Getting Your Music Reviewed by the Press: The Don'ts
Getting music press is never easy. So many people are vying such a limited amount of print space that getting the press attention you want is always hard work. The last thing you need to do is burn your bridges before you even build them. To make sure you get off on the right foot when you're trying to get some press coverage of your music, check out these "dont's" when it comes to approaching music journalists.
Also, don't forget to brush up on your do's for approaching the music media before your press campaign kicks off.
Don't...Engage in TMI
It's tempting to want to share your whole life story when you're trying to get some press attention - after all, you never know exactly which accomplishment will connect with a particular writer. However, it's extremely important to pick the highlights and target your message. Don't think that you can force a journalist into digging through your back story just by stuffing an envelope with lots of paper or attaching ten documents to an email. Not only will it likely not get read, but you may also end up blowing your chances completely because it just seems like so much work to dig through all of your info.
Stay on point about this particular project, add a few past highlights and keep your press releases to one page. You can learn more about press releases here:
- Album Press Release Template
- Tour Press Release Template
- News Press Release Template
- One Sheet Template
- How to Write a Band Bio
Don't....Show Your Frustration
Ignored emails and phone calls are the order of the day in a press campaign. Getting frustrated is easy, and often, it's completely valid to feel that way.
As good as it might feel, however, you can't tell some journalist off for not giving your music a chance. You can't argue your way into a review or an interview and putting your bad attitude on display is a good way to get the door shut in your face for good. Stay professional in all emails and phone calls with the press, even if you don't like what you're hearing. You'll get your revenge when you're big and famous, and they're scrambling to get on the guest list for your show!
You'll need to follow up with music journalists often during a press campaign, and they often won't get back to you. Calling every hour, emailing several times a day - consider how you'd feel if you were on the other end of that kind of barrage. You'd do much better to show music journalists that you understand that they are surrounded by people demanding their attention from all angles. Keep your messages short and sweet, make sure you let them know how to contact you and keep the door open by telling them how and when you will follow up next.
Even seasoned PR pros have to work hard to secure music press for a release, and not every pitch is going to be a home run.
Don't let an uphill battle with the press get you off track. Eventually, you will identify writers and publications that are a good fit for your music, and the job will get easier. The only way to get there is to go through the experience - the good and the bad. Stick with it.