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Press This! Writing Press Releases for Your Band

By Lance Trebesch October 20, 2009

micEveryone uses press releases! Any individual or organization with a message to share can write this type of article to promote themselves, their ideas, or their work. A press release is written in third person and formatted similar to a newspaper. The goal of your press release is to demonstrate to the editor of a newspaper or magazine the value of your band. If you appeal to that editor, he or she will provide you with some free publicity in a large public forum. You can send press releases through email or snail mail, and you can write them about anything you consider newsworthy. CD releases, upcoming concerts or performances, new music videos, new labels, or a change of members are all good reasons to write your press release and release your message into the world.

If you’re wondering, “How can I do that?” read on.

?1. No one wants to read a poorly written article. Professional-looking press releases are free of grammatical errors and formatted properly. This style of writing is formal, very different from a blog or forum post. If you feel like you don’t have the time or skills to do it right, hire a professional. The press release is a tool to get your foot in the door. When you’re fishing for publicity opportunities, intriguing writing makes your band seem worthwhile.

?2. Press releases announce significant news about your band. Make sure to include all the details. Answer every who, what, when, where, why, and how question you can think of. Editors should not have to search for your information. Eye-catching titles make it more likely that your press release gets read. Increase the appeal by adding relevant links to past press releases, articles, blogs, videos, pictures, and music samples—anything to make your article stand out.

Reading?3. Press releases need to persuade editors that your news is worth writing about. Know your reader. Find editors who write about your genre of music and target your press release toward them. Another great way to target editors is to add your press release to distribution sites so your articles reach your target. Try a press release site that serves the music business. They’ll distribute your press release to targeted editors, or even write press releases for you. No matter who writes your press release, always read it before it goes out. Be sure it’s interesting, says what you want it to say, and is free of errors.

?4. Manners! If your press release is successful and someone takes the time to write about your band, send a sincere thank you letter. It’s a good way to demonstrate your professionalism, create a relationship with the media machine, and increase your chances that the editor will write about your band in the future. On the flip side don’t be a pest. If editors decline to write about you, don’t hound them or continually send press releases.

?5. While you are writing first for your reader, the editor, don’t forget the power of relevant keywords, which get search engines on your good side. The right keywords can increase the traffic to your press release once its published, but make sure your use of keywords is not so obnoxious that no one can read through them. Use relevant keywords relating to your genre in the press release, so Google and other search engines put your link at the top of the page. Consider specific industry lingo, like “crunk thugs freestylin in LA”. Don’t depend on general keywords: there are more than a billion pages about “music” and your page will be lost in a crowd. Adding specific locations such as cities, states, or venues help you land higher on the results page when someone searches for what you offer. Search engines also calculate the number of links pointing to your page to determine your popularity. If it’s interesting, relevant, and well-written, more sites will link to it, and your traffic will increase yet again.

?6. Organize your press releases on your website. Maintain a page with links to every press release you publish, so you and your readers can find the information. Categorize them in chronological order, with the most recent on top. Create an RSS feed so readers can receive automatic updates when you upload new press releases .

You may find the style of writing a press release alien or confusing, but there are plenty of online resources to help you out. Try the policies for writing press releases to create a really effective article. Music Biz Academy helps artists educate themselves about promotion, distribution, and other business-related topics. Of course, reading other musicians’ press releases can get your creativity flowing. Educate yourself and take the time to create something remarkable, and you’ll soon create a new buzz around your music.