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The Press Does Not Owe You Anything!

By David Hooper

The media makes a living by providing valuable news and information to its audience. Newspaper editors and TV's managing editors are bombarded every day with news releases from all over the world that they have to read, review, and consider for inclusion…consider for their readership.

Some musicians believe that if they write a press release that is newsworthy, that there is an obligation on the part of the newspaper to publish it. Not only is this not true, but this kind of attitude can be detrimental to obtaining the coverage that you want.

The media is not an extension of your marketing department. But, if you are fortunate and savvy enough to have information of value that their readers may be interested in, you will at least attract their attention. Editors are not ad sales people. They're journalists and they take pride in delivering unbiased coverage independent of outside influences.

That said, many "hometown" papers will accept a “trade” for an advertising commitment -- they'll print your release if you buy their ads. Take advantage of this practice as much as you can, just be careful not to approach the legitimate press with any type of bartering proposal. It may destroy your chances of getting your releases accepted now and in the future.

You Must Generate Real News

Generating news and information that people and the press will be interested in is not as difficult as it may sound. All you have to do is ask the question, “What does my target audience care about?” Asking this question will help to focus your thoughts and ideas. Conducting some research on a specific topic or question will help you get the answer.

Another easy way to develop content for your press release is to create a “swipe file” of related news articles. A swipe file is collection of other people’s creative work whether it’s news articles, newspaper, and magazine ads or direct mailings. Use your swipe file for is to get your creative juices flowing. I call this method “creative inspiration.”

Don't limit your swipe file to items related to your industry. Put any ad or direct mail piece in your swipe file that jumps out at you and catches your attention. Even if you just find words that you like, or an image that hits you -- put it in there. On the other hand,

Save the best pieces for your swipe file. You can also consider creating a "Stinker File" for all the really bad ads you see.

About the author:
David Hooper is the founder of Kathode Ray Music, an artist development organization specializing in promotion and marketing of independent musicians and bands. Visit http://WWW.HOW-TO-READ-GUITAR-TABS.COM/for more tips and hints for musicians, bands, and songwriters.

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