While I was assisting the great Cristina Ruiz-Kellersmann from CRK Communications I learned a few but very valuable lessons about music promotion. Here some of the things you really shouldnt do before you've gotta learn them the ahrd way:
Journalists and bloggers are not your PR-Agents
I think this is pretty clear to most of y’all but for those who are completely new to the idea of promoting their music to blogs and magazines, I’d like to mention it anyway: Journalists and bloggers are passionate about music, they are curious writers and researchers. Writing, just as much as making music is to some extent a labour of love. They are not in it for the money, they are not in it to serve an artist’s need for exposure. This is just supposed to be taken as a general info up front in order to prevent anybody from sabotaging their own promotion efforts by simply approaching them the wrong way. It wasn’t my plan to start out focusing on everything you shouldn’t do but since we’re talking about it anyway now, let me quickly list a few things you really should avoid when promoting your music:
Don’t lie: “I’ve been signed to Good Music!” - If you say stuff like that and it’s not true, no journalist will ever listen to you again. Period. Don’t do it! Don’t lie.
Don’t ask them to listen to your entire album: “I’ve just finished my album…” - If you’re a new artist and it’s your first album you won’t find one single journalist willing to listen to your entire album. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you sat down with an album of an artist you’ve never heard of before and listened patiently through the entire catalog? Exactly…
Don’t make promises you can’t keep: “You’ve never heard anything like that!” “My shit is the bomb! You’re gonna dig this! I’m sure you’re gonna love this song!” - You can’t be sure. Period. You can’t guarantee anything. It’s cool if you’re confident but those type of empty promises won’t serve you very well and journalist will smell the BS. Don’t do it.
Don’t spam hundreds of bloggers and journalists at once. Forget this “I’m gonna send out my tune to hundreds of email addresses with just one click”-tactic. Professional promoters are being paid by labels to promote tours, shows and albums because of the network they’ve build and the quality of their relationships to journalists and bloggers. You’re gonna profit much more from one single but healthy relationship to one journalist who writes for an outlet that matches your target group compared to sending out anonymous emails to hundreds of people. I’ll tell you why a little bit further down the line. But for real though, don’t spam! (However, if you want to try that anyway, just for the sake of making your own experience, make sure you don’t forget to BCC.)
Don’t promote your music in the comment section. Yah. Just like… don’t. It makes you look like… Uff… Just don’t.