Want to know how to get featured in your favorite publications?
I've had the unique experience of working on both sides of the coin — as a publicist and as a music journalist — and today I want to share some tips that are informed by my time spent as both...
1. Find the RIGHT music publication.
You may want to send your music out to every single music magazine or blog you can think of. Casting a big net, right?
Chances are, your email won't even get opened unless there is something in the headline that suggests you're the right fit for their audience — a genre or sub-genre, "FFO," etc.
Publications also have goals and audiences to keep in mind. They have to maintain a reliable reputation with their readers, and therefore prioritize pitches that fit their voice. So when you do your research, make sure you spend your time and energy building relationships with media outlets that are relevant to your sound, your audience, and your brand.
2. Set realistic goals.
Dream big, by all means. If you want to get featured in Rolling Stone or Billboard, you should absolutely factor that into your marketing strategy.
Just make sure you take time and credibility into account. The reality is, some publications just don't have the bandwidth or resources to take on independent artists.
As your band stands now, which publications are likely to take a chance on you?
For most indie bands, small to mid-size blogs and magazines are a great place to start. There is no shame in building up your credibility over time. Use those features as leverage as you begin to grow your audience and your portfolio.
3. Offer something unique.
Music editors and journalists get pounded with hundreds of pitches every day — that's not an exaggeration. And many of those emails have been blasted out to hundreds of publications, so they all end up with the same press release, the same quotes, the same promo photo, and the same story.
Find a way to offer something unique to a publication. Give them an exclusive interview or quote/insight into your new album. Share never-before-seen photos of your tour. Offer a premiere when you're releasing a new music video, so they can share it before anyone else.
These unique offerings allow publications to stand out amongst their competition/peers and get as much web traffic as possible. (Pro tip: If you really want your best chance of getting featured, include "Premiere offer" or "Exclusive interview offer" in your subject line...)
4. Send a flawless pitch.
When editors open your email, you get one shot to make the perfect pitch. This means you should:
Address them by name (and mention their previous work, if it's relevant)
Get to the point: Make your request clearly and quickly
Have all of your assets linked, or at least ready to send in a follow-up
Offer to provide more info or materials
Thank them for their time and consideration
Ideally, music journalists should be able to write a story from the information you provide in your pitch. Don't forget to include relevant dates (release dates or tour dates), quotes, a bit of background, and a link to the music/video at the minimum. And don't forget to be kind and grateful!
5. Follow up
Again, remember that these people are very busy. Most appreciate a follow-up, but be careful not to go overboard or follow up too quickly. One follow-up 5-7 days after sending your initial pitch is normally plenty to prompt them for a response or a pass. If you don't hear back, don't take it personally. Just try again for your next release!
Getting featured in the media is a combination of the right song, the right pitch, the right publication, and the right time. It can happen for you, just be patient and diligent with your music and marketing strategy.
To your success,
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