At the heart of any good publicity campaign is a great story. If your music is intact, if it’s the best it possibly can be; then you will need to create a story that resonates and engages the press/media and music fans. Ultimately, great storytelling can turn a casual listener into a fan, and potentially into a customer who regularly buys your merchandise. But, you’ll only be able to achieve this if you commit to a solid story creation process right from the start and deliver tangible news that resonates with people and engages, or even better emotionally connects with them

A great way to create a great story is to build emotional investment into your news that helps create an attachment to your music. If you are able to write a story that makes people want to commit their time to you, then you stand a better chance of receiving exposure. Look at it from the other side: If press and media people are receiving an overwhelming amount of music pitches on a daily basis; what can you do to stand out from the masses? What’s involved in your message to them? How will it interest them, how will it peak their curiosity, what is in it for them and how will it benefit their jobs and lives? After all, the role of the press and media is not just to deliver the news and music; they need to grow and sustain readership and listener bases in order to survive. So how can they get their attention?

It’s worth knowing that journalists are taught to look for the 5 Ws and H – who, what, where, when, why and how. I’d recommend taking the time to thoroughly research these, as they will serve you well when it comes to creating an interesting story.

However, if we briefly unpack this right now, by answering the six points, we can begin a solid framework for our story, so for example when researching ask yourself questions like:

Who is involved, who is affected, who will be interested?

What is your topic, how can it be narrowed down to be as unique as possible, what are the different parts to it? What will this change?

Where does this take place?

When does this take place?

Why is this topic important? Why does it matter?

How does this topic work? How does it function? How does it do what it does?

How did it come to be? How are those involved affected?

Look at this  approach as a way to explore the different aspects of your story and differentiate your new story from others. 

Creating an engaging story that can emotionally connect with people is to look at the lyrics of your music before committing to record… If the lyrics are based on real life experience or relate to current/topical and historic events then this will go a long way when it comes to creating the words required for your story. With lyrics that actually have a purpose it provides you the opportunity to present an informative and entertaining body of work that might engage readers. I’d recommend that whoever is writing the lyrics to your music has their fingers on the pulse of situations that relate to them and outside events they feel passionate about, enabling them to reach beyond the all too obvious boundaries. 

The more authentic the better. If the lyrics are simply about wanting to “drink whiskey and have a good time” you might as well just stay in the rehearsal room together and have fun playing music; that topic has been done time and time again. Instead, look at more practical solutions; look inwards at subject matters that mean something to you. 

Another tip I’d recommend is whoever the creative writers are in your band each morning they take half an hour to an hour and sit down at a table with a pen and paper and write reflective notes. These notes could be about anything, they could be positive, they could be negative, they could be nonsense, but don’t hold back; unlock the creativity and make it spark. There could be gold in these notes. In fact I would suggest keeping a diary. This way you can write the notes, leave them for a while and revisit another time with a fresh perspective. You can then go through the words and highlight the key notes in preparation for creating your story. This isn’t just a great way to create a story; it’s also a way of energising your creativity and passion. It’s a great mental health and well-being tool and something that serves me well every day.

Also, take time to revisit some of your favourite music and do some research. Unpack album and songs. There are some great case studies from previous music releases that demonstrate the real purpose behind song lyrics that have enabled music artists to reach wider audiences because the press and media have taken an interest in what the artist is saying. Jot down some notes about this next time you have a band meeting, present it to your bandmates and see what you can all learn from great music stories to help create your own and stand out from the pack.

These ideas are simply the start. By unlocking your creativity and having true vision and purpose, it could enable you to create a story that sells itself. If the music speaks for itself, your great story will join the dots and encourage more focus to the recipient.

Having a great story as a foundation to your PR campaign is just the beginning of how you can utilise important words about your music and brand, it can go beyond simple publicity campaigns. Your story content can be repurposed for a number of things including social media content and additional notes in your press kit that dives in deeper about your new music. This approach can help press/media people understand your music releases even better should they choose to commit more time to you. 

IMPORTANT: A great story also offers you opportunities when it comes to merchandise. If you’ve taken careful time to write notes about the music and the lyrics, you could create a song book that you can sell as the merchandise item to fans. There’s lots that you can do to take your merchandise and marketing to another level.  When it comes to creating your story and the many things you can do with it; the only limit is your mind.

To summarise:  if you’re just releasing your music and hoping that the press and media are going to react because of it, then you’re shooting fish in a barrel and hoping that something might stick.  However if your story has a real purpose to it, if it informs, educates and ultimately entertains the reader; then you have a chance of connecting with them because you’ve taken the time to create a great story. Now that you’ve got this in place, it’s time to begin planning your pr campaign and the strategy needed to run it.

Rob - Stampede Press

Stop being disappointed with PR campaigns that don’t work for you. Book a PR & Marketing strategy session with Rob Town (MA – Master of Art).

This post was published on 1st September 2020 and filed in these categories; Blog.

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