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RECORD PROMOTION                                                                                     Online Record Promotion

Music Business Directory Online

The typical ingredients needed to enable a successful record promotion campaign are:

1) Money,
2) Artist notoriety (which may exist because of his prior success, the success of his associates, or from planned and/or unplanned public exposure),
3) Timeliness of the release,
4) Ability of the promoter to get airplay in the proper market(s),
5) Ability to coordinate all the publicity generating factors involved,
6) Luck, and
7) Quality of the product.

If these are present, it is beneficial for the promotion campaign itself to have:

1) A planned course of action, and

2) A promotion man (or agency...independent record promoter) with a good track record, contacts, experience, clout, persistence, personableness, good health, and the ability to cope with the stress involved in working an irregular schedule with long hours.

Promotion Strategy

Ordinarily, the course of action starts with initial promotion and later with national promotion. Unless, of course, the artist is a superstar and can implement his promotion at the national level at the outset. Or, if he is so established that large quantities of records can be manufactured and shipped to record stores without initial radio airplay.

More often, however, the main objective of the promoter, both initially when breaking a record and on an ongoing basis, is to get radio airplay. The promoter must attempt to get his record added to a station's playlist and rotated on a heavy basis. Stations that play contemporary releases will only have a playlist of 20-40 records. That is to say, they only play past, current and up and coming hits.

Since there are hundreds of records released across the nation each week, airplay time is always at a premium. Competition for this time is, to say the least, fierce.

Initial Promotion

Initial promotion of a new release (especially if the artist is not known nationally) is usually directed toward a few hand-picked areas (called "breakout markets"). The geographical locations and number of areas picked could depend on many factors:

1) Money,
2) The format, quantitative audience, and program director tastes of the area radio station,
3) The type of consumer in the area,
4) Prevailing competition for shares of the area market,
5) The familiarity the artist manager/promoter has with business contacts in the region, and
6) The availability of appropriate services and events to facilitate the campaign.


The breakout markets picked are often "secondary" cities or areas where radio stations play new releases and unproven artists. This is because broadcasters located in primary markets (e.g., New York and LA) will not usually program a new record until it has reached hit status in a secondary market. Atlanta, for example, is often used as a breakout market for pop, Cleveland for rock, and Austin and cities located in mountain regions for country and country rock.

If the artist is not well known in the breakout area, the promo man would first educate the people about the artist. "Kick-off" publicity as it were. Of primary importance is to educate the programming directors of the local radio stations. This can be conducted:

1) Through online advertising and wire services, via trade publication and other advertisements, gossip columns, broadcast news programs, current event editorials, record charts, etc.,

2) By mailing out press kits,

3) By staging media events, or

4) By getting involved in events that attract media coverage.

Publicity and public relations are not only of initial and ongoing importance in a record promotion campaign, but they are of ongoing value from a career standpoint.

The next step is to ship promotion copies of the CD. The record company or manufacturer would supply the artist with the previously contracted number of promotion copies--usually 1,000 to 5,000 copies. Each CD would be clearly labeled "promotion copy." They would then be shipped to radio stations, program directors, record librarians, DJ's, area distributors (wholesalers), record reviewers, other artists, industry VIP's, etc.. It often helps to send copies to local talent agencies, recording studios, record companies, and music publishers. If they like what they hear they may relay the message to their clients, contacts, and music business friends. The business contacts that may generate could be surprising.

Now, it is time to start working!! The promo man must try to get the artist's CD listed on published radio station playlists, tip sheets, and mentioned in trade publications as trade picks. He would visit DJ's and try to get the song picked as a hit. The promo man would send the DJ's a gossip sheet about the artist's current events. He might do the DJ's favors or visit late night DJ's to keep them company through those weary graveyard shifts. He might arrange to have the artist meet the DJ's or schedule appearances with them. Or, have the artist drop in on the DJ when hosting a media event to "lend a helping hand." The artist could bring along some CDs, T-shirts, buttons, or other "gimmicks" bearing his likeness or identity to give away to the crowd. If the DJ then feels he owes the artist one…great! The DJ might even play the artist's record more often.

The promotion man might send pre-recorded messages thanking the DJ's or the radio station for picking his artist's record as an up and coming chart buster. The idea is to make the record easy for the DJ or radio station music director to choose. The trick is to appeal to their needs and to the needs of their audience. In addition, the promotion man might offer to have the artist do a live studio or phone interview on the air. Or, have the artist tell them his rags to riches or other interesting personal story. The intent is to try to get them interested on a personal basis.

Initial promotion efforts would last at least 8 weeks or more. It is impossible to predict ahead of time if a record will be a hit or a bomb. Most hits, in fact, bomb in some areas initially. A good commercial record hardly ever breaks immediately.

Also, even when a record bombs, the cost of promotion is not a complete loss. It has partially paved the way for future hits by introducing or retaining an artist in the public eye.

National Promotion

If the record breaks in one or two of the target markets the promotion effort can be expanded to the national level.

National promotion is carried out with many of the same tactics utilized in the initial promotion program. However, the strategy is a little different and some new tactics would be employed. The national program, in general, is vastly expanded compared to the original targeted market push.

Strategy

Kick-off publicity, distribution of promotion copies, the contacting of radio stations, etc., (as was outlined for breakout promotion) is also implemented on the national level. But where the promotion department was dealing with 10 to 20 people or businesses at the start, the number quickly jumps to thousands! For example, instead of 2 radio stations, 1,000 may be contacted! Where 1 distributor was involved, now there may be 10.

With such a substantial expansion, the first step quickly becomes apparent. One must change the mode of contact. Where contact at the targeted market level may have been personal, now it will be by mail, telephone, or telegram.
At this point knowledge and past experience in promotion is almost essential. For example, one could spend literally thousands on printing and postage in a direct mail campaign, thousands more on publicity advertising, and then drown in the red ink!

It is imperative to have the addresses and phone numbers of the right people BEFORE one embarks on his national push. It is essential to use proven advertisement copy and expression techniques to enable profitable communication.

Strategy Modification

The approach so far has been to use the breakout market tactics and de-personalize the mode of contact to facilitate the expansion a national promotion campaign demands. But the overall strategy of a national program is also slightly different.

With initial promotion most of the effort was directed toward creating a demand. The supply of the record simply followed the demand created. Although creating demand at the national level is essential and predominant, a much increased proportion of emphasis is directed toward supply--"pushing supply." This idea of pushing supply centers around the record distributor.

Record Distributor

The record distributor functions as a middleman. He is a wholesaler that operates between the record manufacturer and subdistributors (one stops and rack jobbers), or the manufacturer and the retailers. Some distribution operations are owned by major record companies. Nationally, there are only a few major record distributors but major record labels may have 15 or more distribution branches. Other record distributors are independently owned. Some independent distributors ("indies") have the capability to handle national distribution while others only operate in local or regional areas.

If the promotion campaign is being launched by an independent record company with minimal operating capital and a limited distribution network, the promo man would have to weigh his situation and obtain the most cost effective means of distribution.

The promotion man would try to lure the distributor(s) into stocking his record by making them aware of the sales in the breakout areas. He would inform them of listings on any tip sheets or radio station playlists, etc.. Promotion copies would be packaged to draw attention. It must be remembered that all distributors receive more records than they can handle. It is the job of the promo man to break the ice. This is a key function. The more innovative he is, the better his chances are to succeed.

Acquiring an established distributor is very important. This is because it can bring some long awaited promotion help--and at the right price…free! That's right, a good record distributor could shoulder much of the promotion of a record! He has established contacts and clout. He can "push supply."

Even if the distributor accepts a record, the promo man must still keep in mind that the distributor has so many records to push that some will only get his passive attention. So, the more he feels the record is a potential monster the more active will be his input.

Therefore, the promotion man must make him a believer!

If the distributor believes, he will try to place the record in as many locations as possible. He will do his share of contacting radio stations, etc., since his profits also increase with sales. The more he believes the more he will push, push, push.

Promotion Tactics

At the national level, these are the promotion tactics that are implemented…


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Q. How can I find information and answers about Record Promotion, Publicity, Marketing, Advertising, Magazines, Zines, Awards and Festivals?

A-1. Read the 12 Magic Bullet Seminars to give you a step-by-step detailed overview of the entire music industry which will get you started…
| SMP - The Magic Bullet Seminars |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

A-2. Then learn more via the study of specific categorized topics regarding Record Promotion, Publicity, Marketing, Advertising, Magazines, Zines, Awards and Festivals…
| TMBIO - Promoter | TMBIO - Promotion | TMBIO - Record Promotion |
| TMBIO - Record Promotion--A Closer Look | TMBIO - Free Records |
| TMBIO - Publicist | TMBIO - Publicity | TMBIO - Publicity--A Closer Look | TMBIO - Public Relations |
| TMBIO - Press Release | TMBIO - Press Kit |
| TMBIO - Advertising | TMBIO - Deceptive Advertising |
| TMBIO - Trade Press | TMBIO - Trade Publication | TMBIO - Media Kit |Music Contracts Record Deals Get Signed Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys
. Music Contracts Record Deals Get Signed Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys

Get Your TMBIO Membership Password Here!

A-3. Then deepen your knowledge and let the SMP Hot Links do the legwork for you…
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Record Promotion |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Publicity and Marketing |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Music Trade Magazines - Zines - Awards - Festivals |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

A-4. Then familiarize yourself with the related legal aspects…
| TMBIO - Law | TMBIO - Copyright Law | SMP - Copyright - Registration Forms |
| TMBIO - Rights | TMBIO - Licenses |
| TMBIO - Name Rights | TMBIO - Merchandising Rights |
| TMBIO - Royalties | SMP - Royalties |
| TMBIO - Tax Law | TMBIO - Legal Tax Avoidance | TMBIO - Tax Avoidance--A Closer Look |
| TMBIO - Tax Publications | TMBIO - Federal Tax Forms |
| TMBIO - Tax Deductions | TMBIO - Tax Audit |
| TMBIO - Trademarks | TMBIO - Patents |
| SMP - Legal Notes |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!
Get Your TMBIO Membership Password Here!

Q. How can I find information and answers about Radio Airplay, Charts and Performance?

A-1. Read the 12 Magic Bullet Seminars to give you a step-by-step detailed overview of the entire music industry which will get you started…
| SMP - The Magic Bullet Seminars |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

A-2. Then learn more via the study of specific categorized topics regarding Radio Airplay, Charts and Performance…
| TMBIO - Promoter | TMBIO - Promotion | TMBIO - Record Promotion |
| TMBIO - Record Promotion--A Closer Look | TMBIO - Free Records |
| TMBIO - Publicist | TMBIO - Publicity | TMBIO - Publicity--A Closer Look | TMBIO - Public Relations |
| TMBIO - Radio Station Format | TMBIO - Airplay | TMBIO - Playlist | TMBIO - Plug |
| TMBIO - Push Money | TMBIO - Plugola | TMBIO - Commercial Bribery |
| TMBIO - Charts | TMBIO - Bullet | TMBIO - Radio Broadcast Transcriptions | TMBIO - Transcription Tape |
| TMBIO - Performance Rights Society | TMBIO - ASCAP | TMBIO - BMI ||Music Contracts Record Deals Get Signed Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys
. Music Contracts Record Deals Get Signed Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys Music Contracts Record Deals Music Resources Managers Publishers Producers Promoters Music Makers Bands CDs MP3 Recording Music Law Lawyers Music Attorneys

Get Your TMBIO Membership Password Here!

A-3. Then deepen your knowledge and let the SMP Hot Links do the legwork for you…
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Record Promotion |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Publicity and Marketing |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Radio - Airplay - Charts |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Performance and Licensing |
| SMP - Hot Links Supreme - Foreign Performance Licensing |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

A-4. Then familiarize yourself with the related legal aspects…
| TMBIO - Law | TMBIO - Copyright Law | SMP - Copyright - Registration Forms |
| TMBIO - Rights | TMBIO - Licenses |
| TMBIO - Mechanical Right | TMBIO - Mechanical License |
| TMBIO - Transcription Right | TMBIO - Transcription License |
| TMBIO - Performance Rights | TMBIO - Performance License |
| TMBIO - Digital Performance Right In Sound Recordings |
| TMBIO - Royalties | SMP - Royalties |
| TMBIO - Mechanical Royalty | TMBIO - Transcription Royalty |
| TMBIO - Performance Royalty |
| TMBIO - Tax Law | TMBIO - Legal Tax Avoidance | TMBIO - Tax Avoidance--A Closer Look |
| TMBIO - Tax Publications | TMBIO - Federal Tax Forms |
| TMBIO - Tax Deductions | TMBIO - Tax Audit |
| SMP - Legal Notes |

Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!
Get Your TMBIO Membership Password Here!



Here Is Still Another Example Excerpt
From a Typical TMBIO Topic Explanation…


PUBLICITY

Publicity is kind of a first cousin to record promotion. They often parallel each other in both time of occurrence and mode of operation. In fact, the line separating the two is often clouded.

Record promotion is the act of providing support through advertising and publicity to ultimately reap a profit from record sales. Publicity, one could deduce, is a part of record promotion. However, since publicity is advertisement or action designed to attract public attention or interest in the artist and in his products and services, others could conclude record promotion is a part of publicity! Actually, from the overall perspective, publicity has the wider scope. Publicity operatives are utilized to "sell the total artist"--from CDs, music video DVDs, T-shirts, concerts, biographies, motion pictures, and TV appearances, to fan club memberships! Publicity is centered around the "visibility" of the artist and concentrates on press and other mass media vehicles.

To zero in even more on what publicity is, one other area often confused with publicity needs to be defined--public relations. Public relations, like publicity, aims at drawing attention to the artist. But unlike publicity, its main purpose is not to sell products and services. The main purpose of public relations is to create, build, and sustain a favorable reputation or public image of an artist and to enhance the growth of his career. The image promoted is often a multi-dimensional one. The intent is to capture an audience or following of a wide variety of people, i.e., to induce mass appeal.

A public relations (PR) campaign will try to influence or form a positive public opinion toward the artist. A publicity campaign, on the other hand, is launched to sell a commodity. A PR campaign is generally a national or worldwide "process." A publicity campaign is more often a local or area "event" (although it can, in some cases be a nationwide or worldwide "push"). PR and publicity campaigns are often run simultaneously by coordinating the various people and agencies involved, e.g., where the record company synchronizes efforts with the national PR firm and the artist manager.

Public relations is almost always handled by a PR firm. Often, especially with nationally known artists, publicity campaigns are also implemented by a company with nationwide contacts. But, for many artists, it is possible for their own manager to do much of the publicity work--especially if it is local or in a targeted area.

Publicity, as can be seen, is a very important part of an artist's career. A well organized and correctly implemented publicity campaign is often the difference between profit and loss in the sale of the artist's products and services. Many untalented artists have been monetarily successful because of their prudent publicity undertakings. Conversely, many talented artists have dropped by the wayside because they were reluctant to, or unable to, implement solid publicity programs.

To properly plan and carry out a publicity campaign the publicist must know the legal and substantive aspects of publicizing an artist. He also needs to have the procedural or tactical expertise. He must have or find the proper contacts and outlets to access the public.

Legal Aspects of Publicity

The legal factors concerning publicity center around what is called the "right to publicity." The right to publicity is the legal exclusive right of a person (or his heirs) to commercialize the character and substance of himself. This right is granted by state civil statute (in some states via criminal statute), or case law.

Another right that often becomes involved is called a "merchandising right." A merchandising right is a right, under state common law, to exploit and market the name, signature, picture, image, likeness, biographical material, and/or success of a person by any means, e.g., on T-shirts, posters, in editorials, books, movies, cartoons, etc..

A third right that applies here is called a "name right." A name right is the right to legally use a name. This right is protected by state common law, the Lanham Trademark Act, and in some cases, indirectly by the federal copyright law (e.g., when the name is embedded in copyrighted material).

In summation, the law basically gives the artist the exclusive rights to his name, likeness, and substance if the operation of these does not infringe on a right of another who has previously established such rights (in rare instances, depending on jurisdictional laws, a court of law may rule against someone who actually established use first if a second party's later use is more widely associated with the name at the time of litigation).

In general, rights to a name are established by use and by the existence of public notoriety. In other cases the rights may be established by procedure in accordance with law, e.g., with the Lanham Trademark Act. Since these rights (for the most part) fall under the jurisdiction of civil law conflicting claims or uses must be resolved by litigation (as opposed to police action) and court judgment carried out under criminal law.

The law then, prohibits the unauthorized use for profit of the artist's name, likeness, and substance. So, before a publicity campaign can begin, these rights must be assigned (by contract) to the publicist, other manager or agent, or to the record company. Many, if not all of these rights, are often assigned to the record company in the artist's recording contract. If this is the case, the artist, his publicist, manager, or other agent could be denied the right to publicize!.

Substantive and Procedural Aspects

A publicity program has two dimensions--substantive and procedural. The substantive aspects of a publicity campaign are the:

1) What,
2) Who,
3) Where, and
4) When,
and the procedural has to do with the:
5) How.

But what about the "why?" Well, it comes into play and keeps the mind occupied if everything else fails!

The substantive deals with objective facts. The procedural is the process that puts the facts to work. It is more subjective. It has sort of a "personality" to it. The procedural will reflect the artist manager/publicist's own experience and attributes.

When the substantive aspects are addressed the manager/publicist will have to address many questions. The following is a list of some of them.

What?

1) What is the message?
2) What are the ways available to package and convey the message?
3) What are the delegated responsibilities of all concerned?
4) What will the costs be?
5) What yardstick is used to measure the success or failure of the campaign?

Who?

1) Who will hear the message?
2) Who needs to hear the message?
3) Who wants to hear the message!
4) Who will pay the costs incurred to get the message out?

Where?

1) Where would the message be introduced?
2) Where would it be proclaimed later?

When?

1) When would the message(s) go out?

How?

1) How does one package and convey the publicity message?
2) How long before meaningful conclusions can be drawn about the success of publicity endeavors?
3) How does one determine which conclusions are the meaningful ones?
4) How long does one push the message?


To Get the Exhaustive Answers to All those Questions and Much Much More…
Read the Full Commentary on PUBLICITY here:

Join TMBIO and Go To PUBLICITY--A CLOSER LOOK



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