How to write a press release (and get press)


New Album:

Music Video:



Promo Photo:

-Ari Herstand (The Red Pills manager/guitarist)

**Directly below your signature should be the press release beginning with the title. DO NOT ATTACH IT TO THE EMAIL. Do not clutter up their inbox or make them download an attachment. Not a press release, not a promo photo, not a song. If they want a word doc or a promo photo they will respond and ask you to send it over as an attachment. But most want everything contained in the email and want to just copy and paste and click through links. Downloading is too slow, takes up space and is too much work.

No Response Does Not Mean No Coverage

I can’t tell you how many times I have reached out to press outlets with an email very similar to the one above, where I have never received a response, BUT I got either a full preview of my show in the paper/blog or they copy/pasted my press release.

Always check the publication in print and online when you tour through the city. Sometimes their print edition will list show previews which do not make the digital version – and vice versa.

“For Immediate Release”

You see this statement in many press releases sent out by companies announcing things like a new iPhone or what not. However, when you’re contacting music reviewers weeks before your show, you don’t want them to print a show preview in the weekly newspaper a month before your show. So list at the top of the release when you’d like it printed/posted:

“For release the week of October 2nd.”

Lead Time

For local press, contact them about 4 weeks before your show. Many times the music reviewers will have stuff cued up a couple weeks in advance of printing, but sometimes they are scrambling looking for content for this week. Sometimes (depending on how organized they are) they’ll ask you to get back to them a few days before they go to print (or post the blog). If you’re too early (2 months), they’ll ignore it as it’s not pressing, but if you’re too late (less than a week) you may have missed your window and that edition may be already set. If the reviewer only reviews physical CDs (some still do), you need enough time to get it in the mail to her.

If you don’t get a response, follow up a week later. Giving yourself a 4 week window allows for followups. Giving yourself one week does not.

Publication Research

Before contacting the reviewer, make sure you do a bit of research on the publication. Make sure they actually cover Arts and Entertainment. Find out how often (weekly, daily, monthly). And, of course, make sure you get the contact email and name of the music or community events reviewer.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Phone

If you can’t find an email on the website, most likely they’ll have a contact phone number listed. Pick up the damn phone and call and ask. You’ll most likely reach the receptionist. All you need to do is then ask “Hi, I’m looking for Kim Smith’s email.” Yes, learn the name of the music reviewer before calling. This is not tough to find. The receptionist will have this information and gladly give it to you. And if you haven’t gotten an email response from the reviewer, give her a call, ask if she got your press release and if she needs anymore info from you. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to sift your email out of the pile.

Author Bio: Ari Herstand[2] is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take[3]. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake[4].

[hana-code-insert name=’pr-music-featured’ /]


  1. ^ Ari’s Take (
  2. ^ Ari Herstand (
  3. ^ Ari’s Take (
  4. ^ @aristake (

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