Getting the rapt attention of a publication isn't easy. It takes effort, passion, patience, and creativity, since there are lots of other publicists and bands vying for the editorial attention of super busy writers, bloggers, producers, vloggers, bookers, and editors. So you need to stand out. If you aren't able to afford a publicist at this venture and can't rely on someone else's creativity, expertise, know-how, and boundless contacts, you aren't SOL (look it up if you're scratching your head over that one)!
Here are three really easy ways to get a publication's attention.
1. Handwrite a note
Grab a white sheet of loose-leaf or copier paper, a brand new red Sharpie, and start using your penmanship. Who cares if it's chicken scratch? That makes it even more endearing, since it's the personal touch that will leave an impression, as everyone has gone digital. Emails flood inboxes all day, every day with their impersonal nature. There's something a lot more connective about a hand-drawn Sharpie heart than an emoji.
As for the content of the note? Keep it short, keep it punchy, and keep it cute. It can be as simple as, "Check out our CD! Love, [band]." I did something like this with one of my bands many years ago and managed to get a cover story. (#TrueStory)
2. Send something cute or memorable
If you're able, send something cute stuffed, plush, or plastic that has some sort of pun-like connection to your band. It'll end up on the writer's or editor's desk, and that way, you'll remain top of mind. Trust me – this is about as cheap and easy as it gets and can lead to some decent ROI, since you're not spending much.
If your best song has the word "breath" in the title, send Tic-Tacs. If your band name has the word "paper" in it, send a necklace made out of paper clips. If you have the word "lion" in your album title, grab a handful of $5 plush lion keychains or something cheap and cute at Five Below. If you have the word "sweet" in a song or album title, send some Swedish Fish or other nonperishable candy. Are you catching my drift here? These are cheap and fun ways to be creative and stand out. I told you the method; it's up to you sort the particulars and the details.
3. Give 'em some swag
Yes, you have to pay for your T-shirts, and your merch is really and truly how you make your money since record sales are in the toilet. There's nothing wrong with taking five T-shirts out of your stash to send to a publication, editor, or writer. Everyone likes free stuff. It will help you be remembered amid of sea of CDs or digital links to music.
It's not hard to stand out beyond your music! Good luck.
Learn more about getting press for your music:
- A Music Publicist's Actual Checklist for Pitching Press
- 5 of the Worst Ways to Describe Your Band if You're Trying to Get Press
- Steal These Strategies That Top PR Firms Use to Get Press for Your Band
- Top 3 Things Every Band Thinks Impress Music Journalists, But Actually Don't
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.