Get Noticed: How To Write A Killer Music Press Release
If you want to publicise yourself, your latest album or upcoming gig, but don’t have the cash to hire a top music publicist or PR professional, then you’ll need to write your own music press release to get the word out. Publicising yourself is not easy, so here are our top tips for how to write a killer music press release that will get you noticed.
Is it newsworthy?
First rule: Never send out press releases for no particular reason. So, before you read on, be sure that what you’re sending is actually newsworthy. What’s the hook? This is hard, so ask for help from your mates, family or colleagues. They can be objective and give you a genuine steer on what’s great about you and your work and what’s genuinely interesting.
Keep it short
For press releases, one page is ideal; two pages max if you’ve got a bit more to say. Don’t try to be over-descriptive and effusive in your release. Journalists don’t have time to read your gushing essays; they just need the facts! Creating a press release template can help you keep it short and sweet. So if a major label, public relations firm or media outlets get hold of it they have all the relevant info.
It’s really tempting to write something in the first person, but press releases should ALWAYS be in the third person – i.e. write about yourself as if you are an outsider writing about an artist – “he/she/they”, not “I, me, we”. Keep it factual and informative. You are not writing a feature. You are giving the journalists key facts, so that they can write a feature in their own style.
Just like blogs, readability is key! Make sure your press release is easy to read. Short sentences – ideally no more than 20 words. Your paragraphs should be short with relevant subheadings.
Make it visual, but not flashy
Add one key image after your first para, e.g. best image of album artwork or if you’re writing a band press release include an artist photo.
Title not ‘headline’
Don’t spend hours trying to come up with a catchy “headline” worthy of NME’s front cover. That’s the job of the journalist or sub-editor. You need to give your press release a title that clearly states exactly what you’re promoting, so the recipient gets it straight away.
First para gives the key info
You MUST get all the relevant info into the first few lines of an intro paragraph. You have about 5 seconds to get down the ‘who, where, what, when and why’. Give the journalist a reason to read on in about 3 short sentences.
Second / third paragraphs provide the meat
Your second paragraph should give more detail about you, your project, album, tour – whatever it is you’re trying to promote. To convey your personality or promote a positive reaction to your work, use a couple of quotes. E.g.
“This is by far and away the best album Jon Skinner has released to date,” said FatBoy Slim. “He’s an amazing talent and I’m genuinely excited about this artist’s future.”
NB: Punctuation should always be inside the quotation marks.
Final para – now what?
The final paragraph of your press release should give the ‘what next’ for your audience or a call to action, e.g. where your music can be bought/downloaded, how much, where they can find more info about you etc. Make sure that you only put information here that you are happy to be made public and replicated online or in print, e.g. website or social media. Do not include personal info.
Notes to editor
Always end the ‘public’ part of music industry press releases with ‘Ends’. Everything after that is in the Notes to editor section (some people write “Note to editors” – either is fine). This is where you write something like: “For more information, album artwork, photography or to request interviews with the artist, please contact [name] on [tel number] or [email].”
It’s easy to get lost in what you’ve written. So, get a third party to proofread your release before you send it. This is crucial to make sure that, to the outsider, you’ve made your point clearly, concisely and without typos and errors.
Now PDF it!
Always save and send your press release in PDF format. It looks a lot better, cuts down file size, looks more professional, can be opened by all and can’t be tampered with!
Use these key points and you’re sure to smash it. Good luck!
By Sophie Martin
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