Public Relations campaigns on a nearly zero budget! pt.1

Posted: May 24, 2012 by jdobypr in Learning, Music101
Tags: , ,
All our press releases

All our press releases (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

The original title for this was “Low budget publicity for musicians” and I have been meaning to write an updated piece which “leapfrogged” the original to bring it out of the now dark ages of publicity and as my readers know, I am taking my Music Business degree program at Full Sail University,  SOOO I get these assignments which just so happen to give me an opportunity to use my articles as class work…I almost feel it is cheating because, I happen to actually work in the music business and write these articles anyway.

This post ala class assignment is the first in a multi-part series hopefully providing some insight and direction to bands/labels that simply can’t afford to hire a publicist but also can’t afford to NOT have publicity!  It is going to be a pretty cut and dried layout to avoid confusing anyone…here we go!

Step One: Press Kit…include Bio, photo, contact sheet or business card, promo music and discography, an EPK which contains digital versions of these items may be used as well and actually has become the industry standard.

Step Two: Determine the region/market you are going to attack; stay focused and realistic, working on several key areas at a time and expanding from that. Think about the pebble in the pond, throw the pebble in the water and it creates a small splash locally but the effects are ever expanding circles covering more area over time. There is nothing worse than working too much area at one time and running out of materials to service the markets you have approached. Often, you only get one shot at getting the outlet’s attention.

Step three: Create an electronic version of your press kit…services such as Sonicbids.com or Reverbnation.com allow the artists to create a band page with photo, bio, music and lyric sheets. You will be given a unique band url which you can use to direct bookers/promoters to review your music for consideration to be added to a show/tour/project. Other sites you may use are Musicxray.com and indiecharts.com.

Step 4: The announcement press release…you have a new single/album and you want people to know about it, you may already have a fan database which is great but you also want the music media to review your project as well. Your press release should be creatively written but contain the basic elements of any informational copy, i.e., who; what; when; where; why and of course a great tagline. The tagline is equivelent to the subject line of a business letter. The tagline makes the reader go to paragraph one, instead of deleting the message! Free resources for distributing press releases include mi2n.com (part of the Music Dish Network); PRlog.com and many many more.

Step five: After deciding which markets you are approaching, creating your hard copy press kit/EPK, writing and submitting your general press release, it is time to work the specific markets you have chosen…this means research. You will need to find outlets specific to the market which have an online presence, newsletter, college radio, indie radio, internet radio, etc. From your research results, you will create a database of relevant outlets for each market. You will send initial contact queries in preparation of providing hardcopy/epk materials for their review. Make certain your pitch letter touches on key points from your Bio, as this will engrain your information in the reviewer’s mind when you follow up with your actual materials. Also, as different outlets have specific submission guidelines, ensure that these are followed to the letter.

To be continued…SOON

If you don’t see the update to this article, you can be sure my fellow publicists have incapacitated me!!!

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