Press releases aren't given a lot of respect these days, but they are still used daily by the media as sources even when left unacknowledged. Though they are only one publicity tools for musician and music marketers, they remain an important one that is unfortunately abused regularly. The following 10 tips will help you write press releases that are more likely to be read and used by the media.
10 Music Press Release Tips
1. Get to the point, fast.
2. Adopt a neutral style.
3. Include a named quote.
4. Present lists as a list (not a table, and avoid tabs if possible).
5. Push anything but the core information to the end – what old school PRs call the 'notes for editors' section.
6. Always include a photo (or maybe a link to one).
7. Keep layout simple and image-lite.
8. Think about what format you’ll provide it in – NOT PDF!
9. Always include a date, and make any embargo very clear.
10. Make sure contact information is correct.
You'll have to check out the article for their reasoning but these tips ring true from a writer's perspective. For example, I periodically receive releases in PDF form (Tip #8) and when I copy and paste something it ends up having lots of weird formatting and adding to my work load. Same for tables (Tip #4).
Adopting a neutral style (Tip #2) is also important. When I was in hip hop blogging I regularly received press releases about musicians who would, in the words of the publicists, "undoubtedly soon be topping the charts" and other such claims. Believe me, you don't want your first look by a member of the press to immediately start their eyes rolling.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.