How to Cold Pitch Digital Media for DIY Musicians

After decades working in corporate radio, print and digital media, and PR, I’ve developed a few tips for independent musicians to increase the likelihood of gaining media coverage.

At the AmericanaFest 2017 conference, I mentored several songwriters in quick ten-minute sessions. Everyone should have access to the #PRoTip nuggets of wisdom, so spread the word!

From the Twitter thread, where I summarized my advice:

Here was my #ProTip advice during the @AmericanaFest #mentoring sessions this year. #AmericanaFest #mentor

Target audience: DIY musicians w/out teams, cold-pitching national digital music outlets. #PRPitch #PR #AmericanaFest

  1. Do your homework.
    Has the publication covered music that “fits” w/ yours?
    Think of 3 bands you resemble & research who covered them.
  2. Pitch a human.
    Do your hw on the outlet’s site and find out which writer, BY NAME, covers similar music to yours.

A. #BonusPoints
Spell their name correctly!!!

3. Make it easy for the writer.
Have everything ready to go *before* pitching:

A. *hi res color & b/w PROFESSIONAL photos, horiz and vert 300dpi

B. *link to directly STREAM your *finished* music
NOBODY is going to dl to listen
NOBODY cares about your demos
3 clicks is 2 too many

C. Have your finished music ready to roll in multiple formats *IF* they decide to cover it.
mp3 @ 320 AND wav, @soundcloud AND @bandcamp embeds

4. Make it easy for them.
What’s your story? Why are ppl going to read about an unknown band.
Under 100K followers? You are “unknown.”

5. Pitch the outlet in the way they want to be pitched.
Every pub tells you what they want. You may have to dig for it, but do it.

6. Get to the point.
1 sentence greeting, ideally connecting you to writer. Example: Loved your ABC piece. We enjoyed working w/ the same producer.

7. Background Info
Most writers receive 100+ pitches PER DAY.
They do not have time to read them all.
You will NOT get a reply/critique.

There’s more, but this is the “I have 10 minutes to give you advice, better start writing this down now” spiel.

Originally published at

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Musicians tell their stories. Interview podcast & music radio show. Tweets by host, Sloane Spencer, who likes coffee & loud print shirts.

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