The moral of the story is quite simply. Don't be a dick. Well, there are other things too. But mostly, just don't be a dick.
Publicity is one of your most powerful tools when it comes to raising your profile in the music industry.
More effective than advertising, an editorial (i.e. an interview, review or article written by a journalist) is the holy grail of credibility. Someone of reputable, arguably objective status, deems your work worthy enough to mention and, if you play your cards right, feature. Muchos kudos, right? Not to mention the potential for increasing your audience-reach.
Whilst accepting that certain publications require paid advertising to receive editorial coverage (which diminishes, to a degree, the cred of the mag and artists featured in my opinion), securing quality publicity should top the list of any musician’s promotional strategy.
If receiving publicity is the holy grail, think of the journalist as Indiana Jones. These crusaders work to deadlines and have stories coming at them left, right and centre – you need to make sure yours is one of them.
So, here are my hot tips for a happy ending when it comes to getting your story in the media:
- Do your research. Know the specific publications you’d like to be in, their journalists and the kinds of stories they like to write. Tailor and pitch your story accordingly.
- Have an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). A one pager online, complete with everything a journo could need in ONE mouse-click: killer bio; embedded songs and videos; downloadable MP3s; online links (socials, iTunes, youtube etc); downloadable high resolution promo images (horizontal and portrait) & album artwork; contact info.
- Give an angle. For the most part, the fact that you have new music isn’t the story. How many artists are releasing new material, afterall? Work out what it is that makes your story different and worth sharing. Don’t be afraid to draw on something personal. The story behind the artist, the song, the music, build an interesting angle into your release/ launch strategy etc.
- Offer a point-of-difference. Just like you, publications and their writers are trying to set themselves apart. It shows respect and consideration to offer journos exclusive stories (that is you won’t share it with anyone else until they run it first); a unique angle; or as seemingly simple as a new photograph. I once dropped an interview from a mag because the band gave me the promo shot they’d been using in all press for the last three months. My readers would have passed it over as old news.
- Last, but by no means least, don’t be a dick. And, these are the words from my editor! Please, if a journalist contacts you for more information DO NOT tell them to go look at your website or be tardy in reply. This is a HUGE opportunity for you to build a relationship with the journo, as well as give them ammo to write more about you and when it comes to media space more is definitely MORE!
By Kylie Cobb