How To Write A Music-Related Press Release

When To Write Press Releases

  • Concert/Show and or Tour information
  • Record, Publishing, Merchandising Deal Announcements
  • Band Personnel Changes/Additions
  • CD, Tape, and Video Release Information
  • Promotional Events/Marketing Plans/Misc. Announcements
What The Print and Broadcast Media Need
  • News or announcements related to their target audience
  • Deadlines met for calendars and event listings
  • Event or information in proximity to their coverage area
Layout and Essential Information
  • Double space all content
  • The phrase "For Immediate Release" centered near top 1/3 or page
  • Date press release is sent out
  • Contact information: Person media can call for more information with phone number and fax number
  • Printed on company or artist/band stationary with full address info
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pages long (unless for major event or project)
  • End with the marks ### centered at end of the body

The Press Release Structure

The Slug Line (Headline)
  • Short, but attention-getting headline phrase
  • A hint of the purpose or topic to be presented

The Lead Paragraph

  • Should include the 5 W's and the H (if needed):
Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
  • Summation of the basic topic/information
  • Begin with the most important part of the information
  • Who is in the beginning sentence, followed by Where and When
  • Why, What, and How follow in the next few sentences
  • No unnecessary details should be included in the lead paragraph

The Body

  • Elaboration on the theme or purpose of the press release
  • One thought, one paragraph. Cohesive, single ideas in each paragraph
  • Write information in descending order of importance
  • Keep information factual. Opinions only in quotes with proper credit
  • Use simple sentences (Subject - Object - Verb) and avoid too much hype
  • Ending option: Recap essential information from first paragraph
  • Proofread several times for spelling, and/or grammatical errors

Throughout his fprty year career in the music business, FourFront Media & Music's Christopher Knab has shared his experience at many industry conventions and conferences, including the New Music Seminar and the Northwest Area Music Business Conference.

Knab was owner of a San Francisco music store, co-owner of the 415 Records label, and station manager at KCMU Radio in Seattle.

He currently provides a unique consultation and education service for independent musicians and record labels. His new book is entitled "Music Is Your Business".

Christopher Knab