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Music Business Corner: How to write a Press Release

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The key to getting newspapers and blogs to publish your story

By Andile Nkosi

Have you wondered why some artists always get their releases published in every blog or  newspaper while you have been inboxing and emailing the same media platform with no luck? And no, it’s not always payola, but a simple practice (which I have observed being part of the GospelBuzz editorial team) that most musicians in South Africa do not do. Writing and sending a Press Release.

What is Press Release?

In the Music Industry, a Press Kit is a neat, professional, one page document sent to journalists, bloggers, producers, influencers, fans, and other industry people to let them know of what new and exciting thing you are doing as an artist. If your Press Kit is newsworthy, it will help you get free publicity.

Grammy Award winning gospel artist, Kirk Franklin

When to write and send a Press Release
Basically every time you are doing something big and worthy of the public to know. It needs to be significant enough to be deemed newsworthy by publishers and producers. This includes: Releasing new music (single, EP or album); releasing a new music video; being nominated for an award; staging a big event; a live DVD recording; being in studio with a big artist; etc.


How To Write a Press Release

The basic structure of a Press Release is as follows:

  1. Press Release Date
  2. Headline
  3. Image to be used for release
  4. Body
  5. About Me
  6. Song Links
  7. Video Links
  8. Social Media Links
  9. Contacts
A basic Press Release

Press Release Date: Most commonly used is FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. However you can also put the actual date when the information can be shared e.g. FOR RELEASE OCTOBER 30, 2020

Headline: Must be in capital letters, should be interesting and straight to the point. e.g. Award winning YHWH Steward releases a Christmas song. Remember to always write as a third person using “He” or “She” instead of “I”.

Image: Choose a high resolution image that you would be proud to see in a newspaper front page. Compare your quality to the big artists in your genre to see if yours is good enough. If you are releasing an album, it makes sense to provide the cover image here. Remember no words are to be included here e.g. Produced by What-What or So and So presents.

Christian Rapper, Incense

Body: Here’s where you give all the details of your story and make it read like a news story. Keep it short answering the 5 Ws i.e. WHO is doing WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY. Providing additional information such as why this information is special will win you extra points. So use the paragraph to sell yourself.

About Me: This is where you insert your summarized biography. One paragraph focusing on the important elements to this Press Release.

 
Song links: Provide links to the song in digital stores. Unless for radio where you should send the free download links.

Video links: Provide links to the videos on YouTube.

Social Media handles: Provide your social media handles and where possible hyperlink them so you are easy to find.
Contacts: Provide your working number, official email address (which you check daily) and website or blog site if you have one.

By adopting this simple practice of writing a Press Release for yourself, you can easily start getting more media coverage. Further, you save time for your management and PR teams as they focus to grow your brand. #GospelBuzz

Andile Nkosi is a Music Producer, Distributor and Business Coach. He writes for GospelBuzz in his own capacity. Follow his Page on Facebook: @andilenkosiTV or follow the hashtag #MusicBizSA

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