Part 1: How to plan your press outreach?
As a musician, it's important to have a solid plan in place to get press for your new music release. With the help of Virtual Publicist's music AI tool, you can streamline your media outreach strategy and get your work noticed by the right people. In this section, we'll explore the key steps you need to take to master media outreach for your new music release.
Step 1: Building a press list
It all begins by researching media outlets and journalists that cover the type of music you make. Journalists, editors and bloggers all have a distinct style to their work. Identifying the right ones usually saves a lot of time in the outreach process and most importantly save-face for an artist that may reach out to people who simply do not cover their work.
When researching your potential outlets, take into account the following characteristics to identify the right candidates.
- Outlet location - unless you are reaching out for an international market, its best to stick to either key cities or local outlets to get the ball rolling.
- Writer niche - not all writers address the same type of artist nor write the same kind of articles, choose the ones that will be able to amplify your story or give your music a fair review.
- Publication frequency - a magazine, journal or blog will not release content in the same time-frames, some release daily others weekly or even monthly. The key is to time publications with your release so that they are not lost in the noise of other releases and stand out from the crowd.
Step 2: The Perfect Pitch
Virtual Publicist makes this simple by correlating the best suited candidates with its suggestive AI.
- Identify the right contacts:
- Once you have a list of potential media outlets, research the journalists and writers who cover your genre. Look for writers who have written about artists similar to you, and make note of their contact information.
- Create a Smar List:
- Organize your press list into a Smart List found on the left hand side of your dashboard. This will help you keep track of your efforts and follow up with your communications effectively.
- Personalize your outreach:
- When reaching out to journalists, make sure to personalize your emails. Mention specific articles they have written or share a common connection if you have one. A personalized approach will help you stand out and increase the chances of getting a response by forming a relationship with the journalist.
- Utilize social media:
- In addition to email, consider reaching out to journalists on social media. Twitter is one of the most important centers for the journalist community. You can easily share your music and tag them in your posts. This will help you build a relationship with them and increase your chances of getting coverage.
- Monitor your list:
- As you continue to make music and build your brand, be sure to regularly update your press list to scale your visibility. Keep track of which outlets have covered your music in the past and which ones may be interested in future releases.
- Offer exclusives:
- If you have a particularly newsworthy aspect of your release, such as a new music video or a collaboration, consider offering it to one media outlet as an exclusive. This can increase the chances of getting coverage and create a sense of anticipation for the release.
- Start with a headline:
- The headline is the first thing that journalists, editors, and writers will see, so make sure it is attention-grabbing and accurately reflects the content of your press release.
- Provide a hook:
- In the first paragraph, provide a hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a unique aspect of your music, a special collaboration, or a newsworthy event.
- State the facts:
- The following paragraphs should provide the details of your music release, including the title, release date, and any other relevant information such as the inspiration behind the music or the process of creating it.
- Include quotes:
- Including quotes from the artist or members of the band can add personality to the press release and give journalists, editors, and writers a sense of who you are as an artist.
- Provide high-quality images:
- Including high-quality images with your press release can help journalists, editors, and writers visualise your music and make it easier for them to write about it.
- Provide links:
- Make sure to include links to your music, social media accounts, and any other relevant websites. This will make it easy for journalists, editors, and writers to find more information about you and your music.
- Keep it concise:
- A press release should be concise, with no more than two pages of content. Stick to the facts and make sure that the information you provide is relevant and useful to the reader.
- End with a call to action:
- End the press release with a call to action, inviting the reader to listen to your music or to get in touch with you for more information.
A well-written press release is a valuable tool for artists looking to promote their new music releases. Start with a headline, provide a hook, state the facts, include quotes, provide high-quality images, provide links, keep it concise, and end with a call to action to write a compelling press release that will effectively communicate your message to bloggers, journalists, editors, and writers.
Part 3 Content Types and Release strategy
Virtual Publicist is your ultimate outreach partner
For musicians and artists, media outreach is where the professionals are separated from the amateurs. As a crucial step in order to get your name out there and expose your brand to a larger audience, the media landscape can be seen as divided into 2 tiers. One that will be picking up the story for a fee, or the other based purely on the merit of your story as an artist.
Without a wide reach of media talking about your music, your brand will remain in a bubble. Even if you are bringing forward a niche culture, or appealing to a smaller group of audiences there is a media outlet that exists for you. After all, what blogs or media do is aggregate newsworthy highlights that appeal to their audience.
Getting publications in prestigious media is much more difficult for obvious reasons. If you are not backed by a PR agency that has established contacts, a tool like Virtual Publicist, which happens to be unique, is the only way you will be able to identify the gatekeepers of those outlets. rs.
Don't forget to verify your Targeting checklist
Performing, Appearing, and Story Telling on Media
In truth, media appearances are another sort of performance. They are quite helpful for gaining new fans and creating buzz. But, you have to put in the same level of preparation that you do for a live show. Having different types of media performances, interviews, and strong storytelling helps musicians to engage with their audience in different ways and showcase their musical talent, personality, and message. These elements add variety and depth to the media coverage and make it more interesting and appealing to the audience. Additionally, different media formats allow musicians to reach different segments of their audience and to communicate their message in a way that is best suited to that particular audience. By presenting themselves in a variety of ways, musicians can increase their visibility and build their brand, which is important for their career success.
Since interviews are all about your biggest passion — your music — there are more media outlets than ever seeking to interview musicians. Magazines, blogs, podcasts, radio and television programs, YouTube channels, etc. An interview gives you the opportunity to speak truth about your music. Making sure your story makes sense and is aligned with the rest of your public persona is very important so that you maintain a consistent vibe to your audience.
In all the scenarios you will be contributing background information and quotations for a story that they are telling. Your story ultimately fits in the outlet’s story and that’s why you are there. If the outlet asks you for audio/video know that this will be the bulk of their publication, so make sure you are doing it properly surrounded by at least 1 professional who can help you set up the shot and record without too much noise.
As a musician, giving interviews is a critical part of promoting your music and building your brand. Whether it’s a radio interview, a TV appearance, or a print feature, a successful interview can help you connect with your audience and increase your visibility. To make the most of your interview opportunities, it’s important to be prepared and professional. In this article, we’ll outline the best practices for a musician getting ready for an interview, including tips for research, preparation, and how to present yourself in the best light possible
Best Practices for an Interview:
- Research the outlet and the interviewer:
- Find out what kind of audience the outlet reaches, what topics they usually cover, and the style of the interviewer. This information can help you tailor your responses to the audience and the interviewer.
- Prepare talking points:
- Think about the key messages you want to convey and have a few stories or anecdotes ready to illustrate your points.
- Be yourself:
- Authenticity is key in an interview. Be natural, speak from the heart, and let your personality shine through.
- Practice active listening:
- Pay attention to the questions being asked and respond directly to them. This shows that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
- Know your music:
- Be prepared to discuss your music and the creative process behind it. Know the lyrics to your songs and be able to explain the meaning behind them.
- Be respectful and professional:
- Avoid controversial topics and maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview. This can help you establish a good reputation and make a positive impression on the interviewer and the audience.
- Thank the interviewer:
- After the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. This shows professionalism and gratitude and can lead to future opportunities.
Premiers and Blogs
Premier is the first public appearance of your work, not to be confused with a press release or blog post that can be done at any point in your artist journey.
The majority of blogs out there focus on 1 genre and usually tell a similar type of story for artists that are broadcasted on their outlet. With smaller blogs having more limited artists, and bigger blogs having more constrained publication formats, it is important to have a story that reflects their audience above all else. The story can be a mix of your product’s creation, your journey as a creator, or even an opinion piece that illustrates your position on an ongoing topic. In the larger scheme of things, you should align blogs during a campaign as both an initial stepping stone and something to maintain the momentum of your song’s mentions online.
Premiers are a more complex type of article to manage as you need to pick 1 key outlet to start with, and from there spread onto the smaller ones or perhaps bigger ones should the story be powerful enough.
When pitching a premiere to a media outlet, it’s important to include the following information:
- The title and details of the new release:
- Include the name of the album or single and any relevant information, such as the release date, track listing, and genre.
- The background of the artist:
- Briefly describe the artist’s background, including their previous releases and notable accomplishments.
- The theme or concept behind the new release:
- Explain what inspired the artist to create this new release and what the themes or messages they hope to convey.
- The format of the premiere:
- Specify whether it’s a live performance, a streaming event, or an exclusive listening party.
- The unique selling points:
- Highlight what sets this premiere apart from others and why it’s worth covering. This could include exclusive content, special guests, or innovative technology.
- The target audience:
- Identify who the target audience is for the new release and why they would be interested in attending the premiere or listening to the music.
- The visual elements:
- Provide visual elements such as album artwork, photos, or a video to accompany the pitch. This can help the media outlet visualize the story they can write about the premiere.
The unplugged performance is one of the most powerful forms of media outreach, although it requires the outlet to have the facilities to accommodate you, it stands as being the most engaging type of storytelling out there. Do not be surprised if these opportunities come at a price. Depending on your available budget, it is almost a no-brainer to go forward with one should the chance arise.
Here are some best practices for doing a live unplugged performance of a song on a variety of media outlets:
- Rehearse the performance multiple times to ensure that it’s polished and ready for the camera.
- Choose the right song:
- Select a song that showcases your voice and musical abilities and fits the tone of the performance.
- Pay attention to lighting and sound:
- Make sure that the lighting is appropriate and the sound quality is good. If possible, do a soundcheck before the performance to make sure that everything is working well.
- Dress appropriately:
- Dress in a way that reflects your personal style and makes you feel comfortable and confident.
- Connect with the audience:
- Make eye contact with the camera or the audience and interact with them as much as possible. This can help you establish a connection and make the performance feel more intimate.
- Tell a story:
- Use the performance as an opportunity to share the story behind the song or to talk about your music in general. This can help the audience understand your message and connect with your music on a deeper level.
- Practice good posture:
- Stand or sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the performance. This can help you project confidence and make a good impression.
- Show emotion:
- Emotion is key in a live performance. Let your voice and your body convey the emotions behind the song and help you connect with the audience.
By following these best practices, you can deliver a memorable and engaging live unplugged performance that will leave a lasting impression on the audience and the media outlets.
Best Practices for Setting Campaign Goals
Creating SMART goals is a critical step in developing a successful targeted campaign as a musician. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Here’s how to create SMART goals for a musician:
S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of goals and objectives for better results, for example in project management, employee-performance management and personal development. The term was first proposed by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
- Be clear and specific about what you want to achieve with your campaign. For example, instead of saying “I want to increase my fan base,” say “I want to increase my fan base by 10% in the next 6 months
- Make sure your goal is measurable so that you can track your progress and see if you’re on track to achieve it. For example, you could track the number of new followers on social media, the number of ticket sales, or the number of streams on music platforms.
- Make sure that your goal is achievable within the given time frame and with the resources you have available. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and adjust your goals accordingly.
- Ensure that your goal is relevant to your overall career as a musician. This will help you stay motivated and focused on what’s important.
- Give yourself a deadline to achieve your goal. This will help you stay on track and prioritize your efforts.
Best Practices for Planning the Release Strategy
An artist should view their release strategy as a comprehensive plan for promoting and distributing their music to reach their target audience. The steps an artist needs to take in order to create a successful release strategy include:
- Define your target audience:
- Determine who you want to reach with your music, and understand their preferences and habits. This will help you tailor your strategy to meet their needs.
- Plan your release date:
- Consider factors such as the timing of other big releases in your genre, the availability of key personnel (such as your producer or marketing team), and important events in your own schedule when choosing a release date.
- Build anticipation:
- Start building buzz around your release months in advance. This could include sharing teasers, offering sneak peeks, or hosting events.
- Choose your distribution channels:
- Decide which platforms and channels you’ll use to distribute your music, including music streaming services, music download sites, and physical stores.
- Plan your marketing and promotion efforts:
- Develop a marketing plan that will help you reach your target audience and create interest in your music. This could include social media advertising, email marketing, and media outreach.
- Collaborate with other artists:
- Consider collaborating with other artists or industry influencers to reach new audiences and increase visibility for your music.
- Measure and evaluate:
- Keep track of your progress and regularly evaluate your strategy to determine what’s working and what’s not. This will help you make adjustments and improve your results over time.
Be persistent and keep expanding your network. If you are working on a 10% response rate then sending out 100 emails means you’ll get 10 positive replies, which is in itself an amazing accomplishment. Depending on your objective, find the number you want to reach and calculate your success at 10%. Don’t stop sending until you reach that number!
Chances are if a media outlet representative already knows you or has heard of you, they’d be more likely to feature you in their magazine. So make sure to have a story-worthy pitch when approaching them. Add as many notable achievements as you like, just don’t write an extensive paragraph that explains it. Keep things short, simple, and savvy.
Now GO ! pitch! and use the Virtual Publicist tool kit to maximize your efficiency and reach!