Do It Yourself Artists: How To Get PressPosted by Nikki Benson
In light of Justin’s Spicer’s article to Sub Pop and Andrew Matson of the Seattle Times about widening out, I couldn’t help but feel that SSG Music has lots of room for improvement as well. Granted, we occupy our niche well with diversified content, music styles, and readers, but there are a lot of DIY (do it yourself) bands/artists that are being overlooked because we don’t have to time to do extensive research on bands that we don’t have any interest in yet.
Here’s the deal: bands that have PR representation aren’t being written about more often than not because they have the money to purchase PR, it’s because their PR reps know how to package their music and they hound us until we give it a listen.
Here are some tips on how to package music for the best results.
1. Be clear with who you are, what you’re doing, and what you want.
Editors get hundreds of requests for press a day. At first glance, online journalists are looking to see “What is this?” and “Do I need to read it now?” Let us know who you are, where you’re from, what record you’re promoting, when it is out, and if you’re playing any shows in the areas we promote.
Customize the e-mail subject and introduction so the recipient knows you’re not “spamming” them.
2. Give us the music!
As a DIY artist, I’m sure you want to make some money off the EP/LP you just put an extensive amount of effort into. You need to toss that idea out the window at this stage. Have your music easily accessible and linked for download in the e-mail. Music is free (for the most part). The way to make money is to generate a fan base that wants to spend money on your albums and support you at shows. You’re not going to get any fans if they can’t hear your music. Don’t expect journalists to review your record off a youtube stream or bandcamp page. It’s inconvenient, and frankly, we’d rather spend our time on artists who are giving us their music.
Also, give us an mp3 straight away. Some content curators read the press release first then decide if they are going to listen to the music. Others go straight for the music and decide if they are going to read the press release. For the latter, if you don’t have music right there, your opportunity has been lost–it’s the ugly truth. On that note, have your music and video links at the top of your e-mail; you can even go crazy and boost the font size.
3. Give us photos with photo credits.
If we only have a few minutes to put your music online, make it easy for us. Give us photos with photo credits so we don’t have to look online, steal photos, and then get fingers pointed at us saying that we don’t care about photographers or their property. Be kind. Hook a homie up!
4. Give us the story after the pertinent details.
After you’ve given us the details we need to pass your music along to our readers, feel free to give us your in-depth stories. If we’re that into you, we’re curious.
5. Follow up!
PR Reps are paid to sit around and bug us to write about their bands. You can do the same thing for free. Give us a tap on the shoulder reminding us of your upcoming releases or shows. Keep in mind that if we don’t respond it doesn’t mean that the answer is no. It might mean the answer is no, but it might not.
That’s about it. Thanks for all of your help and support. We look forward to sharing your music with the masses!
Submit your music to SSG Music via email@example.com.