Monday, March 3, 2014

12 Things Musicians Should Know When Doing Media Interviews

media interviews for musicians and recording artists
paNASH Style client Mitch Goudy doing a TV interview

Last week I came across an article that included advice from a variety of sources on what one should know when speaking to the media. While most of our clients are musicians and recording artists, we also have some clients who are entrepreneurs. The article was geared toward entrepreneurs, but the advice could be applied by many of our clients, including our musicians. Besides, today's musicians, especially independent ones, really have to think of themselves as not just artists, but also as entrepreneurs. Below I've summarized the list from the article, while highlighting those that I know in my own experience as a media coach are of the utmost importance to recording artists. I've taken the liberty to adjust some of the wording to make the info relevant to recording artists (items in red). 
1. Keep it short.  

2. Be quotable.  "The media is always looking for that one quote that will grab the reader’s audience's attention. Before your interview, think of three to four quotes that represent your brand (or your band, your act, your album, etc.); practice them, and find a way to work them in. This approach lets you stay in control of the story and your brand." We work with clients on how to tell their story, but in a concise and interesting way with the use of sound bites.

3. Tell a story. "Something music journalists and DJs are looking for is a unique story. The fact that you launched an album or a single isn’t enough. What’s unique about your company you or your band compared to competitors other artists or bands? If you’re going to say that you are disrupting an industry, you better be able to prove it. So ask yourself, what’s special about your company you or your band? Always have a unique story to tell." You've already heard me stress in past blogs the importance of being able to tell your story of what makes you unique from all the other talented artists out there that labels can sign and that radio program directors can play on their stations.

4. Be the expert. "...Reporters are not looking for a pitch fest..." As an artist, you can at least be an expert on your own music. Talk about the benefits your fans experience from coming to your shows or listening to your music.

5. Know your stuff. See above.

6. Develop your identity. "Before talking to the media, take the time to develop your identity. Think about how you want to portray yourself and how you would like others to view you — both as a person and as an entrepreneur artist/musician. Create personal guidelines that keep you in check to ensure you represent yourself in the best light." This right here is one of the first steps we take with our clients when helping them develop their image. It's a step that cannot be skipped or overlooked!

7. Smile.

8. Slow down.

9. Practice. You can do that with us! We'll do mock interviews with you and put you with those who work in media to also do mock interviews with you.

10. Have an objective in mind. "First off, every time you speak to the media, have one specific objective. What is the end result you expect to get? Have the end result in mind, and then work backwards. Second, you have to learn to speak in sound bites, which are short and memorable statements that convey your key messages while also adding value to the audience. This increases the sound bite’s likelihood of being shared." (See #2)

11. Be authentic. "Don’t worry about being 'right.' Worry about being 'true.' Everyone responds best to authenticity, even if it’s controversial. Be authentic and everything else flows."  
12. Be succinct. (See #1)
To read the article in its entirety, click here. If you have a radio tour or some media interviews coming up and know you need help in this area, contact us! We'd love to work with you!

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