If you’re a musician, chances are you’d jump at the opportunity for some good press. But how do you get it? How can you convince newspapers, radio stations, magazines, or other media outlets to not only feature you, but even so much as mention your name? That’s easy: just make yourself newsworthy!
Most media outlets aren’t interested in running a general profile of your band or talking about your music. If you’re just looking for reviews, read no further. I’m talking to artists who want “real” press, mentions in stories not entirely related to indie music, in major sections of your city’s paper for example. For those artists who truly want to go above and beyond, here are a few tips to making yourself newsworthy in the eyes of the media:
- Find your cause. Pick one cause, whether it be the environment, homelessness, fighting a disease, etc., and support it as a band. Play shows (or better yet, organize your own) to benefit the cause financially, or to raise awareness. Putting together a running series of benefits is even better yet.
- If you live near a major metropolitan area, where often many schools can’t afford strong arts programs, contact the school and offer your time to give free music lessons to students who may be interested in whatever instruments you have the ability to teach them.
- Get involved with your local community. The key here isn’t just to do one thing, but to be regularly involved. Work together at a local soup kitchen, help organize a bus trip available to community members, help to clean up an unkept park. Keep busy as often as possible. (Can you imagine a hardcore screamo band going to visit people in nursing homes with no family just to brighten their holidays a bit? Now that’s newsworthy! It’s a complete contrast to the preconceptions that people likely already have.)
The real key in making yourself newsworthy is to stop thinking about yourself. The media loves a good heartwarming tale once in a while, and let’s face it, people don’t exactly expect these things from bands. Be the complete contrast of the “punk kids” who don’t have any respect, and you’ll be surprised at how people just might start changing their tune towards you. Getting involved with helping others is better for your music, and better for you, 99% of the time over running some stupid publicity stunt. Don’t just say that you’re different. Actually BE different. Then tell the local media about it!