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A Guide To DIY Music Press

Getting featured in music press and online media can be quite a task without the help of a PR company. But it can be done! Here's our guide to DIY music press!

Step 1) - The Image.

Start with a photo. It is far easier to give a good impression with sight than it is with sound. People trust their eyes more than their ears. So how do you take a good photo? There a few things you need to bear in mind. Location is key. So many artists go to a forest or dingy looking building to take their press photos, and while this can look good, think of your originality. Experiment with lighting, colours and props. Wardrobe choices are also vital. You have to look like a band, not four friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear matching aprons and bake cupcakes together, but at least consider your colour schemes. When it comes to your image, branding is essential. Check out our branding guide here!

Step 2) - The Right Words.

Your press release is where all the information comes from. More often than not, blogs simply copy your press release and use that when they feature you. So for god’s sake, make it good! Check your grammar twenty times. Use good words, but don’t overdo it, we’re not writing Gone With The Wind here. So what does a press release need? A quick intro that talks about where you’re from and who you are influenced by, followed by a description of your single or album and a quote from the artist about the inspiration behind the track, followed by a projection for the future along with gig listings should do fine. Ideally a press release should be no more than one page. Be concise, but informative.

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Step 3) - The Contacts.

Pick your contacts wisely. If this is your first single, chances are NME won’t be too interested, unless you have some sold out tour dates under your belt and an endorsement from the BBC. But you don’t want to be one of those artists who is perpetually stuck in a loop of local blogs ran by the local pubs and clubs. It is wise to collect as many contacts as you can, and just send out your image, music and press release to all of them. Not at once, for your own sake do not tag them all in the same email. Do it one at a time, be personal and professional. But where do you actually find these contacts? Every self respecting blog will have their contact email on their site or social media pages, so don’t worry. Yes, you don’t have the relationship with these contacts like the PR agencies do, but that will come with time. Provided you are enthusiastic but not aggravating, confident but not arrogant, and appealing but professional, you’ll be fine.

Step 4) - The Results.

Here’s where it gets tricky. No matter what results you get, there is always a way to spin it in your favour. If you only get three returns, pace them out, pick the best quote from each and rave about it. If you get negative reviews (which you shouldn’t, as most blogs would see this is a waste of time), then use it in your favour. Posting a negative review will only rally people to your side. Nothing builds love like opposition. Be prepared to wait a while for your results, so we recommend to send out your initial emails 6 weeks ahead of your release date. This should give you enough time to get some replies. Check out our tips for social media to help you get the word out about your reviews!

So there you have it, a basic guide to DIY music press. It may seem tedious (it is), it may seem difficult (it is), but if you can successfully build a relationship with a few reasonably sized platforms, that is half the battle. Good luck.

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