1. avatar Cheeses Christ
    Press Releases

    Again, the top bit is a short version from Baine Jakey, and beneath there's a little more depth from me.

    They should include the following:

    BAND NAME -line up

    HEADLINE: eg: "New album and headline tour by The Skaggz!"

    INTRO: Who what where and why

    RELEVANT DETAILS: About new demo/tour/album they're promoting

    OTHER @#%$: Previous successes and interesting factoids about the band





    Press Releases

    A band press release is the most important document you can ever send to a media organisation. Done correctly, it can give you high-profile coverage and let thousands of people know about your band.
    Do it wrong and your hard work on Microsoft Word will get lost among the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of press releases journalists receive every day.

    Aside from a bio, which we'll deal with later, it is essentially notification of an impending release or gig.
    Journalists like to be spoon fed stuff, they like articles to write themselves, so the easier you make it for them the more coverage you're likely to get.
    But there are a few essentials that every press release must have, without exception.

    Press releases about gigs should include the following:

    - The band name
    - Venue
    - The time and date of the gig
    - Price of admission
    - Where tickets are available, and whether you can pay at the door
    - Doors open at....
    - One line about your style of music.
    - Contact info

    Press releases about recorded output are slightly different, and should include:

    - The band name
    - Type of release: whether it is a EP, LP, single etc.
    - The format(s) it is available on
    - The date
    - How much it costs
    - Where it's available from
    - One line about your style of music.
    - Contact info

    Contact info should be at least an e-mail address that is checked regularly, and at best should be a mobile phone number. You can also include the URL of your band website here.

    Sorry to have to spell it out so bluntly, but you would be surprised how often bands leave out major details about their gigs/ records.

    This leaves the reporter to chase people up to fill in the blanks, something which can be very annoying as a deadline approaches.

    Once you have all of the above info you can go into more detail about the band and what you are doing.
    A few paragraphs should suffice, 200 words maximum, something that goes above and beyond the band bio and will give the reporter something to give the story relevance.
    Quotes are the lifeblood of any story, so don't be afraid to include a few snappy lines from someone in the band.
    Talking about why you think the gig will be worth going to see, or why this release is the best yet, is the order of the day. Be interesting, witty and individual.

    Most press releases are e-mailed these days, though if you're sending a CD a printed version goes down well.
    If you are posting stuff to any media organisation make sure it has someone's name on it. Phone up first to see who deals with entertainment and let them know you're sending something rather than just writing 'entertainment writer' on it.
    Mail that isn't directed to a person tends to get lost in the mailroom of a busy company, which may house more than one publication and hundreds of staff.

    Whatever way it's sent, make sure it looks good by keeping the paragraphs spaced out and easy to read. There's nothing more off-putting than a huge block of text with no breaks. I would start a new line at the end of each sentence and a new paragraph every three to four sentences.
    If you're feeling adventurous, a band logo at the top will help capture the attention. Before you go wild with the formatting on Word however, remember that not every computer will support your format, save a 'text only' version just in case.

    Including a photo is a good idea, but in some cases with e-mail it's best to ask the journalist first or send the picture as a separate e-mail at the same time as the press release. There is only a limited amount of storage space on the average electronic in-box, and if your massive jpeg causes a computer to crash you won't be popular. In some newspapers the reporter doesn't deal with photos at all, and will just send them on to the picture desk/ sub editor.

    If you do send a photo, include a caption that gives the full names of everyone in the picture.

    There are no hard and fast rules about sending press releases date-wise, but there are certain things to bear in mind.
    Each organisation has different deadlines when it comes to entertainment articles and listings. Ideally you should send your press release a week before you want it to appear in print.
    Sending a press release two days before a gig is a bad idea, and will usually result in a polite 'no' from the journalist.
    A quick phone call works wonders.

    There are a couple of schools of thought about following up press releases. A polite enquiry to see whether the reporter got it and if they'll get a chance to use it is normally okay.
    Stalking a journalist is not okay (unless you're an attractive member of the opposite sex....).
    As in all your dealings with the media, be polite and courteous. It pays to thank journalists if they get you in the paper, that way they'll remember you and work with you again.

    Cheeses Christ.
  2. avatar fastfude
    worth a bump
  3. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    absolutely spot on.

    A good press release makes such a difference!