Why Musicians Should Have More Patience When Securing Press Coverage
Some artists will tell you that finding press coverage for your music is easier than ever, and while this may in some sense be true, the reality is that just because someone is willing to give you coverage, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will help your career any. Here we delve into why artists need to exercise patience in finding the right place to promote their next release.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
Anyone can find someone to post about their music, but finding the right place to promote your next release takes time.
The state of music is pretty wild right now. There are more artists than ever releasing more music than ever onto platforms that more people can access than anything that came before. The opportunities for exposure and fan creation are limitless, yet meaningful engagement and promotion are increasingly rare. People are distracted, and who can blame them?
The music discourse is increasingly splintered. There are countless blogs and podcasts and YouTube channels claiming to know what you should be listening to, but most struggle to retain an audience as much as the artists they support. Even the biggest publications, like Rolling Stone and Alternative Press, are struggling to stay on top of everything in today’s marketplace. The reasons for this are numerous, but they largely boil down to being driven by what gets clicks over what is most important or engaging. New artists and songs from unknown talent generate far less traffic than the latest insta-update from an arena headliner. That is a hard truth pill to swallow, but it’s nonetheless true.
Some artists will tell you it has never been easier to get press coverage, and in some respects that may be true. There are an infinite number of outlets in existence, and if you email enough of them you are bound to find several who are willing to post about your latest endeavors. However, posting alone does not benefit an artist. You’ve heard the question about whether or not a tree falling in the woods makes a sound if no one is around to hear it and the same applies here. If no one is reading the blog that posts about your music, does it matter that the post happened?
As a journalist myself, young artists often share songs and videos with me that they hope will attract attention from the press. The key, I tell them, is to make as big of an impression with the initial release as possible. A song may live forever online, but if people don’t notice your talent right away the likelihood that material takes off at any point in the future is incredibly low.
Generally speaking, artists looking to premiere a song or video need to be more patient in their hunt for coverage. Everyone wants to share everything right now, but a speedy release does nothing if the content isn’t properly supported. My advice is to allow up to six weeks to find and secure an outlet to share your content. That way, musicians can find the outlet that best suits their material and, hopefully, they can work with the writer preparing their coverage to create the best article possible. Maybe there can be a digital campaign that teases the premiere for a week before the material drops or maybe the song or video being shared can be coupled with an interview that shares insight into the artist’s career.
Artists should treat every update as the biggest thing that has happened to their career to date. You can’t expect consumers to feel strongly about your latest activity if you don’t feel the same. If the press for your next release is rushed or sloppy or underwhelming, the impression it makes on consumers will not be good. We’re talking about your art, after all, and that is an extension of how people view you. Take your time, plan everything as much as possible, and position your next release to be the one that changes everything.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.