In my morning news feed (amongst numerous requests from band’s seeking publicity) I found an intersting post by Ari Herstand that addresses the irony of the situation. Whenever I’m asked, “Why don’t you write about our band?”, “Would you like to set up an interview?”, or “Can you review our new album?” the answer is more often no than yes. And for several reasons, most of which Ari touches on. You can all 9 of the reasons by CLICKING HERE. While all nine of the listed points are valid, there were two that stuck out as I deal with them everyday.
#8 —Your Press Release Is Too Long
Press releases are one page long. No exceptions. The initial pitch email can contain a personal intro, ‘cover letter’ paragraph or two, but the press release is one page. Press releases contain the vital points of information:
1st paragraph: Who, what, where, why, when, how much
2nd paragraph: Background on your band (interesting story/accolades)
3rd paragraph: Information about the event
4th paragraph: Other interesting information
These are loose paragraph guidelines, but this is the order. Sometimes your background will be 3 paragraphs and info about the event will be 2, but all of this will be under one page. No exceptions.
Where Ari suggests one page, I’d go even further – a half page of text with a fabulous graphic. Most of the publicty you are going to get is going to be online, so why not design your PR piece so it fits the way things get posted online.
#1 You Don’t Have A Story
When was the last time you read a show preview or album review of a band that discussed the actual music: the song structure, guitar tones, harmonic and melodic choices, drum tones, the pocket, innovative syncopation, varied time signatures, sonic flourishes, unusual studio techniques that they HEARD in the recording and not told by the press release?
Music reviewers know their audience. The average reader doesn’t care how you achieved that guitar tone on the bridge of track 3. But if your lead singer went on a spiritual quest for 9 months in the Amazon and came back with 12 songs written on an invented instrument he made out of found objects in the rainforest, now THAT’S a story!
When you write your press release or pitch an article highlight the most interesting aspects of what makes you stand out.
in order to keep people coming to our site, we need to make sure they are well fed with compelling and intersting features. Most band’s have an interesting story to tell, but fail to do so – people like stories and songwriters are storytellers. When what you sing about translates to how you write about how your band got it’s start, what your “mission” is, and what makes what you do different, people will start to notice. – Robert