Before I Was Famous: 3 Steps to Building Media Relationships
We’ve been learning a lot together lately. So far you’ve learned how pitching works and when the best possible time to post your song. There is another step in the publicity process, or “P-Pross” as we like to call it in the business: that’s not entirely true but I’m hoping it will catch on. Your publicist has this list of contacts but that doesn’t just happen overnight. I’m at the very exciting part of the journey where I’m beginning to form my own media relationships, and I have three great tips to help you do the same.
1. Know Who You’re Talking To
Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have a whole conversation with somebody only to later find out that you were calling them the wrong name the entire time? Well imagine that scenario, but now you aren’t face to face and you’ve never even met this person. If you’re going to build solid media relationships it should start out like any other normal human interaction, know their name! In publicity you need to take it a step further. Journalists get hundreds of thousands of millions of emails every day and in order to get yours to stand out, you should do a little research to find out what they like and dislike. You need to “find your in” so to say.
2. Start Out Slow
Now that you’re armed with information on your side I bet you’re ready to just throw pitch after pitch at this journalist right? Wrong. Treat your media relationship like you would any other. When you’re introduced to somebody for the first time you don’t lead with “here’s my band.” Think about it, because you wouldn’t want somebody to do that to you either. Granted with publicity it’s understood that you’re there for a reason, but the band should not be the very first piece of text that flashes across their screen. Try to lead with something that show that you actually took the time to read their blog and again, going back to point #1, that you know who they are. Even if they don’t cover your group, they’ll appreciate the feedback and it makes your name one step more memorable.
3. Call Them Back
Whether you get coverage or not you should always follow up with the journalist. It’s going to take time for them to remember your name, I’m finding that phenomenon to be very true right now. But I am also finding some success, which is exciting and very cool. You’re not going to be on a first-name-hows-the-family-basis with a journalist right away, but eventually they will recognize your email address and that’s really the main component in the media relationship. Your goal is to get your email opened and read. Eventually, after you’ve proven that you are sending over some worthwhile music, and music that fits the outlet, this journalist is going to open your email up without thinking.
The relationship needs time to grow just like any other. Just remember to do your research and don’t lead with the wrong name.
Green Light Go: Now you have the tools, the next step is putting it to use!
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