It can often be overwhelming when you’re building a press list for your band. How do you know if the blog will cover you? Why aren’t they covering you? What are they looking for?
Take a look at the seven common themes below to see if you’re setting up your band for music blog coverage.
1. LEVEL OF BAND COVERED
Is your band at a level the blog will consider coverage. If you’re struggling to push past the 1k follower mark on Facebook and you want the bigger blogs to cover you, you need to first take a look and see if that’s even in the realm of possibility. For instance, Consequence of Sound ends up on a lot of band goal lists we see, but the truth is that most of what they are featuring are indie established, established and celebrity acts. The chances of them covering a band without any real following is pretty slim, since their focus is not on breaking unknown bands or helping their readers discover new music.
Is your band even the right genre for the blog? It’s common to put a lot of great blogs on a wish list because they’ve heard they are influential, without even looking at the blog to determine if their genre would be considered. For instance, The Fader isn’t going to consider an Americana band when their focus is on hip hop and electronic. On the same token, No Depression wouldn’t start covering hip hop when they’re known for Americana, folk and roots music.
This is the #1 news factor when a blog is determining coverage. I’ve noticed a trend with bands lately where they release an album and then a few months later come to us asking to publicize the release. Unless we set up a re-release, which we do sparingly, it’s already too late. Media is inundated with new and timely releases that are being released in the future or right now, so being pitched on an old release will be the quickest way for them to eliminate your band from the pile.
How can you show impact with a music blog? Think about your accomplishments. It could be that you’ve played with more established bands, your album is being released on a label, or you’ve worked with a well known producer. What are things about your band that would make them stand up and say wow?
Does the band’s location determine whether you’ll be supported? For instance, a lot of weeklies have local columns. Although Seattle radio station, KEXP focuses primarily on signed bands for airplay, they will often support local Seattle bands who are unknown since the local community is important to them. Garden & Gun focused on Americana bands in the Southeast and will not consider a band outside of that region.
Is there a celebrity involved in the project? There can be a lot of degrees to this. One outlet may not cover anyone less than Lady Gaga, whereas another could look at a band like Swedish band, Radio Dept as high profile enough to garner coverage if involvement is mentioned in a pitch. (If you don’t know who they are, that proves my point in determining if you’d be considered). Some will look at your cover song of a celebrity as a reason to consider coverage.
7. HUMAN INTEREST
Bands often come to us thinking they have a great story that no journalist would refuse. The truth is that, timeliness and impact will often trump a human interest story because by and large a journalist wants to determine the human interest angle. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell the story, because a good story can influence coverage. It does mean you should make sure you have timeliness and impact down first.
This should be used sparingly and overall I’m against it. A great example right now are the Anti-Trump songs that blogs are posting. This is obviously controversial, but for the most part music blogs and readers are progressive so they’ll be very interested in a song speaking out against a Donald Trump presidency.