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Three Ways to Annoy a Music Journalist

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Hey, everyone! This is Ron Mexico of Ron Mexico City. Longtime readers may remember me from a 2008 interview on this site. About.com Music Careers is my absolute favorite resource for music industry information. So years later, I'm honored that Heather wanted me to come back and guest blog for you folks.

Having covered music and television for years, I've come across every kind of solicitation you could imagine. I know how important it is for independent musicians to get that album reviewed, that release party covered, or even to be listed in a weekly "best of" round up. I also know how often I open an unsolicited email from an artist or "manager" that makes me want to leap from my fire escape because I've lost faith in humanity.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you get your band violently laughed at in a circle of journalists and blacklisted for as long as anyone important can remember.

1. Make Your Email as Impersonal as Possible

As you could imagine, members of the press love nothing more than obvious spam. For me, an email is not worth reading if it doesn’t look like it was sent to a laundry list of random emails from a purchased database. Don’t address me by name. Act like you don’t even know the publication I write for. In fact, just copy and paste the last item your “Sent” folder. It’ll play! I get so many of these, it’s not like I can tell the difference.

2. Call Repeatedly, Even If You've Been Asked Not To

You’re hungry, right? The guy you’re trying to convince to write your review needs to know that. I mean, if you don’t call several times daily, how will he be able to set you apart from the dozens of other acts looking for press? Don’t worry about that little thingy you saw on their site that asked you not to call about this. That’s just a test. And you just passed with flying colors.

3. Remind The Writer That You're Huuuuuuge

What? That blogger isn’t already up on the new band that’s absolutely killing your genre right now? How lame. It’s your place to let him know that he hasn’t been doing his homework because he isn’t familiar with your band’s work. He probably shouldn’t even have a job. This is not the time for cordial introduction or anything like that. No, this is a flat-out emergency. You’re saving this publication today. They should give you a job.

Okay, we know the truth. You can’t get anyone but your buddies to come to your shows. But he doesn’t know that! Plus, you’ve gotta convince yourself that you’re the shizzle before you can convince anyone else. That’s just a basic motivational principle right there.

4. Bonus: Learn the RIGHT Way to Contact the Music Media

Yes, how you reach out to the music press for reviews and interviews matters, but it isn't as hard as a you think. A dash of common sense and a pause to consider how you'd like to get communication from musicians is you were the journalist could go a long way. For advice, check out Getting Music Press: The Dos. And for even more bad behaviors sure to annoy your favorite music journalist, visit Getting Music Press: The Don'ts.

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