A how-to guide for musicians | Music Issue | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A how-to guide for musicians

What rules should a musician follow to get a journalist’s attention?

Self-promotion is essential for musicians. When pitching to music journalists around town, heed these helpful tips: 

Find a form

Send music in an easily accessible listening format. Bandcamp and Soundcloud links work great, but if you’re sending your songs via Google Drive, be sure to put them in a folder. Nobody has time to download each song from individual G Drive links. 

Do digital

Put together an electronic press kit (EPK). It should include: your music, a bio detailing your distinguishing qualities and your latest work, and downloadable images and/or videos (with credits).

Say cheese

Have promotional photos taken. Hi-res images are crucial for print and online media. Be sure a photographer has provided explicit permission for images before sending them to a reporter or editor.

Try sugar

Polite and understanding approaches never hurt an artist. Journalists are bombarded with emails; don’t expect a response within minutes or even a day. Avoid lashing out at writers, by way of email or on social media, for “ignoring.” They’re busy, too.

Sell yourself

Your art is valuable. Your time is worth something. Don’t waste it by failing to convey what makes you and your music compelling. Don’t worry about coming off too confident.