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#1053992 - 07/22/14 08:18 PM Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both???  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
chanciusmaximus Offline
Casual Observer
chanciusmaximus  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Brooklyn, NY
Hi there,
I have a brand new full studio album finished and ready to be released in the fall. Even after all the studying and prepping I've done I'm still unsure if I should hire PR to help release the album or hire a radio promoter or both. I've been in contact with some major radio promo companies who want to promote my music to non-commercial stations. They've won many industry awards and worked with lots of small musicians and well known top 40 acts. The problem is they are not cheap and could possibly need double to triple the amount of time I can afford to get my music aired on the radio. Should I even try? Do I even have a chance getting reviewed by respected blogs and online publications without the help of a PR company? What's the best way to take my music to the next level? The new release is an alternative concept album, but heavy with hooks. Thanks for your time.

#1054052 - 07/23/14 10:29 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,830
Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,830
,NL Canada
While the major labels have a hammerlock on most commercial radio,I don't see indies getting a fair shot no matter how much you spend or how great a sound you have.Just my opinion.

#1054053 - 07/23/14 10:37 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,759
Kevin Emmrich Online content
Kevin Emmrich  Online Content


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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,759
Crozet, VA
I really don't know the answer to that question, but hiring a PR group and paying for radio exposure probably won't get you what you want (of course lightening can always strike).

You need to perform locally to get some buzz going. If you don't perform, then just realize around 75,000 CD's are released each year* in the US using the normal distribution channels (major/minor/independent labels, CD-Baby, Amamzon, i_tunes, ...) and who knows how many other self-styled records are created. ... and 80% of these sell less than 100 units.

The odds are stacked against you -- I just think that paying for promotion is throwing money away. Once you get a local following (or a large internet/YouTube following), then you can revisit these pay for promotion things.

* 2010 Billboard numbers


"Good science comes in peer reviewed journals. Conspiracy theories come in YouTube videos. "
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#1054055 - 07/23/14 10:58 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Saint Petersburg. FL
I think you need to tell us more about your goals....getting gigs, personal appearances, touring, just selling CDs??? Your CD will not sell itself. It takes lots of relationships, pressing the flesh, communicating with fans who will spread the word, etc.

I have been helping my friends a bit with the PR firm question and have talked to an old PR friend of mine who has been able to get her clients (not musicians) on the Today Show, etc. She recommends getting a local PR firm in the music business with lots of connections to TV stations and newspapers in your state. She says that the Today Show, etc. will not look at you until you have a large local following and fan base. She recommends a press release be sent out regarding every appearance, release, etc. etc. Each press release sent out by such a firm will cost about $100 but will actually make it in the newspaper, etc. due to the connections they have.

I think radio promotion and even airplay is a waste of time unless the stations are in major networks (PBS, Clear Channel, etc.). You can get lots of internet radio play and submit to Pandora etc. yourself if you look around on line. But it does not necessarily lead to CD sales.

Keep us posted because there are lots of people here who would like the answers to these questions.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1054089 - 07/23/14 03:16 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,102
Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,102
New Jersey, USA
All of the above replies are right on!

And, I know that from personal experience of making the HUGE mistake of paying for something I had NO "business" in doing so!

As was mentioned, If not having a "large fan base", then all steps should be aimed at someday maybe getting that fan base by playing out and becoming a "super" Performing Artist.

If not, then you, like hundreds of thousands, are just coming out of a recording studio and thinking they have a product to sell on radio or anywhere. NOT the case for most. That would be the step to take if already having a band, and tons of gigs to "maybe" sell some Cd's at the gigs, to maybe someday have like 5 to 10 thousand sales from those gigs in a year before even thinking about any next step.

What you have there is mainly an ego recording, no matter how good it is. If you are not a performing artist, it is at best a demo to play for musicians to show what kind of band you would like to have. ("Here,,,do you wish to play something like this in a band which might be just to promote my songs and me", the lead singer")? Maybe they want to have their songs be played in the band too, which is a great thing for getting everyone involved and have various cool tunes. (ask me about what Iggy and Roon contributed in our 2LT band that were fan favorites)! Made me sound even better, having me go out of my comfort zone of just doing self-written songs to see what I can add to theirs, (playing and singing wise)! Wow, they gave me a different sonic canvas to work with, instead of just me giving them one. FUN!!!!


If not having a band already to showcase your "sound" and to showcase the lead singer and whatever other songs that could come of it, then you have to think backwards in your steps.

And current media?; Radio is not all that anyway. Youtube vids to get kids sharing them over and over to get many hits are one of the ways to get labels interested. AND, they must also play out and do great there too, gaining a fan base over time and MUCH HARD WORK and DEDICATION to the career of presenting themselves and their music.

If it were that easy as to just hire any PR firm after recording, to get radio play or sale,,,everybody here would have already been on The Today Show ten times! LOL

I suggest to learn about the business of music from the intro on through. You will then realize it is easier to get a job with IBM with no experience in that field than it is to have any business success in music, even with vast musical knowledge, skills and talent. You would also have to look and act the part! LOL

Don't feel bad. I had that same stars in my eyes even after knowing a bunch of stuff and having decent everything. Do NOT be fooled that having "JUST a recording" will do anything with anybody. and Do NOT pay for anything but your gear and all else that comes with playing out. Contracts come to artist that are worthy of being signed for their paying for promotion, which the artist will pay back out of royalties.

DO NOT be the first spender!!! "They" are for that! Their risk of money.

NO one cares about non-big, non-commercial radio, except the radio promoters for such who will take your money and laugh all the way to their bank. Imagine how many people do NOT know the basics in this music field! (add yourself in there, as I was in there too a bunch of years ago), then imagine the business of radio PR! $$$$$$$ Easy pickin's! Don't get picked!

I had to start all over, rethinking my "plan" to work in music, which has worked out to some degree. Wish I knew this stuff when I was YOUNG! LOL I was blinded by what I heard on the radio too. ("I can do that"!) Sure, songs and playing is not that tough if having decent talent and such. BUT,,,to actually be part of the music business to have people hear ya ON the radio or TV or anywhere??? THAT is a whole other way of knowing things and working like never before. And even then,,,most of us will still need a day job!

To be cute and get a final point across for my finale in this?:

Start here: ("This is a piano. And, this is middle C").

Johnny been there, done that!



Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#1054103 - 07/23/14 06:57 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
chanciusmaximus Offline
Casual Observer
chanciusmaximus  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Brooklyn, NY
I appreciate all the opinions. I've probably been in every aspect of the industry from busking on the subway to working in a multimillion dollar to working at Jive Records to just playing in a band and touring. I can tell you that no matter how many people really liked the music or how hard we practiced we never a big enough following. I'm not looking to sell music. I'm looking to drum up enough attention to get people talking and showing up to shows. Every band I go to see no matter how good they are just never attracts enough of a crowd. Every successful artist or band has some kind of PR and/or radio promo. I see a lot of musicians just thinking word of mouth is going to be enough, but it isn't. To get your music out in front of the largest possible majority some kind of investment has to be made into marketing and advertising. I see you all say don't go the radio or PR route, yet I'm given no specific examples of why not leading me to believe you've never really done it.

Listen, I'm not looking at this like its a get rich quick scheme, I'm looking at this as how can I do the most to expose people to my music. With the industry as shitty as it is I know that my chances on getting signed to any label are little to none, but if that's the case then why not try to emulate what labels do anyway? All I've ever read is how most artists don't put that much time or effort into their new releases to help them garner attention. This is why I've come to ask you all your opinions. Do you guys think that even really small indie films or shorts don't use PR to get attention or onto film festivals because they certainly do. Any successful self released writer can also tell you that they still needed to advertise and market their books.

#1054107 - 07/23/14 07:15 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
chanciusmaximus Offline
Casual Observer
chanciusmaximus  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Brooklyn, NY
Also, the cost of such things would be a few thousand dollars without putting me in the red. To me it's a lot, but in the grand scheme it's really not. I'll have that much saved up again in a few months. I won't have another album to promote though. If PR and/or radio isn't the way to go then I'd love suggestions on how to better spend the money to get the word out.

#1054111 - 07/23/14 07:59 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Saint Petersburg. FL
OK, that lets us know what you are shooting for......

First of all, there is a problem with too much supply and not enough demand so lots of great smaller concerts draw way too few people as you mentioned. A few big stadium tours sell out at outrageous prices, while some great people go unnoticed in smaller venues because of too many choices or lack of interest.

I have been involved with a small venue for the last few years and I believe the owner does not spend enough time and money on advertising and promotion. He has great shows and sometimes they are poorly attended because the potential audience does not know about them.....plus there is lots of competition.

I am a supporter of PR and advertising. Articles in the papers, local TV shows, radio spots, press releases, etc. A good PR firm can make these happen and you can do a lot yourself. Most newspapers have a place on line to submit press releases, and local TV shows sometimes have artist submission forms on line. A good PR firm costs money but it's a good investment when you are ready to roll.

I am not sure about radio promo firms. There are a lot of scammers out there who promise to send your CD to 1,000 radio stations, most of which end up in the trash unopened.

Most people on this board are leery of being scammed since most of us have been approached for money by shady people making big promises and delivering nothing of value. Watch out.

Most people say that going on tour is a requirement for getting your music out there and growing your fan base. The truth is that most indies who go on tour lose money and end up playing a lot of gigs for tips and CD sales and live in their van or couch surf. But they do grow their fan base.

Personally, if I was in your shoes, I would hire a local PR firm that knows the music business in your area. Knock on their door and look at their furniture, the way they present themselves, and their accomplishments. Don't settle for anything less than first class. Get a written proposal from them and make sure they do what they say they will. They can open some doors, but then it's up to you to stand out from the crowd (which is huge).


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1054138 - 07/23/14 11:06 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,412
Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,412
Brunswick, Ga. USA
As stated up above you need to be playing a few venues. If you are not able to do that then all the promotion in the world isn't likely to help.

Look for places you can play locally even if you have to do a gig for free. You may have to beat the bushes, so to speak. Maybe even in Flatbush, Ha,ha. You can make up a few flyers in your computer to post in various places such as music stores and grocery stores. If you have to bribe a store manager you can offer a CD. Don't spend a lot of money yet. Getting on National Radio is impossible unless you are on a major label. Good luck.


Ray E. Strode
#1054275 - 07/24/14 07:25 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Saint Petersburg. FL


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1054318 - 07/25/14 03:11 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Apr 2012
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chanciusmaximus Offline
Casual Observer
chanciusmaximus  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Brooklyn, NY
I don't mind telling you, but two of the companies I'm thinking of going with are M:M Music Promotions (radio) and Planetary Group (possibly both PR and radio). I couldn't find anything bad about them on the internet, they handle well known and smaller acts, they have lots of experience, both have won multiple industry awards, and both have owners who have done some very interesting and thoughtful interviews. I have been contacted back by some other places like Tinderbox and Rainmakers that I've found have had lots of complaints about. Rainmaker without a doubt was a scam from all the stories I read about it which doesn't surprise me because they contacted me through someone else and when I went to their website I had the feeling something was fishy.

Like I said before, I'm not expecting miracles or a one way ticket to success, but after all the experiences I've had up until this point I can say that this is the one thing I haven't tried and if I don't do it now then I'll probably never do it. Even with extra help I will still be attempting press and advertising on my own before I start to set up dates to play.

I think one thing that has stuck with me for the past few years is learning that whatever you're not doing when it comes to your art or your business, someone else is doing it. There is a lot of competition and you can't use excuses for not doing something. Don't have a professionally recorded album? 1000 other bands do. Don't have a website? 500 other bands do. Don't a video? 200 other bands do. Don't have radio promo? 100 other bands do. The list goes on and on. I believe in this game you have to give it 110% and STILL go above and beyond. I also read recently from an industry insider that the only thing that separates the successful from the hobbyists is money. Whether it's a label or an investor, it will show at the end of the day and people will notice. That's why I said previously that in this day and age you have to act like you're own label and do the things that labels do. Coming from someone who runs his own small business I can tell you that customers notice when someone's store has invested money into looking a certain way and when it's just a thrift store.

#1054328 - 07/25/14 04:51 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,102
New Jersey, USA
Ah,,,,hesitant to take advice, I see. LOL And assuming I and others have no experience with radio promotions? Ha! I gave you plenty to digest. I went into a lot with you. Good luck with your attitude. You're welcome still, by the way. Next time, Don't ask!

I will adjust my attitude right now though, OK?

Ok,,,so you may think a store can look great, and that's fine. But what about the product you are trying to sell to the public that is IN the pretty store? Once people see and feel, or as in music, HEAR and SEE the product, that is all that will matter. Will they come back and buy MORE? Will they bring friends?

That is my point about doing steps in a rational order.

NO amount of radio or other PR will do "much" if you don't already have a good to great performance product worth coming back to hear and see, and having them bring friends. If you have that, (which you admit not having), then sure, PR can help add on to those already increasing numbers/

I spent 12 grand by the way, if that is specific enough, to a firm that had major names as credits, and even a top 40 list sent weekly. How does Loggins sound to you? Big enough? How about that firm having McCartney and Stevie Wonder on the top 40 list with my name between them for spins? Sounds great huh? How about our song climbing the chart!? GREAT, right? So, more money went to the firm, Loggins Promotions out of CA. THEN: How about me calling the station's directors and them never hearing my song or knowing my name? One stuttered and finally said,,,,"Oh yeah,,,I think we played that once". Yet, the song was climbing up that chart! Bogus. Many firms have BIG names as who they push. Some do, some don't. IF and when you are ready for proper PR?: Hear this loud and clear: YOUR MUSIC ATTORNEY should be the only one handling that contract, OK? Is that specific enough?
12 grand over a few months for two songs down the tubes? NOT one store sale, (stores mainly in '99). Downloads at the time were free for the most part. MP3.com was the big one. And get this! I wasn't even playing out at the time paying for radio promotion!
THEE stupidest thing any of us could ever do! The next one would be if NOT having a killer act getting more and more people out, BUT paying for radio PR and other PR! LOL...WHY! You can't hold the people or have them come back yelling for you!!!!! What makes you think JUST hearing a song will have them rush out to your gig?! And if they do,,,it will be more of the same after you r gigs, UNLESS you improve your performance and all that goes with it. You can't fool people with a sleek recording. There are TONS of them all over the NET, forget radio! Radio is dead anyway for the most part, unless it's PRO top POP, and talk radio! People want you to be GREAT on stage!!!!

But, it sounds like you have your mind made up anyway, so why you bothered to asked us folks here something, then debunk the replies, is beyond me. Not a good way to start any relationship, especially when not giving your name. Just Plain Folks, ya know?

Just trying to help, and is why I spent my time on this, not to further tell how stupid I was in the past, or telling you that you might need to be a lot better on stage.

Good luck!

Really,
Johnny

PS. You have no idea who I played with and who I recorded with, and what I am doing now. Maybe that would have helped. But I think all of us here could brag about this or that. The main thing though is the experience and advice that folks are trying to give you could just be backed up by real valid experience of the pro kind, or at least the club circuit kind. To have them not be considered, for your mind is made up? Hmmm


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#1054387 - 07/25/14 03:11 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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tim houlihan Offline
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These responses remind me of when I played high school football-I was the guy that got to hold the blocking dummy for the guys that would be playing on Friday night. There never was a payoff at the end for me. So...why did I do it? I guess I just loved it enough to keep the dream alive in my mind that maybe I'd be in the big game next Friday night.
That's kind of the way I'm looking at my "music career." I do it because I love it enough to keep the dream alive.


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#1054442 - 07/25/14 11:50 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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maccharles Online content
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maccharles  Online Content
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The fact is, a good radio promo outfit can and will get you plays to some extent, most of it will be "B and C market", and not a whole lot of prime time. The hope is that paying these people to "work" your single/record, will jump start your exposure.....and this does happen, provided what plays you get are heard, and people respond to the point of something starting to fly on it's own....no longer needing to be worked.

the down side is, if distribution of physical product and/or information on where to buy is not in place ahead of said plays......it will be wasted in most cases.......not to mention, people usually run out of funds before a single can "take off".....when paying for it themselves.

If this route is taken, I would advise getting CDs in some stores(in the markets being worked)....and/or online distribution being in place first.

If the above advice is taken, you can build slowly and locally.....it saves money, but takes longer.

I would try working the record yourself, via college, B and C market locally and start there.

Three cents.

Last edited by maccharles; 07/25/14 11:52 PM.
#1054580 - 07/26/14 10:16 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: maccharles]  
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tim houlihan Offline
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Well... since you brought it up...lolol. My thing is not performing--to be honest, I can't sing and my guitar skills basically suck( like my spelling does). Any way...my thing is writing. I think that's where my talent, though perhaps meager compared to some, lays. My true dream is not to be onstage in front of a gazillion screaming fans. My big dream is to start a record label and bring talent in from my area and get them on a tour--is this sounding familiar (think Barry Gordy and Motown records--hitsville baby!).
I think we have to dream big and ride that dream as far as we can. There are certain tried and true ways of dong things.
The question is maximus, how do you get someone like Barry Gordy to take a chance on you? He's the guy that's going to promote you because he has an investment in you--time, studio work etc.
Find yourself a Barry Gordy that you can write for if that's your thing, or, create a killer act like Johnny says and then find yourself a Barry Gordy to do the recording/promotion for you, because, as a small business man you already know this, that a person works a lot harder and moves mountains when they have a substantial investment in something. Not only that, if you create that killer act and that big following then chances are that someone with what you need will hear about it and show up at your door wanting to sign you. It can't happen? Watch the Ray Charles movie or the Richie Valens movie. A long shot? You bet. But, like I said, you have to ride the dream as far as you can. If you build it, will they come?
You'll never find out if you don't build it and listen to advice from folks who have been there and done that.
I don't know about you guys, but I think we have chosen the most competitive business on the planet to make our way in.
Just a few thoughts
Good luck Maximus
Tim


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#1054581 - 07/26/14 10:27 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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tim houlihan Offline
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Just one more thing. When I was a DJ at a country station in a really small town in Texas, a guy walked in one Saturday afternoon with a record that his friend recorded and wanted me to play it. I did. Think of how times have changed. There's only a handful of people in the world that own virtually all of the radio stations in the world. Back in the old days guys walked into stations and handed the DJ a record and a 20 dollar bill so he would play it. Nowdays, the stations shell out thousands of dollars a year for licenses so that they can play that same guys records.
Funny how things change.
Tim


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#1054585 - 07/26/14 11:35 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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tim houlihan Offline
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This conversation has really got my interest up--There is a song by the group Traffic called The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys and one of the lines goes " The man in the suit has just bought a new car on the profits he made off your dreams..."
There's always going to be someone out there who will take your money by promising to help you make your dream come true but the reality as I see it is that you have to go to the bottom before you can get to the top--all of the biographies that I've read tell about how tough the climb to the top was. You gotta pay to play-You gotta earn it. I would keep my money in my pocket and hit the road with my band. Who knows what could happen.


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#1055188 - 08/03/14 04:53 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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chanciusmaximus Offline
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Johnny, I'm sorry you spent all that money and not reaching the point of success you wished to reach. All I can say is that '99 was a much different time for the music industry as it is now. CD was still king, MP3's were not common knowledge yet, no YouTube, etc... Musicians still had very few options to become successful other than play a lot, hope to get discovered, sign to a big label. The options were so few. Even recording out of a studio that cost $$$ was hard to come by yet. With so little options I completely understand forking the money over to radio promo in hopes to break ground. It's the simple reason that I've always thought that even though the income from recorded music has dropped, it was worth the trade to have a system in place where there are far greater tools and opportunities to market and advertise on the net. Even making the music has dropped exponentially. I just seem to notice from past experience and others around me that just playing out isn't enough. Too many times I found musicians playing shows who had no product to sell. Who didn't have a website or any online presence. Who didn't have a video. Who basically weren't taking advantage of all the ways they should be making their own success. I love making music and performing. I'd love to just do that, but unfortunately it's going to take a lot more time and effort focusing on other aspects to be more successful. I've lost and made my mistakes, too. I've tried to learn from those mistakes which is why I'm doing what I am now. I don't expect hiring a PR or radio promo company is going to make me an over night smash. I just need to build as much attention for my newest release as possible because if not now then it's never and there's no excuse to waste an opportunity. However much attention or prestige it builds me I will take that and use it when it comes to another aspect I delve my music into, but just playing out is not enough. There will always be other musicians just as good doing the same thing. The harder you work, the more you challenge yourself, the more you do is the only way you'll get ahead of the rest of the pack. If the cost and the tools allow musicians the kind of professionalism and quality that the artists on the majors have, then why not use those things? If the main goal is to be at a level of success that the majors or the indie/major label acts are at with success, then why not act like them now and do as much as possible like them if you can afford it if your just going to wind up doing it in the future anyway? We live in a day and age that no one is going to take a chance on you unless you're already a proven success. The only person who can make you successful is yourself because it has to start somewhere. Yes, people get lucky or happen to have factors that give then a giant advantage to success, but I've learned that through others who were successful that if you really buckle down, focus, and do what's necessary to get what you want you can leverage the system and think outside the box enough to win any game. Your not going to win every time, but you can sway the odds to your favor.

#1055189 - 08/03/14 04:53 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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chanciusmaximus Offline
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Johnny, I'm sorry you spent all that money and not reaching the point of success you wished to reach. All I can say is that '99 was a much different time for the music industry as it is now. CD was still king, MP3's were not common knowledge yet, no YouTube, etc... Musicians still had very few options to become successful other than play a lot, hope to get discovered, sign to a big label. The options were so few. Even recording out of a studio that cost $$$ was hard to come by yet. With so little options I completely understand forking the money over to radio promo in hopes to break ground. It's the simple reason that I've always thought that even though the income from recorded music has dropped, it was worth the trade to have a system in place where there are far greater tools and opportunities to market and advertise on the net. Even making the music has dropped exponentially. I just seem to notice from past experience and others around me that just playing out isn't enough. Too many times I found musicians playing shows who had no product to sell. Who didn't have a website or any online presence. Who didn't have a video. Who basically weren't taking advantage of all the ways they should be making their own success. I love making music and performing. I'd love to just do that, but unfortunately it's going to take a lot more time and effort focusing on other aspects to be more successful. I've lost and made my mistakes, too. I've tried to learn from those mistakes which is why I'm doing what I am now. I don't expect hiring a PR or radio promo company is going to make me an over night smash. I just need to build as much attention for my newest release as possible because if not now then it's never and there's no excuse to waste an opportunity. However much attention or prestige it builds me I will take that and use it when it comes to another aspect I delve my music into, but just playing out is not enough. There will always be other musicians just as good doing the same thing. The harder you work, the more you challenge yourself, the more you do is the only way you'll get ahead of the rest of the pack. If the cost and the tools allow musicians the kind of professionalism and quality that the artists on the majors have, then why not use those things? If the main goal is to be at a level of success that the majors or the indie/major label acts are at with success, then why not act like them now and do as much as possible like them if you can afford it if your just going to wind up doing it in the future anyway? We live in a day and age that no one is going to take a chance on you unless you're already a proven success. The only person who can make you successful is yourself because it has to start somewhere. Yes, people get lucky or happen to have factors that give then a giant advantage to success, but I've learned that through others who were successful that if you really buckle down, focus, and do what's necessary to get what you want you can leverage the system and think outside the box enough to win any game. Your not going to win every time, but you can sway the odds to your favor.

#1055190 - 08/03/14 05:00 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
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And on that note, unfortunately the truth is that 95% of musicians I have ever encountered just don't get anything about the music industry outside of just waiting music and playing out which is why they fail. They don't want to be involved in any of the other myriad aspects of the business. They just can't wrap their heads around marketing, advertising, planning, distributing, sales, accounting, etc. I don't blame them, they just want to play, but if you look at any successful entrepreneur, writer, actor, CEO, etc you'll find that they did what it takes to get where they wanted to be and did it better than the rest of their peers.

#1055443 - 08/05/14 05:10 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Hi Chance:

Interesting topic. You sure stirred things up with this subject. After gleaning through all the advice you have received... it appears to me that you are somewhat of a "damn the torpedoes... full speed ahead" guy. Nothing wrong with that. We have to do what we feel we must do. I wish you great success with your music and I hope you will keep us posted regarding the results of you investment into PR. Thirty years ago, I would have probably told you to "go for it!"

I don't remember which thread participant said it... but the truth really is that we are in an overcrowded market and our client base is way too spoiled on access to free music.

Hopefully, you are good enough to climb the charts. Only time will tell.

All the best,

Dave

#1055497 - 08/06/14 02:50 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Chancius,
Thank you for your involved reply! I appreciate all you said.

My main point was that radio promoters who are not with labels, like the one I hired, can be, and in my case, was, not doing things as said. Even the charts were published by the owner of the PR company! There is a LOT of money to be made from the many musicians who hear radio promo, and think they will be ON the radio.

It is Where, that it MIGHT be played, if at all! Trust me on this! We were ripped off! Radio directors not hearing of our songs, despite the charts showing the many spins and it rising up, week after week. The music ocean is filled with radio promoters with top names to their credits. The owner of the one we hired even had a top name, (supposedly a cousin of Kenny Loggins). So....Beware as never before when talking radio promotion. It is usually NOT what it seems it will be, unless you are already signed with a good label, and they hire for the proper stations to get it in their rotation the first couple of weeks to then see the SALES chart, NOT their or any other charts. Radio goes by SALES charts as to how many spins a song will get, no matter who is paying for what. Regional Directors for radio oversee all that.

It is also a dying media, with mostly hip hop and oldies and talk radio having listeners. The rest? Who cares or listens to radio anymore, for as you said, times are different now.

Radio promo when 100% legit and with a label behind the promoter who is getting paid, sure!

Focus on all the other media, (100%). Your radio money could better be used for all the other media. Radio is not for those without professional backing, (a bank, as in a label), THAT is when your song cold get played on the stations that actually have listeners, and who's program director (actually) puts your song in rotation. Those many non label promoters with their charts? Forgetaboutit. They are for those with false stars in their eyes.

Or, do it, and come back here in 6 months and tell your story. I hope it would be better than mine, but the odds look bad for that, unless you have a label hiring the radio promoter, NOT an individual, (great musician/songwriter or not). THAT will not matter in the false radio PR scheme/charts that many fall for.

Guess who we passed in the charts when NOT even getting spins? Paul Friggin McCartney! Tell me that happened, for it WAS in Black and white in the very pro looking named charts we got by fax! Ha! The chart doesn't lie, right? WRONG! There are only a few actual Pro charts that matter. And, they contain label backed artists, who get spins from having more and more sales, after the initial PR push by those labels. YOU, Me, the great guys here? Not signed?! Radio? Ha! Might as well do as the baking soda companies tell us to do, and that is to go to the store, BUY a box of their product, then Pour It Down The DRAIN!!!! Haha!

I'm 61, and have been through just about every scenario in the music field except for being signed. I was mainly a creative piano player. Composer in there too, as I didn't like just learning songs on the radio as I got into my mid twenties.

Been there and done that with many avenues tried, and many pro known acts I played with or tuned pianos for and jammed with and recently, recorded for. I heard inside stories of this and that from many, and what it all is about.

Spend your money on ALL other media, where the people in charge of that media aren't tied into labels. Anyway, you won't be HEARD enough IF Played on some mom and pop station, to make it worth paying just ten bucks for it!

But, like I said, if you do that, come back and relate how that and your money went, and how many spins the program directors themselves tell you they had. Good luck with that! And good luck with them even knowing your artist name or song title! Really. It is that sort of a business unless backed by a label, that you will most likely find yourself simply suckered in, for you are who they are after. (The ones not experienced in how radio works YET)! Especially these days!

Be wise with your money, and let it fly with social media and all else.

If there is only this one short time slot for you to do this last TRY, as you somewhat hint at, then that is a whole other topic as to why the business plan needs to be refined and approved by the ones who have had success in the music market. You are competing with tens of thousands! If not near there by now, maybe think of other ways to earn money doing music, like what I had to do. Session work. Jingle writing for book promos. Editing interviews with being creative with the backing music in spots, etc.

Meant to be ALL The Best To You!
Johnny


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#1055528 - 08/07/14 01:48 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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R&M Offline
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I'm just old enough to where I can remember the days before the internet invasion of the nineties and college radio from local acts in the scene and unheard ofs. Now there are online live stations for free. But I think what the poster said about the in and outs is quite right.
There are members here that might have something viable that listeners like that don't even want to conform with what fellow members would do. Both business and artistically.
All an agent could best do would be the promise of what the musician already did through their drive and whatever natural people skills that exist to self-promote.


At Soundclick:
https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1468037

Videos at youtube (Ads, editing film, and instrumental song docomenteries):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZj1g-Fb0HSN4PtzegjzIA
#1055543 - 08/07/14 11:50 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: R&M]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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And then there is payola.Still alive and active(in my opinion) but harder to detect.

#1055579 - 08/07/14 08:18 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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tim houlihan Offline
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yeah for payola!!!the true American way--not kidding either
tim


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#1055602 - 08/08/14 12:43 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: chanciusmaximus]  
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Jeff Epstein Offline
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First of all - you're 61, Johnny? shocked I thought you were younger than me when I met you, like late 40s. Anyway...Johnny is giving out his truth and tough love, please listen to it.

But I want to offer one tiny, slim thread of optimistic rebuttal. That is that all college radio is not useless. Not all college stations are alike, but there is a real underground community of music lovers who listen to new spins of fresh music and check out the acts in the clubs, ok? from my own experience, WFUV, Fordham University, NY. WERS, Emerson College, and WUMB also in the Boston market. There are many others. I am proud to say I got one spin on one station (WMRS, I think) that got one guy to my show. I was so astonished I gave him a free CD, OK? laugh Sooooo....yes, it CAN happen, and it doesn't mean much in the long run because the real current medium is YouTube, where some kids can get MILLIONS of views. But anything worth doing is worth doing yourself. Please don't waste cash on promo guys, con or no con. Not worth it. Like Johnny said.

#1056255 - 08/15/14 07:43 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Jeff Epstein]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Circus,

First off, nice to meet you. My name is Brian, and becoming a real person and not an unnamed poster automatically humanizes you to those you are asking for advice. I know quote a bit about all of this, good and bad. I know most of the players in the PR game, good and bad. The point is, getting airplay is meaningless as is PR because there's a whole wide world out there and the media cycles is about 30 minutes long unless you can become a national story and then it's about 60 minutes long unless you can keep feeding the machine with content/info/drama/cleverness.

So how exactly do you envision your plan? Many companies can do a specific task you ask them for, but you need to know your market, your appealing qualities and your abilities to feed a media machine with content that can break through the competition and hold someone's attention span longer than it takes to consume the next tweet, facebook post, youtube clip, tv show, porn website or even amazing single you got them to actually listen to.

So, tell me what YOUR plan is? Then perhaps you can be helped by PR. Otherwise, you're going to throw money at a moving target who likely won't notice for more than a moment and then move on to a dozen other more interesting things to them. See the problem? What's YOUR plan? What is your IDEAL situation? What can you offer beyond great music which is over supplied by a factor of thousands to one over demand.

Get back to me and then we can actually help you. And for someone looking for attention and awareness, don't be so stingy with your name. Isn't that a red flag to most people?

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#1056266 - 08/15/14 10:37 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Now that;s getting the buts and bolts!

I also will waiting for a reply. Will be good for alot of beginners and not so beginners to digest all the info, to get more of a taste of how the music business works, along with how the seperare bar/club business works, for those playing out in them.

I will repeat my huge mistake that cost my investor sister 12 thousand dollars for two songs: USELESS to pay an independent radio promoter if not having ALL the needed ducks in a row with a plan that is model proven. It is usually ignorance and ego that we pay such companies before warranted. Knowledge in everything to do with the music business, and bars/clubs, should be known, before hatching a plan, never mind being able to judge one's own competitiveness in the huge pool of others who know and do a lot more.

People buy into or not what they see and hear, (right away these days too). SO many choices as to where to put their money. If playing out and there is not increasing followings to the next gig and so on? And no building up of sales of product of any kind after those gigs? NO amount of PR of nay kind is going to change that. The showcase we each do at every gig, and the resuls form them, is all the info we need to know what to do or not to do next.

The task at hand then becomes self, not others to make one more appealing.

Like combing one's hair before going out: We wouldn't pay others to say on radio to check out our hair and buy into that style if we didn't comb it right for the style or whatever in the first place! NO, we would take care of the details in our home first, and then test it out in the clubs, seeing the response to our new hair style, to see if others are buying into it or not before spending money advertising about something not known yet!

I hope that made sense, for it sure does to me! smile


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#1056268 - 08/15/14 10:52 AM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Jeff Epstein]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Epstein
First of all - you're 61, Johnny? shocked I thought you were younger than me when I met you, like late 40s.


Ha! Thank you. Guess I was 55 that year at "The Bus Stop" venue? (2008)? Must have been the lighting though. For when I got home, I looked like George Burns from the movie "God"!

Just the luck of the genes I guess, and being a small part of Cherokee on my father's side. (What small part?) Ha! No thick facial hair? Or other, except on me English head!

I appreciate your rebuttal points. Thanks for sharing!

Now get some Cherokee in you and start dancing around the livingroom if you want to look younger!

#1056329 - 08/15/14 05:53 PM Re: Hire PR or Radio Promo or Both??? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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R&M Offline
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What attracted me to this particuliar post is the fact that I am probably not the only one that is not motivated by market interests.
Many here have something or another that might get across to listeners yet would not aspire to formula pop or being sidesmen or sideswomen.
I always figured that most of the members on here a generation older then me had to conform to things their hearts were not always in to get a start.
The only bit of experience I know of are with alt and indie musicians that were on the other side of who considered them inferior.
I guess having something to be noticed with means we all have something to rival with in our own way.

But how many want the market to determine them?


At Soundclick:
https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1468037

Videos at youtube (Ads, editing film, and instrumental song docomenteries):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZj1g-Fb0HSN4PtzegjzIA

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