Monday, June 22, 2009

Promoting Live Music - Press Releases

How to Write a Good Press Release

It's not the same as making a flyer or sending out a bulletin to your Facebook and MySpace friends. People in the media need serious information.

The first thing you'll have to do is decide if this is a BIG EVENT or an Ordinary Event.
-A big event is "newsworthy," something that happens only once a year, like an annual outdoor festival. Or it is something that's happening for the very first time, like this is the first time you're playing at a venue new to you, or the first time you're playing in Pocatello, a debut performance. A big event might also be a CD release party, a charity event or a fund raising event.
-An ordinary event is a show you've done before and will probably do again. You're just getting the word out that you're playing there.

A press release for a BIG EVENT needs special attention and consideration. I'll briefly outline that below. A press release for an Ordinary Event can be quite simple, just a bulleted list of information is all we really need.

I'd suggest creating your press release in a Word document, then save it as a .pdf, attached in an email. You should also copy all the text IN the email - use as little formatting as possible. Oh, some bold or italics won't hurt anything, but don't get overly fancy. Include all your upcoming shows in these releases. Consider sending them out weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

In the body of your press releases, make sure you answer The Big 5 W's and the H - Who, What, Where, When, Why and How

- Who -
Tell us the names of all the bands (spelled correctly!) on the billing and in what order will they take the stage. The headliner should have a one-paragraph description of how incredible and exciting they are. Here is information on writing a Good Band Biography.

Include a two- or three-word description of each of the bands' genres. If there are two or less bands playing, it's ok to include the names of all the band members. If there are more than two bands, then that's too much information to include. The media member can do a bit more research if necessary. Remember to include contact information for each band - website, email and/or phone number.

Also include the name of the event or venue and the name of the person coordinating the effort (booking agent, producer, venue owner, etc.) Include that contact information also.

- What -
Tell us what the event is. You're playing at a bar? a coffee house? outdoors? Include any age limits or restrictions too. Essentially describe what will go down at this event - think to yourself, "what do I want people to tell their friends after they're done reading this press release?" Briefly describe the venue so people will know what to expect if they've never been there before.

Include if people should bring something to this event, like chairs, blankets, cans of food, etc. Also include information about additional things that may be for purchase at this event, and if so, is it cash only? This would be important.

- Where -
Give us the physical address of the venue, including the city, state and zip code! You'd be surprised at how important this is.

- When -
Give us the day, date, start and end times. For example: Saturday, June 13, 2009 from noon to 9:00 p.m.

- Why -
Include any superfluous information about this event, like information about a CD if this is a CD release party, giveaways, fund raising efforts, raffles, drink specials, etc.

- How -
Tell us the cost at the door or ticket prices. If there are tickets to purchase, tell us where to find them, including address, telephone number, website and/or url.

Example of a Press Release for an Ordinary Event:


The Joe Schmuck Band Announces Local Performances

The Joe Schmuck Band is a roots rock / reggae / punk band from Idaho Falls, Idaho. They're known for their silly costumes and six-part harmonies. For more information visit, email or call (208) 555-3333.

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Doors 6:30, Show 7:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Acoustic guitarist John Doe opens at 7, followed by the disco ensemble Chookoo Mookoo at 9. The Joe Schmuck Band plays from 11 to close.

The Bar X Bar
123 East Main Street
Pocatello, ID 83204
(208) 555-2222
Contact - Sherry Barry

The Bar X Bar is open to those 21+. Tickets $5 advance, $10 day of the show, available at Fine Records, 1st street Pocatello or online at


Now for a BIG EVENT. Remember, this is "newsworthy." It's your job to convince the journalist that this deserves an entire spot or article, more than a mention. Essentially, you're writing the article for us; but we'll contact you for more information if we need it.

Example of a Press Release for a BIG EVENT:


The Joe Schmuck Band

Popular Regional Rock Band Releases New CD; Festival Expects Record Turnout

June 22, 2009, Pocatello, ID - The Joe Schmuck Band’s most recent release, “Schmuck-a-Luck,” hit the Billboard charts at #33 last week with support from heavy radio rotation and a viral YouTube video. Blah blah blah … (See how exciting that is? But don’t use over-hyped up words. Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts. The leading date and place refers to the originating press release. The town is sometimes excluded if it may be confused with the location of the event. -SLG)

The Joe Schmuck band started fifteen years ago … blah blah blah … one paragraph bio.

Singer/songwriter John Doe takes the stage at 1:00 p.m., followed by the heavy metal band Screamo Creamo at 3:00 p.m. … blah blah blah … give me the line-up.

The Idaho Music Fest is a one-day event … blah blah blah … with grassy knolls and shady trees … blah blah blah … kids activity tent open from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. … blah blah blah … tell me about the venue and event.

Festival committee chairperson Jane Smith said, “Oh my heavens, this band just rocks!” … blah blah blah … Smith is hard at work preparing ... blah blah blah. (Note how the first and last name is given the first time, then only the last name is used thereafter. -SLG)

Ticket prices are $3 youths aged 7 to 12 years, $10 for adults ... blah blah blah. Tickets are available at the John Q Public Store, 123 East Main St. Pocatello, online at ... blah blah blah.

The Southeast Idaho Fairgrounds is located at 15243 Billings Rd., Pocatello, Idaho 83201

(these three #'s denote the end of the press release. -SLG)

For more information:
Put everyone’s names, web info and contact info here.


<-- Here's an example of a press release for a BIG EVENT. Click to enlarge. Note: the boilerplate is a block of text you use on each and every press release - essentially it's the mission statement of your band, venue, cause, group or event.

For further tips, check out How to Write a Press Release.

No comments:

Tell Your Friends

Bookmark and Share