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Home » Recent News » Tips on Media Releases and Photographs

Tips on Media Releases and Photographs


guitar-944262_640As a working musician, you’re used to expressing yourself through music. Just as important for your career is expressing yourself through words and pictures. Get the message out about your act, and get the media on your side, by writing effective press releases and taking media-ready photos.

  •  In general, there are two types of press release. If you are contacting the media ahead of an event, print the words “MEDIA ALERT” in the top left hand margin. For all other press releases, print “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.”
  •  Follow this alert line with relevant contact information: name, title, address, phone number, e-mail address, and website.
  •  Create a headline and write it in bold type or caps above the body of the release. Use active words: headlines typically highlight the most important or significant fact in the release.
  •  Create a “dateline”–the first sentence of your release should begin with the city where the release is generated and the date (i.e. LOS ANGELES, CA.–July 1, 2006).
  •  Put your main point and vital information in the first paragraph. If alerting the media to an event, break out and bullet point the who, what, where, when, why, and how information.
  •  In the second and possibly third paragraph of your release, add information that will entice a reporter to come to your event (if your gig is for charity, for instance, or celebrating a CD release) or that will help him or her write the story.
  •  The final paragraph should include biographical and other information about your act. Although not always included when a newspaper or magazine runs your release, this information nevertheless gives an editor some useful background information.
  •  Wrap up the last paragraph with a “for additional information” line–a phone number, e-mail address, and/or website to which the reporter can turn to.
  •  Do not send a release that is more than one page. If a draft runs over a page, re-work it. Traditionally, three centered hash marks (# # #) indicate the end of a press release.
  •  Send your press release to the reporter or editor who covers your beat. Most often, this will be the arts and entertainment beat. Refrain from calling a reporter to “see if you got the release.” A follow up should ask the reporter if anything else is needed to cover the story.

Remember the Photos!

  •  Print media are more likely to use your release if you also send good quality photos. It’s always worth hiring a photographer (or finding a friend of the band who knows how to take pictures) to record your event, in case a newspaper can’t send its own photographer.
  •  Print photos and headshots must be in focus, shadow free, and sent in large format (5 x 7 inches or larger). Digital photos should be in high resolution (ideally, 300 dots per inch) and in .jpg or .tiff format. Be prepared to send digital photos as e-mail attachments or on a CD. Never send the only copy of a photograph you want to keep.
  •  If you have a website, consider creating a “media room.” There you can post news and releases about your band that will be useful to a reporter writing a story. You can also post media-ready digital photographs. Note that newspaper and magazines probably won’t be able to use low resolution photographs most commonly posted on websites either in .jpg or .gif format.
  •  Avoid these common mistakes that might make a editor refuse your photo: frame not filled (the band is too small or too far away); subject too dark (a light source behind the band has put them in shadow); photo too dark (there’s not enough lighting or the camera’s flash is too weak); grip ‘n’ grin (the subjects are static, as if having a mugshot taken).

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