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How To Succeed In Getting Gig/Tour Press

By Kenny Love

I recently received a question from a musician who is having more than her fair share of problems obtaining print media coverage in areas where her band is touring.   Hopefully, my advice and ideas that I gave her can benefit you and your band as well should you experience similar difficulties with obtaining print media support for your gigs/tours.

FROM: Megan I started touring with my band last fall (we were in New York City before that...), and we are about to leave on another tour for our debut ep.  Booking is going as well as can be expected starting out, but we're having a hell of a time getting any press...we have a kit and an epk, and a press release, and we send off everywhere, but we're in that limbo spot where honestly, not many people care about our music enough yet... any suggestions?

MY RESPONSE: What has been occurring for several years (if not longer) and, particularly, with local and regional print publications, is a little thing called "nepotism."

I utilize this phrase to describe print papers that will only devote "ink" (press coverage) to their local/regional up-and- coming musical artists, with the only exceptions being granted for mega superstars or outside artists who are coming into the media sources' area for performances, of which the latter describes Megan your situation.

And, since you and your band are, indeed, touring and "qualify" for coverage in your performance areas, you should conduct an in-depth search on the web (using Google) for print media in each of your tour stops.

As an example, if you are playing Richmond, Virginia, you should simply use Google to search phrases such as:

* "richmond, virginia print media"
* "richmond, virginia print publications"
* "richmond, virginia music magazines"
* "richmond, virginia arts and entertainment magazines"
* "richmond, virginia daily newspapers"
* "richmond, virginia weekly newspapers"

or similar key phrases.

You should then contact the print editors or music editors in each area where you will appear and inform them on your upcoming performance location, i.e., name of venue, date, time, etc. and also request if the editor would be interested in interviewing you/your band in advance of your performance.

At this time, you should also direct the media to your website for advance review of your music, biography, etc.  With print publications, you can do interviews via telephone, or if the media prefers "in person" interviews, you could simply schedule the interview earlier in the day, prior to your performance, which will mean you will need to get into town a bit earlier than normal set-up time.

You should also bear in mind that, with print publications, "lead time" (the amount of advance time publications require to review projects before writing about them) is very crucial in order to ensure media coverage.

Daily newspapers, generally, demand a minimum of 2-3 weeks "lead time" and, possibly, longer depending on the publication.   The "trick" is to stay anywhere from 3-4 weeks ahead with the ("lead time") of each tour appearance.

Example: For an upcoming May 3, 2008 appearance, daily print media contacts should be initiated around April 10th at the *latest*.

Likewise, you should also contact radio station talk shows, television morning shows, prime time talk/interview shows, television newscasts, and cable music and entertainment shows at *each* station in each of your tour cities.

Should you secure any media interviews, you should then notify other media contacts in the same area that you will be interviewing with the particular source, in an effort to influence other area media to consider you as well, in addition to requesting their reviewing your already-scheduled interview. This can (sometimes) serve to foster a bit of competition between local media, with all being good for the musical group.

To add even better "fuel to the fire," you should invite all media contacts in *each* area out to your performances.   This can, potentially, serve as background media coverage *after* you have performed, and the opportunity to get TWO bits of media coverage, thus, prolonging your exposure in any single given area.

Be sure to provide complementary media passes for all local media contacts that have agreed to come out to the show, as well as inform the venue owners of the media contact names.   This should be tightly coordinated and confirmed with venue owners or managers prior to the show.

While this seems a bit more work, as you can see, there are definite advantages as well as "extra" opportunities for media coverage within a single tour location if conducted well.

Now, multiply this degree of opportunity within *each* tour area, and you are likely to create quite a buzz on your tour route as well as have a degree of successful results through implementing this proactive process.


Kenny Love is a radio/video promoter and media publicist, as well as co-owner and Director of Marketing for Eartastic Records.  Get more information regarding him from his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/jazzman795

 
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