At about the same time my band started getting a bit of a press buzz, I ran across this article by Ariel Hyatt that details how to format a press release. There is a proper way to go about it, and I imagine that getting the release ignored is the penalty for not following this format.
The release itself is made up of 8 separate parts, including the line FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the top, contact information, headlines, and so forth. All of the elements are important, but I’m going to focus only on steps 5, 6, and 7: Opening Paragraph, Unique Selling Points, and Final Details, respectively.
- Opening Paragraph. The opening paragraph should start with the city, state, and date, and it must grab the reader’s attention (remember high school English?). Any questions the reader might have must be answered here. Why is the release important? Who is it about? What’s going on? Where and when is it going on? Links to relevant websites need to go here as well.
- Unique Selling Points Paragraph. If you have some performance of CD reviews you can quote from, this is the place to do it. Punch up what makes you unique.
- More Information. Tour dates, a link to your website, a link to your electronic press kit (including downloadable photos), social media info, and iTunes links should go here.
Be sure to send out press releases for major events, such as festivals, concerts (either opening or headlining), CD releases, and tours. By following the proper format, including good information, and proofreading, you’ll go a long way toward building a buzz about your band – which is what it’s all about.