There isn’t a secret! It’s about Knowledge and Work… There is a proven processthat will guarantee results. I have taught young and old this process. A few have actually turned the process into a business. So here is the process that I use and if you cannot afford the $2,000 to $3,000 professional jazz promoters charge the just Do It Your Self – DIY.
- Get the radio lists and prepare the mailing –
- You can simply buy the lists from someone, find some one to give them to you, You can also subscribe to the two major tracking systems, Jazz Week (www.jazzweek.com) and The College Music Journal (www.cmj.com There is a price for subscribing for tracking like I do but to get the lists you can create them by adding them to your contact database one by one. Tracking is an important element but generally you can find out a lot by googling results or hacking around the websites. Less detail but good stuff.
- Take these contacts and merge them onto mailing labels.
- Buy mailiers. DO NOT BUY from retail stores. There are a lot of websites that will sell them wholesale for 17 to 23 cents. I use self adhesive bubble CD mailers. You will need about 200 or more for core radio.
- Create the one-sheet -
- Do not send radio more than one-sheet of information along with the CD. A one-sheet should have one or two pics including the CD cover, title of CD and who is on it, maybe where recorded if relevant, a short bio and description of the the CD, possibly the tune list with times, release date, contact info, catalog number and UPC number. Thats it. When you do emails to the stations you can put a pdf of this doc as an attachment in your first press release. Remember the stations are getting about 100 plus per week so thats a lot of paper that winds up in the round file. Also you can print in color but I quit doing that with the advent of PDF attachments. I email color version and print in black and white. About a third of the cost.
- Buy Postage -
- THIS IS THE KILLER! It keeps going up. I have talked to many promoters and many have different methods and material that they use to try and keep this cost down. For me I find that if I do 2 or 3 CDs and put on $2.25 I get the fewest of returns for more postage. The US postal system has about as many answers for what the correct postage as who you ask. IF you take a mailier like this to the post office they will definitely weigh it and charge you $2.85 to $3.25. If you just buy stamps or use Stamp.com like I do you can get away with $2.25 for more than one and $1.85 for one CD. This is from my experience only. So do the addition and you can see why many promoters charge a pretty good fee for their work if they do the mailing. Some promoters will actually send you the labels one time and have you do the mailing and then discount their labor.
- Stuff and mail -
- I used to do all of this myself, eek! Now I hire interns but it can make a nice movie and pizza night. MY ADVICE – do not take all of these packages into the front door of a post office. They may make you weigh each one and charge more. In Chicago I have a couple of POs that are used to bulk mail and I take to the back door and load them into a cart for the workers. I have also been known to just take a couple of days and hit several street drops till they are gone. It works!
- Email Press Release -
- Now, cut and paste from your one-sheet into an email the cd cover jp, artist description/bio text, release date, and contact info. Put some intro text saying some nice stuff. Attach the one-sheet and do a mass email to all of the radio stations. BE SURE AND BLIND CARBON (BCC) the stations. I can not believe the number of mass email blasts that artists send me that have 50 to 100 names in the CC column showing me everyone they are sending to.
- Follow up -
- Wait a week, then do a follow up email without the one-sheet attached. Do this every week for about 4 or 6 weeks and then access where you are, what responses you have recieved, etc. Start Googling daily the artist’s name, CD name in quotes, and the word radio. You should start seeing some playlists by station or program.
- Phone calls. If you have the will power then you can go to every stations website if you only got the basic contact list and look up the jazz programmers call times. If you subscribed to hacked the sites and got all of the info then you are set. Do you want to call… That is up to the amount of effort that you want to put in to it. You will find many jazz programmers who are very open and generally very dedicated to jazz and like to help artists. They may not play your CD. When I started I would call Gary Walker at WBGO NYC/Newark NJ and get his voice mail. He would actually call me back even though he did not know me and would talk for 10 or 15 minutes. He didn’t add my CDs to rotation but he got to know me. Eventually I had some artists that he dug and he started adding some to airplay.
So this is a long post but I think it gives you enough info to get into the game. I wish you the best and as you know my door is open, email is on. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.
PS – If you want to try this I have the the vetted best data for all of radio avail along with other very important data bases. Go to the BARGAIN MENU button at the top of the blog and take a look I am serious, it is a really great deal!