Have you ever wondered why a band, with a relatively small following, can get attention from the music Press, and yet a band with a larger following struggles?
In most cases, the answer is quite simple. They use a public relations specialist… a PR.
We appreciate not every band has the budget to hire a PR, but it is something every band should think about budgeting for, and here’s why.
Think of the PR as your Press Relations, not your public relations. You have a front man/woman in your band that talks to the crowd at gigs. You meet and greet your fans after a gig. You update your social media, keeping in contact with your fan base, right? Your PR does exactly the same, but for the Press.
A good PR will have the contacts in the Press to get you interviews, reviews and features about your band, online and in the printed media. They will have lists of contacts for websites; have the delivery system in place for reviewers to hear your music, and deliver the information in the best format. They’ll be able to provide all the information a site needs, and wants, to be able to post about your band. PRs have the ability to communicate with tens, if not hundreds, of different sites without spending hours trawling the ‘net.
Each site gets hundreds of emails a week, and if your email doesn’t have all the information it requires, chances are it’s going to get passed over. With PRs and record labels knowing what the Press requires, you can bet those are the emails that will be looked at first.
With hundreds of emails a week to go through, you can imagine that a site’s news editor is busy person. They don’t have the time to be hunting around the Internet, or scrolling down your social media looking for the information or images you haven’t included in your email.
Every website out there wants to support new music! They honestly do!
So here’s what you can to do to help them do that… support your band!
Firstly, HTML emails. The beauty of HTML emails is, unlike other email attachments, a news editor has no need to wait for images and PDFs to open. This takes time! With potentially hundreds of emails to sift through, it has to be as speedy as possible. If you’re trying to make an impact with a fancy EPK full of flashy graphics, spend that money and time on your website instead! Write all the information in the email, and attach images if HTML isn’t possible!
News editors are only going to spend a few minutes re-writing what you’ve sent, so it’s different on their site than anywhere else, so you need to make sure all the required information is at hand, and in one place.
I’ll let you in on a little secret here…
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for websites works a lot better with at least 300 words in any post. While you’re sat thinking about what you want to say in a Press release, take that into consideration when writing your band submissions. It’s better for you, as it will appear higher on search engine rankings, and it’s better for the website, as they are more likely to get hits.
If you only have a paragraph about a new EP release, pad it out! Add a biography, tour dates, a brief history of the band, where the music was recorded, and who produced it. Add who the band are and what instruments they play. Don’t forget to add any links to sales outlets or pre order links, and include links to your social medias.
Do not send 200 pixel thumbnails of your artwork and promo shots that will look awful on a website template when they’re displayed at a larger size. Include decent sized images (around 800 pixels), and possibly add a link to a downloadable high-resolution image. Attach a link to the EP/album for download. Reviewers like to listen through at least a couple of times before they put pen to paper.
Be polite, and don’t assume that your email will result in a review.
Most websites comprise of experienced, unpaid contributors. It’s their passion that drives them. Have you ever wondered why most sites carry good reviews? It’s because reviewers tend to review EPs and albums from bands and genres they like, or have heard of before. Reviewers like to say good things over the negatives.
News items will get posted on most websites, but remember, not every gig in considered news, tours are news. Most websites will post your news provided you send all the information needed, and enough of it for a website to work with. Albums and EPs will be offered to a site’s review team, but that doesn’t guarantee a review will be written.
Don’t forget to share anything that a website does post about your band via social media. Support the websites of all sizes! You need to build lasting relationships with the Press, at all levels, if your band wants continued support.
Remember it’s a two-way street!
By Jamie Sweetlove
(All opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author)