By Mel Williams
Alright, this request comes in from @ziiri_music when we asked what are some topics all you indie artists are interested in learning more about. One of her questions was “What are best practices for reaching out to local press?” And boy, have we got something special for you (since we’re essentially online press). Read on curious creative for some useful tips and tricks concerning snagging the attention of key players who can help expand your brand’s growth, in a world where you only have seconds to win approval.
The first step in the process of reaching out to local press is simple enough. Locate your local newspapers, magazines, television/radio stations, and other outlets. That’s it! But not so fast. After compiling a list of media outlets in your area you need to do your research! This means digging a bit deeper to weed out the outlets that don’t cater to your ideal listener or customer, in other words, your niche. Unless you have a really interesting spin on why your EDM track should be played to a radio station’s devote fan base of hip-hop/soul/R&B, probably best not to waste anyone’s time.
Second, and without question, the most important step is having your media press kit squared away. What is a media press kit? Well, our website has an entire tab dedicated to what one is and why it’s so important (be sure to check it out). Briefly, it’s your letter of introduction when you more often than not are cold calling/emailing media outlets or members of their staff.
Imagine receiving tons of letters from people you don’t know, trying to sell you something or asking you for a favor. What’s your initial gut reaction?
Lucky and not so lucky for you, in the field of press, this is relatively normal. The good news is you probably don’t have to worry about the person on the receiving end having the same reaction you did a moment ago. The bad news? Well, let’s just say the outlets, even the smaller ones, are bombarded with similar requests regularly. In the sea of so many requests, it’s become the norm to not even expect a response once your email or letter gets sent to the slush pile.
Having a well-tailored media press kit that effectively showcases who you are, what you do, and why they should take notice will be the difference between whether you are considered further or written off.
The last tip I’ll offer on reaching out to media outlets to gain attention is this. It’s not about you. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Your goal is to get your music or next project out there and to raise awareness to build your brand. But do you believe you’ll get further by convincing strangers to support you so you can help yourself or by convincing those same strangers to help you because your brand has a way of helping them?
So, what exactly do you have to offer that helps the other party?
Some media outlets may charge a fee to publish your story*, but most outlets are generally willing to do so free of charge, once you show how your brand’s story can benefit their brand and audience.
Let’s say you’re a country rap artist (stay with me here) ready to release your EP. You’ve grown a small following from performing at local venues and competitions and you believe you have a good size fan base that will receive the project well. For this release, you would also like to extend your current influence by having one of your more popular songs (you’ve leaked a few songs during your most recent performances) played on the local radio station. You’ve done your research and you’re actually a fan of the station’s host, so that’s more pressure.
How do you convince the station to play a song from your EP when they’ve never even heard of you?
You could try to bait the host with the obvious by calling in to make your pitch but that play will probably get you a polite thank you for listening! Or you can be a professional and treat the way you handle your brand as such, sending a well put-together kit, designed specifically for capturing the attention of said host so that they want to learn more about you. By its nature, the press kit is designed to highlight your ability as an artist and why others should care enough to learn more.
Well, that does it for our first response to the community. Keep’em coming! We love hearing from you! Be sure to visit our website and the tab we’ve dedicated specifically to address “Why Do I Need A Press Release?”
TALENTS is dedicated to helping the indie artist community by providing the tools you need to grow your fan base and network so that you can focus on growing your brand. When you hire us to create your story, we’ll ensure it’s one that holds true to the essence of your brand to help you go further.
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! Our current subscribers will receive an added bonus feature on the 5W’s of media outlets and when it’s best to capitalize on the chances of having your story actually published. It’s absolutely FREE to subscribe and you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge fundamental to your growth! You can do so via http://www.talentsmagazine.com.
Until next time!
*SPECIAL NOTE: TALENTS does charge a fee to service artists with creating an article, press release, or bio. Some publications & outlets accept submissions (already written stories). The fee we charge is to create and provide the content/story an artist can readily submit to an outlet of their choosing. We don’t charge artists to be published on our platform.
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