With the dominance of the internet in this day and age, it’s very easy to think that getting coverage on radio, press and online is simple. You’ve got your track, you’ve got an email address, you’ve got a mini-bio – what more do you need?
Here’s the thing. Thousands of other musicians around the world have those things too, and sending a bog standard email (or worse) isn’t going to cut it. For example, when writing for The Music Site I commonly get emails with the subject ‘New Music’, and open them to find nothing but a link to a song.
Straight into the trash folder.
First, it’s rude. I don’t know you – so take the time to introduce yourself. Secondly, it’s lazy, so if you can’t be bothered…why should I?
I have too many new music submissions to go through to click through and try and find more information on the band, especially when it’s so easy for you to copy and paste at least a bio into the email. Now, take that problem which I have for the News/Reviews/Features/Interviews section of The Music Site and multiply it by thousands. That’s how many people are emailing the national radio stations, print press etc.
Here are a few tips to offer the best chance of getting listened to….
1. Know your audience
It’s obvious (or should be!) but, if you’re a death metal band and the site/station you’re pitching to play country, don’t waste your time – or theirs.
2. Include a streaming link in a prominent place
Some artists are still precious about posting their music online to hear for free. However, most people submitting music will have simple, one-click access to their music – which makes it easier for press to hear immediately.
3. Don’t add huge attachments
Further to the point above, streaming links don’t take up any extra memory in the email – and by adding an mp3, you run the risk of crashing someone’s email. That’s not a great way to get heard.
4. Include band information (but not too much)
As I said above, with so many submissions to go through, people won’t have time to do their own research, so tell them what they need to know in the email (genre, location, number of members etc.). However, a 2-4 paragraphs is enough – they don’t need to know that your drummer’s first musical experience was playing recorder age 9.
5. Aim for a professional ‘feel’
Scratchy demos aren’t going to cut it I’m afraid. Too many people are producing good sound in their garages and bedrooms these days, so to stand out you need to sound pristine. A strong piece of artwork or photography helps too.