Posted tagged ‘BeatCrave’

Writing a Press Release – PR 101

February 9, 2009

 

WAZ

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.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

###

Contact:
Jane Smith Music
(address should go here if it is a business address)
www.janesmithmusic.com
info@janesmithmusic.com

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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Creating Content – Giving People Something to Talk About #2

February 5, 2009
Matt Wertz

Matt Wertz

To read the first part of this blog, visit Creating Content #1. Here are some additional ways to create content for your website(s).


Widgets
I used to be extremely skeptically of using widgets on my page but everyone is using them these days and they are such a great way to simply beef up your page(s). What’s a widget?  I’ts basically a small representation of something bigger.  For example, if you have a photo album on Photobucket, Photobucket will create a slideshow box that will fit compactly on your myspace (or anywhere else for that matter). This is a widget. 

Check out Matt Wertz’s myspace page.  He uses widgets by iLike, Flektor (to create a poll), Slide (to show of his pics in a slideshow).  Alot of artists are using Eventful.  If web surfers click on the famous “demand it” button, that lets an artist know that fans want them to visit their city.  It’s a helpful tool that will likely encourage to travel outside of your comfort zone.

 The fact that major signed artists are also using these applications, gives them more credibility.  The only problem?  Well, its not the ideal situation to have another company’s name or logo on your information but sometimes its the easiest route…especially if you don’t have much html knowledge to alter code.


Realistic expectations

Getting reviews is a huge part of getting your name out there…because its always flattering when someone else is doing the talking for you. I talked about this yesterday in Creating Content #1.  But because so many musicians are trying to get their music heard by some major magazine why not try for a small magazine. Put down People Magazine and go for something small. Even if the smaller mag only get 100 readers a month, who cares!  Chances are they will have a more personal touch.  They’ll probably get back to you within a day or two and they’ll probably spit out a review 10x faster than the average major publication.  BeatCrave is a really great start-up publication with a really professional look.  Just b/c a zine is in its growing phase, doesn’t mean it’ll be tacky, unreliable, or not worth persuing.

I’ve also found that in working with newbies, they are willing to support you in a way that established media will not.  Newbies will link to your website even if you don’t advertise with them.  Newbies will allow you to do special promotions (like a contest) with their readers.


More on realistic expectations
Also look into underdog online podcasts and smaller scale media opportunities like local community TV, and even radio on the AM dial.  Be willing to do the “insignificant” things b/c they will open doors.  Chances are, if you’re doing something on TV or radio, they’ll be able to give you your DVD footage or LIVE audio for use on your website(s).

 

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