HOW TO CREATE A PRESS RELEASE
and how to increase the chances of getting attention by the journalists
There are several ways of doing a press release and you can totally be creative about this, but here I’d like to put together the most important points for you to think of, and I will also tell you my preferred way of doing it, which worked very well for me so far.
Before getting to the actual press release, let’s talk about how to set up the email to the journalists and other people you’d like to send this to. This is how I would structure the email:
Clear subject line
Friendly greeting (keep it short)
Who are you (keep it short) and what is this press release about
Be personal (and keep it short), and say what you ask for
Friendly greetings again, refer to more info
Subject: Artist name – XXX single release on June 3rd
I hope this email finds you well!
My name is XXX and I’m a indie folk artist from XXX. Most of my music can be described as xxx, and people like to compare this music to XXX (note: refer to 2-3 similar artists, stay realistic and try not to just mention the world most famous artists – maybe even mention similar artists this person has worked with or written about).
I’m contacting you to send you the press release for my new single “XXX”, which will be released on June 3rd via the label XXX.
I see that you have been writing reviews about similar artists, so I thought this might find your taste as well. Maybe you’d be interested in writing something about this release on your blog? I’d be grateful if you could take a minute to give my music a listen!
You can find the press release below / attached. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions.
Thanks for your time and best regards,
You see, this adds up to a relatively short email which should be friendly, natural, informative and clear. Most journalists get hundreds of emails every day (true story) and need to see what it’s about within 20 seconds.
So, now we come to the actual press release which you want to add to this email.
There are two main ways of doing it:
1. Create a one-sheet PDF with a photo, description about the subject/release and further links (make sure that they are hyperlinks – I have seen plenty of press releases as PDF where you can’t click the links, and I believe that people are usually too lazy to do that manually). Try to make it looking nice, I also have seen many of these PDF press releases with really boring formatting, lots of text without any structure, no photos etc. Ideally it should look similar to the kind of press release I will describe in the next point.
2. I do it with the help of Mailchimp. It’s a very easy to use and free tool, which is meant to send out emails through Mailchimp directly, which I actually rarely do. What I do is that I create a nice looking campaign (it will always look much nicer than what you can do as a simple email), and then I copy/paste it below the email, so that the journalist has everything right below the personalised text.
Using Mailchimp for press releases
The press release itself should include:
Optionally a sub-header (one sentence about the release, or FFO (“For Fans of” + naming similar artists)
probably video preview if you also release a video with it
text/description with nice looking formatting
a button or link to press photos and artwork
if you have: upcoming live dates
and all necessary hyperlinks to social media, the single/video or whatever you release and the EPK, on which they can then find all further info about the artist
In the main text you can highlight the most important information to catch the reader’s eye. I would put a lot of effort into writing a text which sounds interesting, energetic and somehow makes a difference, e.g. if you have interesting facts about the lyrics or meaning of the release, if there’s interesting about the production process or collaborations, about you yourself (e.g. if you have been in a special process or time of your life or if there is something exceptional which inspired you for a release). Try to make it easy for the journalist and give him something which is outstanding or what people can relate to!