The proliferation of media outlets today includes blogs and on-line versions of print publications. This has broadened the field of potential outlets that might write about your band, CD, or tour.  At the same time, the number of indie artists and music releases seeking coverage has exploded.  Everyone is vying for that precious two inches of column space, and journalists are inundated with more submissions than they have time to consider.  So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?


Here is a list of the top considerations; this week we’ll focus on pointers 1 – 3, next week on 4 – 7:


1: MEMORABLE VISUALS – We all know the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  It’s absolutely true that a visual communicates a tremendous amount in just the first few seconds.  Think of the iconic imagery of Elvis, the Beatles, David Bowie, Prince, Madonna, Lady Gaga – they say something about the artist that has the viewer forming an immediate opinion without ever hearing a note of their music.  Make sure the image you choose represents the way you want to be perceived, and communicates your sound.


2: WOW FACTORS – Every band likes to believe they’re one of a kind.  However, few artists take the time to discover and highlight what makes them truly unique in the eyes of their audience.  Think objectively about what makes you memorable.  Focus on/identify your strong points i.e.: Van Halen’s strong guitar sound, James Taylor’s songwriting, KISS’ image/stage performance, Justin Biebe’sr or One Direction’s appeal to tweens.  Maybe you have an interesting story such as: is your band made up of siblings, are you a 15 year old guitar virtuoso, or have you segued from a totally different profession like nuclear science?  It’s possible your group may have several “wow factors.”  Whatever they are, play them up since these are the things that will help you stand out from the competition.  


3: SUCCINCT & CONCISE PRESS MATERIALS – In today’s world of information overload, nobody has the time to respond to all the emails they receive.  If you keep things short and to the point, it’s more likely your missives will be read.  The first introduction a journalist may have to you/your band may well be a press kit or press release.  Who wants to go through pages and pages of information?  To give yourself a fighting chance, make sure that the material you send to journalists is easy to read and gets to the main point quickly.  This holds true for press releases, biographies, and cover letters.  And make sure to have someone proof read before you send!



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We’d love to hear from you with your thoughts on these pointers, and share your own experiences.  Write to us at


ISL Public Relations is a top music PR firm based in NYC, run by Ida S. Langsam, a seasoned industry professional with more than 30 years experience. She started her career as the New York City Area Secretary for The Official Beatles Fan Club, and has worked with such superstars as KISS, The Ramones, Billy Idol, and Joan Jett.  For more information about our services, visit and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.