Every Friday, we have an open thread where we answer our readers music business questions. This week Musformation commenter, Grape Juice Bunny asked, “Can you give 3 examples of emails you should write to the press/media to gain coverage on an album/single?” While I don’t know that I can give three examples, since most of our pitches have a similar theme, I can show you an exact formula that works for me, that you can use to make your own pitch.
This is the format we’ve used to pitch countless bands to blogs and Todd has employed when pitching successfully to tons of huge blogs that has gained his group Sensual Harassmentcoverage on Pitchfork, Vice, etc. We go into the nitty-gritty details of the other ways to make this pitch work inside our new book, if you want more information.
Personal Pitch – The first thing you want to do is show this person you actually read their blog and are a like-minded member of their community. You want to mention their name, and mention why you enjoy their blog. If you’re pitching a blog and expect any sort of success at it, you should make sure they cover music you enjoy and that is similar to what you do. This means taking a couple of minutes to listen through what they write about and find something to talk about. Before you ever pitch it is helpful to comment on their posts, Facebook or Twitter so your name seems familiar to them, when it arrives in their inbox.
Perhaps, thank them for introducing you to the latest Madeon track. Maybe, thank them for asking good questions in their latest interview with Hey Anna. Find something to bond with them about. Maybe, follow them on Twitter and see that their favorite pizza place is also Artichoke and mention that it’s yours too. People always want to help others who like what they like. Spend no more than two sentences doing this and don’t go overboard on the compliments.
Why Should They Care? – Next, you need to introduce them to what you are pitching and why they should care. Tell them what you’re sending them that you would like them to blog about (music video, single, album stream, exclusive content). Next, tell them in one sentence why this is eventful. What makes you unique and why they should care? If you are offering them something that will be exclusive to their blog, be sure to get that out there fast, since it can really help you get a placement. If you are promising to post your new single with them only for a week, and link it from all your social networks, that’s a big source of traffic for a blog.
Match Their Format – If a blog posts nothing but SoundCloud or Bandcamp streams, make sure that is what you send them. If they only post YouTube videos or DJ sets from SoundCloud, you should only pitch them if you have those available. Usually, most blogs post a variety of formats and in that case, you should send them whatever you have the strongest presence on. If YouTube is where you have a lot of views–go with them. But if your goal is to trade email addresses for your EP on Bandcamp, that’s what you should send them. Some bloggers ask for submissions in a specific format. Be sure to investigate that and do it in the way they prefer, to improve your chances of your submission going through.
Mumbo Jumbo – Lastly, you can include a full bio and some press quotes below your signature. The last line before your signature should mention if they would like to learn more, they can read the press release below that tells your life story and has endorsements from other blogs that love you. Be sure to include this after your signature, so the blogger isn’t intimidated by the size of the email. No one even wants to read an email that has multiple paragraphs, especially when your email is as filled as most bloggers.
While there are a bunch of other details that go into a good blog pitch, these are a great start.UPDATE: We now have an example of this letter here.