Welcome back to PR 101. This is a series of articles both for music publicists and musicians who don’t have a budget for a publicist. In either case, these articles are meant to help you make your publicity more effective.
We’ve all heard the acronym KISS, which of course stands for keep it simple, stupid. Well, I’m not here to call you stupid. Frankly, that’s just not very nice. So make that second S stand for something more pleasant – like Superhero. Here are two KISS rules to consider when you are working on the pitch that you will send to writers.
The first variation of the KISS rule is keep it short. I’ve come across some of them that are more like short stories. Seriously, I have seen some pitches that are more than a dozen paragraphs. In the grand scheme of things, a dozen paragraphs isn’t a lot. However, music journalists generally receive more pitches than we know what to do with. If every one of those pitches is that long, we’re not getting through all of them. Writers (and I’m as guilty as anyone) are notoriously bad about responding to publicists. All I’m saying is that task doesn’t get any easier if we have to wade through pages upon pages of pitches about music artists.
Part of the challenge of doing PR (and there are too many to number) is to find a succinct way to tell writers why they should listen to your band. That being said, it’s in your best interest to keep your pitch short. Your pitch should include: a few paragraphs, a link to a song or video, and an invitation to check out more of the music. Trust me, if the writer is interested in the music, he or she will let you know – probably in fairly short order.
The other KISS rule when it comes to music PR is: keep it straightforward. I realize that a pitch about a music artist is your opportunity not only to tell the world about your music (or the band you represent), but also to show off your writing abilities. The thing you need to remember is that this is a pitch, not a college essay. There is a giant difference. While you do want to exercise your writing ability, you don’t want to send the reader scurrying for a dictionary because you’ve used a word like “elegiac” or “ephemeral” (both of which I’ve actually encountered) in your pitch. Yes, I realize it’s hard to break old habits. However, you’ll be much better served by keeping it straightforward than by writing like your pitch like your college composition professor is going to read it.