answer our question- “What is an electronic press kit?”- we actually need to take a step backwards and ask ourselves something more existential first.
We need to take a cue from all the actors out there.
We need to talk about motivation.
What is the purpose behind the electronic press kit? What is an EPK really for?
It’s all about one magic word: Promotion.
“Promotion” is what gives an EPK meaning. “Connection” is what gives an EPK meaning. “Communication” is what gives an EPK meaning.
An EPK is a precision tool for putting yourself out there.
In theory, electronic press kit examples can be drawn from virtually any industry.
If we were to dig deep enough, we could find music press kit examples…
Or film EPK examples...
And even restaurant EPK examples, software EPK examples and dozens more.
Heck, somewhere out there, a professional EPK maker probably has an EPK to promote their business of making EPKs.
However, regardless of the specific industry, the basic function of an electronic press kit remains the same.
Essentially, your EPK is a sales device. It’s an in-depth advertisement for whatever you, your project, or your brand brings to the table. Think of it like a resume or CV on audiovisual steroids, a packet of documents or files designed toward the explicit goal of selling yourself to a target audience.
Depending on the context, the identity of your target audience might be just about anyone.
Bands might need to market themselves to prospective venues or music labels. Filmmakers might need to secure film financing or increase the odds of getting their movie on Netflix. Even this year’s most popular podcasts might need to lure new advertisers from time to time.
In all of the above cases and hundreds (if not thousands) of others, an electronic press kit would be a valuable tool in achieving the desired goal. The details of each EPK would almost certainly change, with a dramatic volume of potential variation seen between each separate instance, but the role of the EPK remains the same.
With that in mind, let’s ask our first question once more: What is an electronic press kit?
In short, an electronic press kit is a package of materials that communicates value.
But that begs a new question:
How do you decide what value to communicate?
If you’re looking to make your own electronic press kit, the critical question to answer is what is an EPK to you?
In other words, when you’re figuring out what to put in an EPK or what it should look like, you have to carefully consider your personal situation.
There are two critical components of this process: your product and your target audience.
By “product,” I’m referring to whatever it is you’re trying to sell, even if it’s not literally a physical product.
In order to craft an effective EPK, you have to first understand the strengths and weaknesses of your product from top to bottom. You have to learn where your product’s value comes from and be willing to explore how that value might be best demonstrated to people who aren’t as familiar with the product as you are.
It’s important and often rewarding to keep an open mind during this process. You may find value in surprising places.
For instance, to create an artist EPK for a painter, you have to be open to more than just the painter’s work. Visual samples and gallery show listings would, of course, be found among what is included in an electronic press kit for the painter, but the EPK would also go beyond that to highlight the painter as an individual. To create an artist EPK, you have to recognize that the artist is the product. Therefore, you have to be open to mining value from the artist as a person, not just an artist.
And that principle applies to just about any type of EPK.
An EPK for Wrapbook, for example, would certainly mention the platform’s unique features and achievements, like Quickbooks integration, the ability to automatically calculate IATSE timecards, and the company’s recent Series A financing of $27M, just to name a few.
But such an EPK would also emphasize that Wrapbook is much more than just a powerful platform for payroll and production management. In fact, more than anything, Wrapbook is a platform created by passionate filmmakers for passionate filmmakers, and our team hustles every single day to make sure it stays that way.
Watch the demo and find out for yourself.
Before you jump to the question of what is included in an electronic press kit, you need to understand whom your electronic press kit is going to be for.
The key is to recognize that your target audience, just like you, has their own job and operates according to their own set of priorities or mandates. If your EPK is going to be effective, it has to communicate your product’s value in a way that appeals to your target audience’s sense of value.
For instance, if you were selling water to a fish, your pitch would sound a lot different than if you were trying to sell that same water to a bird. To a fish, water means breathing and living. To a bird, it probably means dinner.
In each case, the water stays the same, but the sales pitch changes by necessity.
The same goes for EPKs, though I would advise against passing yours out to any wild animals.
Once you have a firm grasp on both your product and your target audience, it’s time to consider exactly what to put in an EPK.
The precise list of what is included in an electronic press kit can vary dramatically according to industry, product, and target audience, but here’s a quick breakdown of some common items you might want to consider:
Relevant statistics are a great place to start in building your EPK. People tend to associate numbers with facts, and facts bring credibility. If you can back up your EPK with impressive stats, your audience will know to take you seriously right off the bat.
Depending on your context, relevant statistics might touch on total sales, followers, downloads, engagement, growth over time, or just about any other metric that you can reliably track.
The cornerstone of a solid EPK should always be the work.
If you’re a musician, you need to include examples of your music. If you’re designing an app, you need to include technical specs or a demo. If you’re on the path to making a documentary, you should include a trailer or a sizzle reel.
The work is what you want your audience to engage with. It’s what you’re selling them, so make sure to provide a compelling taste.
After checking out your EPK, the audience should always want more.
Telling a story and making a personal connection with your audience will bring your EPK to the next level. Generally, this means including biographies of the key players on your team, but it could also mean crafting a narrative presentation of your project or brand’s history.
But with any kind of description in an EPK, one piece of advice reigns supreme:
Keep it short.
High-quality photos are a must-have for nearly any EPK or press release. Publications will use them to promote you, and other audiences will use them to associate an image with your project, brand, or person.
Not everyone is a big fan of smiling for the camera (ahem- yours truly), but an EPK practically demands it.
So book the perfect photo studio, practice your least terrifying grin, and let your EPK develop into something beautiful.
Moving images are the language of the future.
Not all electronic press kit examples include videos, but they’re an increasingly popular component of PR packages in most industries.
In your own EPK, you could include a video introduction, a video promo, a sizzle reel, a trailer, a music video, or anything else that makes sense in your particular set of circumstances.
Why talk yourself up when you could let someone else do it for you?
Press clippings, professional endorsements, and positive reviews are impressive, particularly if their source has a high profile on their own.
There’s a reason Hanes still pays Michael Jordan to help them sell underwear.
Branding items include logos, graphics, or other assets.
Like high-quality photos, including branding items in your EPK will help communicate a brand identity to your target audience and provide additional promotional tools to any interested publications.
The inclusion of important upcoming dates in your EPK creates a sensation of both immediacy and involvement.
Dates can bring the audience out of their calendar and into yours, offering a chance at interactivity in the process. Dates can act as a kind of future resume that compels the audience to engage with your project in the present moment.
Important dates might include shows, screenings, product releases, or other appearances.
Links are a great way to draw the audience deeper into your world.
Consider providing links to your main website, social media feeds, or upcoming event pages. If you’re an artist of any kind, you could also link to a broader portfolio or content stream.
Oh, and don’t forget to include your contact info.
What good is an EPK, if your audience can’t reach you after reading it?
Adobe Spark and Wix both offer a variety of customizable EPK examples and templates that any user can reuse, remix, and riff on to their heart’s content. Of course, using a template EPK costs money, but so does building one from scratch.
If the latter is your goal, we recommend casting a wider net for inspiration.
Electronic press kit examples can be found all over the internet, and it’s generally best to go straight to the source.
We recently interviewed the filmmakers who made the SXSW documentary, We Are As Gods, and their EPK is a great example of balancing promotion with the relevance of their main character.
Or it might be helpful to watch videos of fellow musicians who break down the process:
The bottom line is to find what works for you. Seek out electronic press kit examples that intrigue your sensibilities and communicate the kind of value you wish to convey.
EPKs are an essential part of any public relations strategy.
But it isn’t the only part.
To learn more about marketing in the modern world, check out our conversations with Michael Dos Santos of Versatile Studios and the innovative minds behind the HELO marketing firm.
At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.