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Shade
muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 17/07/02
Posts: 5862
Location: Manawatu
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FYI: Creating Press Releases
Posted: Thu Apr 5, 2018 10:56 am
CREATING PRESS RELEASES
Suggestions to help with creating press releases

Many media organisations receive several press releases every day, and these guidelines may help to make your press release stand out from the rest.

THE BASICS

- Always check your spelling and punctuation. Ask someone else to have a read to make sure it all makes sense. Not every media organisation has the time to do this and checking your own work can make all the difference.
- Don’t type any words entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS, unless the letters in your band name stand for something (for example SWIDT stands for ‘See What I Did There’), otherwise this is considered to be shouting, and most media organisations will revert these words back to lower case.
- Don’t use “speech marks” around album/single names etc. Speech marks should only be used for quotes, and an album name is not a quote. Instead use either ‘apostrophe marks’ or simply put the album/single name in italics.
- Don’t overuse bold or underline.
- Avoid using special characters such as emojis, as some of these characters cannot be displayed on some websites, and they can also affect search functions from operating correctly.
- Double check that all tour and album release dates are 100% correct.

WHAT PROGRAMME TO USE

- Most media organisations will prefer either word documents, or for the press release to be typed directly into an email – both options require less formatting. PDF’s can also be used but be aware that they are not always compatible with what media organisations use.
- Check out the website of the organisation you are sending your press release to – some will only accept the likes of Dropbox, WeTransfer etc.

WRITE A GENUINE HEADLINE

The headline should be brief, clear and to the point, for example; Band Name Releases ‘Album Name’, or Band Name Announces Summer Tour. Use initial caps for the headline.

FIRST SENTENCE

The first sentence should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is Band Name Releases ‘Album Name’, the first sentence may mention the release date and where the album will be available from. If the headline is Band Name Announces Summer Tour, the first sentence may specify which cities the band will be visiting on their tour.

BODY

To keep the readers interest, you should:

- Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs.
- Avoid repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon.
- Keep it simple and to the point.
- Avoid swear words and derogatory comments.
- Work with facts.
- A simple method of writing an effective press release is to make a list of the following clarifications; who, what, when, where, why and how.

The first couple of paragraphs should sum up the press release, with the additional content going into more detail. In our fast-paced world, most people won’t read the entire article, especially if the start of it doesn’t generate any interest.

EMBARGOED PRESS RELEASES

An embargoed press release is one you are sending out to media prior to the date you want it released to the public. The advantage to this is that it allows media to get it all ready to go, so it can go live exactly at the date and time you specify. The disadvantage is that if someone doesn’t realise that it is an embargoed press release, it could unintentionally go live earlier than planned.

If you would like to send an embargoed press release, it is recommended that you place EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE (that is, in capital letters, bold and red) at the top of the press release. You can also mention the embargoed information in your email.

If a press release isn’t embargoed, you can place FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the top of the page.

TIMING

Try to send your press release in the morning, as press releases that are sent later in the day may be put aside until the following day.

OTHER INFORMATION TO PROVIDE

- Links to websites and social media pages
- At least one image (photo of the band or album cover etc.). Having an image can make your press release stand out above all the rest when it’s uploaded to the internet. Make sure your image is in .JPG or .PNG format, and is high-resolution. Please ensure name credit is given to the photographer if required.
- If you’re releasing a new single, album or video, you should include the appropriate download/streaming/buy/pre-order links.
- List all the details of your gigs/tour at the bottom of the press release, for example:
4 April @ San Fran, Wellington
with support acts
Price, time, any other relevant information
5 April @ Stomach, Palmerston North
with support acts
Price, time, any other relevant information
etc
- Feel free to attach a biography, EPK or similar.

WHERE DO I SEND MY PRESS RELEASE?

- Muzic.net.nz – press@muzic.net.nz (Lisa Jones)
- NZ Musician - editorial@nzmusician.co.nz (Silke Hartung)
- Ambient Light – doug@ambientlightblog.com (Doug Peters)
- Libel Music – Share Press Releases link
- Under the Radar – editor@undertheradar.co.nz
- Rip It Up – editor@ripitup.co.nz
- Remix Magazine – contact form on website
- The venues you are touring at
- Local and national Radio Stations
- Genre specific websites
- Other newspapers, magazines, e-zines, street vines and TV shows
- You may find more ideas on the MNZ Directory

If you have a publicist or promoter, they may be able to send your press release to the relevant organisations for you.

If you have any questions regarding your press release, some media organisations may prefer an email instead of being messaged through a social media page.

PERSONALISE YOUR EMAIL

When you send a press release to a media organisation, you should personalise your email, especially if you would like a particular media organisation to provide more services – a review of the release or gig, for example. The media can’t read your mind, so you need to be specific about what you want.

Provide a contact name and details, so they can contact you back should they have any further questions.

OTHER POINTERS

- Start by brainstorming all your ideas.
- Remember that sometimes it may take a few goes to get it all sounding right.
- Don't worry if you can't get it all sorted in one go, give it a few days and try again.
- Try to think creatively.
- Try to keep it sounding positive.
- Have a look at other press releases for examples, but don't copy anything directly.
- It's better to learn from mistakes and find things to improve on.
- And most importantly - have fun! Making music together is a brilliant way to create memories that you can share forever.
 

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