Very happy that the legendary New York music PR consultant Ariel Hyatt has agreed that we post some of her hugely informative articles on indieRepublik…this week it’s 8 easy steps on how to format a press release! Take it away Ariel….
Here at Cyber PR I frequently have musicians call and ask me to write and blast a press release for an upcoming EP or album. Here is what I say: I will not write a press release for an upcoming EP or album. WHY? Because they don’t work for EP or album releases.
The ONLY reason to write a press release is for a very specific event (like a show, a benefit or a special occasion) OR for a very niche market (a “genre” of music is not a niche but a charity benefit or a tech related news piece like you are featured in a new app is!)
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, here is how to create a press release in 8 steps.
Press Release Format:
A press release should be one page only and on your letterhead.
(If you do not have letterhead put your logo or your record company’s logo at the top of the page).
Step 1 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
All Press Releases start with ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ written in the top left hand corner, always in CAPS.
Step 2 – Contact Information
Contact Info should include your first and last name (or the first and last name of a specific person) a phone number and an email address.
It should look like this:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ariel Hyatt (212) 239-8384 contact (at) CyberPRMusic.com
Step 3 – Headline
Next comes the headline, which should be simple and centered and bold.
Sleeping Lion to Celebrate Release of EP with East Coast Tour
Step 4 – Subhead
This is an expanded part of the headline, which brings the reader in, and accentuates the headline by adding detail.
10-city tour supports Patient Creature their new EP
Cities will Include Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, and Hartford.
Step 5 – Opening Paragraph: Location, Date & 5 W’s
Location: should start with (City, State) Date — This is so the reader knows where the information is coming from and how timely the information is. Example: (New York, NY) October 20, 2017.
And it should answer the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where & Why.
This initial paragraph should always grab the reader and answer all of the basic questions the reader might have. If the release is to promote a show or a specific event include the full date with day included, venue name, venue address, show time, ticket price and ages as well as a link to the venue for further directions & information, and lastly the ticket purchase link.
Step 6 – Second Paragraph: USP / Unique Selling Point & Quotes
This is the “meat” of your press release so make it good. This will include further information, more details, an engaging story, a quote about your music, or about the topic of the release from reviewers, fans, a producer, a venue owner or an industry tastemaker (because what other people say is always taken more seriously and is more believable than your own hype) and the USP – Unique Selling Point – a short description that captures the sound of the music (pretend that the reader may never actually hear it) and include what makes you stand out.
Step 7 – Final Details & Additional Contact Information
Here is where you would include all tour dates, a mailing address a link to your websites, and a place where a photo can be downloaded a link where the music can be purchased or streamed and if you have a label contact add them here.
Step 8 – The 3 Hashtags – The End!
Now type this: # # #
This indicates that the press release is finished and there is not another page to your release.