Updated October 2020
First impressions are crucial in the music industry, which is why a good music press release may help you climb the ladder of success much more quickly.
Whether you’re about to release an album, a single, or upcoming tour dates, an effective music press release will leave a lasting impression that will make your listeners want to stay tuned for your upcoming music.
Popular artists often have teams of experts that determine the best approaches to music press releases. Take, for example, Taylor Swift’s recent use of a snake to promote her upcoming album Reputation. The world’s reaction to Swift’s vague, but intriguing messages on social media and to the press illustrates the power of strategic marketing. Whether you enjoy Swift’s music or not, it’s difficult to deny that the news of her upcoming music has spread to almost every pair of ears in the popular music sphere.
Since most of us don’t have the luxury of working with the world’s best minds in music promotion, we’ve provided our five most effective ways to create a great music press release below.
1) Establish your goals
Asking yourself what you want to communicate to your audience before actually doing so is necessary for creating a straightforward, effective music press release. Establishing these goals may seem like a tedious task, but doing so will prevent you from straying off topic and losing the interest of your readers.
The goals you create may change depending on the focus of your press release. If you’re planning on releasing a new album in a few months, your goal may be to inform your followers of the album’s upcoming premier without giving away too many details. Later on, in the promotion process, press releases should include more specific information. For example, be sure to include the album’s release date, the name of the album, and what makes the album unique from other past albums.
For musicians who are writing a music press release about an upcoming tour, mentioning the tour dates, cities you’ll be performing in, and special opportunities for meet and greets are all integral to building excitement among the public.
2) Find a hook
Just like any compelling newspaper article, novel, or song, your press release needs a hook. This step may take the longest to complete, but the benefits will be widespread. As a musician, you’re likely familiar with the occasionally lengthy process of developing a great hook. All of the best songs in history have melodic hooks that keep listeners singing along years following their release, and while most musicians are well aware of the need for these hooks in their music, some fall short when it comes to including hooks in their press releases.
One of the most effective ways to develop a hook is by identifying your target audience. Ask yourself what opening statement, content, and visuals would appeal to your listeners since approaches to marketing differ depending on the genre. For example, the marketing approaches that have worked for Katy Perry in the past likely won’t be effective for a metal band. Writing subjects, headlines, and leads all come down to practice, so give yourself time to come up with the perfect opening statement. For some extra tips on how to write catchy press release hooks, take a look at this article.
3) Get to the point
Few people will be interested in reading a long music press release filled with endless information since many readers have a short attention span. Getting to the point quickly in your music press release will keep your audience attentive and increase your chances of gaining new supporters. This is why video press releases that provide just a small amount of information create interest among viewers. Take a look at this article on album trailers for some more information.
Remember that getting to the point of your message doesn’t mean you need to remove the personal touches that will give your message character. Don’t hesitate to mention how important this project is to you personally, but be sure to do so without deviating from the main message. Here’s an example of a great opening sentence for a band’s album press release message:
“After two long years of writing and recording, we’re finally ready to bring you our next album on May 5th, 2020.”
This statement both clearly communicates the release date, but also informs the readers of the dedication and hard work that went towards producing the album. There’s a personal touch without too much self-promotion. If you’re having trouble getting started, try writing out a few opening statement ideas and choose the one that you feel best captures this balance between a personal but informative message.
It should go without saying that proofreading is important, but sometimes the excitement of spreading the word about your upcoming music may tempt you to skip this step. While it’s true that proofreading is usually one of the less exciting parts of preparing your press release, it’s this step that will result in your readers taking your seriously as a professional, or just brushing you off.
Remember that there’s no harm in asking another set of eyes to review your press release. Many musicians who are planning a press release benefit from working with music PR firms to come up with the best marketing strategies for their new album, single, tour, or general news. For some tips on how to find the right music PR firm, take a look at our previous post.
5) Find the right time
Timing is everything. Be sure to avoid sending your press release out to the public too far in advance of the actual event. Too much time between a press release and the actual event itself will cause public interest to dwindle. Similarly, releasing information just before an event, whether it be about a single or tour dates, won’t give your audience the time needed to develop excitement about its release. Now, you might be thinking: “What about Beyonce’s Lemonade? That was a huge hit.”
It’s true. Beyonce demonstrated her power in the world of music by dropping Lemonade without any self-promotion prior to its release. However, most musicians don’t have a following as massive as Beyonce’s “Beyhive,” and therefore a surprise album without a music press release may not be the best approach to sharing your art.
When you do determine the best date possible for your press release, make sure the information will be easily accessible to your listeners. If you’re including a single with your press release in order to prepare for an album’s debut, remember to share your music on a user-friendly platform. Some of the best places to publish your music include YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, AudioMack, and Apple Music. You can learn more about where to share your music here.