File Under: Getting Media Attention & PR

Last week we outlined the prep steps you should do that will help you tackle PR in an organized way so you'll get your music covered in the media. The good news is there are more places out there today that'll cover you and your music than ever before. To help get you media coverage, this week we've outlined 10 media outlets you should target.

Use the following list to complete researching and adding to your media list spreadsheet. By researching the following, you'll likely find new places you should reach out to that you originally didn't think about.

1. Blogs.

Do a search on blogs that cover music, entertainment, culture, or the arts, in general. MP3 Blogs are already briefly covered in our Get Heard article as a area to target for getting heard, but you can target them from a PR perspective as well. As you research these blogs, be sure to highlight any that are from your local area since these may be easier to get coverage in.

2. Local TV and Morning News Shows.

Local city morning TV news shows and other local programs tend to have slots to cover local talent and events. Research what the process is to get considered. Check out who they've covered before to come up with either a similar angle on why you're worthy of coverage.

3. Community Access TV.

Community Access TV still lives and often gives musicians a chance to play, talk about, or otherwise highlight their music. Be aware that many Community Access stations have restrictions on advertising or marketing products. That can even extend to saying where they can buy your music. But getting on Community Access allows you to claim "as seen on TV" and can be a good to "climb the ladder" to get to local TV morning news shows and other local TV shows in your area.

4. Local Shows on Commercial Radio Stations.

Local shows on commercial radio stations often open to local musicians. This is covered briefly in the DIY Advisor Get Heard article, but make sure to hit them from a PR angle rather than just submitting your music since they sometimes have musicians come into the studio to play live and be interviewed.

5. College Radio.

As noted in the Get Heard article, college radio stations are open to all musicians, more so than commercial radio. But, similar to the above, your angle with college radio shouldn't only be submitting your music. From a PR angle, you'll want to play live in the studio and get interviewed on the air. Note that college radio stations also tend to have speciality shows, and if there's one that matches your genre of music you'll want to research who runs it and get ahold of them directly rather than go through the station or submission process.

6. Local Entertainment Media & Press.

Depending on where you live, most cities and towns have local media and press outlets. For instance, our band's hometown of Chicago has papers like the Reader and the Illinois Entertainer and we had an easier time getting covered in these outlets. We then leveraged that coverage to snowball coverage elsewhere.

7. Magazines.

As you get started, the more local the magazine, the better your chance at getting coverage. Don't just stick to music magazines, though. For example, if you have songs about a certain topic, you might be able to get coverage about you and your music in a speciality magazine. For example, one of the most popular artists back in the early days of CDBaby submitted her album of songs about sailing to a sailing magazine. She stood out and ended up getting a lot of exposure because of it.

8. Newspapers.

Your local newspapers feature local talent and events. Track what kinds of artists local journalists and music writers cover so you get an idea about how to approach them. If you play large venues in your area, those shows are a great time to hit them up for coverage. But don't simply focus on local newspapers, leverage it for coverage in other city papers as you gain more exposure.

9. Websites.

The internet contains a universe of possibilities. Don't simply target music websites. Every website -- from a bulletin board to a company blog -- can post music, music videos, or talk about your music. Find topics that match your music lyrics or genre (for example, your hobbies) and try to get coverage in websites that cover that topic. Your own interests matter here, because it can help you make a connection to the magazine writer. For instance, our band, Beatnik Turtle, ended up getting coverage in popular board game websites simply because we wrote music based on a few board games. They were intrigued that a band did this and featured our music and supported our band.

10. Podcasts.

Podcasts are the radio of the internet. There are two opportunities here: they need music to play and are looking for people to interview. Good places to start are local podcasts, genre podcasts, and also podcasts on a topic related to your music. Like we said above with websites and magazines, there's a universe of podcasts out there that cover particular topics. Your music, or a song you wrote -- even if one lyric matches their topic -- may be a perfect fit.

Once you've gone through the above list and have completed your research of what else to add and target in your media list spreadsheet, it's time to start contacting them using good marketing language. Be sure to keep track who you've submitted to so you can follow up when you haven't heard back from them.

When you do reach out, go until you get a "no". A non-reply is not a "no". People are busy and may have missed your message to them, so always follow-up. Polite persistence works. Also keep in mind that a "no" doesn't mean no for everything you do. It's just for the one story that you're pitching.

Once you get coverage in a targeted outlet, celebrate! Then make sure to reach out to those who haven't covered you yet and share that you've been covered. Each bit of coverage you get can snowball into more coverage. And although your campaign might cast a wide net, once you find an area that gives you a lot of attention, put your focus there.

Naturally, as we say in The DIY Advisor article, 6 Things You Should Do After Getting Press/Blog Coverage, don't forget to personally thank any journalist, blogger, or media person who covers you and your music. Be sure to add each to your media list spreadsheet since those who have covered you once are more likely to cover you again in the future.

This Week's Challenge: Reach out to your targeted media outlets on your media list spreadsheet and try to get covered in one of these 10 places.


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Photo credit: stevebustin