The High Value of Music Pre-Promotion
Sunday April 29th 2007, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Media relations

I remember years ago, when I first began dabbling in record promotion, I contacted a veteran disc jockey to get the inside "goods" on my craft from a DJ’s angle. I expressed to her that I was new in my field, and would soon be promoting an independent band, but already realized the tremendous amount of competition that was in store.

I then asked her a question, which I was not aware at the time would generate an answer that would set the stage for every artist, product, or service that I would ever market from that point forward. And, while I believed my question was original, I learned it was actually already being done by the "big boys" (major labels), and had been for quite some time.

I asked her what the value of a pre-promotion campaign was for recording artists, in sending out advance tape or CD samplers of upcoming songs, in the interest of persuading radio personnel to add the recordings when they were officially released and made available?

She answered, "Oh, pre-promotion increases an artists’ chances of getting added to a station’s roster by up to 80%!" Trying for a self-imposed backpat, and with one eyebrow raised a la Mr. Spock, I then asked, "Is this a unique idea I have?" She chuckled (I hate it when they do that), then answered, "No! Major labels do that all the time!"

Wow! 80%! Just from taking a small amount of time to pre-promote your recording! Let me explain it a bit further. What most Indie artists or labels do when seeking attention for their products or services, mainly media coverage, is to create the traditional news release and/or press kit.

Next, they locate as many press publications as they can find, then send the press kit off with their blessings. And, if they’re REALLY feeling brave that day, they will also approach radio and television contacts.

Okay, this is great, normal, and nothing wrong with it. We have put the proverbial horse before the carriage, and not the other way around. But! In most cases, we have not checked the proverbial reins to insure they are tight and secure, which in this scenario, represents the pre-promotion campaign. And, in not doing so, we otherwise might just end up with an uncontrollable runaway.

Okay, paralleling the above proverb, the point is that, with a simple execution of a pre-promotion campaign involving brief introductory contact with media representatives whom we hope will grant us media coverage, combined with an appropriate amount of "lead time," we can experience dramatically greater results when we actually execute the main promotion.

"Lead time" is a media term that refers to the time frame required before the publication or airing of a story. An example of "lead time" in the music business, is the advance release process of a recording. Most people in the music business have heard the phrases, "release date," or "street release date" at least once.

These terms refer to the actual date that a recording is to be available for sale in record retail stores in order that fans can purchase them. The pre-promotion time frame for a recording is, generally, anywhere from 3-6 months.

Another phrase for pre-promotion in the music industry is "creating a buzz." Thankfully, this has absolutely nothing to do with results experienced from smoking funny-smelling cigarettes not yet legally available over the counter. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pre-promotion can also be described in even more familiar terms; "primer," "warm-up," "date before the courtship," and "courtship before marriage." You get the point.

In other words, you are "pre-selling" and providing the prospective media representative with advance mouth-watering information of what is to come in the interest of piquing his/her interest so that he/she says, "Yeah! I love it! And my readers/listeners/viewers will love it too!"

Now, taking this information, execute it online for even greater and faster results. Just try it…it works!

Kenny Love, a music industry veteran, has recently opened his international radio promotion and press publicity services to enable independent recording artists to grasp a significant foothold on the marketing of their releases.

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