So you’ve managed to create or build a brand new product, service or, (in my world) record a new single that is bound for Triple J rotation, or a review in Rolling Stone.
There is one problem, no-one has heard or cares about it.
Too often, I see musicians and bands release a new single or, I see small businesses with a new menu or product with no thought about how they are going to make the world actually care about it. This is where publicity comes into place.
If this is entirely new to you, publicity is about getting your news and product in front of media representatives to be able to secure a feature, a review or an interview with those media outlets - from TV to radio, from online blogs to newspapers.
Here are some of my secrets that I have learnt that will help you secure press opportunities, build credibility for your product or brand, and reach a new audience.
If there is anything that I have learnt over the years running Kick Push PR, it is that preparation is everything. Whether it is a product launch, a new cocktail menu, or a new release from an emerging musician or band, you need everything in place ready well ahead of the launch or release date, pieced together in a tight-knit press release.
Your press release is the tool which has all the key information about your product/ service or release. Every company or business – big or small – will distribute a press release on any news or announcements. Learn how to make an exciting press release!
Securing press requires a lot of lead time. We all live in such a busy world, so it can never be expected that an article can and will be published the day a press release is distributed. Sometimes this may happen, but these things take time, resources and energy! Most media outlets typically will not have the capacity to turn this around overnight.
Furthermore, although it is sadly a dying form of media, print media requires longer lead time. You need to consider print cycles (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) and their deadlines to have artwork and interviews completed in time.
Find and learn about the media outlets relevant to you! A quick scan through the website or magazine, and you will have a pretty good understanding of the content they publish.
If it is relevant, find the key contact information of the editors, writers and advertising departments. Create a list of these contacts and prepare the approach/ angle of your pitch.
Finding Press Opportunities
Finding press opportunities is all about taking baby steps. It is quite rare to get the attention of some of the most credible media outlets out there without some credibility behind you first. (It may seem like a catch-22 situation – to get media coverage, you need to have had some media coverage – but there are ways around that found in the following tips).
Be smart with who you approach and start small. In my field – working with musicians and bands – this might mean contacting community radio stations for radio play before tackling national radio station. Rather than seeking out the Sunday Mail, The Age or Sydney Morning Herald, you may seek out the local paper, or a smaller online website/ blog.
Capturing Their Attention
From having done your research, you’ll already have an idea of what stories and content they like to cover. Use your prepared pitch that is relevant to that media outlet to get their attention. Media outlets like something with a unique story - perhaps your failure to success, how you’ve transformed, or maybe you're a national or worldwide first.
Regardless of your story, your pitch should be humble, concise and include all relevant information to make the editors and writers job easy.
Using Your Content/ Product As Leverage
Now, credibility is essential, but you may be asking, ‘how do you approach the situation when you are a start-up facing this catch-22?’.
You use your content/ product or service as leverage. The reason why this works is that it is typically mutually beneficial.
Here are some great examples of how to do this:
If you are launching a new menu, host a soiree! With a small mention of free tastings, food and wine bloggers will jump on the opportunity straight away. You feed them, and they’ll take photos, share it on their socials and probably write up a review.
Do you have a brand new moisturiser? Perhaps it’s a new clothing line? Firstly, you can send these products to editors and writers to get their attention. Also, there are always call-outs for businesses to supply their product for live audience giveaways on television programs and channels.
Maybe you are offering a new service and are an expert in the field. There is an opportunity to share your wisdom with others inspiring to do the same.
Lastly, and what I most commonly work with - online exclusive premieres: an artist/ band has a new release so I secure an online premiere with a particular media outlet. For the first 24hrs, the new single or music video can only be streamed there. Running exclusive content is beneficial for the media outlet as it can be guaranteed that they will have more traffic to their website or listeners/ viewers tuning in.
*Bio: Michael Gill is the founder and publicist of Kick Push PR. He has been running music publicity campaigns and sustainably living off his own business for three years now, helping emerging artists and bands get the exposure they deserve.
Michael’s venture in the music industry began in 2010 where he played a key role in a band that played at major festivals and toured nationally. Mistake after mistake, he began to build an understanding of what is required for successful release.
He later took this experience and started working as a publicist where he learnt on the fly on how to pitch to media representatives. He spent his time researching, reading, listening to others on how to implement strategies to create a successful PR campaign. This still happens today - three years in.
Kick Push PR has now had artists and bands on Rolling Stone, MTV, Rage (ABC), Triple J, Triple M and music blogs, websites and other community radios all across Australia.
Michael has also used these skills to help other small businesses launch their new menus and products where he has seized media opportunities with outlets including the Lifestyle Channel and Style Magazine.