Haste makes waste in so many situations in life. That includes reaching out to the media to cover your band or contacting PR agencies to represent your band. You'd be surprised how a few small PR mistakes can make you (and your band) look like a great big dope. The good news is that these mistakes all come with easy fixes. If any or all of these apply to you, get to rectifyin', yo!
1. Sloppy emails
If you reach out to a member of the media to cover your band, or to a publicist or a manager seeking representation, a bunch of spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors scream "amateur hour" at a really deafening volume. It takes just a few seconds to do a quick spell check or grammar scan. Double check before you hit that send button. It's only a moment, but it makes a world of difference.
Remember, if you're reaching out to the media, these are people who traffic in words and content all day, every day. They're going to be the first to notice that you used "it's" when you really meant "its." So don't start out on the wrong grammatical foot. It makes you look sloppy and unseasoned.
2. Acting too casual with an industry person you don't (or barely) know
Whether you're sending out a cold email, or even an email to someone you actually met and exchanged business cards with, using a super casual "hey" greeting and/or not addressing people by their first name comes across as rude, lacking tact, and totally unprofessional. Demonstrating confidence with a "bro" tone is not your goal here. Being courteous and professional is your goal.
If I get an email from someone with an unfriendly, boorish, or super pushy tone, I don't even bother to respond, as both a publicist and as a writer. So don't be rude or curt. Get in and get out, but do it with niceness.
3. Poor-quality assets (or none at all)
I've gone to fact-check info, such as band member last names and positions, and I'm routinely shocked when I can't even get a proper band member listing from a Facebook page. Come on, guys! That's basic stuff right there. Get with it.
Make sure your website has a fresh, visually appealing skin. Your official site (and yes, you should have one of those), your social media pages, and your EPK should be up to date and have all the proper info, like your bio, your band members and their roles in the band, and contact info. Everything should be easy to find. If you don't even tell people visiting your page who does what in the band, you're wasting their precious time, and they may say, "To hell with it!" and move on if they can't find what they're looking for.
4. TMI social media presence
Don't let your band's social media presence become a hub of personal information or TMI posts, unless you're really engaging with a fan club, hosting some sort of contest, or sharing a deep connection with fans. If you want your fans to know you on that level, fine. But be careful with how much access you allow.
Basically, just don't act a fool on band properties. Save the drama and silly stuff for your personal feed... but with discretion.
- Ask a Publicist: How Do Bands Sabotage Their Own PR Campaigns?
- 4 Ways to Be More Proactive With Your Band's Publicity
- 8 Things Musicians Should Never, Ever Say During Interviews
- 10 Things You Need to Do Before Hiring a Music Publicist
- 3 Things You Might Be Doing That Are Ruining Your Music PR Campaign
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.