Part 5 — Don’t Hassle the Writer
So you’ve sent me five e-mails and I haven’t responded? It’s not because I’m busy. It’s because your music isn’t right for my site or I can’t find your stuff or I don’t like what I hear or any number of other things. It’s not personal (unless you take things personally, and then yes, it is). So stop hassling me. I’m not going to write about you right now.
I say e-mail the media person once, with all your info, press kit, engaging e-mail, etc. If you don’t get a response within two weeks, follow-up. But after that, let it go. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit. If something changes with your band – if you change something, if you release something new, if you’ve got a big show coming up — you can always contact that person again. But you’re not going to get a response from every person you contact. It takes time to build an audience and decent media clippings (which ironically, is what you need to get more media clippings). Remind me when you’ve got a show coming up. But you shouldn’t be e-mailing me weekly. If you’re constantly hassling me to cover your music and I still haven’t responded and done it, chances are it’s not going to happen. Sorry.
On the other hand, if the journalist does send you back an e-mail that says, “Keep me updated,” that means keep him/her updated! Maybe I don’t have room or time for you right now in my publishing schedule. Maybe I’ve already got other stuff going on. But if I want to be updated, do it. It means we’re interested.
“But what if I’m not getting any attention from anyone?” you ask. Then it probably has something to do with either your approach or your music.
It’s going to be rough if it’s your music, because you’re going to have to seriously look at what you’re doing. Is it unlistenable? Is it offensive? Is it terrible? Is it so trite and generic it’s indistinguishable from a thousand others? Be honest. You’re going to have to decide whether you want to keep making the music you’re making and have very little success, or you’re going to have to change something to appeal to more people. And that’s a tough decision to make.
But more likely your lack of response is because of your approach, because there really is a market for nearly everything out there, even really shit music. Re-evaluate the e-mails you’re sending, your press kit, and your website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grungy garage two-piece with a keytar and a wooden drum. Your media should still be clean, professional and easy to navigate.
And it takes time. It takes months and months before you start getting good write-ups. And you have to keep at it if you want to keep getting coverage. Yeah, it sucks. It’s almost like a full-time job. But in the end, it’s going to help get people to your shows and it’s going to help you sell your music, which in going to result in you getting money to make more music. But not too much money. Don’t quit your day job.