Dear artists, music journalists love to receive your creations: you are the pulsating heart of our work. But be careful—sometimes when you make contact with a music journalist, people can be less than tactful, which can make us curl up in our shells.
To prevent that from happening to you anymore, we’re giving you a few tips today. ✨
1. Simple, direct and precise
How can you contact music journalists?
To access these “templates”, which, even if they differ, are ultimately similar, search the internet—you’ll be able to find one very easily. Before we go into more detail on the content of your message, keep in mind: you’re not writing Moby Dick here. That is to say, you are (probably) not a journalist, and therefore, you do not need to inflate your message with purple prose out of a music magazine. Simplicity is key—but that doesn’t mean you can’t write with style. Be simple and direct as well as accurate. Let this principle guide your approach. For first contact, always go with emails: they will allow you to provide your recipient with direct access to your productions. Whenever possible, include your press kit in this first email. The more you carefully create this package, the more you’ll encourage a media outlet to talk about your music, whether you’re a young independent artist who has little or no fame, or conversely, a musician who’s already more deeply rooted in the industry.
Groover guarantees that your music will be listened to
On Groover, the relationship between artists and journalists is at the forefront. The platform offers the guarantee that your music will be listened to and—most importantly —that you’ll receive a response in less than 7 days. So, at the “worst,” you come out with an honest and constructive opinion on your music and the progress of your musical project. At best, the journalist or the media likes your music, and you win the jackpot (articles, shares, and more). Always keep in mind to take these contacts seriously, even when going through Groover. Press relations is a job in itself—that of PR reps—so the biggest mistake would be to take this process too lightly and not to introduce your music in a good light. For starters, you can write a quality press kit.
What to put in your message and when to send it
Now that these key items about the form of your contact are resonating within you as a mantra, let’s focus on the substance.
Clarity will make all the difference. Above all, do not drown your text in a torrent of information, even if it seems relevant to you. If the subject of your mailing concerns one of your songs, opt for a brief presentation—which can also take the form of a short explanation—while taking care to mention the people with whom you have worked: musicians, beatmakers, label (if you have one), director of your music video (if you have shot one), photographer, etc. If this music is extracted from a longer project (maxi, EP, mixtape, album…), do not forget to specify it, by adding a listening link, if available. If not, be sure to include the release date. At the end of the message, mention your upcoming key dates (concerts, upcoming single…).
In terms of sending time, get ahead. Send out your email waves at least one (or two) weeks before your music is published on the internet. You need to give the journalist time to organize.
All types of links leading to your productions are welcome. Whether they refer to paid and/or free streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or personal sites. Of course, YouTube or other video hosting websites are highly recommended, just like your professional social networks—your personal accounts give off a more amateur image. Again, do not put off your recipient: rather than pasting whole URLs, hyperlink keywords directly in the body of your text: the titles of your songs, of your upcoming project, etc. Emails that are poorly organized, overflowing with information, or simply too amateur (with spelling/grammar errors, unprofessional-sounding, etc.), will not make people want to look at your work. Keep in mind that this introductory message will freeze a first impression in the mind of the journalist. This impression will inform how they feel about your seriousness even before your music.
Very importantly, don’t beg the journalist directly for what you want. In addition to the fact that it is inappropriate, they know logically that you want a signal boost—that’s their job! Be courteous. For example, start a discussion with a “Don’t hesitate if you have any questions.” The objective of this maneuver is clear: to establish a healthy and constructive dialogue, with the aim of creating something (more) personal with the journalist. Even if it is “only” an email back-and-forth, this is a reality of work now, and it allows you to build a basis for hypothetical future relationships—so do not neglect this aspect. Keep the phone to a last resort after providing the journalist with enough elements to get an idea of your work. Remember that an email can’t be edited or deleted once sent.
3. Responses from a journalist
Now, logically, only two options remain:
Positive answer: your work has hit the ground running!
Wait for the journalist to contact you. They will specify the method for sharing your music, such as the date and the publication medium (web, paper), and, what they intend to do with you (interview, column, simple video share…). As the dialogue is started, you can also ask directly if they want exclusivity. That is to say, to share first and without “competition”, for a short period (often a few days) your song, album, mixtape, etc. But be careful, this proposal of exclusivity should never be used as an argument to encourage the journalist to look at your work. It is a move that aims to strengthen your ties to an editorial board, to fully enjoy its reach.
Negative response or no response from the journalist
A few days have gone by and you still have no answer. Arm yourself with patience and prepare to follow up. If one or two, maximum three, spaced out appropriately (use common sense, stick to your release deadlines) still don’t work, then move on, because they definitely already have. It’s unlikely (or bad faith) for someone not to read your email! Finally, if you are refused, it is imperative that you remain hopeful.
Each media outlet has its own editorial line. While some are advocates of guitars, others focus on the distribution of electronic music, and so on. Underneath this last statement, the most important point of your entire approach is hidden: just as journalists are interested in your work, return the favor by doing the same with theirs. By knowing who you’re talking to, you’ll maximize your chances of getting answers.
Finally, to stand out in a single email, follow this procedure: don’t overdo it, be clear, precise, direct, rigorous and simple, and above all, make the reader want to be interested in you and your music.