With summer just around the corner, touring musicians are getting ready to go back to live performances. Some things are going to be distinctly different from the last time some of you might’ve performed live. Tour press is one section that has changed significantly. This excerpt from Ariel’s latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity, will provide a refresher on tour press.
Seeking Publicity Placements
COVID-19 caused the demise of many newspaper stands and traditional PR companies. Because of this, seeking placements may look a lot more different than what it used to be. Evidence shows there’s been a removal of about 30% of traditional PR due to lack of funding. COVID-19 ruined many business, and now touring press has to adapt to a new way.
In this post-pandemic realm, you have to prepare yourself for some drastic changes. Allow your expectations to change with the rest of the world around you. The worst thing you can be is tied down to traditional media. Be adaptable!
Acquire Tour Press Lists
If you are lucky enough to be touring this summer, be sure to acquire a press list from every club you’re performing at. As soon as you book a gig, ask the promoter for the club’s press list. Before performing, there should be publicity surrounding the event 6-8 weeks before each show. Having a press list will reduce the amount of work you have to do greatly. A press list will save you from having to conduct all the research before each show.
If there are a great number of publicists on the press list, you can ask the promoter who they think will most likely cover you. Promoters are the best people to ask about this because they know the local writers and tastemakers who regularly hang around the venue. If the venue has an in-house publicist, ask to connect with them. An in-house publicist could be a great help to you because they’ll be familiar with the media.
If you don’t already have an account, now is definitely the time to finally go on Bandsintown. This is a free site that tracks local concerts and shows and shares these dates with fans. You can manually or automatically add all your shows onto your account for fans to easily find. All your fans and followers on Bandsintown will stay up to date on new events, announcements, and new music releases.
Build your following on Bandsintown by sharing your events landing page on social media and in newsletters (if you have one). Be sure to post your livestreams on there as fans can also tune into those concerts through the site. If you have a specific audience in mind, you can geo-target your fans so they can get a notification when you play in their area.
Tour Press Results
In lieu of being transparent, you’re not likely to see any results the first few times you play a market. If you’re new to tour press and worried about not having gotten coverage the first time around, keep sending information. Every time you play in that same area, reach out to those same publicists you did last time. The more a writer sees you over time, the more likely they are to write about you. It may take a few tours through each market, but feel confident in knowing I’ve yet to meet a writer who ignores several pitches sent from the same band over and over again.
Tour press campaigns should be laid out 4-6 weeks before each show. You’ll have to alert calendar editors and local press with plenty of advance notice.
Want more amazing tips and tricks on summer touring post-pandemic? Purchase The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity today! Order it for only $7.