KNOW WHAT IS NEWSWORTHY
Today’s average media person is bombarded by email. For this reason, it’s very important to determine what is newsworthy when sending out information about your music. New albums, videos and tours are what I deem newsworthy. Crowd funding projects have gotten very popular as of late and while this is certainly of interest, merely launching a Kickstarter campaign isn’t likely to get a lot of media hits unless it includes an eye catching component. Clever videos used as part of a funding campaign are more likely to draw attention than simply asking for money and giving snippets of new music. If you are not yet an established band in the media, a personnel line-up change is not super relevant unless it is piggy backed onto things such as new music or tour dates. If you are constantly sending out press releases, it seems like spam and when you do have something useful to share, it runs the risk of getting overlooked or ignored.
BREVITY AND ACCURACY
It is exceptionally important to impart your media message in a well written, brief and accurate fashion. Details for drafting your bio can be found at http://www.examiner.com/article/press-kits-the-biography-part-one-3 and http://www.examiner.com/article/press-kits-the-biography-part-two. For a new or developing musical act my opinion is that a biography shouldn’t be more than two pages.
Oftentimes, press people won’t thoroughly read an artist biography until they’ve made a decision to cover the music. For those who will skim bios much like skimming a textbook, you stand a better chance if that document is one page, double-sided, max. If a sentence looks too wordy to you, most likely it is. Be an editor – go in, think about the key points you need to address, and chop away the fat. Think about your songwriting and recording process in which you need to trim things down to get to the core. Your goal should be for quality, not quantity.
Be accurate – always spell check things but also read them afterwards. Spell check is not infallible. Nothing says amateur more quickly than misspelled editor or writer names on addressed packages or grammatical or spelling errors in your press materials. As the adage goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Remember you are dealing with media people, who likely don’t have much patience for written errors as they are always editing and correcting. Even if you are dealing with Joe Blow blog, who may have typos on his website, put your best foot forward with your approach and be professional. Let the blogger make the errors, not you. This isn’t just your hobby; this is your expression of self and your career.
Stand by for more PR principles and thanks for reading.