You’ve written a single and are ready to get heard, so how do you go about the actual press promotion of your record? Bear in mind that each week there are over 12,000 single submissions to all DSP’s and you will get an idea of how many submissions press are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Obviously there are lots of PR agencies who you can employ to do the work for you but these come at a cost and for budget stretched musicians these agencies are just not viable.

For new music artists there are very limited opportunities with print press as these types of publications have limited spaces for reviews and features and will generally only cover household names. You’re basically going to have more success targeting online music blogs and websites. So how do you go about this?

You will initially need to write a press release about the single release. Keep this to a page maximum and keep it focussed.  Remember you are approaching time -stretched journalists and they won’t have the time to read about your whole life story.  Other things you will need to have to put on the press release are;

  • Colour landscape press shot of you or your band.
  • Artwork for your single release
  • All your relevant social media channels.
Music PR 101 Pefoma

In terms of your press shot try not to overthink this. It needs to be colour and ideally not a straight studio shot. Think about your backdrop- maybe it could be as simple as you all leaning against a brick wall or hanging out of a car or on a beach. Reportage style natural shots work better for blogs rather than over-stylised images at the moment. Your artwork however can be as stylised as you want it to be. Keep the file size small for all imagery- 1mb max.

Start with your press shot at the top of the press release and underneath it, write the name of your band, the name of your single release and the date of release. You press release should be 3 or 4 paragraphs max. Start off with who you are, your style of music (i.e rock, indie, pop, soul, RnB etc )  where you are from and the name of your single and the release date.  In the next paragraph talk about the single, how it sounds and any production values that are not too technical and also what inspired you to write the single – does it have any particular personal meaning to you? Write a short quote about the single, what it’s about and what it means.

Music PR 101 Pefoma

Then in your final paragraph add a little bit more info about you as a band, for example is there any interesting story about how you got together?  If you have released previous singles add in any specialist radio play or notable playlisting.  Finally, if you have any live shows coming up add these in at the end.  Finish up the press release with your single artwork at the bottom and add in your social networks and website links.

Once you have your press release sorted then think about placing your single with an outlet as a premiere with a music website or blog, a day or so upfront of your single going live on your DSP’s . Premieres are really hard to get now but it’s worth approaching The Line Of Best Fit who have a generic submission form on their website and are really supportive of new and upcoming artists.  You’ll need to submit your single around 2/3 weeks upfront of the single release for a premiere consideration. If you are only working with an audio track, then you’ll need to have a private SoundCloud link of the single to send alongside your press release. Ideally embed the SoundCloud link into the press release as well as highlighting it in your pitch.

It’s vital that you get to know your market-place as a musician and having a social media presence really helps. Start following music blogs which you know cover your sound.  There are hundreds of smaller blogs out there and there is also is a website called Submit Hub. This platform exists so that you can submit your music for consideration and pay between $1-3 per submission. You can also try for a premiere with some outlets on Submit Hub.  To run with a premiere an outlet will need the embed code of your private SoundCloud link and you must keep this private until the premiere has run and you are ready to send out to everyone else.

There are also lots of music blogs who aren’t on Submit Hub and who are really new and up and coming artist friendly. The internet really is your best friend for this and you’ll need to spend a couple of days researching music blogs who cover bands that you think sound similar to yours. Get a list together of at least 50 blogs.

If you don’t succeed with placing a premiere don’t worry, just focus on getting your single out far and wide on the day of your release. If you do achieve a premiere make sure you share this across all your social media as soon as it goes live and ask all your friends to share as well.  Then follow the same steps as below except you don’t upload a fresh public SoundCloud

Before your release date make sure all your social media and website (if you have one) is up to date and branded with your artwork for your new single. You can also run teasers on your social media to let people know your single is coming.

Music PR 101 Pefoma

A couple of days upfront of your release upload a fresh public SoundCloud of the single, embed this onto your press release wherever you have mentioned the title of the song – including the heading.  Send a short and polite individual note to each outlet you are targeting with the name of the track, the date of the release with the SoundCloud link and also cut and paste your press release into your email.  Tell the blogger why you think your single might fit with the sort of music they are writing about or say something about their blog you particularly like or comment on a great review or feature you have seen they have written about a band you also like. Make your contact personal- don’t underestimate this- bloggers get inundated with generic submission emails so a little bit of research and some effort on your part will stand you a much better chance of a response or a review.  Never send press any attachments and remember to keep the file sizes under 1mb for any of your visuals on your press release.  You can also send your single out via Submit Hub.

Do not chase press. I cannot emphasise this enough. On the morning of your release you can send a short friendly follow-up email and let them know your single is now live on all DSP’s and you wondered if they would be interested in covering your single release. If you can-  send them a linkfire – which is a handy link of all your DSP’s but failing that send them a Spotify song link which you can access directly on your Spotify page.

Your SoundCloud link and single will date very quickly for online press and will have a shelf-life of around 10 days to 2 weeks max. Keep checking online to see if anyone has picked up on your single, some bloggers may actually review or playlist your single but not have the time to let you know.  As soon as you see anything run on your single release, post it across all your social networks and tag the blog in as well, also always re-post anything they may run about your single release on their socials. And last but definitely not least always make sure you say thank you. Good luck!

Kate Stuart

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