So you’ve made your new album, booked your release show, and are ready to show the world what you’ve been working on. You’ve thought about hiring a publicist but for whatever reason, it just isn’t in the cards right now, so you decide to handle the PR side of things yourself. You sit down, ready to get to work, and start showing these music writers what they’ve been missing, when all of a sudden you freeze.
How exactly does one write a pitch email, anyway?
I’m glad you asked…
Make sure you’re pitching the right outlets
If you’re pitching your indie rock band to an EDM blog, you’re not going to get very far. Take the time to find blogs that are a good fit for the kind of music you’re making, as well as the message you’re trying to spread. While most of the outlets you target will be music blogs, it doesn’t hurt to hit up a few blogs that align with your message as well. For instance, if community art is really important to you and you’ve made it a part of your albums or music or live shows, contact local blogs and art blogs who might have an interest in helping spread that message to their audience.
One way to find outlets that cover your genre is to think of bands that are similar to you in sound—one that’s nationally recognized and one that’s still an indie, but maybe a bit further ahead in their career than you. Then use Google to find blogs that have covered them. As long as the coverage is recent, you’ll instantly know that they cover your style of music, and that they have an interest in indie bands.
Personalize your email
This is one of the more time consuming, yet crucial steps of writing the perfect pitch email. Even the smallest blogs get hundreds of pitches each day, so it’s incredibly important to not only be organized and concise in your email, but to be as personal as possible to not only show you’re a human, but that you’re taking an actual interest in them. After all, if you haven’t taken the time to check out what they do and show you care, why should they?
So, take the time to get to know their work, specific stories and coverage, and compliment them on it. Be detailed. Address the person you’re emailing by name. Treat it like you would a face to face interaction with someone, and you’ll drastically increase the chances of standing out.
Keep it concise
You know how I just mentioned that blogs are inundated with requests? This means the shorter and more concise the email, and the easier it is for them to help you. The easier it is for them, the more likely it will happen.
So to make their lives easier (and increase your chances of getting a reply and possibly a feature), keep it short. Tell them who you are, what you want (an interview, a review, etc), and then include links to your music, website, and socials. If you have an EPK on your website that gives them access to all of that + hi-res photos (which you should) link to that as well. Whatever you do, don’t attach slow loading files like MP3s or hi-res photos to an email! They should always be provided via a link.
Don’t be afraid to follow up
Sometimes a blog just isn’t into your music, so they don’t respond. But more often than not, they just haven’t seen the email in the first place. If you don’t hear from them within a few days, don’t be afraid to follow up with a short “circling back” style email, to see if they’ve had a chance to check out your music. One, maybe two follow-ups is okay but more than that and it’s probably time to move on.
What happens if they respond?
When you do get a blog’s attention, don’t lose it! This means responding and getting them material in a timely manner. Then, when it goes live, be sure you share on your socials, tag the outlet, and thank them.
Remember, most blogs do this because they love discovering new music—they’re not getting paid for it. So your gratitude both verbally and in sharing/tagging, makes it all worth it.