File Under: Getting Media Attention & PR
Possibly the the biggest myth about PR is that musicians will get coverage just because they are doing something noteworthy. Unfortunately, it's not enough to just do something cool enough to get noticed. In fact, nearly all of the PR coverage about artists -- even blog coverage -- comes as the result of promoted stories. And the stories that aren't solicited directly are the result of promoted coverage that got the press interested in the first place. These promoted stories are achieved through publicists or people acting on the musician's behalf. You'll have to play this game too if you want coverage.
Consider the following 7 techniques that you should use as you promote yourself to the media:
1. Think Publicity, Always.
Anytime you do something that makes a good story, it's up to you to send it out to blogs and media to generate interest in covering it. One of the best ways to get coverage is to build the story into the things that you do as a musician. For example, our band, Beatnik Turtle, generated press by tackling a huge goal of releasing one song every day for a year. This was unique enough to generate coverage and interest both when we began and when we ended the project successfully. Note that even if your story doesn't get covered, the stream of engagement to the media will make them more aware of you, and might result in future coverage.
2. PR is An Ice Pick.
Although your instinct might be to angle your stories towards as broad of an audience as possible, the more targeted you make your story, the better chance you have of being covered. The goal is to cut through, and a message aimed directly at a specific audience has a better chance of succeeding. As we talked about in One Simple Idea To Generate Tons of Marketing And PR Opportunities, research who your fans are, which other artists they follow, and places that they hang out in order to generate ideas on ways to target them. And make sure to get demographic information about your fans. Once you know that information, you can use techniques like self-identifiers to get their attention.
3. PR is a Crock Pot, Not a Microwave.
PR takes place in people-time, not internet-time. This means that sustained efforts over a period of time to get coverage will be far more successful than a few all-out attempts.
4. It's Still About Who You Know.
List the people you know that have blogs or are journalists and then reach out to them to start your campaign. They are the beginning of your press list. You'll add to this in time. And keep in mind that when you do get coverage, add them to the list if they are not on it yet, because that journalist will be more likely to cover you the next time you do something noteworthy.
5. If You Didn't Get Covered, It Didn't Happen.
While you can write about things that you've done in your own blog or web presences, it's far more effective to use what the press has said about you and provide a press clipping for each notable event instead.
6. Journalists Love Getting A Scoop.
Journalists love breaking a story before anyone else. One way to use this to your advantage is to reach out to them before your release to give them an exclusive look before anyone else. Sharing pre-release material or providing artist access for interviews to journalists can be an incentive for them to check you out.
7. Use Polite Persistence.
Journalists are busy. Sometimes the reason they don't mail you back is because they were working on something else. Try to "go until a no.". Very often, it's the second or third email that catches their attention. So sending follow-up emails if you don't hear from them is a good idea. Plus, the emails keep them aware of what you're doing even if they don't respond -- don't assume that they are not reading them just because they didn't answer. That said, if they do say no, use the right kind of persistence: never resend an old story. You should always try something new.
Keep these techniques in mind as you reach out to blogs and journalists. And always think of PR . That will help generate stories for the press to cover and help you to reach new fans and audiences for your music.
And, just in case you need more ideas, come back next week where we will share 7 more concepts that you should use to get press coverage. Getting media attention and PR is a big task, so it helps to have a big toolbox of techniques.
- Masterclass: Nine $0 Music Marketing Strategies
- Three Stories You Should Be Able to Tell About Your Music
- Target Your Fan Market
- 5 Ways To Improve Every Marketing Message You Send
- The Indie Band Survival Guide (Remixed & Remastered: Second Edition)
- Making Money With Music (15-hour Online Course)
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Photo Credit: John Ragai