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How to Write a
Music-Related Press Release
by Christopher Knab - Fourfront Media & Music - Updated April 2010


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Everywhere we turn in the music business, the impact on digital marketing, promotion, sales, performances and publicity is changing the way artists and bands, as well as record labels are carrying out there business.

What is strange to me is that with all the website work one has to update, and blogs to keep up on and text messaging and emails etc. etc. one thing remains true; the elements of what must be turned into digital items have their roots in the 'analog' world, especially when it comes to writing up a press release.

Today the traditional press kit still has its place. So, knowing how to write (and/or post) a professional press release can help you get the word out about what's going on with your music career.


Here is a guideline for writing a professional press release:

When to Write a Press Release:

  • Concert/Shows and/or Tour information
  • Record, Publishing, Merchandising Deal Announcements
  • Band Personnel Changes/Additions
  • CD, Digital Single and/or Video Release Information
  • Any Social Networking or Internet activities
  • Announcements about anything you (the artist) or your label are doing.
     

What The Print and Broadcast Media Need:

  • News or announcements related to their target audience
  • Deadlines met for calendars and event listings
  • Event or information in proximity to their coverage area
     

Layout and Essential Information:

  • Double space all content
  • The phrase "For Immediate Release" centered near top 1/3 of the page
  • Date press release is sent out
  • Contact information: the person media can call for more information with phone number and fax number
  • Printed on company or artist/band stationary with full address info (or if it is digital and for an Electronic Press Kit -EPK- ready to upload)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pages long (unless for major event or project)
  • End with the marks ### centered at end of the body
     

The Press Release Structure:

The Slug Line (Headline)

  • Short, but attention-getting headline phrase
  • A hint of the purpose or topic to be presented

The Lead Paragraph

  • Should include the 5 W's and the H (if needed): Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
  • Summation of the basic topic/information
  • Begin with the most important part of the information
  • Who is in the beginning sentence, followed by Where and When
  • Why, What and How follow in the next few sentences
  • No unnecessary details should be included in the lead paragraph

The Body

  • Elaboration on the theme or purpose of the press release
  • One thought, one paragraph. Cohesive, single ideas in each paragraph
  • Write information in descending order of importance
  • Keep information factual. Opinions only in quotes with proper credit
  • Use simple sentences (Subject - Object -Verb) and avoid too much hype
  • Ending option: Recap essential information from first paragraph
  • Proofread several times for spelling, and/or grammatical errors

It will take you some practice to get all this down, but once you do-create a 'template' for future Press Releases!

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Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: chris@chrisknab.net

Chris Knab's new book,
'Music Is Your Business' is available NOW from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.

Visit the
FourFront Media and Music website for more information on the business of music from Christopher Knab.


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