Get press and radio coverage

Chris Evans

Last updated: 05 February 2009

Many bands in the embryonic phase of their career still find the jump from local gigging to getting important press coverage a fairly difficult step. James W Roberts investigates ways to get noticed.

Although Welsh bands have a fine tradition of gimmicks, including the Super Furry Animals' infamous tank and the slightly more macabre sight of Manics figurehead Richey Edwards carving '4 Real' into his arm, an audacious publicity stunt is not necessarily essential to baiting the press.

According to Mike Williams from South Wales magazine Kruger, "Gimmicks and publicity stunts are all well and good, but we try to base our judgement on our appreciation of the sound. We don't tend to get anything that is too gimmicky in terms of PR, but if we do it can make us think it is just hiding behind a stunt.

There was this band that got in touch who wanted us to feature them because they had recorded a whole album in 23 hours. Fair play to them, but the album was really weak.

Mike Williams, Kruger

"There was this band that got in touch who wanted us to feature them because they had recorded a whole album in 23 hours. Fair play to them, but the album was really weak and we won't consider covering a band we don't rate just because they have one thing worth talking about. They should send it to the Western Mail."

"Having said that, we got an Aberfeldy single through a couple of months ago called Love Is An Arrow which had a Valentine's card with it. It was really cool and made me want to like the single and has made me really want to feature the band - mainly because the single was really good!"

Again, Williams stresses the basics are important in portraying your band as a serious concern that wants to go places.

"A good press release is important, but I tend to want to know more information having already heard the music, not as a precursor to it. I'd rather get a wicked CD with no information on it but a phone number. If I liked it I would find out more."

Cardiff based journalist Louis Pattison, long-time contributor to NME, Uncut and Radio 1's Bethan and Huw show, reveals an insight into the relationship between the humble hack and getting a band their break in the media.

"It's a two way street, really. Usually, I'm approached by section editors with something in mind for me to write about, but I also submit pitches of records that I'm enjoying, and occasionally these ideas win a commission."

Pattison stresses a finding a good press company is essential for an aspiring band, and suggests building up a good live profile and work ethic is perhaps a better long term strategy than staging bizarre publicity stunts. "I'd love to be able to recommend all manner of absurd gimmickry, but the best advice I can offer is to play as many shows as possible, build up a small portfolio of local press and attempt to find a good PR firm."

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