Before I Was Famous: To Pitch or Not to Pitch
You wake up and find that your band just received a wonderful review in Music Publication Today, and think to yourself wow, my band is pretty cool. Ok, well that’s fine and all, and maybe you guys wrote a great song and have been really working hard. But how does that journalist get turned on to your music? How do they decide that your band shall stand triumphantly like Leo DiCaprio as a feature in their world? You can thank a publicist, and more importantly you can thank them for pitching.
As you know, (or if this is your first time reading my articles you will now know) I am in a band. I always assumed that in order to get coverage in a media outlet you had to “simply” email the person in charge, say please and thank you, and sit back and wait for that sweet press to roll in. Not entirely true...at all. A publicist, as I am learning, spends a large amount of time researching blogs, looking at reviews, trying to find similar angles, coming up with the story, and after all that, crafting the perfect pitch for your band. Majority of the time is spent researching and learning what is going to give you the best possible tools of success.
So now it was my turn to shine. I was ready to bask in the glory and success of coverage. I was assigned my outlets and quickly dove into the pages of their internet database. What secrets would I find? I will admit, it was much harder than I thought it would be. After finding my “in” I wrote up my first pitch and sent the email off--with a clever, attention-grabbing title. I tell you now friends, that it has been two weeks and I am yet to receive any type of response. It would seem that my career in publicity is over.
Kidding of course….but it is still difficult to feel like you put in a lot of time and effort only to receive nothing in return. Let’s look at the facts though.
1. It’s Nothing Personal
Journalists probably receive exactly one million music submission a day to review. And even if they don’t, there is a lot of material to go through. Most people don’t like to just slap their name on anything as an endorsement, so you can imagine why journalists take a little extra time to make sure they’re reviewing something they love. It has nothing to do with you as a person.
2. It Is Personal
Ok listen, maybe it is personal, but not in the foreboding and terrible way you might assume. Maybe they just don’t recognize your name yet. Give it some time. Follow the writer on Twitter and really try to engage in some of the things that they care about. Don’t make the agenda about you. You have to build relationships first.
3. Give it Some Time
If you’re like me, then you’re still new at this and there’s still a lot to learn. If you’re not like me and you’re a seasoned veteran then please give me some tips and tricks. But regardless of how long you’ve been working in the music business or in publicity it will take some time to see results. You can’t give up when you don’t get a response. Just try again with a new angle until you find the one that works the best. Trust me, you will find that angle. Some places only cover artists in their area. Some places only cover artists that have cool haircuts. Some places only like dream-pop music. You just have to take the time to find your groove and the right fit for you artist. It will happen.
Green Light Go: Now you have the tools, the next step is putting it to use!
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