How do I write a press release?
How do I get press to attend my concert?
How do I actually get press coverage?
These are all important tactical questions in your quest for press coverage but before you even consider the specifics of your battle plan, you must first ask yourself this:
What is unique and interesting about my concert?
This is what publicists call “the hook”, something that would interest the press and ultimately pique the interest of their followers.
Before you figure out “how” to get press coverage, you need to understand “why” you should get press coverage. And the “why” comes from figuring out what is so special about your concert that it deserves to be featured by the press.
Most of us have a vague personal goals for press coverage:
- Get a story or interview in advance of a concert
- Reach a wider audience of potential ticket buyers
- Gain prestige
- Glean a quote for use in a bio or an upcoming grant application
We’re all striving to break through the noise, stand out and be heard so these are all normal, human intentions and acceptable goals.
But they’re too self-serving.
In our single-minded efforts, we neglect to consider why coverage of our concert would be beneficial for both the press and their followers.
What’s in it for them? Before you know where to find the press and how to convince them of coverage, you need to know why your concert is worth their consideration and why they should tell their followers about it.
And unless your answer is strong and compelling, all of your specific PR tactics and tricks will fall on deaf ears.
A unique and compelling “hook” is the single most important thing to boost your chance of press coverage.
Newspapers, magazines, radio or TV stations, online outlets and blogs all serve their readership and viewership/listenership. By covering a newsworthy classical music concert, they’re providing intriguing content and news about a special event. This instills confidence in them as a trusted, respective and authoritative voice on the local arts scene.
When considering your compelling “hook”, ask yourself how you can present something enticing to the press that fills this crucial requirement and would in turn delight their audiences.
As you tease out what is special and unique about your concert, be sure to consider carefully these two common obstacles:
1. Emotional Investment
We’ve all been there. You pour blood, sweat and tears into a project, practice and rehearse long hours, and nurture it as if it were your own child.
"This concert is super special because of the labor and passion I devoted to it, obviously!"
Please don’t be one of those parents. Although exceedingly special in its own right, it doesn’t necessarily make it newsworthy or compelling. Go beyond what YOU think is amazing about it and try to figure out what a prospective AUDIENCE will find unique and special.
2. Inward Perspective
As the commanding officer in the midst of a relentlessly strenuous campaign, it can be difficult to gain the right perspective when you’re in the trenches daily. You are constantly surrounded by a myriad of details that can distract you from the one nugget of truth that conquers all. Step outside, look from above and gain clarity. You might find a particular detail or aspect fascinating but think broader, bigger and shinier for those less attached to the nuts and bolts as you are.
When you’re planning your next concert, always think first and foremost about how you can be artistically unique and special. What spark could you add to the programming? Is there a particular venue that enhances the concert for a specific reason? Perhaps you can tie your concert in with a narrative that a specific relevance to the local community?
Don’t let your desire for media attention drive your artistic integrity but if you want the best shot at standing out from the crowd, gaining press coverage and delighting your audience, then you need to make uniqueness your number one core value.