How NOT To Get Coverage On A Blog Or Web Site Part 1: Laziness & Unfamiliarity

20 May

I get the same question several times a day: “How do I get my music featured on web sites?” Unfortunately, there’s no set formula for success. Sure, there are things you can do to help your chances. Use social networking sites, conventions and panels to build relationships with bloggers and writers beyond your music;  send personal messages instead of generic mass emails; and other tips from the homie Hubert Sawyers’ ongoing “Music Industry Secrets To Success” series on FryngInVein.com. But as a journalist who’s been in the game for seven years, take my word for it: nothing guarantees press. You just do all you can, and hope/pray for the best.

That being said, there are definitely surefire ways to NOT get coverage for yourself or your artists. Writers and bloggers’ inboxes get flooded with hundreds of emails a day, and if you come across as disrespectful or misinformed, we won’t waste our time; we’ll keep it moving to someone else who handles his/her business the right way.

That is, until now. I’m starting a new series entitled, “How NOT To Get Coverage On A Blog Or Web Site.” This series will showcase emails and tweets I’ve received from artists and managers—with the names redacted or changed, for sake of privacy and embarrassment—and explain how they screwed up, so you won’t do the same.

For installment number one, check under the cut.

SUBJECT: a feature

i recall u saying u have website of some sort featuring music, and i was wondering how could i get [artist name redacted] on it, im his manager by the way. [Manager name redacted]

I received this email on my Blackberry while out for food with my crew, and it was the basis of about four straight hours of jokes.

I met the person who sent this email in a boutique in Detroit a few months ago. He seemed interested in MichiganHipHop.com, told me about his artist, and we exchanged contact information to discuss possibilities of posting his music. Usually, that would be a great start: talking business with someone in person is refreshing in an industry where we know many colleagues/clients by screen names and Facebook profiles. Last weekend, he hit me on Twitter to ask me for my email address, and sent the above message five minutes later. And this is all kinds of fucked up.

For one, he didn’t even remember what web site I write for. And if my web site isn’t important enough for you to “recall,” it’s probably not important enough for you to receive coverage on. It shouldn’t have been too tough for him to remember. I told him about my web site in person, and I wrote down my email address with said site—william@michiganhiphop.com—during that conversation. It also says I’m managing editor of MIhiphop.com in the bio of my Twitter profile, which is where he contacted me. And if worst comes to worst, if he were to Google search my name “William E. Ketchum III,” MichiganHipHop.com would be one of the first results.

Artists and managers should also remember that writers and bloggers need a story that’s going to keep our readers interested and tie in with the brand/theme of our publication, especially for sites with large followings. Because when we pitch stories to our editors or bosses, we have to break it down the same way to make the cut. We aren’t asking you to pretend that you’re as obsessive about our site’s hits and comments section as much as we are, but at least show that you have respect for the publication. This applies here because the manager didn’t know what site he was contacting; and he can’t respect a publication that he doesn’t know. Additionally, the email didn’t have any sort of pitch to let me know why his artist would be intriguing or relevant for us to post. We aren’t just going to post your music because you asked, and sometimes, it isn’t even enough for us to like it if it’s not a compelling story.

It seems that the manager thought that his artist’s name (which is somewhat known, but not completely) and me meeting him before were enough for him to not be on top of his game. And unfortunately for him, that’s not the case.

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9 Responses to “How NOT To Get Coverage On A Blog Or Web Site Part 1: Laziness & Unfamiliarity”

  1. HubertGAM May 20, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Man, that is hilarious, but so sad at the same time. It is awesome that you take this opportunity to teach, instead of detest. Hopefully artists and managers will take this message to heart. More of this needs to be shared, so we can have a better tomorrow in our respective music scenes.

  2. Se7enz May 20, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    This is so true. Hopefully, a lot of younger artists and managers in our area see this and get themselves familiar with the way business works. I really think everyone sees the game and feels an automatic sense of entitlement to fame. NOT the case. Very helpful, sir.

  3. Michelle McDevitt May 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Or, hire a publicist. *full disclosure – I run a publicity firm* Sometimes managers should concentrate on managing and not trying to wear 10 different hats. Same goes for artists.

  4. zillz May 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    very good drop.

    And the emails get even more raggedy by the week.
    I thought it was a good idea to write a specified guide for music submission. It has cut back on the raggedy emails.
    http://www.zillasays.com/p/how-to-submit-music-to-blog.html

  5. Adam B May 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    I have a feeling you’ll have A LOT of editions of this feature. Incidentally, it’s also true in radio. Nothing is dumber than approaching a radio host, asking to be on their show, and then asking when and what station the show on.

  6. Dr.Lubomir May 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I enjoyed this post. I think laziness thing reaches out to almost any kind of email your dealing with, hopefully people will take note.

  7. VTR1000 Lady May 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Great information, I just bookmarked you.

    Sent from my iPad 4G

  8. Im The Manager By The Way October 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Yo why you blast my email like that

    you wrong son

    you wrong

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sunday SideNote | Advent Outpost - May 30, 2010

    […] How Not To Get Coverage On A Blog Or Web Site – Speech Is My Hammer […]

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