If you’re new to the world of press coverage, or even if you’ve been in the industry for years and you’re about to start a new marketing campaign to promote your 5th studio record, it’s vital that you have all the tools at your disposal in order to maximize the amount of press coverage you receive. Believe it or not, so many musicians and artists still make these basic mistakes and it’s costing you 1000s of potential new fans.
Firstly, don’t worry, we’re not going to try and convince you to part with any money.
We’re not offering you a magical fix, some things will cost you money, but if you’re business savvy you can do all of this for free.
What is press coverage?You might have just entered the studio for the very first time and have no idea what press coverage is, so we’ll tell you.
Press coverage is simply an article that is written about you, your band, your album, your tour dates or general news about what you as an artist, are currently working on. If you head over to RollingStone.com, NME.com, Noisey, or any other music publication and look at any of their articles, these are all press articles trying usually aimed at promoting music.
If you want to be noticed, then press coverage is essential!Have you been sending 100s of emails to 100s of different music sites, magazines and blogs and getting very little, or no response? There’s a very good reason for this and we can help you fix that. However, irrespective of how amazing your marketing campaign is, if your music doesn’t please the senses, then there’s nothing we can do about that. Authentic, original music will always be your best friend when it comes to a great marketing campaign.
But don’t be fooled into thinking your music alone will carry you! You might have written the best song on the planet, but if you’re giving the wrong first impression to a music magazine, site or blog, they will delete your email faster than you can send one.
There’s plenty of information out there about how to market your brand because your music is a brand, it’s a product and you need to treat it as such. However, there isn’t much information about how to market your music from the perspective of the media. You need to understand how we see you when you make that vital first contact.
We get dozens of emails every single day so time is precious. If you send a basic email saying “Hey, check out our new video” with a link to YouTube, you can be sure that email will be deleted.
We’ve put together 10 of the most important factors you need to implement when trying to get the attention of the press. Some of them are incredibly basic and it’s quite surprising that many people still fall at this first hurdle.
If you follow these steps you will drastically increase your chances of media outlets not just checking out your material, but the chances of them actually publishing an article about you will skyrocket.
This article is based on sending press releases and information to media outlets, what you should do, and what you should 100 percent avoid to increase your chances of press coverage.
12 crucial steps artists MUST implement to receive more press coverage
High-Resolution Landscape Press ShotBelieve it or not, this is one of the most common mistakes we see artists, bands, and even experienced PR companies make every single day. In order for an online publication, especially, to run an article on you, we need to have a high-resolution landscape press shot of your band. Landscape is key!
Open up your Facebook news feed, go on any music site and you will see these platforms rely on landscape images to present new articles. It’s usually the first thing you see in an article. You need to remember that online music sites have their own standards to uphold, we’re not going to publish a poor quality image on our sites.
We have actually decided to not run articles on bands because we do not have a decent landscape press shot to use. We also don’t have time to search through your social profiles to find one. This simple mistake could be costing you 1000s of potential new fans.
ALWAYS have at least 3 landscape high-resolution press photos for a media outlet to pick from.
Pin music to the top of your social profilesThe first thing we want to evaluate is your music. If we don’t know who you are, we don’t care what you look like, how many times you’ve supported The Rolling Stones, or who you’ve toured with. You’re trying to promote your music, however, many artists actually make it difficult for us to find their music, especially the most recent material.
Sometimes we’ll stumble across a new band, that for whatever reason, we decided to check out. We then spend ten minutes search the internet and their social profiles to find their latest music to no avail. Regardless of what you’re working on, always make sure we can find your latest music in less than a minute. We don’t have time to search every streaming platform, social network or YouTube video to see if we like what you’re doing.
Pin the latest thing you released to the top of your social profiles or included a link in your bio. Make it easy for us to hear you as quick as possible! If we can’t find your music in a few minutes, we’ll lose interest and move on.
You need to have a detailed biographyYou need to remember that we are at the end of the day a media outlet, and what does the media do? They tell stories! For readers to be interested in you, they want a story, they need to connect with you on some level. No one cares about “Unknown band just released a video”. If we don’t have a background on who you are then we can’t get to know you which makes it very difficult for any media outlet to write anything about you.
Make sure you have an up to date and detailed biography on all of your social sites (where possible) and your website if you have one.
Imagine you’re about to buy your first car and you are presented with two options. One car you have absolutely no information about. You don’t know how fast it goes, the mileage, how old it is, if it has a stereo, what make it is or even if it starts.
However, you know everything about the other car. It’s a fully refurbished 1968 Mustang GT with 18-inch rims, 400 brake, and slick leather seats. Which one are you going to pick?
We just built an image inside your head, that’s what we need to replicate to our readers when we write about your band. If we don’t know anything about you, we can’t do that and you won’t be published.
Use services such as FIVERR for this.
Do not send anyone a link to your SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify or Bandcamp thinking that will get their attentionIf you just send a link to your latest single or video, we won’t look at it. We won’t look at it because even if we like it, we still have to look for all of the other assets we literally just mentioned, and it’s not going to happen. It’s too time-consuming for any publisher to do this.
Stop sending emails NOW!If you’re still just sending basic emails to press outlets you might as well give up. We will not look at these emails and here’s why.
When we receive a standard email with a short paragraph with links to your music, we usually delete it straight away. Why? Over the years we notice patterns, one of those patterns is clicking on any links from basic emails usually means we won’t find any images to work with, we won’t find a biography, we won’t find up to date information on the band, we won’t find high-quality recordings or videos.
From experience, low-quality emails such as these usually lead to low-quality everything else. If you don’t put any effort into how you communicate with a publisher, chances are you don’t put much effort into your music either. Or any other aspect of your band.
You really cannot expect to send an email that says “check out our band” and then expect us to spend hours finding out all the other information we need to write an article on you. We simply do not have the time.
Use professional press kitsIf you thought all of the above was a lot of work but you’re still reading this, then we’re about to make all of this incredibly easy for you.
There are professional digital presskit services that you can utilize to make this entire process super easy and it will increase your chances of press coverage by an insane amount. Some of these services will cost you, some you can find for free.
A digital press kit will ensure you include all of the information a publisher needs in one place. If we see an email from a professional company such as Haulix, we look at every single one of them. Why? Because we know the band has gone to some effort to create it which means you’re taking your craft seriously. We also know we won’t have to spend hours searching for what we need. We can literally start writing an article within minutes of you sending something like a Haulix Press Kit.
Haulix is the industry standard and we seriously recommend you use their platform! There are others such as Adobe Spark, however, Haulix is just a trusted platform so magazines, sites, and blogs are more likely to check it out.
Share press on your social media accountsWhen you get press coverage, make sure you share it on your socials. When publishers are considering your band, we want to know that you can potentially help us to build a new audience as well as giving you coverage with our audience.
It’s also basic business sense. If your audience sees that other people are interested in your product, it will increase your viability as an artist. This also helps to create a new audience for other artists that are featured on music sites and magazines.
Whilst this isn’t always a deciding factor, it can easily influence the decision that results in you receiving press coverage or not.
This is also beneficial when it comes to social media algorithms. If platforms such as facebook see a post from a press outlet is popular, they will put this in front of more people. So get sharing!
Basic BrandingMake sure your social graphics match up and they’re decent quality. We look at your band as a product, so it needs to look good. If you see two supermarkets and one of them looks like it’s just been hit by a tropical thunderstorm and the signs hanging off, which one are you more likely to want to check out? Go and do some research on basic branding and marketing. Here’s a good starting point.
If you really want to get serious about branding and marketing your music then invest in industry knowledge with research material from Amazon. (Or any other decent online store)
Put some effort into your music videosWith today’s technology so easily affordable, you have absolutely no excuse for making poor quality music videos. If you can’t afford to pay for a professional music video, go to a local University or College that offer media courses and ask students if they want to make a music video. It will be free and they will most likely jump at the chance as they can add this to their portfolio or use it towards a project they are studying.
Build a database of contactsBuild a database of contacts and hit them all at once! Don’t just casually send an email every week to a new magazine you find. Follow as many of the steps as you can above and then hit all of the contacts at once. Publishers will search other sites to see if there is a buzz about you, we’ll also search Google. If we see other publishers have recently covered you, there’s more chance this will lead to more coverage.
Make your assets super easy to findThis is really the key to a successful marketing campaign, besides great music. Publishers receive hundreds of emails every day, so when we decide to check out a band, we need to see all of the assets we need within a few seconds otherwise we lose interest. We have too much to look through and not enough time in the day to look at it all. You are in competition with literally 1000s of other artists and bands so you need to look professional.
Hire a PR company!If all of this sounds a bit too much, we understand. Not everyone will have the time to manage all of this. Most bands and artists work full-time jobs when they’re starting out, and many of them still do a few albums in.
Hire a PR company that can do all of this for you! They will literally manage all of this! You can just sit back, relax, and watch the reviews pile up.
PR companies build trust with publishers. When we receive a press kit from one of the many labels and PR companies we work with, we instantly give that press kit priority. Why? Because we know there is an incredibly high chance the music will be great and we’ll have all the assets we need to create content for you.
We could get 50 random emails from band members and one email from a PR company we work with, 10 times out of 10 we will ALWAYS look at the PR company before anything else.