Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some tips on press releases and demos.

Hi guys, first proper post and I thought I'd touch on a subject that I've noticed a lot of people seem to have trouble with.

How to present a proper press release or how to properly present yourself when sending a demo to a label or promoter. This won't cover every aspect but more touch on some mistakes I've noticed a lot of people make when doing this. Hopefully some of this will help you out.

1. Keep it simple.

This is one of the most easy to follow tips yet I've noticed that the majority of press releases or demo packages I've received don't seem to follow.

When sending your release out, don't overcomplicate things. The people reading your material at the other end may receive huge amounts of this type of thing and if you don't present it in a nice and simple, easy to read fashion, it may just end up getting thrown into the never ending pile.

When writing your bio for your group or yourself, keep it as short as possible. Just a short paragraph on what your music is about and then a dot point list on any big shows or sales stats you can provide. Treat it like a resume and break down the information as short as you can.

2. Don't Overuse Photos or Colour.

The best way to present your text is also the simplest. Pick a clean font, nothing lavish, just something like Arial or Times New Roman is good enough. Don't make it large, try and keep it under 11 pt size and just use Bold for headings. That's about all the design work you should need to put into it.

If your band has a logo feel free to put it at the top though and if you have released cd's feel free to use the cd artwork in small thumbnails next to any sales stats you might be providing.

One thing to remember to consider is whenever using any colour or photos is that it becomes a smart idea to not print it up on standard paper. You want any colour images to really stand out and be sharp. With a non coated stock it can bleed and do your images a huge injustice. Head on down to your local print shop and ask them to print it up on a nice coated stock, something like that can make all the difference between looking professional and looking like any old joe.

The same principle goes for the cd you are sending. Print a nice cover for it and if you have the resources, print the cd as well. If you have to use a label on your cd though, don't bother, most people would prefer for you to just write on it with a texta as labels can get stuck in cd players. A lot of press outlets just won't put label cd's in at all, so don't use them.

3. Give them time.

This is often a deal breaker for me and while it really shouldn't be, it can make a huge difference.

Say you've sent out your demo and haven't heard anything back in a week. Don't send them messages or ring them up asking what's going on. If they want to contact you about it they will. This can often be the thing that turns an artist from a possible prospect into a nuisance. It comes across as pushy and even though its easy to understand that you're anxious about what's happening its best to leave it and never get a reply than to annoy someone about it.

Hopefully this helps out, I might touch on exactly what type of content should be used in a future post but for now I hope these tips will at least get your releases to that point that makes them not get automatically thrown in the bin.

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