Press releases are an indispensable tool for any independent musician who’s just launching their career. While more established artists can turn to PR teams and publicists to spotlight a new album or upcoming tour, up-and-coming musicians need to be a little more creative with their promotional campaigns.
A press release for musicians not only gets the word out about new material, it can also help an emerging artist build their brand and reach a wider audience. They’re vital for gaining recognition, boosting credibility, and making connections with all the right people.
Need help navigating the world of music press releases? Read on for a handy guide on how to create a compelling press release and how to measure the success of your campaign.
Understanding the Music Press Release
A music press release is an announcement containing any newsworthy information. Examples of music press releases include promoting a new single, celebrating an artist signing with a label, or announcing an upcoming tour.
If you’re looking to boost your music promotion efforts, artist and band press releases can prove incredibly fruitful. For starters, they’re an effective PR strategy tool for getting your music heard. Once a press release has been published, it remains discoverable online, allowing new listeners to continue to find your content.
If you’re looking to write music press release material yourself, there’s the obvious benefit of free publicity. The best music press release examples can capture the attention of the right journalist or editor, unlocking thousands of new listeners with relatively little effort.
Even if you don’t get that instant exposure you’re looking for, taking the time to write a press release for your music will help you establish valuable relationships elsewhere. Securing ties with media outlets and music journalists will pay off in the long run.
Crafting an Effective Music Press Release
A good press release for music needs to be newsworthy. You’ll need to identify a strong hook that will serve as the foundation for your press release. If you’re unveiling a new single or EP, try and avoid being too generic. Instead, look for an angle that sets your material apart from the rest.
Does your EP or album include exciting collaborations with other artists? Are you commencing a regional tour that will bring underrepresented sounds to a local audience? These kinds of hooks can prove very effective.
Once you’ve settled on a hook, you’ll need to think about music press release format and structure. The headline requires the most attention. After all, it’s the first thing that readers will see. It needs to be succinct, informative, and compelling. You also need to include a dateline. This should appear in the first line of the press release, specifying the location and date of the announcement.
Your opening paragraph needs careful thought. This is arguably the most valuable part of a press release. It needs to tie in heavily to your hook and encourage the reader to continue. Once that’s been finalized, you can add a brief artist bio that provides a snapshot summary of your career history, music style, and influences. You’ll also need to include contact details in your sign-off. Make sure you’re including an email address and social media handles at the very least.
Essential Elements of a Music Press Release
Once you’ve nailed your opening paragraph, you can get into more detail. No matter whether you’re promoting a new album or announcing a tour, this section gets into the nitty gritty of why your music warrants attention.
- Highlight Your Accolades: Don’t be afraid to showcase your success here. Mention any live performance events or festivals you’ve played at. A little bit of self-promotion is fine, but just remember to remain fairly impartial.
- Quotes and Testimonials: Bolster the credibility of your press release by adding quotes from established artists and music industry professionals. Even snippets from review sites or testimonials from venue owners can work here.
- Website and Social Links: Be sure to include links to your artist website and social media channels. If you have an electronic press kit (EPK), link to it. Don’t have an EPK yet? With IndieFlow’s EPK Builder, it’s easy to put together a first-rate calling card that’s guaranteed to get you noticed by all the right people.
Formatting and Style Tips for Music Press Releases
Although you’re free to tailor a press release to fit with your artist persona and genre, all independent musicians shouldn’t stray too far from the basic press release writing tips.
- Keep it Formal: Maintaining a level of formality is always a good idea. This means being careful when choosing words and crafting sentences.
- Write in the Third Person: A third-person writing style will help keep your press release formal and unbiased. However, there are some exceptions, such as any quotes, reviews, or testimonials you’re including.
- Don’t Forget to Proofread: Before sending your press release out, carry out a thorough check for any spelling and grammar errors. As press releases are typically very short, this shouldn’t take too long.
Tailoring Press Releases to Your Music and Audience
As press releases need to remain fairly neutral, fine-tuning them for target audiences can seem tricky. However, if you’re sending them out to larger press distribution channels, your content needs to be discoverable.
As such, it makes sense to utilize genre-specific keywords to ensure it’s found by the right people. Where possible, try and rework sentences and include language that will appeal to the kind of audiences you’re looking to engage with. Once your press release is ready to go, make sure you’ve done your homework before sending it out.
Media outlets and music journalists are inundated with unsolicited press releases every day. They only want to see announcements from relevant bands and artists. Make sure your material closely aligns with the outlets you’re reaching out to. There’s no point delivering one to a music journalist who only covers indie pop if you’re the frontman of a rock band that’s announcing a regional tour.
Distributing and Promoting Your Music Press Release
If you want your press release to strike the right note, you’ll need to make contact with the right distribution services. These platforms share music industry news with a huge variety of media outlets and journalists. Generally speaking, these platforms charge independent musicians a fee to use their services. The cost of issuing a local press release is relatively affordable, although global press releases are often beyond the reach of up-and-coming musicians. Nonetheless, they’re a great way of gaining exposure with relatively little effort.
Emerging artists can make a saving by handling press release promotions themselves. However, this does involve networking with media outlets and nurturing relationships with PR professionals. It can also be time-consuming. Unless you want PR to become a full-time job, you’ll need to compile a targeted distribution list.
There are easier ways to amplify the reach of your press releases. If you’re thinking about DIY distribution, social media and email marketing are both good shouts. Email marketing open rates are particularly good, averaging around 19% in the media and publishing industries.
Measuring and Evaluating Press Release Performance
If you want press releases to be worth your time and money, you need to be measuring their performance. The good news is that there are several metrics you can turn to determine the impact of your efforts.
You can focus on metrics like mentions. Generally speaking, the more a press release is covered in the media, the more successful a campaign has been. Once you’ve identified who’s mentioning your press release, you can get a good idea of potential reach by looking at the audience size of the outlets reporting on it.
However, you can go deeper than this by looking at sentiment. What are people actually saying about your press release? If coverage has been overwhelmingly positive, this is a clear indicator of success. If feedback is more muted, you’ll need to rework your approach in the future.
Case Studies and Examples of Effective Music Press Releases
Need some inspiration? There’s no shortage of compelling press releases from emerging artists to point you in the right direction. English singer Charlotte Plank has been releasing music for a few years now alongside other artists. However, she’s only recently switched focus to producing solo material. This announcement of her 2023 single, “White Noise”, is a solid example of press releases that tick all the right boxes. She manages to capture her career history and provide pretty detailed insights into her artistry and songwriting process.
Irish indie rock band, NewDad, are a little more long winded in this press release to spotlight the release of their track “Break In”. Here, there’s greater emphasis on the story behind the band, covering everything from musical influences to how they settled upon their name. Nonetheless, with links to their single, multimedia assets, website, and social channels, it's ripe with information for journalists and media outlets.
Supercharge Your Promotional Strategy with Music Press Releases
Press releases are a common tool for promotion in the music industry. Often seen as free publicity, they are an effective way of shining the spotlight on a new single, album release, or live event. Creating a compelling one is fairly simple, but you need to decide on a newsworthy angle first. This hook is what captures the interest of the recipient and convinces them to continue reading.
It’s the perfect opportunity to underline your success as an artist, whether it’s a glowing review from a major music website or a testimonial from a more established musician. Press releases can be tailored to specific audiences, but it’s best to keep things fairly neutral. While they’re handy for self-promotion, the best press release should appear impartial.
Distribution services can take charge of getting a press release out there and in front of the right people. However, independent musicians often choose to handle the process themselves. Email marketing campaigns and social channels are cost-effective options for aspiring artists looking to go it alone. However you choose to distribute, make sure you’re measuring the success of your press release to shape future campaigns.