How Do I Get A Journalist to Come to My Show?


 

THE ARTIST: MC Till (Cincinnati, OH)
THE QUESTION: So, I read your blogs about getting reviews.  Great stuff.  Instead of going for album reviews what I really want to do is get show reviews.  Have you heard of such a thing?  I want a journalist/blogger to come to a show and then write about it.  That might be a lofty goal, but I’m a lofty guy.

THE ANSWER: Yea, I’ve heard of this idea before and I think it’s a great one! I have to be honest though, I don’t think I’ve ever attempted to score one of these so I’m not sure of the “proper” procedure. But here are some thoughts on the matter.

1. Give Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Think about it: not only are you asking them to like your music, you’re asking them to like your music enough to donate an evening to you.  If you want them to commit, it needs to be the show. What are some ways your show can stick out?

  • Incentive: Give them 2-3 complimentary tickets to the show. Pick up their bar tab for the night.  Is this bribery? hehe…
  • Lineup: Perhaps you’re opening for a really huge name and you think its worth a write-up. Maybe it’ll turn out that 60% of the write-up is about the other guy, but you’ll be 40%.
  • A Good Cause: These are the best…especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas (hint hint).  Papers love writing about food drives, fundraisers, and charity events. Think about partnering with a local organization and build some press opps around that.


2. Your Pitch is Twice as Important
Again, you’re not just selling one idea, you’re selling two. One: like my music. Two: come to my show. So take that pitch email seriously. Be respectful, be thorough, and be brief. Yes, its possible to be thorough and brief  – giving just enough information but not too much. Check out How to Score Reviews of Your CD for examples on how to write a pitch. Note that, in this particular case, your pitch will look something like:

  • paragraph 1: introduce yourself and say why you’re writing
  • paragraph 2: give some more details about you and your music
  • paragraph 3: give facts about the who/what/when/where/why of your event


3. Build a Relationship
Get to know your local music editors. Think of it like a relationship. You’re more willing to do something for someone you care about versus someone you’ve just met.  Maybe having a reporter come out to your show could be a long-term goal.

  • initial contact: shoot an email to see what their submission process is like
  • later down the line: contact them about your new album chock full of an appropriate pitch, press info, and a hard copy of the project
  • and even further down the line: hopefully you’ve been corresponding with him/her to the point where asking for a show review isn’t far-fetched. Note that this process could be a year-long situation where you’re simply on his or her radar. The key is to build rapport

4. Just ask
It doesn’t hurt to just ask if they do reviews. Being blunt is often the best type of communication. This might work best with bloggers who, by default, have a reputation for being more informal.

p.s. I like your T-shirt. I think you’re beautiful too.
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2 Comments on “How Do I Get A Journalist to Come to My Show?”

  1. midwayfair Says:

    Under “incentives” it’s generally considered de rigeur to give journalists two press passes, one for themselves and one for a guest. I’m not saying that journalists will assume that they’re getting two, but the might.

    unless you’re trying to get a *specific* journalist to show up for your show, the most important thing is to get your music in front of them. The biggest bar to indie artists getting coverage isn’t that the writers and editors don’t care about you. It’s that they don’t know you exist and have never heard your stuff. When you send a press release for your tour, hit EVERY publication you can find with staff in that area, hit them two to three weeks in advance, and for heaven’s sake, make it easy to find a link to your music, because in the end most music writers care what you sound like, not who you’ve “shared the stage with.”

    p.s. I’m one of the Baltimore writers for DriftwoodMagazine.com. (Joy, sorry to advertise this on your blog.)


  2. Most local papers have entertainment reporters who will review your live shows if given ample time…..


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