Scoring press coverage for your music is often challenging. There’s a sharply limited amount of press attention to go around, so you have to fight for your share. This is a very relationship-focused part of the business, so it’s vital to avoid faux pas. When you start courting music journalists, the cautionary advice offered here can protect you from common pitfalls. Steer clear of these “dont’s” and you’ll stand a better chance of securing the media attention your music deserves.
Don’t: Deliver TMI
When you’re trying to stir up a journalist, it’s very tempting to tell the story of your whole musical career or even your whole life. Who knows what will resonate with a given writer? What you want to avoid is hiding your core message under a deluge of random information. Approach journalists with a specific goal and arm yourself with highlights that support the particular message you’ve chosen to send. The last thing a busy journalist wants to do is sift through a War and Peace-sized biography on you and your band when she just needs to write a few hundred words on your next gig. Deliver information that makes a writer’s job easier rather than harder. Oversharing risks making the wrong impression. You don’t want to start off your music media coverage by making journalists think getting to know you is a hassle!
Keep all of your communication with journalists focused on the project at hand. When you’re spreading news via press release, stick to single pages. You should also consider a professional music blog submission service to get publicity like this from SMVT.
Don’t: Reveal Frustration
When you take it upon yourself to run your own press campaign, you can expect to get ignored a lot. It’s a process that naturally generates frustration, and it’s completely fair to express that feeling. Resist the urge to vent to the journalists that DO respond to you! You cannot argue your way into favorable press coverage. Show off a nasty enough attitude, and you can find yourself falling into a never-ending spiral of being ignored. Keep all your contact with the press as professional as possible, even when you’re getting sick of unfavorable responses.
Remember that your difficulties in getting heard will reverse themselves if you hit it big. You’ll have your pick of journalists begging for access!
Don’t: Pester Journalists
A press campaign involves following up with journalists, and sometimes it gets hard to get back in touch with them. Don’t “solve” the problem by making a pest of yourself. How eager would you be to respond to somebody sending you emails by the bucketful and calling your phone hourly? Bear in mind that journalists have lots of different people demanding their attention. Keep your messages short and to the point. It’s a good idea to include your preferred method of contact in your messages. You can also keep the relationship clear by letting journalists know in advance when you next plan to follow up.
Don’t: Get Discouraged
It’s never easy to get music the press attention it deserves, not even for professional PR experts. While you’re bound to run into some dead ends in your quest for media coverage, you shouldn’t obsess over them. As you get more familiar with the landscape, you’ll develop a better sense of which writers and outlets fit your music. Direct experience is the only way to cultivate this valuable skill. Stick with your work and have faith that you will eventually secure the results you’re looking for.
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