By Tutor Matthew Humphrys
This is all about creating a songwriter’s press release and getting radio play
What is a songwriter's press release? By the very word, one would think that it is for the press and therefore you as a songwriter stand no chance of sending one of these out, but that is not the case anymore. A press release doesn’t even need to be sent to the ‘press’. You can advertise the release of your song (for example) anywhere online now. In a blog, on your website, on social media..the opportunities to tell interested parties about your music are now worldwide and you have instant access to millions of people.
Where can I send a songwriter's press release?
You can send a release to the actual press and maybe even bag a few interviews in the process. For this article we are going to be talking about this aspect of a press release – how to write one and get publicity on the radio and in the press. This focuses on LOCAL media. You are much more likely to get publicity locally than nationally. The national media are only interested in big stories. Local stories can become big stories, so never dismiss the value of local press and radio. You will pick up a lot of new fans and this can lead to great things - like radio play!
First of all it is vital to have a story. Nobody is interested in printing or talking about a blatant promotion. That is what advertising is for and you will be directed to their advertising department to buy space in their publication! You need to think of an angle.
- Write a song to coincide with a big world event
- Write a song for charity and get that charity interested in supporting it
- Write a song for an artist who has a great story themselves (such as a chip shop owner that’s going from frying fish to performing on a world stage)
- If you have a unique story and you are in effect the story, then promote it along with your song
- If you are a singer/songwriter and you are going to be supporting a big name act (even if it’s tenuous (!) then make it a story!
You get the idea. This can be the hardest part, but it is what will grab the attention of the news researchers.
Speaking of research, you should have a spreadsheet of all of your local media outlets. Search out your local radio station contact details, local press contact details, specialist publication contact details etc. It’s ok to call and ask for the name of whom you need to send information to.
Once you have a plan and a place to send that plan, it’s time to write the songwriter's press release.
Here is an example of what you would write:
YOUR COMPANY (if applicable)
YOUR TELEPHONE NO. YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
Press Release TODAY’S DATE No Embargo: For Immediate Release
TITLE OF YOUR PRESS RELEASE TO GRAB ATTENTION
SHORT AND TO THE POINT STORY THAT WILL ELABORATE ON THE TITLE.
Notes to Editor
NAME OF PERSON TO CONTACT ABOUT THIS RELEASE (IF DIFFERENT)
Please email: THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WANT THEM TO EMAIL
Tel: THE TELEPHONE NUMBER YOU WANT THEM TO CALL
Website: RELEVANT WEBSITE
Twitter RELEVANT TWITTER
Facebook: RELEVANT FACEBOOK
RELEVANT INFO. E.g. Photographs and copy of single are available on request.
I am available for interviews
Let’s break down some components of this songwriter's press release. First of all the info at the very top is from the person sending the release (this may be you, or someone in your company). The info at the bottom usually relates to the person that the release is about and whom the news researcher should contact about the release to get more information. You do NOT put your social media links into the body of the press release – that would be an advertisement. You provide them at the bottom so that they can be added if the news outlet sees fit to include them.
‘No embargo’ means that they don’t have to wait to print the article. It is important to state this because if you were releasing your yearly profit figures and you wanted it to be released next Monday and not before, you would have to state the embargo period so that it didn’t go to press too early!
Think about your title to grab attention and in the body section, don’t worry about writing their article for them, as journalists will want to put their own spin on it but giving them the info they need to write an article is essential.
Get that all important radio play!
Once you have sent your press releases out, if you have an interesting story, you’d be surprised at how many places contact you for more info and/or interviews. When you get a radio interview ensure that you arrive promptly and send a copy of your song to the station prior to the interview – they will likely play clips from the song if you ask them to. Remember to mention your social media and/or website addresses in your interview and go well prepared to answer questions and say what you want to say during the interview.
When giving an interview for written press do not be pushy with having your links included in their story; remember this needs to come across as a STORY and NOT an advertisement for you. Good luck and enjoy the results that this promotion can bring!