There have been some rumblings on Twitter that generally present this argument: music journalists need to do more digging and more research into the artists that are making music, and look beyond mainstream publications for guidance as to who to write about, and what to say. Fair. I feel this.
But I also feel that artists need to sharpen up and get better at managing their own pr. Yesterday I received an email from an artist who cc’d all recipients rather than bcc’d. And many of the people who email me get my name wrong in the greeting. People who create music and want journalists to write about them need to put the effort into building those relationships, and that first email makes a big difference. Also, like artists, many of us are not making much money from doing this. So let’s help each other out. I’ve made a list of helpful tips for people who’d like to send stuff to me. This guide is specific to me and what I like, though it’s hardly breaking the mould. Make sure you do your research about the publication you’re pitching to, they might have their own advice. Like this one from Lauren Martin at DJ Mag.
Reviews on LGR are rock/indie/psych/garage with a smattering of electronic music. I cover a mixture of signed and unsigned artists, for example I followed a review of Elephant Stone’s ‘American Dream’ (signed to The Reverberation Appreciation Society) with a piece about ‘Your Garden Grows’ by Drew Makes Noise (made their debut in April 2020).
LGR publishes weekly and I always have a list of items that I get through in order of when they’re added to the list. Generally there’s four or five things ahead of the music that you send me. If you send it six weeks in advance of the release there shouldn’t be any issue with getting it out on time.
Tip: January is a relatively quiet month, I’d love to receive more stuff during this time.
Gig reviews are a thing – obviously not now because of Covid. It’s worth mentioning any future gigs that you have coming up and offering me a ticket to one.
Make sure that you include streaming links to your music and music videos. Sometimes I get emails that only contain downloadable files, links to Dropbox, WeTransfer links that have expired, or Google Drive folders that have restricted access.
My real name is on here on the website. It might sound small but using somebody’s name in the greeting of your email goes a long way in making a good first impression.
An informative one liner is sexy.
I love to hear about people’s influences in their press release and a bit of back story about the music. The email should ideally be short, but the press release itself can expand on the music in more detail, include some direct quotes, biographical details and information about previous releases.
I also like to hear about music research, feminism and community action in the music industry. If you’re working on a project within these areas, do get in touch. Check out the research section on LGR to get a feel for my own research – maybe we could collaborate.