As we all know, music is a business, much like any other. So, succeeding in the music industry requires making smart business decisions. Any sort of marketing or publicity that you seek as an artist should have a purpose to it and a methodology behind it.
I mention this because it never fails to amaze me how many musicians, PR firms and publicists send out inappropriate material for review or consideration. At OnlineRock we receive dozens of albums every week from labels and artists or their representatives who didn’t take the time to look at the music we feature and read our submission policy.
Too often bands get excited by the sheer volume of venues that receive their press kits, rather than the quality and relevance of such venues. They and the firms they hire use a shotgun approach to marketing, planning to spray everything while crossing their fingers that something sticks. This seems a costly and wasteful endeavor. I advocate a sniper’s approach: really qualifying and understanding the websites, magazines and labels you’re interested in, so you can pinpoint your message and have a greater shot at achieving your goal. Case in point, a firm I hired to handle a reviews program for a band I worked with yielded a response rate of only four percent, while my own band Needle managed reviews in 30 percent of the publications we contacted, but only after researching the publications and pre-qualifying them.
I’m not suggesting you ditch the PR or publicity firm you’re now using; they’re pros at what they do for a reason. Rather partner with them to ensure they understand your music and help determine where your band’s most realistic and viable opportunities lie. Then they can tailor messages specific to your target market. You will likely be pleased with the results.