Hello and welcome to the final stage of this musical journey. This final section is on Media and aims to help you to promote your band effectively across all aspects of the media.
The section encompasses details for national and regional press and magazines (including consumer, specialist and industry titles), plus radio stations, student media and online resources such as band promotion and networking sites, as well as useful websites covering a variety of purposes.
It is without doubt a daunting task promoting your band through the media with many avenues available from listing forthcoming gigs on appropriate websites, approaching radio shows for airplay, or obtaining demo reviews in local publications.
It can quite easily become disorganised and difficult to manage the numerous tasks you may have undertaken. Therefore, it is crucial that you build and maintain a database of regional, local, national and web based media contacts, writers and journalists.
There is nothing to stop you going about the planning and organisation of your promotional campaign in the same way that record companies, associated media companies and pluggers would do so for releases. The principle is the same for unsigned bands.
With so many unsigned bands writing and producing material or gigging at any one time, competition for column space and airtime is fierce. In terms of editorial, you must have a reason (just as a signed band does) for the media to be interested in giving you coverage (e.g. a new string of live dates or a new album release).
The types of magazines and other media that you approach must have a proportion of its audience that will be interested in the fact that you are touring, have a new demo or have just signed a new recording deal.
It is understood that the larger and more recognised media titles are also listed within the guide. It is also essential that you stay well informed of different and new magazines, newspapers, radio programmes and websites that you feel you may be able to exploit in order to promote your music.
It is vital to update your press releases regularly and make them as media friendly as possible. Try to keep them short and to the point and always include your best press cuttings and details of any other recent media coverage. Ask the journalists you may already know how they prefer press releases, biographies, music and pictures delivered (e.g. via email or post).
It is also a good idea to make the necessary media information readily available on your website, perhaps as downloadable files so writers, journalists, radio researchers and reviewers from any geographical location can access them quickly and easily. It also means that you will prevent any unnecessary clogging of email servers with large electronic files, MP3s and graphics.
There is one more section to deal with but there’s not much to say about it. However, I’ll briefly go through section eight ‘Tuition/Training’ giving you as much information as I can. As the directory is now online, this section will be where you can find training and tuition, to help you perfect your vocals and musicianship.
In addition, there’s a recommended reading list to help you get into the industry. Don’t just get one book, as you may need a few to help you more effectively and lastly, there should be an academic diary for the current year with annual festival dates. The diary can also be useful for you so you can put things in it from meeting with record labels and appearances on TV, to live touring dates to promotion for your project.
This has been an interesting blog to produce and I hope that I see some of you taking on this task with me. Until next time, I will see you on the stage.