Preparation

1. The most important thing is to make sure you’re ready. If you send out underdeveloped music you’ve blown the first impression, and bloggers won’t be eager for your next email. Test it out on a few people you trust to be honest with you before sending it out.

2. The story - who are you and why are you and your music exciting? Where are you going? Who are your peers? Work it out, it’s hard but it’s important because if you don’t know then your press release & campaign will probably be vague and ineffective.

3. Research: if you don’t know what kind of press you want, you probably won’t get it so find out - especially before paying someone to get it for you. If doing it yourself, make a shortlist of bloggers you think might genuinely be interested in your music & familiarize yourself with what they post.

Content

4. Presentation is important! Get some great artwork and press shots done (quality videos too if you can), so that before we even listen to your music it's evident that you’re both serious and artistic.

5. If you are sending out links to your music, make sure bloggers can listen online before choosing to download - their hard drives are groaning.

6. The press release: A lot of bloggers are not writers, they’re curators. You need a couple of well-written paragraph which gives some interesting key information about the project, not a two-page press release. Bloggers love quotes and so should you - they get to cut and paste, and you get to talk about the project in your own words to their audience.

The Approach

 7. You don’t have to hire a PR, but if you do make sure they’re credible - do they get thanked by artists and bloggers online? Do they have lots of followers on Twitter/ Facebook (ie do they know a lot of people)? Do they genuinely like your music, because if they don’t you’re just a job they’ll probably do bare minimum work on. Ask to see previous communications they’ve sent out, and try asking artists who get good press who they work with. Remember! The best PR in the world will struggle if your music isn’t ready and your marketing approach is wrong.

8. DIY PR - great for building up contacts you can keep. Make a shortlist of 20 key bloggers you think would genuinely like your work and send them personalised emails. It’s way more effective than sending a blast to 2000 random bloggers, and you won’t just end up in a spam filter.

9. Tip: ask a few key bloggers for their feedback, or pitch to offer exclusives a couple of weeks before your music comes out. 

Following Up

10. A lot of bloggers get hundreds of emails per day. If they don’t reply it’s not personal, and are usually grateful if you send a polite follow-up email or two.

11. Say thank you! It’s amazing what people will do for artists who are grateful and friendly (send your music to other bloggers and influential people for free, put you up if you come to their city, help promote and book you shows…) Bloggers are often people with big on and offline networks and they like to share information - make sure it’s good.

12. Harness data and use it. If you put out a project for free, use Bandcamp, collect email addresses and stay in touch with your mailing list, it’s probably full of bloggers, journalists, DJs and music nerds, not just fans - it’s your PR list. 

What NOT to do

SPAM. Don’t send unidentified links on Twitter, don’t promote yourself on random Facebook walls, don’t send emails people can’t unsubscribe from (use a mailing list provider). They’ll just block you.

Send too much “polyfiller” content: “here’s the EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes clip number 278 of the making of the trailer of the prelude to the mixtape!” - People will stop reading your emails, it’s not exclusive, and when you really have something of worth it will get lost.

Don’t send boring, low-quality content: Youtube clips with still images over your track, you rapping to your camera phone, random MP3s with no artwork or press release - come correct.

Don't slag Bloggers/ blogging off as a whole online then expect their support. They see all. 

Think a lack of support is someone “hating” for no reason, it’s not personal. Bloggers love good music - yours just might not be to their taste. There’s a blogger out there for everyone.

 

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