Writing a Press Release – PR 101



WAZ (scroll down to read WAZ's PR about airplay on Grey's Anatomy)

Press Release:
An announcement of an event, performance,
or other newsworthy item that is issued to the press.

Having a press release might not be something that you need…not yet. But having a release alway helps to make you look a little more serious than the average musician.  If you’re just starting out, consider building your resume a bit before creating a press release (so you have something noteworthy to talk about). 

The Basics

  • 1] If you don’t like to write or don’t trust your writing, have someone else write your press release. Either way, make sure to have at least two people in the picture. One person to write the PR. A second person to proofread and edit.
  • 2] Press releases shouldn’t be more than one page. If its too long, don’t expect the recipient to read the whole thing. If its too short, don’t expect it to be taken seriously.
  • 3] Write in third person.  Make it readable. Don’t put too much information to the point that its cluttered.
  • 4] Keep the recipient in mind while writing your PR.  Certain information will only be relevant to certain media outlets.  For example, lets say: “Jane Smith’s won third place for “best song” in her county’s annual songwriting competition.”  You can’t expect this line to carry much weight if you’re sending the press release to National or International media.  You can however expect it to carry more weight if sending to media outlets within your city…especial if the annual competition is recognized as a major affair.


The Layout
Consider having a 3 paragraph press release. 4 paragraphs aren’t bad either. It all depends on what you have to say and how you have to say it. 

Headline: What is your PR about? Are you releasing a new CD? Are you performing at a major festival. Is your song being used at part of the soundtrack of a TV series? Here are some one-line headline examples.

  • “Local Artist to Release Debut CD at Hard Rock Cafe”
  • “Jane Smith’s ‘Midnight Blues’ to appear in Season 4 episode of Greys Anatomy”
  • “Jane Smith Band headlines at SXSW  festival.”

Paragraph 1: Paragraph 1 should clarify the headline.  Explain your headline in fuller terms. Make it interesting so people don’t write-off the rest of the release. (See Paragraph 1 in the PR below)

Paragraph 2: Paragraph 2 can give details about whatever your talking about as well as share facts to build your credibility towards readers. ( See Paragraph 2 in the PR below)

Paragraph 3: Paragraph can give more non-essential details about the CD release…things that are worth knowing but not necessary. (See Paragraph 3 in the PR below)

When its all said and done, your Press Release should look something like this.



Local Artist to Release Debut CD at Hard Rock Cafe”

Cincinnati, OH – February 9, 2009 –  Hard Rock Cafe might not be prepared for the CD release of Cincinnati artist Jane Smith on April 1st (7pm). The multi-talented guitarist, pianist, and trombone player is a one-woman wonder who has taken Ohio by storm and will likely do the same on the 1st.

In just 5 years, the folk-experimental artist has impressed her way into the hearts of the independent music scene. Smith’s music has been called an experimental, progressive, and edgy combination of retro folk with the occasional acoustic sentiment. In a recent write-up,  the New York Times is quoted as saying, “The most refreshing thing is when a new artist emerges from the indie music scene doing something that’s never been done before. If you don’t know Jane Smith yet, you will.” Others, including BeatCrave and Patrol Magazine have said that Smith is “a one-of-a-kind musician” and “the new face of good music.”

Smith blames her lack of creativity for her creative sound.  When asked to explain she said, “I know it sounds unconventional but I start most of my songs with a blank slate…no preconcieved thoughts or topics.  I just put a whole bunch of sounds together and call it a song.”  The opener for her CD release, pop musician Joe Jackson, has a slightly more structured method so attendies can be sure to expect a wide variety of entertainment on April 1st.  Doors open at 6pm.  Tickets available at www.janesmithmusic.com and Hard Rock Cafe.


Jane Smith Music
(address should go here if it is a business address)

Here’s a look at a few other press releases by independent artists 

Here are a few other links on How to Write Press Release


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3 Comments on “Writing a Press Release – PR 101”

  1. dynamo starr Says:

    you guys rock I love this web site.

  2. […] independent artists « Creating Content – Giving People Something to Talk About #2 Writing a Press Release – PR 101 […]

  3. […] Grassrootsy grassroots marketing for independent artists « Writing a Press Release – PR 101 […]

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