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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Music PR Facts to Know When You're Unsigned.

Music PR Facts to Know When You’re Unsigned
by Mona Loring
Apr 2, 2008, 19:05
©2008 Mona Loring. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Most unsigned artists trying to break in the music industry don’t have the luxury to hire a publicist. Many have to try and do their own PR in the beginning, and it takes time and experience to learn how to work with members of the media. As weird as it may sound, music media personnel (journalists, TV show producers, radio program directors, etc.) are really—let’s just say particular. The problem is that they have different ears for music, extremely busy schedules and limited patience. Your best bet in the beginning is a local paper or a music website or ezine to write a story about you or review your new album. Stop here. If you don’t have at least a professionally put together EP, wait. Music press has certain standards. They won’t take a burned CD full of MP3s or a few MP4s off iTunes. If you don’t have the basic materials, start there before you worry about media outreach on any level. If you already have the tools needed, then go and get some attention!
Below are 5 helpful tips about music media outreach:
- Do your homework. Know what they like and dislike, do and do not review. If you position yourself in a manner that appeals to the person you’re contacting, your chances are obviously… greater.
- Never address your press material generically. If you do, your materials will be put into a large pile on someone’s desk if you’re lucky—but probably thrown in the trash. They’d much rather review the 100 other CDs mailed in a package addressed appropriately! Again.. do your homework!
- Follow-up! Every call and mailing sent deserves a follow up. Wait about a week, then call the contact and just ask if you could take a minute of their time to tell them about what you have going on…  If you actually make contact, find out if they got your package/email, and if they plan to cover you in some way. Be very polite and don’t take it personally if they blow you off... these people are very busy/
- If you do get a hit with the media, remember to be very punctual and professional. Do not miss your appointment, or show up late for an interview, they do not give second chances. Again, you are dealing with very busy individuals that have many more people like you to choose from—you, do not have that luxury with media.
- Be prepared for mistakes to happen. Again these people are very busy and unfortunately, this means they may get your name wrong on air, mix your facts up in a feature, or worse, tell you they will cover you and then flake out. No matter what happens, if you want to have the chance to work with them again, you need to take it all with a grain—ok a spoonful of salt.
This is not an easy job but it’s doable. If you take these tips to heart and really put time forth working with the press, researching potential contacts, reaching out, and staying in contact with the media, you should get the initial buzz you need going.
Copyright 2008, Mona Loring

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