Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

October 03, 2006

Erections and Good Headlines

I was skimming over the home page of MSNBC last week trying to digest the top news stories of the day ... when I was suddenly stopped dead in my virtual tracks by the following headline:

"Man with 10-Year Erection May Not Get His Cash"

Sorry, but that was just too intriguing to pass up. So I clicked the link and read about this poor fellow who had a failed penile implant that refused to ... um, let's say, relax. If interested (and I know you are), you can read the whole story here.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because it's a good lesson in what it takes to stand out in a sea of competing news stories. You may not land a story on MSNBC, but there are a growing number of options these days for posting your own news stories and press releases online. In fact, Internet press releases have become standard operating practices for most businesses -- including bands, solo artists and record labels.

A well-placed online press release carries a lot of benefits. First, it gets listed in the news database of whatever service you post it on. Plus, your press release page can show up in search results on Google and various news feeds across the Internet.

All of these little glimpses of your musical activities across the Web add to your credibility and increase the odds that someone will stumble across your news item.

The thing is, your press release headline is usually the only thing surfers see before they click to the full release. And, your headline often becomes the title of the web page the release appears on.

So, to be effective, your press release headline must accomplish two things:
  • Be intriguing enough to inspire people to click on it for more details

  • Be filled with key words that will help it come up in targeted search results
Therefore, don't make a reference to erections in your headline if the release itself doesn't cover erections. But do find an interesting angle for your music news story and find a way to describe it in as few words as possible.

Examples ...

Lame headline: "Local Chicago Band Releases New CD Called 'Red, White & Blues'"

Good headline: "New CD Reveals the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Chicago Politics"

That second headline might not be as eye-catching as the "10-Year Erection" one, but you have to admit it's better than the lame version.

What can you do to make your music news story (and headline) stand out?


P.S. For more music PR advice, check out:

Killer Music Press Kits - Deluxe Edition

Do-It-Yourself Internet Music PR

Online Music PR Hot List 2006

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:17 AM   4 comments


At Oct 4, 2006, 2:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting post Bob!

I came across a similar and interesting article on MySpace called: Music Junkies and Tattoos: The BuZz Behind the iNK!

Check it out:

johnny i
Creative Founder

At Oct 10, 2006, 9:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on target, Bob! As always, a wealth of "How To"!


At Oct 11, 2006, 2:01:00 PM, Anonymous Pixie said...

Very cool! I'm working on a press release for an upcoming show, so great timing as ever!

Keep it coming!

At Oct 14, 2006, 4:24:00 PM, Blogger Alexa Weber Morales said...

Hi Bob,

This is great advice. However, I must say that when I tried to do something similar about 6 months, I didn't get a good reaction. Now, I hope no one steals this idea (I guess it's too late for me to use it again), but I wanted to put out a press release promoting a gig with what I thought was a very interesting angle (What happens when your day job quits you? Nine-months-pregnant singer-songwriter keeps grooving after layoff), the club publicist told me no one would be interested unless I had new product to sell. I'm working on my second CD now, but do you agree with him?



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