How Not To Pitch Your Music To Press Outlets

Pitching a new single, EP, or album to press outlets, blogs, and music tastemakers is an almost mandatory part of trying to make your mark in music today. Yes, you can fork over a bunch of money have an expert PR firm do it for you, but most artists don’t have the kind of expendable cash to make that happen every time they put out new music. A great pitch can help give your music real traction and momentum, but it’s not easy. Bands waste an incredible amount of time and energy spinning their wheels by sending bad pitches that are never likely to get read in the first place. Here’s what you shouldn’t be doing if you’re an artist trying to pitch your music to press outlets.

Put no thought whatsoever into your pitch

To write a compelling pitch, you need to first put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re trying to have feature your music. If you got an email from a random stranger that said something like, “Hi, we’re a metal band from Georgia. Listen to our new album, thanks,” would you take it seriously? No, you wouldn’t. People who curate playlists and artist features in publications get inundated with literally thousands of emails like this every year. The least, and I mean absolute bare minimum you could do as an artist is to include pertinent information in your pitch about your project and your upcoming release in a coherent manner. Ever wonder why so many music bloggers seem so mean? It’s probably because they have to read so many awful emails every day.

Send pitches to as many blogs and playlist curators you can, even if they don’t feature your style of music

Pitching to an indie rap blog doesn’t make much sense if you’re a folk artist. It sounds ridiculous, but so many bands waste everyone’s time by doing this. More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to pitching new music. Rather than wasting energy and bandwidth pitching music to every music outlet you can find, you’ll be better off looking into contacting the ones who are actually likely to dig your music.

Take lots of time pitching to massive blogs and newspapers who won’t give you the time of day while ignoring the smaller ones who might

Even if you’ve been making music for a long time and have had some success in your career, the chances of you landing a feature in a heavily followed publication or playlist are slim to none. It’s not something you should take personally. What you should be doing is taking the time to seek out small blogs and playlists who feature music like yours. Sending thoughtful pitches to them is a great way to form long-term relationships that could bring attention to your music. You can let the big guys find your music themselves and focus on the curators and tastemakers who might actually care about what you’re doing in the meantime.

Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

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  • Manny Cepeda - June 27, 2018 reply

    Great advise, so then, how do you pitch your music correctly? Thanks!!!

  • Steph Parker - June 27, 2018 reply

    As a small music blogger I have a couple of additional items that make me less likely to include an artist:

    After having contacted a blog and they have replied asking for more information, don’t provide the information.

    This will guarantee that you are not taken seriously, as I have read your release and taken the time to respond, clearly showing interest, if you then can’t be bothered to provide the information that I would like (or an explanation as to why not) then I’m going to assume that you aren’t really interested in being featured on my blog.

    After having been featured on a blog that includes embedding a video, delete that video or make it private.

    This is very annoying to bloggers as it looks bad for the blog and, with my site, will result in the post being deleted if I can’t find another copy of the video and will reduce the chances of me including future work from that artist. If this happens too often then I won’t consider that artist again.

    Don’t bother sharing the post on your social media

    While I mostly choose material based on how much I like it, I do also keep a track on how many views each article gets and am much more inclined to include artists that are popular amongst my readers, so if you can get your fans to look at the article you will have an easier time with your next pitch.

    Juan Maria - June 28, 2018 reply

    Hey Steph, this is elemental courtesy, of course, and it still happens 🙁
    As for deleting a video that is included in any external review, that is a shot between their own… legs. Close to artistic suicide.

  • Bruce wales - June 28, 2018 reply

    Thanks for direction
    Thoughtful, succinct
    No time is wasted
    Now, I must think

    I enjoy writing
    No matter the feel
    Maybe they’ll buy it
    As life unreels

    So I read help hints
    From ones like you
    I’ll write and promote
    Hope it will do

    Thanks, again, thanks

  • Jonny Boston - June 28, 2018 reply

    Wise words! Thanks!

  • James Carbonaro - June 28, 2018 reply

    Now all I have to do is figure out who is a music blogger &/or playlist curator.

  • Hamid Ebrahimi - June 28, 2018 reply

    I always read the contents of (Blog ReverbNation)
    It is great

  • D.J.ARELI - June 28, 2018 reply

    That helped, thank you

  • Manny Cabo - June 28, 2018 reply

    Great share. Totally appreciate the guidance!!

  • Big T - June 28, 2018 reply

    Thanks for the advice. It’s been difficult catching a breaking opportunity and I’m always interested to learn more about the business of music.

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