Last week we had a look at what blogs artists should use and the kind of content they should post, this week we thought we would have a look into how to create a good press release. So firstly what is a press release? Press releases are sent to media organisations in order to inform them about an artist’s album release or tour. The aim is to get some coverage in a magazine, newspaper or radio show etc. Many artists regard press releases as something that’s difficult to create and only big signed bands really need to worry about them. This is not true; a press release does not have to be complicated. Have a look at our top tips below.
1- Be concise
Keep your press pack straight and to the point, no one will sit and read through you waffling on about your bands dreams and desires and where you went on your summer holiday.
2 – Layout
Keep it short, two sides of an A4 page is a good length. Start with a picture (of the band, band logo, or album/single cover.) then give some information about the band and one or two interesting facts that might relevant in an article. For example, where the band is from, big venues they’ve played or well known artists they’ve supported. DO NOT write a full biography.
3- Include a quote
Always include a named quote from the artist or label itself.
4- Keep it simple.
If information should be a list, display it in a list format. Do not over complicate it by inserting tables and tabs. Keep it as simple and straightforward as possible and avoid overloading it with images.
5- Only display the main information.
Push anything that is not the core information into the ‘notes for editors’ section at the back.
6 – Tour/Release information
Give information about the release or tour you are promoting. The media individual may only listen to one or two tracks, make sure you mention the best songs you want them to listen too!
7 – Give track listing
Give the track listing of the CD in the press release, make it easy for the journalist to know which track they are listening to.
8 -Photos for press releases
– Always send a photo. Either include in your press release (desired) or provide a link to one, or even attach it to the email.
– For print media photos will need to be 300dpi. JPEG format is advised.
– If you can, be sure to include landscape, portrait and square photo. This is to make sure that when someone wants to use your photo they can choose the one which will fit on their website or printed page. Include some information about who is in the picture (which band member is where).
– Make press photos easily available online. Create an album on your Facebook, MySpace and your website dedicated to press photos. If a journalist can’t find a suitable picture to use for you they will often scrap it and find someone else to fill the gap. Make it easy for people to write about you.
9 – Contact information.
It sounds simple but people do forget. Make sure that contact information is correct, there is nothing worse than sending out a press release with the wrong contact information. Include your contact details on both the CD and the main press release.
10 – Format
Think about what format you’ll provide it in, remember that your press release should be easily cut and pasted into an article. This is impossible in a PDF file. The majority of journalists hate PDF so send it in .Doc
Bonus: How to make a physical press release stand out
So you’ve created your press release, but how are you going to make it stand out and make people want to read it? Well if you have a PR company, they will do this for you and because it’s from a PR agency it will probably be opened. The fact that an artist has a PR agent in the first place gives the impression that a small degree has already been passed and that it is worth looking at. Although Zimbalam would not necessarily condone this, many artists will create a fake PR company to make their press release appear to have more weight behind it. Keep in mind the people and publications you are sending this to and adapt your release to fit them. Are they going to read all of the press packs they receive? No. And there is no real way of guaranteeing that it will be opened but there are some things you can do to make yours seem professional. Have it presented in a folder with a good looking cover page. Any substandard looking material will most likely get thrown in the bin. Including sweets in the pack is an old trick, at least then they will have to open the packaging and once they’ve got that far they might as well play the CD.
This post was written by Hannah Donovan Zimbalam UK Manager @hannahbarracuda , Co written by Robert Hurst @rob_hurst