Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


February 28, 2008

What's Your Music News Hook?

What exactly is a news hook? It's an idea that you pitch to an editor or writer. It's a story angle that is newsworthy and that should appeal to the readership of the publication in which you're wanting to get exposure.

News hooks are suggestions you make to media people via press releases, cover letters, e-mails or phone calls. If your news hooks are strong enough, lots of editors and writers will bite and cover you in the press.

So who or what should your news hooks be about? Most musicians put themselves front and center. And that makes sense, right? After all, they are trying to promote themselves. The drawback with this approach is that the focus is on the artist ... and not on the needs of the journalist.

To be a successful self-promoter, you need to learn to craft news hooks that keep the interests of the media person and his or her audience foremost in mind.

Want some good and bad examples?

"Great New CD Out Now by Local Band!"

Sorry, but this is not a very effective hook. Thousands of CDs come out every week. Yet another new one from another up-and-coming artist is not "news." Dig a little deeper.

"New Music CD Celebrates the 10-Year Anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal"

I know, this one is bizarre. But admit it, when you read it, you probably thought, "Now that's a weird concept for an album. I wonder what those songs would sound like?" Imagine what fun you could have with the song titles. A news hook like this stands out because it has a specific story that separates it from "here's another rock or pop or hip-hop CD."

"Look Out World: XYZ Is the Band to Watch in 2008"

This is a classic example of the over-hyped PR pitch. Most journalists roll their eyes at this type of bombastic announcement before tossing it in the trash (or hitting the delete key). Don't tell people how awesome you are. Paint a descriptive positive picture, but let the journalist determine the adjectives.

"Punk Rocker Offers 5 Tips for Overcoming Addictions"

If you have a significant personal story to share, feel free to make it a part of your news hook, especially if your experience can help other people. Have you overcome a personal obstacle, fought a deadly disease, feel strongly about a cause, or experienced something extraordinary? Chances are, people will want to know about it, and the music media may very well be eager to cover it.

So, let me ask you ... What's your music news hook?

-Bob

P.S. For more music publicity tips and tactics, check out the Indie Music Publicity Home Study Course or Killer Music Press Kits: Deluxe Edition.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:33 AM   4 comments


February 18, 2008

What Do YOU Want in a Music Conference?

As you may know, I'll be presenting the first Indie Buzz Bootcamp music conference June 20-22 in my hometown of St. Louis, MO. If you've read my early description of it, you also know that I want to make this a weekend workshop event unlike any other in existence today.

While I have some definite ideas about how I want to present this life-changing event (solo speakers instead of panels, a focus on education and action plans instead of showcases and parties, etc.) I'd love to get your thoughts on what you'd like to see in a music conference.

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop

Please consider the following questions, then click the comments link below and post your responses:
  • What's been missing from the music conferences you've attended in the past?
  • What would you really like to see in a weekend event dedicated to indie music career success?
  • What topics would you like to see covered?
  • Who would you like to hear speak?
  • What factors would motivate you to attend?
Thanks in advance for giving me your honest feedback. I'll give consideration to all the responses and incorporate the ones that make the most sense.

-Bob

P.S. Register to win a pair of free admissions to the Indie Buzz Bootcamp here.

P.P.S. If you're on Facebook, I have an event page for the conference here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing. Get more details here.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:58 AM   6 comments


February 04, 2008

Frank Zappa on Music Industry Change

I'm guessing this video clip is about 20 years old or so. (Frank Zappa died in 1993.) It's interesting to hear this innovative musician's views on the recording industry in light of what's happening now.


You can also watch it on this page at YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UAWqwLjN70

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to win tickets!
Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 3:18 PM   4 comments