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TAKEN SERIOUSLY OR TAKEN TO THE TRASH?

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With Sabi Robertson
Photography by Indya Connley

Carol Micallef’s column in issue 1 simplified the world of self-promotion from an artist’s point of view. This month sees a similar topic, written however from the media’s point of view — the very target we, as musicians, approach daily.
Mismatch is a Melbourne music blog. The team have been writing exclusively about Melbourne music since 2012. As co-founder, Sabi Robertson is hit daily with new music, interview requests and news blurbs. So how does she sort through the email noise? What turns her on and what turns her away? Find out here.

First impressions

A quick scan of the emails in the overflowing Mismatch inbox and I’m initially drawn to those personally addressed to me (or the four of us). Existing conversations aside, if I’ve received an email from someone new and it’s addressed to me I know straight away they’ve at least taken the time to visit the website.

I’m quick to delete music submissions outside of Melbourne/Victoria. It’s not unusual for email addresses to be shared among PR companies and labels and as a result we get inundated with emails not relevant to what we feature.

Standing out from the crowd

This goes without saying, but create the best music you can. If you’re going to invest time contacting people, make sure you’re happy with what you’re sending.

Generic press releases all start to look the same after a while. Remember you are emailing an actual person so be real in your message — if you haven’t read the blog don’t pretend you’re our biggest fan.

If you are considering hiring a publicist do your research and ask questions. You should have realistic expectations of what coverage they’ll be able to get you. Unsure if you need a publicist or you can’t afford one? Do it yourself. Whether I’ve received the email from a band member or a publicist is irrelevant — I’ll still read it.

The best approaches

With a plethora of music blogs at our fingertips it’s a daunting process even just thinking about trying to contact them all. Each music blog has a preference of communication: be it an email, a contact form on the website or reaching out on social media. And while there is no perfect formula, the following may assist:

• Familiarise yourself with the blog — find out if your music is suited to the site and read the music submissions guideline if they have one.

• Introduce yourself — if you’re a label or PR company I’m more likely to read the multiple press releases if you’ve introduced yourself and asked to add us to a mailing list.

• Keep the email brief — include the relevant information (bio, gig info, album info), a soundcloud link and links to social networks. Consider using a dropbox link if you want to send additional content (i.e. photos, bios and music downloads).

• Avoid sending mass emails and if you are sending to multiple blogs don’t use the CC field.

• If I respond to an email and let you know we’ve featured you on the site, please acknowledge it — a simple thank you email response or a retweet on Twitter/share on Facebook.

Final thoughts

Be mindful that the majority of us do this in our spare time, or whatever spare time we have (I work full time and also manage a band in my spare time). It might take a while to receive a response and if you don’t get one, don’t be disheartened. Follow up emails are fine but please don’t pester us too much.

Keep it real, simple and relevant.

Sabi can be contacted via email at info@mismatch.tv

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