Ask a Publicist: How Do You Approach Getting Press for an Album Release vs. a Tour?


beatles-2The Beatles at the release party and press conference for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. (Photo by John Pratt)
There are several types of press campaigns, from album press (which is reviews and interviews), to tour press (which covers the band's tour dates and life while on the road), and non-endemic press (which is press outside of the usual music outlets that positions the band in front of a whole new set of fans, aka preaching to those who've yet to convert). Each type of press requires its own customized approach in order to get results. Here, I will discuss the difference between the setup, strategy, and goals of two of the most common kinds of press that independent artists seek: album press vs. tour press.

Album release press

Setup

Three months of advance setup time is a luxury, but with leaks and the fact that we live in the digital age, that window is usually much shorter. We try and cover the long leads and print outlets about 90 days prior to release so that the press lands around release date, and then hit the shorter leads, like regionals, about 30 days out, so that the press also lands around release date. We cover the super-short leads, such as online publications and blogs, which publish daily and have a more flexible range, anywhere from seven to 10 days to about 15 to 20 days out. The goal is to try and blanket the media so the band is covered at every turn.
On the flip, I'm more than okay with sustained press – that is, press that runs after the album release date and through the cycle, even on the national media front. Press is press is press, no matter when it hits.

Strategy

We continue to hit new targets and come up with new coverage angles for previously established or secured targets, and we do this throughout the cycle and for the entire album until the band wraps its last tour and heads into the studio to work on the follow-up. We seek album and lifestyle coverage (such as tattoo mags or food or wine outlets), looking for placements outside of the normal music and touring realms.

Expectations, goals, and results

Reviews, interviews, listicles, premieres, features, and inclusion in broad stories covering multiple bands are what we strive for. Some things can take months to clear and happen, though, so the album release cycle is extended and can run from six months to a year.

Tour press

Setup

Usually, we need about 30 days for monthly print arts and entertainment outlets in the regional markets, maybe 45. If we miss their window, we will try to get listings on their sites, online previews, or lock in post-coverage (i.e., a review of the show). We service the dates and then pitch the weeklies, monthlies, dailies, and web in the market. We offer tickets for live reviews and post-coverage, interviews for a preview before the band gets to town, or in-person interviews, along with seeking show listings in event calendars.

Strategy

We work the entire tour, follow up, pitch, repitch, and do our best to get some sort of impression in the marketplace – before, during, and after.

Expectations, goals, and results

We like to get the media to see the live show even without a coverage commmitment, since that could turn the tide and get them interested in covering the band beyond a tour date. If the writer sees the band and has the epiphany, it could leader to larger, non-tour coverage. Yes, tour press helps create awareness of the tour dates and might help sell some tickets to the shows, but the overarching goal of tour press is to create further and larger band awareness. It doesn't start and end with a leg of dates.

Find out more about locking in press for your band:

Amy Sciarretto has 20 years of print and online bylines, from Kerrang to Spin.com to Revolver to Bustle, covering music, beauty, and fashion. After 12 years doing radio and publicity at Roadrunner Records, she now fronts Atom Splitter PR, her own boutique PR firm, which has over 30 clients. She also is active in animal charity and rescue.
Book Gigs Today!


follow us in feedly Instagram submit to reddit