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CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you get your music onto a journalist’s radar?

By | Published on Wednesday 10 May 2017

CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you get your music onto a journalist's radar?

In the run up to this year’s CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference, we are going through the top ten questions we will be answering during this year’s programme. Today: how do you get your music onto a journalist’s radar?

Here’s a fun thought for anyone who’s ever agonised over writing the perfect press release for an artist, a show or a record. There is always a chance that not one of the hundreds of journalists that you sent it to actually read it.

That’s not because music journalists all get a kick out of ignoring your hard work; in fact most journalists want to be up to speed with most new music, certainly from within their specialist genres. The problem is time or, more to the point, a lack of it.

We are currently surveying UK journalists, and of those a quarter report that on average they receive more than 1000 PR emails a week. Another third say they receive somewhere between 250 and 1000 a week. So it’s probably unsurprising that over 40% of respondents admit that they are unlikely to open any more than half of the emails they receive.

So, how do you get your press releases read? Personal relationships are a key factor of course, journalists are inevitably more likely to open emails from people they know and like. That’s one of the reasons why artists and labels pay PR agencies, who have those personal relationships. But is there anything else you can do to stand out?

Of course, it’s not just about the press release. Of the journalists we’ve surveyed so far, 80% say they also find out about new music by monitoring the music blogs, by catching support acts at gigs and by chatting to people they know in the industry. Which means getting some love on the music blogs and getting out there to gig are also key to getting noticed by the wider media.

We’ll be sharing more facts and figures from our journalists’ survey during The Media Conference at The Great Escape next week. We’ll also consider how – in the streaming and direct-to-fan age – artists need to get media coverage on a more regular basis, rather than just around the album release, and what this might mean for the way artists and labels plan their marketing and PR campaigns.

For that latter conversation, we’ll get the input of five great music PRs and marketers from a number of different strands of the industry, including Afryea Henry-Fontaine from Virgin EMI, Jane Kearney from Festival Republic, Jodie Banaszkiewicz from Stay Golden PR, Michelle Kambasha from Secretly Canadian and Rosie James from Tru Thoughts.