As an artist, you want music journalists to listen to your music, to give you a chance, to hear you out (quite literally), and to perhaps spend some column inches, be it digitally or in print, writing about it. Usually, you hire a publicist to help you achieve that end result.
But if you can't afford a PR rep and are relying on your own devices to get music into the hands of a journalist, you need to get a lot more creative than sending an email and saying, "Check out this SoundCloud link" or, "Watch this YouTube clip." Zzzz. That's pitch Ambien. It'll put the receiver of that email to sleep, provided that he or she even opens the email in the first place.
You need to execute some forward-thinking tactics and strategies to stand out among the noise. Try these four better, more creative, and easier ways to get a music writer to listen to your tunes.
1. Get cute
Insert a cute graphic into an email. If you have some Photoshop skills, grab a photo of a writer from his or her Twitter, social media, or next to his or her byline and add a caption or something that says, "Here's Amy Sciarretto rocking out to our song and being glad she read this email." That's cute, fun, and endearing.
That's just an out-there example, but you're an artist. You're creative by nature and trade. Come up with something fun and serviceable.
2. Do the work for them
Information is key. It needn't be a manifesto, but having too little or no information isn't going to get you anywhere. Include hyperlinks to keep the copy clean. Add a photo, but make sure it's resized so it's not 14 MB and going to crash their inbox. Include a three-sentence bio on who you are. The less googling the writer has to do, the better.
[Ask a Publicist: 4 Elements of a Great Music Blog Pitch]
3. Get personal
In the digital age, anyone can make an iPhone video or film something and upload it to YouTube. So, why not make a 30-second, personal, and impassioned plea to the writer to listen to your music that you're enclosing? Or add the music to the clip.
You could say something like, "Hi Amy, I know you're busy, but once you listen to this song, you're going to be glad I found my way into your inbox." A clip of you speaking directly to the writer is powerful – it assaults all senses. It appeals to emotion. It could work in your favor.
4. Get physical
If you want to put something in the hands of writers, something tactile that they can touch and feel and remember more than an email, send a cheap tchotchke like a bag of nuts and say, "You're nuts if you don't listen to our music." Something handwritten is super personal in the digital age.
Learn more about getting press for your music:
- A Music Publicist's Actual Checklist for Pitching Press
- 3 Easy, Creative Ways to Get a Publication's Attention
- 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.