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How to Write a Press Release: The Basics

 Singers, 

 

Let's say you win a Competition and you want to let the media know about it.  It's a great opportunity!  Press releases are great PR for Singers!   It can lead to other interviews, auditions, and networking opportunities.

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If you are not familiar with how to write a press release, please continue reading.

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To write a basic press release, first, you have to start with ----- the basics.  Here's an overview:

 

1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE should be placed at the top of the page, usually left, and the text is often written in capital letters, or bold, or both.

2. Contact Information could either be your contact info or the contact info of the venue or organization.  The contact information can be place at the top left or right, or it can be placed at the bottom of the page.   Contact information includes: your name, telephone, email.   If the contact information for the venue or organization is provided, include the name of the organization, a contact person, email, and possibly telephone number.

3. Since this is a quick read or an eye-glance by an editor at a media outlet, you may want to keep it brief and simply list the following:

  • Who:

  • What: 

  • When:

  • Where:

4. Following these line items, you can move into a paragraph format sharing important and pertinent details about yourself.  While doing so, keep the reader in mind.  Make it interesting so the reader wants to learn more about you.  Depending on the media outlet, (which you will have also researched in some depth), you want to stay within the style of that company.  For example, casual writing style, more professional writing style, etc.  (Think of the different writing styles of Classical Singer Magazine and Opera America.)  

5. Along with the Press Release in pdf format, you will also send a photo.  

5A. About photos:

  • For online, the dpi (dots per inch) or otherwise known as resolution does not need to be high, however for printed media (newspapers, programs, brochures, magazines) the quality of the photo needs to be high resolution.  

  • The photo needs to be the right pixel size and/or inches.  

  • The photo should be taken by a professional photographer.  

  • When submitting photos for public consumption, especially if you win a competition, prize, or award, you want to appear your best.  This is the world of Classical music and Opera, so take a look at what the A level houses and agents/managers present in terms of quality of photographs, how the person is positioned, attire, shadows, light, colors, background, setting, hair, makeup, and the overall look and feel.   

6. The way in which you identify yourself through labeling the pdf file and photo file is very important.  You want to be consistent ,and you want to make it as easy as possible for the editor to find your materials in the sea of information they already have in their computer and in emails.  Labeling your head shot as 'headshot' is not going to be helpful.

7. Websites: If you have a website, be sure to include that URL in your contact information or in the body of your informational paragraph.  

8. Social Media: Depending on where you are with your social media, if it is in line with your professional performing career, then the various links could be added.  

9. Email submission of Press Releases: The subject heading plays a very important role.  Keep it brief, such as Press Release, name of venue, your name.  Or, Press Release: Susan Susan, First Place Winner, Int'l Competition.    When you are writing to the press, it is strongly suggested that you take the time to make sure your sentence structure and punctuation are correct.   The way you present yourself in writing reflects on your professionalism.

10. Writing a Press Release for the Venue or Organization: If you are writing a basic press release for the venue or organization that will then distribute to the media sources you provide, the above information applies, however you will send it to the venue or organization who has made the award or prize.  When you are providing the media contacts for that organization, you will need to list the following:

  • Name of the Media Company

  • Contact Person (editor, and their name)

  • Email of contact person

  • Physical Address of Media Company

  • Website of Media Company

You will also need to make sure that all links work, that the name of the editor or other contact person is accurate, and that the physical address and web address are up to date.  Sometimes it's necessary to make a phone call to the media outlet to confirm that their contact information is correct.

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- - - - Zoe Vandermeer, Artistic Director Lyra New York, Dramatic Coloratura Soprano, Harpist, Coach.

Copyright Lyra New York, August 2018, all rights reserved.

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