A compelling press release is one of many tools that can promote new music and elevate the conversation around an artist. Keeping a few basics in mind can help you tell an artist’s story, pique the interest of media and radio tastemakers, and reach a long list of contacts at once. Here are things to keep in mind when crafting a press release that will make it valuable to those you send it to.
Why write and send out a press release?
A well-written press release can do big things. First — and probably most importantly — it allows you to tell the story you want about an artist’s music. Media outlets that receive your press release will use it as a guide for determining if it fits their audiences, what they’ll ask in an interview, what to look for while listening for a review, etc. You have complete control over what your press release says. And more and more media outlets are posting press releases in their entirety on their websites. Having a press release — and a well-written one — can up your chances of it being shared.
Second, a press release is an easy way to get information to a lot of people at one time. It can be tedious to send individual emails to a long list of contacts. With a press release, you can reach a large target group at once and adjust the release for multiple groups, if needed. More on that soon.
Who do I send my press release to?
The answer to this question will depend on your goals. Are you using a press release to attract media attention? Do you want radio DJs to know about a new single? Are you promoting a tour?
All can be necessary throughout a release cycle. Meeting each of these goals requires a different target audience that will need unique information. And it’s important to not send the same press release to all of them.
Once you determine your goal, let it guide what information goes into your press release. Use whatever program you’re using for sending emails (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) to build contact lists for each of these target groups so you have them on hand. Doing so makes it easy to send your press release, but it also gives you data you can use when sending out future ones.
How do I craft a press release?
What information goes in your press release? Going back to the “why,” start with the story you want to tell. Use artist quotes to capture that story in their voice. It can also be helpful to give context for where a certain release fits into the artist’s career. It’s not really just about this single or tour, is it? It’s about where they came from, where they are, and where they’re going. Use each press release to share that information.
Once you have the story, add in the information your target audience needs. For media, let them know when the music is coming out. For radio, let them know how they can download the song for airplay. For tours, include ticket sale information and dates.
While some information will be tailored to a specific audience, you’ll want the following in all press releases:
- The music release date
- A link to where people can hear the music
- Links to social media pages and websites
- A quote from the artist
- The single/album cover image
- A hi-resolution press photo of the artist with photo credit
- Contact information so people can follow up and get more information
And a friendly but serious reminder: proofread. You want to be taken seriously. A press release riddled with errors doesn’t scream professional artist. Take your time to read through your press release a few times before hitting send. Spend extra time checking dates and the spelling of names and words in big type (like headlines and captions). Double check that all your hyperlinks are working, too.
I’ve sent it. Now what?
Once your press release is sent, keep an eye out for who shares it or asks for more information. Respond promptly to any requests. The point was to generate interest, so reply if people reach out.
Now is also the time to look at data you receive from the press release. What was the open rate? What links did people click on? Did a lot of people unsubscribe?
Use this information to fine-tune future press releases. If you saw a lot of unsubscribes, maybe what you sent wasn’t tailored well for the audience. If people clicked on your social media links, they wanted to learn more. All of this knowledge can help you craft better press releases in the future.
There are many ins and outs of press release writing. Knowing what works best for you and the information you want to share will come over time by trial and error.
The main takeaways here are: one, make sure important dates and links are included; two, tailor your writing to your audience; three, add a personal touch by using a quote from the artist about the music in their voice.
These basics are a great starting point to make sure the press releases you send are artist-focused and sharing the news you want to.