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Apr 11, 2022
Spinnup Asia

RIUH x Spinnup Blog #4: How to Get Press Coverage Without a Publicist or PR


It comes as no surprise to anyone that getting publicity for yourself or your band is super important. With so much new music coming out than ever before and playlists rotating at lightning speed, every artist needs a little bit more to get the spotlight thrown on them in order to make some waves and keep the momentum going.

If it’s getting covered in a blog, featured in a music magazine, and sometimes even radio play – that’s all press coverage. But how do you get press coverage without paying lots of money for a publicist? We’ll get to that.

Publicity is important because at the core, it exposes you to a broader market. When people see you mentioned in publications and recommended by people or brands they respect, this increases their trust in you and your music. Want to open for your favourite artist? Having previous press will bring you higher up their list of choices.

Many unsigned acts get press without a publicist and these are a few things they focus on:

1. Start local 

Gather a long list of all local publications relevant to you and research who is in charge. It’s a great thing to have a name and email address for the person you wish to pitch to. They will be happy you took the time instead of sending a generic scatter bomb of messages hoping someone responds.

It’s always a good idea to send a customised pitch if you’re sending out to more than one media outlet and a great way to build potential relationships with the press. Include their personal name (if possible) and publication name to show you know who you’re emailing.

TAPAU actively promotes local and regional independent artists. Source: TAPAUasia

Check out some local publications below for a head start: 

Consider submitting your music to radio stations below too, they are always on the lookout for fresh local music. Familiarise yourself with your local stations to have a feel of where your music might be suitable.

Radio stations like HITZ take song submissions from local independent artists. Source: HITZ FM

And the list goes on. Be sure to find and submit to platforms that are relevant to your music and style. Don’t be a stranger; introduce yourself and your music and put your best foot forward!

2. Develop a 10-second pitch

Whether you’re at a gig, music event, or just out and about, you never know who you’ll run into! 

Consider this as a concentrated elevator pitch. Who are you and what are you about, and what do you offer? Get that down to 10 seconds and reel them in.

3. Have an EPK

An electronic press kit (EPK) is essential to showcase yourself. It gathers information and provides it in one place. Create your EPK with vibrant images, your best 2-3 songs, a video and your contact information. Put your 10 second pitch somewhere in here. Maybe throw in a press article if you have one.

Check out our step-by-step guide on making an EPK on our previous blog entry with RIUH

4. Have a great social media presence

We know social media is a fantastic way to reach out to the world. Have at minimum a Facebook page and linked Instagram account dedicated to music. Set up a YouTube channel and upload your music videos here. The more interaction you offer online, the more material journalists can pull from. Make their job easy!

5. Write a press release about your next project

100-200 words – when is it, what is it. Where, with whom, why should people engage with it. You may have a new single coming out. Who did you write it with? Why? Where can people listen? What do you look like? 

Get your hands on our downloadable press release template here!

Example of a press release by singer-songwriter Lisa Kamal. Source: Lisa Kamal

Some important notes…

Time your press release.

Send your press release at least a couple of weeks before your project goes live, or week of release. This gives journalists time to pitch their own stories on you, or even better, if they want to promote your track on release day.

Let’s imagine you have done all of the above and only a couple of bites. This is where you follow up, in a polite and friendly manner. Reconnect with the people you sent a press release to and ask if they have had time to read it – and if there is something else you could offer to them that they saw lacking in your initial contact. Most of the time they would have been busy and a follow up is fine.

Keep it simple. Write one or two concise paragraphs about you, your project, and why you would be great for that particular publication. Add a link to your EPK. Sign off in a professional manner.

The key here is doing your research.

Why is the publication you are reaching out to going to want you in their mix? Research and find articles about other artists that are similar in some way, and go for those publications. Mention the releases or pieces they do that you would be great for and why. Keep it simple. Your EPK will do the rest of the talking.

Finally, if you don’t hear back after a week to ten days, follow up with another email. If you don’t hear back after that you may want to move on. It is considered ok to send two follow ups, but use your gut feeling on this one. Remain professional and refrain from being perceived as annoying.

Remember that people who have not heard of you yet only need a couple of nudges and if they are going to respond, they will. If they don’t, they don’t know you so who cares right? Brush off your shoulders and try again.