As a musician, when are you most likely to contact the press?
Probably when you’re releasing a new album or heading out on tour, right? That’s understandable, but there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your music besides the usual tour and album-launch publicity push.
A perfect stranger will probably need to hear your name at least a few times before they say to themselves, “hey, maybe I should check out their music.” If that’s the case then you need to be taking advantage of as many of these press opportunities as possible.
If you start with a few of these in advance of your next album, you might just have a whole new audience primed for your new music when it’s ready for release!
You don’t have to do a full-on PR campaign or prepare a proper press release for all of these events. Targeting just one blog and offering them an exclusive (in the case of a single or video premiere) or sending an informal email to a few folks who’ve favorably reviewed your music in the past might be all it takes. Do what feels right for you. But make sure you let some people in the industry know…
1. When you start recording a new album, single, or collaboration
Your fans will be psyched, and that means a blog or print publication stands to gain new readers when they announce the exciting news about your recording project.
Things to tell the press:
- Who you’re working with (engineer, producer, guest musicians, etc.)
- Where you’re recording
- What’s different about this creative process from previous projects
2. When you’re deep into the recording sessions
If your recording process takes more than a month or so, it can be also be exciting for people to see how things are shaping up. When you hit the halfway mark, send another update.
Things that bloggers may want you to provide:
- Details on how it’s going and how many new songs you’re working on
- Any tentative song titles
- Photos, videos, rough mixes, or demos that they can share
3. When you finish your recording
Here’s the logical followup to the previous two: a big announcement saying “we’re done!”
This gives you another chance to share details about the project, videos of you in the studio, photos, etc. Plus, you can set some expectations about the release timeline.
4. When you choose an album title
Oh, the album title reveal. So exciting for fans. And again, an opportunity for blogs and print publications to attract some new readers with a quick story about your upcoming — and now NAMED — record.
What to tell the press:
- A few essential details about your career
- The most interesting soundbite about the new album
- And how the title reflects on the music or vision for this project
5. When you finalize your album art
This is always another fun reveal. I love seeing the covers for soon-to-be-released albums by my favorite bands. When pitching this story to the press, provide similar info to your album title announcement, but perhaps include a few words about the design, the designer, and what it signifies about the music. (Plus a hi-res image of your cover, of course.)
6. When you launch your first (or any) single from the new record
Here’s a great opportunity to capitalize on the promo power of an individual blog or website by giving them either a limited time exclusive (where they are the ONLY place where fans can find the song, for a week or so) or a premiere (where they get to be the first to share the song, but then it’s open season after a day or two). Because they are the ONLY place to find the song, they have an incentive to promote your music to their readers and social media followers.
7. When you launch a video
Provide the blog or website with the embed code for an unlisted video on YouTube or Vimeo (or give them the video file if they request it).