Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Triple Your Odds of Getting Music Media Coverage


This post was written by guest contributor Bob Baker,  www.TheBuzzFactor.com

I view getting media coverage as a two-way exchange. You have something of musical value to share with the world, and the media source has a vehicle to help you reach more fans. However, you’d be surprised by the number of musicians who expect the media person to bare the brunt of the workload in this transaction.

Want an example?

For 10 years I was the editor and publisher of my own music magazine in St. Louis, Missouri. Over that decade, I wrote about or assigned stories on hundreds of bands. I was regularly amazed by the roadblocks that so many artists put up when I wanted to give them exposure.

I’d meet some band members at a show and express my interest in writing about them. They would seem excited about the prospect and promise to send a press kit that I could hand off to a writer. And guess what? Often, that press kit never came.

Then there were musicians who called or came up to me in person to gripe about never having been covered in my magazine. Typically, I’d ask them if they had ever sent me something on their band or followed up with a phone call or email to my office.

Usually, the answer was, “Uh, well … no.”

You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but it’s not. Too many musicians feel they deserve press coverage just because they exist or because they believe they’re the coolest thing since Menuto.

But every so often I was blown away by an artist who not only created good music, they also understood the two-way exchange of media exposure.

These artists would call and say, “Bob, I really enjoy your magazine, especially that recent article on …” (A little ego stroking doesn’t hurt.) Then they’d pitch their act with a newsworthy story angle.

But the really smart ones asked one key question: “What can I do to help you make this happen?”

Take a look at that question again. It doesn’t ask me to do extra work or jump through hoops to provide the coverage. In fact, it shows that the artist is willing to supply me with whatever I need to get the job done. Ask that question and you’ll triple your odds of getting media exposure!

And when I say “media exposure” I’m not just talking about traditional journalists with newspapers, magazines, radio programs and TV shows. This exact same principle applies to bloggers and podcasters, as well as people who can book your band for live events.

Most people in the music biz are overworked and under paid. If you help make their jobs easier — by providing quality music, photos, artist bios and good story ideas — the media will reward you with the exposure you deserve.

(This post is adapted from Bob’s PR package called “Killer Music Press Kits – Deluxe Edition.” Link: http://www.bob-baker.com/buzz/presskits.html )

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com andwww.MusicPromotionBlog.com.