Sin City Presents Magazine August 2016 Volume 3 Issue 8 - Page 30

Dear bands, Here's How to...



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Dear Bands, Here's How to Write a Damn Press Release

Every once in a while I stumble on a piece that is so good I have to share, this is one of those cases. I get asked this question often and Kim Kelly has summed it perfectly. I’m a big fan of not reinventing the wheel so I reached out to Kim for her blessing to share this piece with you that was originally published in 2014 for SONICBIDS.

Let’s start with a little introduction…. Currently the Editor at Noisey, based in New York City she writes about music and the culture that surrounds it. Kim Kelly grew up in the Jersey Devil's backyard. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Atlantic, NPR, The Telegraph, Pitchfork, Spin, Stereogum, the Village Voice, Decibel, and lots of others. She likes black metal, black tea, and Black Sabbath. For the love of all that is unholy, please stop sending her your mix tapes.

So without further adieu let’s get down to business, music business 101.

“As part of my job as a music journalist, I sift through anywhere from 50 to way-too-many press releases daily, separating the wheat from the chaff and trying to find something that fits into the holy trifecta of interesting, relevant, and newsworthy. By now, I've seen plenty of good press releases, a few truly great ones, and an ungodly amount of no good, horrible, downright deplorable excuses for a press release. If you want me or anyone else in the press to give you the time of day, you either need to hire a publicist or master the art of crafting a solid press release yourself. Here are four rules of thumb to keep in mind when sallying forth into treacherous unknown inboxes.”

1. Don't send a press release without a good reason

"Band X is cool!" is rubbish, but "Band X is hitting the road with Band Z; listen to a new tune from their upcoming Lout Records debut!" is great. Focus your email around a newsworthy event, like pimping a new album, an upcoming tour announcement, or a new song reveal, so writers and editors have a reason to add you to their news section or your gig to their calendars. Keep it simple and concise, and focus on the who, what, where, when, and why.

2. Do proofread

Reread each sentence for typos and grammar errors. This should go without saying, but seriously, you should see some of the emails I get. Did you remember to add links and contact information? If a press release lands in an inbox with no contact info, no one's going to reply. And, while we're at it, always, always, always double-check that you BCC your press blast list.

3. Don't be cocky

I don't know who you are, so instead of pumping yourself up with silly hyperbole or bravado, focus on telling me about yourself – honestly.

4. Don't use stupid colors, fonts, or sparkly photos

If you need to attach a photo, make sure it's relevant. A nice hi-res band shot or tour poster is fine– anything else probably isn't.