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Hugh McIntyre: Music Journalism, Press Releases & Email Pitches

This week we’re joined by freelance music journalist, Hugh McIntyre. Hugh’s work has appeared in Forbes, Sonicbids, The Huffington Post and Billboard, and he is editor in chief at Pop Bang Boom. Earlier this year he was part of a panel at SXSW called The Secrets of Pitching Your Band, with past guest and friend of the show, Laura Goldfarb. In this interview we hear about mistakes artists and publicists make when approaching journalists, what a good press release should consist of, and the importance of relationships in the music industry.

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Highlights:

  • We hear how Hugh started writing about music, and his first publication
  • Hugh tells us how he got an internship at Billboard, and how it was a bit of a fluke
  • We talk about mistakes artists and publicists make when sending pitch emails to journalists
  • Hugh shares how often press releases don’t convey the excitement they should
  • The human touch is very important in press releases – they should sound like they’re coming from a human
  • Hugh shares his preferred format for emails and press releases
  • We hear some of things Hugh doesn’t want to hear in a pitch email
  • We talk about the importance of relationships in the music business
  • Hugh shares why he thinks it’s important that artists go for smaller publications before the bigger ones
  • You never know what blogs are going to become popular – don’t dismiss them!
  • Hugh remembers the artists who gave him their time when he first started, and will continue to help them out
  • “Has anyone ever chosen Michael Bolton? Was it Michael Bolton?!” – Hugh McIntyre, 2016

Advice:

  • Look back at your press release as if you’re reading it for the first time
  • Your email pitch should be short and sweet
  • Make things easy for the journalist or publication you are contacting
  • Writers base what they write about based on what they think people are going to want to read
  • If you can tie yourself in with a bigger name somehow, it will make you more appealing to journalists

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