Cred. You can't manufacture, fake, force, or buy it. Credibility has to evolve and come naturally; it's a certain je ne sais quoi that doesn't have always have a definition, but you know when you see (or hear) it. So how, exactly, do build up your cred in the eyes of the media? Well, there's certainly no A + B = C formula, but there are both intangible elements and concrete things you can do to impress members of the press.
1. Be real, be you
This cannot be understated. Don't be fake. Don't do things because you think they'll make you credible; the media will sniff that shit out instantly. Just be you. Don't pretend to be political if you're not. Don't try and foster a bad-boy, devil-may-care, or rebel-without-a-cause attitude or vibe if that's not really who you are IRL.
As cheesy as this sounds, just be you, and it'll shine through. A false veneer will make itself obvious. If you stand for something, be vocal about that, and let it carry you. If you don't know what "being you" entails, then you need take a deeper, harder look at your career and figure it out... quick.
2. Don't force it
You can't try and fit in with a hip media outlet if you don't share those same interests. If you don't fit into that world, accept it and move on. Work on securing your footing with publications that are suited to your sound, your image, and your style. If you aren't covered in tattoos, then you shouldn't be hot for a feature in Inked or Rebel Ink.
3. Take care of your fans
It's awesome when your connection with your fans is so deep that it reaches marrow. Make sure to foster that relationship and be proud of it. It's really impressive when a band is all about the fans. Believe or not, there are some acts who really aren't.
How can you show demonstrate this? Oh, it's crazy easy. Look out for your female fans at shows. Make sure no one is groping them or acting like fools. If there happens to be a moshpit breaking out in the crowd, stand up for your fans who may be getting trampled and protect them. Beyond that, communicate with your fans on social media. Welcome them warmly into your world. Be present and be available. The media will notice when you're working hard and when you treat your fans well.
Another specific way that you can impress the media with your cred among your fans: If you do any sort of crowdfunding initiative and your goal is not only met but exceeded, that says a lot about the relationship between you and your fans. If your fans love you that much, that means you must have something special happening.
Above all, as long as you work hard at making great music and improving your live performance, that in itself will make your band more credible. If you're overly concerned with how people perceive you, you'll just be distracted from the stuff that truly matters.
Amy Sciarretto has 20 years of print and online bylines, from Kerrang to Spin.com to Revolver to Bustle, covering music, beauty, and fashion. After 12 years doing radio and publicity at Roadrunner Records, she now fronts Atom Splitter PR, her own boutique PR firm, which has over 30 clients. She also is active in animal charity and rescue.