"We emailed blogs, but none of them ever responded." Sound familiar? The truth is that blogs are burdened by submissions and only have so much time in the day to listen and check out every band that comes their way. If you want to be the one who gets heard, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. This all starts with how you write your email. The ultimate name of the game? Make writers' jobs as easy as possible.
1. Follow submission guidelines
Every outlet has different submission guidelines and sets of rules to increase the chances its writers will listen to your music. While it can be burdensome on your end to email 100 blogs each requiring a different submission guideline, you will find most of the guidelines overlap with each other. Create a list of guidelines for each blog to determine the commonalities, and then make sure you have all the information in your basic pitch. Once you start pitching to each blog, it'll only take a few small tweaks and a bit of rearranging to cater to their specific needs. Yes, it’s a pain. But you do want to be covered, right?
2. Give a reason why they should cover you
You have to give the contact a reason to cover your band. If you're a hip-hop artist contacting a writer who only covers folk, "We have super dope beats" won’t suffice. The same goes if you're a folk artist contacting a hipster indie blog, telling them, "This is the best record I’ve ever made." It’s not about you. It’s about them. What have they covered that is similar to your band? Is there something they’ve written about that makes you think they could like your music? If you can’t find a reason why they should be interested, then you shouldn’t reach out. It’s that simple.
3. Ask for what you want
Specifically ask for the type of coverage you want. But first things first: make sure the blog you're contacting actually does that type of coverage. If it’s a blog that only posts MP3s, you shouldn’t ask for an album review. This will just tell them you know nothing about the blog. Do they have a specific column where you could be a fit? Mention that column. Know what they cover in advance to show you're paying attention, and don't waste their time with what they don’t.
4. Include necessary information
There are a few things you should include in absolutely every single pitch to make it easy for the writer. All of these should be direct links to the information, rather than attachments. The only time you should send an attachment is if it's specifically requested.
- Link to album, EP, or single you want covered (most prefer the link is either SoundCloud or Bandcamp)
- A few descriptive sentences about the music and basic story
- EPK/bio link
- Publicity photos
- Genre or similar artists that can be used as a quick frame of reference
As mentioned, media is always working against time constraints to get everything done. There simply is never enough time. If you take the few simple steps above into account, you’ll be on your way to building a stronger relationship in the future. The pitch may still not receive a response right away, but don’t get discouraged. Just follow up in a week or two weeks to see if the media contact has had a chance to listen.
Get more tips for pitching the press:
- 5 Types of Pitch Emails All Music Journalists Hate Getting From Indie Bands
- How to Craft Your Band's Pitch for 5 Types of Media Outlets
- Ask a Music Journalist: Why Who and How You Pitch Matters
- How to Pitch Your Band When You Can't Afford PR
- A Music Publicist's Actual Checklist for Pitching Press
Janelle Rogers began her 20-year music industry career working for SXSW Music and Media Conference. She then went on to work for BMG Distribution for 10 years in the alternative music department where she championed bands like Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, and The White Stripes. In 2002 she launched Green Light Go Music PR as a haven of honesty, integrity, and passion for underrepresented artists and labels. She has since been named Mentor of the Year by the University of Michigan, Dearborn, appeared as a panelist at NXNE, and been an official SXSW mentor.