When hip-hop artists reach out to media outlets, it’s pretty common for them to overthink things. And while a creative approach can make a lasting impression, you’re better off focusing on a professional and straightforward approach. In fact, former XXL Music Editor and hip-hop journalist Eric Diep says, “As far as hip-hop artists go, I’m old school. Just introduce yourself, hand me your tape, and keep it moving.” Taking a professional, persistent, and simple approach—letting your music speak for itself—is always the best practice, whether you’re online or in the real world.
So take note of these five tips — they are a great way to improve your response from bloggers and publicists in the hip-hop community.
1. Make It Easy On the Eyes
When sending emails to bloggers, skip the fancy fonts and different font sizes and avoid attachments of any sort. “Reading countless emails is hard enough on the eyes; nobody needs wacky fonts, different size text and several colors. Set the size to the standard 12, the color to black, and the font to default (do not overthink things to try and get someone’s attention),” says Dj Z of DJBooth.net
2. Use the Subject Line to Get Creative
The email subject line is an opportunity to get creative and descriptive. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Create a call-to-action by letting the blogger or writer know exactly what you’re sending in the subject line, whether it’s new music or a video. Here are a few examples:
3. Get to Know the Blogger
LinkedIn is a great way to learn a little more about the writer you’re reaching out to. For example, former XXL Online Editor and freelance writer Jaeki Cho’s LinkedIn profile states that his interests are Urban Music, Advertising, Marketing, Philanthropy, Buddhism, Asian Culture, and Literature. These type of details help you develop and cultivate relationships with bloggers, editors, and writers and get to know their work and learn about their interests.
Engage with bloggers by actual following their work because you want them to follow yours. Follow their social media accounts and check out their posts. Sharing, liking, and commenting are great ways to begin building a professional relationship with the writer online.
5. Keep Your Eyes Open
Everyone vies to get featured on the same hip-hop blogs, but there are so many hip-hop blogs out there! Do some research and you’ll see that there are tons of opportunities for getting your music and videos featured, including submitting your music videos to YouTube channels that focus on new and indie hip-hop music. Here are a few hip-hop blogs to check out and get you started:
Here are a few YouTube channels to check out that review indie hip-hop:
I hope you have found these tips helpful, and remember — gaining the attention of hip-hop bloggers requires planning. Stay the course and hope to read about you soon!
Kayla Calloway is the author of the “Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Publicity”, a hip-hop expert, and a former hip-hop publicist and blogger who has worked with hip-hop artists including Chinx, Warren G, Chrisette Michele, and countless indie and upcoming hip-hop artists. She has secured media placements in XXL, Hiphopdx, Allhiphop, Hiphop Weekly, SLAM and many more. Additionally, Kayla previously ran a successful hip-hop marketing and PR advice blog. Reach her on Twitter @kvcalloway