Last week Herman Fuselier (The Times, The Advertiser, OffBeat) and Dege Legg (the Independent) led a workshop on how to get press. Herman wrote an article about it that was in the Advertiser on Friday. His tips are below ("read more"), but you can see the whole article here.
- What makes your music unique? Why should anyone listen? Sell your music to the writer or editor, but be realistic and be brief. You think your band's first CD is funkier than anything ever put out by James Brown. But it's probably not.
Be original, which is a hard sell to a public stuck on Brown Eyed Girl and The Back Door. But no artist became a legend by playing other people's songs.
- Is your music really ready for prime time? Technology allows anyone to record a CD in a back bedroom. But it shouldn't look and sound like it was produced in your bedroom. I've received many CDs with distorted sound, misspelled words and blurry pictures. Your presentation says how serious you are about your craft.
- Have some patience. With so many bands, so many CDs and so little space to publish it all, it may take weeks or months to publicize your music. Frankly, some music may not get in at all.
- Get listed in the entertainment calendar or music listings. It only takes a phone call or e-mail to get your band's gig listed in the calendar. It's free, yet it's amazing how many bands don't participate or wait for someone else to do it for them.
Thousands of readers plan their weekends around these listings. But they can't go to your gigs if they don't know about them. Band listings are one of the easiest, quickest ways to get publicity. Did I mention they're free?
- Join the online social networks. As much as it hurts me as a print guy to suggest another medium, I must say you might as well not have a band and music event if you don't have a presence on MySpace or Facebook.
Facebook has 200 million users. An estimated 100 million check their accounts at least once a day. Thousands of them live here and could be hearing your music. They're not if you're not online.
- Do your best and never stop. Your break will take months, perhaps years. You'll give away more CDs than you sell. But when you give your all and refuse to quit, people will talk about you. You'll get good gigs. You'll get more press coverage than you ever imagined. Just never give up.