Get Media Attention for Your Band’s New Release Party – Part Two

Strategy #2: Find the Right Media People to Tell Your Story

How to create and use a media file.

In Part One we discussed Creating a Newsworthy Event for your Christian band’s new release party. CLICK HERE to read Part One before continuing to Part Two. Doing something newsworthy is the most important step to gaining media attention. If your bands CD release party event is boring, it will not matter how well you apply the rest of the strategies because you simply will not get much media coverage. But once you have a great event planned, you need to alert the media. If you wait for them to possibly find out about the event on their own your Christian band will not get much coverage until after the event, if at all.

CD Release Party

Telling your Christian bands story to the right media people will help create buzz about the band. 

Publicists get paid well because they have spent years building up connections and relationships with people in key positions in the media. Obviously, you do not have that kind of time or money. But your band does not need those kinds of connections either. While it would be great to get national media attention, it would not help most of our ministries very much. Let’s try a best case scenario, say for example that your band appeared on one of the popular late night television talk shows. People from all over the country were watching and liked what they saw. So, your bands booking agent starts to get calls from both coasts and a few venues in between.  Can you get enough gigs en route, across the county, in between the main shows to make them worthwhile? Can you afford to finance multiple tours? Do all your members have schedules flexible enough to be gone for weeks at a time with very little pay? For most of us, the answer is “No”. Simply put, most of our ministries are not ready yet to go national because we do not have a large enough fan base.  So, I recommend that you do not spend your money hiring a publicist or ad agency until you have national release with a major label.

Being your own publicist on the local and regional level is not rocket science. You are telling people about what your band is doing and encouraging them to tell other people… you can do that, right?
There are two ways to get the most out of your efforts:

• Find the people who will tell the most people about your band.

• Tell those people what they want to hear, in the way they want to hear it.

See – not rocket science!

Let’s focus first on finding the people who will tell the most people.

National publicists keep what is called a publicity media file. You can do the same on the local level. In fact, you do not have to actually do this yourselves. Does the band have a friend family member who loves to organize information or create databases? This is a perfect project for them, just be sure to get copies of their work. I like to keep a separate media file for each region the band has a strong fan base and consistently plays. (Yes, this is a hint that you should have more than one New Release Party if you have strong fan bases in different locations.)

A publicity media file is a list of people who can provide publicity for your events using broadcast, print, or electronic media.

Broadcast media produces news that you hear and/or see, including:

● Radio

● Television

● Podcasts

● U-tube

Print media creates news articles that you read:

● Newspaper

● Magazines

● Signs and Billboards

● Posters

● Newsletters

● Blogs

Electronic media has multiple options for publicity such as:

● Community calendars

● Social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.)

● E-mail

● Texting

● Blogs

● U-tube

Note that blogs and U-tube videos show up under both broadcast and electronic media. This is a relatively new development (media changes come slowly) as the continuing decline of traditional print media is eclipsed by the rise of electronic media. This shift is easily seen in that most newspapers now have an on-line version as well as a physical version.

Media files are tedious to create and are built over time, but there are shortcuts. The easiest way to begin is to get a media file from someone else. Call you local Chamber of Commerce and ask if they can provide you with their copy. Most Chambers will either e-mail you a list or direct you to an on-line list. This one phone call can save you hours of work. Other places to look for media files are nonprofit organizations. If you are creating a special event to benefit an organization, it is perfectly fine to ask them for their media file. Ideally, you want to combine two or three media files from different organizations in your area. This is another reason why creating an event using multiple organizations is helpful to your band.

After you have several lists to work from, you will want to combine them to create an easily usable media file for yourself. I personally like Excel spreadsheets. Some people prefer a Word or Google document. People who prefer to do things old school use a 3×5 index card for each contact. The format of your document is important only that it is easy for you to use.

Group the contacts by the type of notification they prefer. For example: Radio stations like Public Service Announcements, Newspapers and Television prefer Press Releases. Most electronic media needs electronic submissions in varying formats. The goal in grouping the contacts is to make it easy for you to send the correct notifications in the least amount of time. Here’s a list of the groups I use:

● Public Service Announcements

                ▪” /> printed and mailed USPS

                ▪” /> e-mailed from my e-mail account

                ▪” /> e-mailed through the contacts web site

● Press Releases

                ▪” /> printed and mailed USPS

                ▪” /> e-mailed from my e-mail account

                ▪” /> e-mailed through the contacts web site

● Special Format Submissions

                ▪” /> printed and mailed USPS

                ▪” /> e-mailed from my e-mail account

                ▪” /> e-mailed through the contacts web site

                ▪” /> any remaining special formats

For each contact I list (examples are in parenthesis):

                ● Name of the company (For Example: The New York Times)

                ● Type of media (print – newspaper)

                ● Contacts Name (John Smith)

                ● Contacts phone number (the number that goes directly to John Smiths desk)

                ● USPS mailing address (how to get a letter to John Smiths desk)

                ● E-mail (John Smiths business e-mail address)

                ● preferred method of submission (e-mail, USPS mail, or e-mailed through web site)

                ● deadlines for submission (6 weeks prior to the event)

                ● notes

I use the notes section to keep track of special instructions for submitting news, recording publicity that was given for my past events, and suggestions for what I need to do better next time.

Some companies will have more than one place for publicity and more than one contact, such as a newspaper with a community calendar and a column for featured community events. Often newspapers with both electronic and print versions will require individual submissions. I use a separate line for each contact because they will have different submission guideline and methods.

Creating a media file sounds like a lot of work, but if you were able to get media files from several organizations, it should take you just a few hours to organize all the information.

A good media file will help your band get more radio airplay!
A good media file will help your band get more radio airplay!

This time is well spent because you have created an easy to use list that can be reused as often as you play in that area. You can send out press releases and public service announcements every time you have a gig they may be interested in publicizing. So, your band will no longer be dependant on the venue to promote your shows to new potential fans.

Your publicity media file will constantly be growing and changing. Continue to look for new avenues of publicity in your area. When you find a new contact, add them to your list. Each time you use your media file you will receive notifications of address and personnel changes. Be sure to keep your list updated and accurate to get the most out of your publicity efforts.

Be generous, if your media file is larger or more complete than the file an organization sent you send them a copy of yours.  This is one way to show your appreciation to them for all the good work they do in your community.

In the next post we will cover Telling the Media What They Want to Hear, In the Way They Want to Hear It.

The Christian Band Handbook

Is your Christian band’s press kit ready to support your new release?

The Christian Band Handbook

has information and worksheets to help create an effective press kit.


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