6 Steps To Writing The Perfect Music Press Release
Living, as we are, in the fast-paced era of social media marketing, a conventional press release may seem antiquated to some music marketers. The reality is far different however, and a well-crafted press release can be just what your band needs.
Guest post by Aimee Laurence
In an age of influencers and social media superstars, you could be fooled into thinking that sending a press release to a music media contact is as outdated as sending a telegram.
A good press release with a well thought out ‘hook’ could actually be the secret weapon you and your band are in need of.
Don’t Reinvent the Press Release
Press releases follow a particular format for a very simple reason. Editors and journalists are busy people who receive hundreds, if not thousands, of press releases each week. The format of a press release lets them read quickly for the information they want and to judge if there is a story that they want to pursue. Anything else will tick them off and get you thrown on the reject pile.
“Understand the importance of the press release title. A title should be short and factual. Something like ‘York’s Newest Rap Act To Headline Leeds Festival’ gives a clear picture of what the release is about and why it’s interesting,” suggests Flora Smith, a PR writer at Best Writing Services and Writing Populist.
Keep It Simple
A press release is always laid out from top to bottom as follows: Date of release, title, introduction paragraph (must include who, what, where, when, why and how), two or three succinct paragraphs with expanded relevant details including your band bio then ‘ENDS’. Below this, you should include contact details (telephone and email) for your PR person. Do not exceed one A4 page. Succinct detail is the key.
Send Music Links Not Attachments
Save the sparkle for the stage. Logos, images and attachments sent with press releases are no-nos. Do not send these with or in your press release. Once you have hooked an editor with your story they will ask you if they need your promotional images.
Also, note that many media outlets use systems that pre-scan for anything they don’t like. An email with attachments or images would be syphoned off and never make it to the newsdesk.
It is advisable to include links to your music, press page (if you have one), social media pages and website. These should be included tidily after the contact details for your PR person.
Avoid These Rooky Errors
- Always BCC email addresses when sending to more than one contact.
- Never promise an exclusive story when you have already sent the release to more than one contact.
- Copy and Paste your press release into the body of the email. Don’t send it as an attachment.
- Don’t send releases for the sake of it.
- Always proofread, then get a second set of eyes to proofread and then run through Grammarly for good measure.
- Always write a press release in the third person.
Know What Is Newsworthy
Every press release needs a hook to make it a story. A hook might come in the form of a new album release, an award win or maybe you are going on tour. Don’t send a press release for the sake of it. Get savvy about what makes a good hook by staying up to date with what makes it onto the radio shows or into the publications you are aiming for.
“Consider the year ahead for you and your band and flesh out a press release plan around what you are doing. Aim for one release every three months to start and build to monthly or bi-monthly as your music and confidence grow,” says Gill Nelson, a music blogger at GradeOnFire and Ratedwriting.
When to Send A Press Release
For the best chance of press release success do your homework. Ring around the media outlets you plan to send your release to and ask these two questions: When is the deadline for publication or for the show? and who is the best person on the newsdesk to send a release to about a new album or a gig?
Consider Using a PR Professional
Like them or loathe them, PR pros in the music industry are well connected and useful. Though they mostly use the same methods to get their clients into the media, how you can hire them often differs. Some PR pros are strictly agency. These tend to be more expensive. If you are considering hiring someone to draft and push out your press releases, look for a freelancer with a good track record. Set up a meeting and be clear about your expectations. Be open to them offering advice. It doesn’t often come free.