Press releases are still one of the most effective ways of spreading the word about your band.
Getting the attention of the press can make the difference between a packed venue and an empty room, and it’s the reason why good publicists have successful careers.
If you’re planning on writing a music press release yourself, here are a few simple tips to help get you started:
Find Your Focus
An effective press release will be explicit as to what the artist’s intention or message is. Before you start writing, figure out exactly what your goal is for the release. Are you looking for an album review? Do you want an interview, or coverage for your tour?
Simply announcing your new album, video, tour plans, and your sweet band merch, is vague as to what you’re trying to accomplish. These things can all be mentioned, (see point 3) but select one goal as the specific focus of your release.
Give an Angle
We touched on this in our post about pitching bloggers, but the same standard applies for a general press release. It’s awesome that you have a new album, but so do a million other bands, and they’re all pitching the same writers as you. Offer an angle that will separate you from the pack.
Did you work with a well-known engineer? Did your lead singer just get off tour with another band? Was your album recorded in a submarine?
This doesn’t always need to be mind-blowing info. Maybe your album was funded by baking-drives, or maybe everyone in the band has profound tennis skills. Give the press release an angle that a writer can use to turn into a story.
Heavy Up Front
Let’s assume that despite all your hard work, the writers you target don’t read every word of your release (insert shock here!). Include all heavy hitting information (see point #1) in the headline or first paragraph.
A good release will give relevant information about a band: background info, accomplishments, etc., but that can wait until the second or third paragraph. Attention spans are short and you want to hit the reader with your message right off the bat.
Remember, a press release is about news. It’s not about being overly wordy or descriptive in your language. Creative is good, but not at the expense of clouding up your message. If you’re going to throw in some creative copy, make sure your message stays on point.
Content To Include
Press Quotes– they give a sense of legitimacy to an artist, and writers tend to pay more attention if they see that their peers have written about you. Often a great press quote will be included right underneath the headline, or at the top of an article. Otherwise, a list of quotes is given after the body of the release.
Content Links– the fact that most press releases are sent digitally these days makes it easy to link directly to your content. Include your website, social networks, and links to any media players (YouTube channel, bandcamp page, etc.). Make SURE the links work before you send!
Contact Info– Your work could be all for naught if you don’t include a way for the reader to get a hold of you. Always include a name, email, and phone number that can be used as a band contact.
Have some great press release tips? Include them in the comments below!