The Best Day, Way, and Reason to Send a Press Release

It’s Tuesday morning.  Since yesterday I have received over 40 “press releases” across three email addresses as well as private messages via Facebook.  One email in particular, from someone I happen to like, prompted a rather goat-ish personal email from me explaining that local gigs are not news worthy events – but are more likely those “press releases” that will elicit a delete or “I’ll get to it later” (and never do) type scenario.

My friend wrote back, “Wow!  So, I should just play gigs and expect people to show up with no support from the press.  Just because I am daring to play music that truly love instead of pandering to the usual commercial formula is nothing special. I studied jazz, gigged with bands too numerous to mention, learned to write music, build an improvising ensemble… Harsh man… P.S. Sorry to bother you and the rest of the press with my gigs… I let you know if pass away or have another heart attack or something special…”

So what is news worthy?  I cannot answer for my peers in media, but for me it’s not about when you’re playing next.  There are gig calendars for that – twitter and facebook etc.  However, perhaps you’re opening for “X-Superstar” at “X-MAJOR VENUE.”  That would spark some interest … that might be considered news-worthy.  Not so much you gigging out locally.

Releasing a new album is almost (note I said almost!) not even news worthy anymore except for the purposes of attempting to receive a review, and then only the smallest percentage receive those … since recording is no longer the exception but the necessary rule for being a musician, and 99% follow the rule.

So, how do I come across this opinion?  Decades in the trenches as a journalist, radio personality, venue promoter, record promoter and musician …. and reader of the most esteemed of local music media on a daily basis.  I’ve often wondered how to improve my skills as a promoter sending out information … and as well, I’ve studied incoming information to determine what works and doesn’t from my position as “media.”  It’s not easy.

What I’d like to see more of is personal information — births, deaths, marriages, divorces, awards, break ups, new members etc … things that people really want to read or hear about or as my friend suggested “…something special…” When I prep for my weekly news and notes on my radio show or the monthly News Notes and Spins column, it’s that “something special” that I want to relate to my audience.

Because I thought (no doubt rightfully) that I had distanced my “friend” with my email response I looked for some other articles on press releases etc.  Opinions are as varied as the persons stating them.  I dug around a bit and found what I considered to be a reasonable explanation of the subject at blog.journalistics.com …  … The Best Day to Send a Press Release.

Enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Misc.

One response to “The Best Day, Way, and Reason to Send a Press Release

  1. radioguy

    Great post. I deal with this a lot, and try to counsel several non-profits that i work with on this topic. The biggest point i try to get across is, just because it’s important to YOU, doesn’t mean it’s significant to the media outlet you’re sending to. That’s hard to hear when someone is so heavily invested personally…but you have to step back and take an objective look and try to come up with some significant angle. In your example, maybe if it was a first gig at a particular club, or in a new city….that might make it more significant. Put yourself in the seat of the person who gets 10, 20, or 40 releases each week and ask, why should someone pick this one over all the others. If there’s a compelling answer, send a release. If not, maybe best to save it until there IS something. (sending too many non-newsworthy releases might end up in someone not paying attention to a really important one).

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